let the hate email roll on in

Two facts that not everyone knows about me are as follows: 1. I am a Christian, and 2. I love Jesus movies for reasons entirely independent of my spirituality. I realize Easter has passed, but at some point on the beach this morning watching my kids run around I got inspired to bring my readers my most recent brilliant poll idea:

Who was the hottest movie Jesus?

1. Christian Bale (he’s the one on the right, with beatific smile – of course). If Christian Bale were a type of ice cream, I would eat a half-gallon with a spoon straight out of the carton in a dark room then lie back on my couch and feel ashamed of myself. Heck, I feel that way just thinking about him. Nevertheless, I haven’t seen Mary, Mother of Jesus, because my limited viewing of made-for-TV Jesus movies is nearly as painful as seeing photographs of modern-day zealots actually crucifying themselves. What I like about Bale’s Jesus is that he looks like he has a good time; and where’s the sin in that?

2. Ted Neely. If you don’t know what movie Mr. Neely played Jesus in, I first say – get the fuck out!, then direct you to rent the highly-dated, but still quite fun Jesus Christ Superstar. As far as Jesuses go (please someone, let me know if I’m using an incorrect plural of “Jesus”), Mr. Neely gets points for his sweatiness, his wall-eye, and his earnestly shrill rock-operatics. In one scene during the film’s only posthumous number you can see right through JC’s robe and observe Our Savior is in fact a tighty-whities man (settling a debate theologians have been raging at for centuries). This is also the only song number where any member of the cast looks at all clean and / or showered.

3. Willem Dafoe. What can I say about Willem Dafoe? He gets me so hot I feel a slight turn-on when my kids watch Finding Nemo (he plays Gill, the black and white stripey fish). Seriously, though, The Last Temptation of Christ is one of my favorite books, and I do enjoy the film version even though it has many notable differences and considerably less dignity. I think this is one of the many films you get to see a fiesty, naked Harvey Keitel (if you’re into that sort of thing). The David Bowie cameo as Pontius Pilate is a bonus. Creeeepy!

4. Jim Caviezel (must take care to view stills from early in the movie to judge hotness). Jim Caviezel is hot. The fact he speaks Aramaic convincingly is hot. What’s not hot is how badly he gets tortured for about six hours of the movie The Passion of the Christ. But what is this, a film critique? No. This is a post relating to hot Jesus actors. Enough said.

5. Vic Garber (OK, this one is just a ringer – who on earth could consider that attractive?). Judging by the horrible, horrible clothes worn by the cast (including clownlike cameltoe pants that are anything but funny) and cruddy music I’ve heard from Godspell, I have yet to actually watch it. I am not adverse to seeing it, but let’s just say it will have to get in line behind other Jesus films I’ve yet to watch. Incidentally, I guess Mr. Garber has since shorn his filthy hippie ‘fro and moved on to popular TC show “Alias” these days where he is enjoying more espionage and less direct persecution from religious leaders.

6. Robert Powell. No, I haven’t seen Jesus of Nazareth either (see above to #1). As far as looks go, Powell seems to share some of the gaunt horsiness evident in the Max Von Sydow version (Greatest Story Ever Told). I like a Jesus who’s got a little more junk in his trunk, myself. Still, such a ringing endorsement of a blue-eyed, patently Aryan Jesus is always funny for a laff.

And with this post: 45 minutes of my life, wasted. Hope you enjoyed it, and please do weigh in.

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