For Good Friday: The Five Best Torture Scenes

Today is Good Friday, so named because it's the day they finally offed that pompous windbag from Nazareth who would just not shut up about all his "Love your brother" crap. Have you met any of my brothers?

Of course, the powers-that-be decided they wouldn't just kill Jesus, they had to torture him a bit first. (For details, consult the Gospel of St. John the Yoo.) This was demonstrated most clearly in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, which we haven't seen but are reliably informed makes the Saw movies look like Disney.

In honor of the sadism that gets honored and celebrated on this day, here's a list of Five Great Torture Scenes in the Movies. Our cinematic knowledge pales next to our usual movie listmaker, Pete Vonder Haar, and we generally don't go for grisly horror stuff. But then again it's our list, not yours.

5. "Is it safe?" Laurence Olivier the dentist, Marathon Man (1976) Up until this Dustin Hoffman movie came out, America loved and enjoyed going to the dentist (Great Britain, apparently not so much.) But after Dr. Christian Szell keeps asking a bewildered Babe Levy if it's safe, all the fun went out of it for kids.

4. Sigourney Weaver's panties, Death and the Maiden (1994) In Death and the Maiden, Sigourney Weaver plays a woman who kidnaps the guy (Ben Kingsley before he became, as Christ-o-fuh Moltisanti called him, "Sir Kingsley") who raped and tortured her years before. She begins this revenge by taking off her panties and stuffing them in his mouth. We're guessing a generation of Ripley groupies (and fans of "fem-dom" sites) wouldn't exactly call this torture. But it apparently works, as she gets her confession in the end, in this tour de force scene.

3. Could You Leave My Balls Alone, Please? No? Casino Royale (2006)  Would Pierce Brosnan have let Le Chiffre whip his balls like this without some kind of witty repartee? You can bet yer ass no, he would not. "Didn't know you were such (grimaces as his balls get hit) a...ballah, Le Chiffre," he would have said. Or maybe Le Chiffre would ask him if he's had enough, and Brosnan would have said "Stop? Why, I'm having a ball."

They don't make James Bond films like they used to, we're telling you.

2. I Hope I Didn't Mention That Whole Rat Thing Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) In George Orwell's 1984, Room 101 is the room you DO NOT want to go to. Whatever your single biggest fear is -- claustrophobia, fire, a Saved by the Bell marathon -- it's there for you, in spades. For Winston Smith, it's rats. Dude hates rats. And believe us, that's not the kind of information you want the movers and shakers of Oceania to get their hands on.

1. And of course....The Passion of the Christ (2004) No one does torture better than Mel Gibson in Passion of the Christ.  Every flick of the whip, every piercing by the crown of thorns, all lovingly rendered in breathless close-up (Get the Blu-Ray edition for your kids!!) And here, just to torture you some more, are scenes of the movie matched with some awful inspirational Christian-rock song. Happy Good Friday!!

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