BLACK DEATH (or ‘I never get tired of watching Sean Bean in medieval costume!’)

Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Black Death

I never get tired of watching Sean Bean in medieval costume!

OK… now that I got that out of my system…

I was leafing through the January/February edition of Rue Morgue magazine (see my July 6/11 entry “True Blood: My Merchandising Beast Within” on how I came to have said magazine) when I came upon the cover story regarding the movie Black Death, starring Sean Bean.

While I didn’t exactly trip over myself running to the local Zombie Serengeti (i.e. the Walmarts) to get a copy of the DVD, it was a near miss.

I was expecting a delightfully creepy story of knights, monks and peasants… a kind of scary movie version of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I could almost hear the lines “Bring out your dead!” and “I’m not a witch!”

Yeah, well…

Black Death is a dark horrifying tale of disease, fear, superstition and religious fanaticism. There isn’t anything remotely funny in how that era is portrayed in this film. If anyone harbours a sentimental romantic feeling about life in medieval Britain, this movie will most likely slit its cute little throat. The world of Black Death is a gruesome hideous place filled with ignorance, violence and suffering, with no escape except death. It is one of the most chilling and sobering films I’ve ever seen.

It also gives you a frightening reminder of what can happen when religion has too much power and influence over people and governments.

I once watched some televangelists shake their heads in disbelief as they couldn’t imagine why Europeans seem to show no interest in injecting religion into their politics.

Really? No idea, have you? Well, maybe it’s because Europe has learned through over a thousand years of hard experience exactly what can happen when the Church runs the show. I suspect it is not something they are eager to try again.

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