by Douglas Messerli
Robert Henry Mizer (director) Aztec Sacrifice / 1959
Bob Mizer’s mini-epic Aztec Sacrifice released in 1959 mocks the 1950s and 1960s religious spectacles such as The Ten Commandments (1956), Ben Hur of the same year, and Spartacus (1960), paving the way for such later underground camp versions of DeMille and other such directors’ works in Jack Smith’s Flaming Creatures (1963) and Ron Rice’s Chumlum (1964).
Despite some seconds of pretend horror, it’s all done with a good sense of humor, particularly since we see Jackson smiling, almost with plea-sure, as Physique magazine regulars Jimmy Wilson and George Savage lay him out for the sacrifice. The campy costumes of feathers, beads, and baubles, extravagantly point out the groins of the Aztec chieftains who are understandably attracted to their victim’s pectorals and buttocks.
I would, of course, like to have known more
about the relationship between the archeological student and his friend.
Los Angeles, July 22, 2021
Reprinted from World Cinema Review (July 2021).