Reality Entertainment // 2009 // 90 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Daryl Loomis // May 7th, 2010
Twenty-eight, remember that number.
For centuries, religious scholars and conspiracy hounds have tried to decipher some code in the Bible that they think might lead them to a greater truth or hidden treasure. Will they ever find what they're looking for? Who knows, but that doesn't stop them from talking about it. Once upon a time, this pursuit was a niche hobby that few people had ever heard about. The unbelievable success of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, however, has turned that quiet pursuit into a full-blown phenomenon. Some of the biggest actors on the silver screen have hunted through libraries looking for arcane symbols that have some supposed relevance and a whole DVD label emerged as a platform for real life nuts to spout about their ideas.
This time around, Reality Entertainment presents us with The Murder of Mary Magdalene: Genocide of the Holy Bloodline, a trip with writer Dan Green into the heart of England. He believes that if he follows a convoluted path through the annals of British religious history, he'll be able to locate the true burial site of the noted prostitute and disciple of Jesus, Mary Magdalene. See, there's this rumor that's gone around the grapevine for about two millennia that Jesus gave her more than just spiritual leadership and, together, they had a child. After Jesus was crucified, Mary and child were executed and their burial site has been a mystery to all but the few sworn to protect the secret.
Green begins his quest by looking at the curiously-named city of Jerusalem, in the district of Lincolnshire, England. Here, in the Lincoln Cathedral (where parts of the screen version of The Da Vinci Code was filmed), the Knights Templar were imprisoned before they were disbanded and executed, but Green thinks there's more. Using a series of ciphers, he has determined that this cathedral also contains the tomb of Mary Magdalene. After detailing the history of the situation and looking at a few texts, he takes us underground, into the ancient tunnels that connect the city where he's certain he'll find a big clue. It's cool to see these musty old tunnels but, without spoiling anything, the result of his journey is pretty underwhelming.
Let's say that I'm the naive one. Let's say that these broad connections actually lead to some greater truth and it's not just the ranting of a kook. If Green is right, in part or in whole, it begs the question of the point of the whole thing. What changes if Mary Magdalene is really buried at Lincolnshire Cathedral? At best, it gives some religious importance to the town. It's no more compelling, though, than the quests to find the truth about whether Billy the Kid is actually buried in New Mexico or who really wrote Mary Had a Little Lamb. Few people care about the answers to these mysteries, but when you start throwing around names like Jesus, Freemasons, and Knights Templar, people become more excitable. Every time Green speaks, it sounds like he's about to say "Coincidence?" The Murder of Mary Magdalene: Genocide of the Holy Bloodline is silly and pointless, but it scores a few points for the amusing randomness of the story.
Reality Entertainment sent a screener for review, so the following is subject to change. The non-anamorphic transfer is unfortunate, but for its low-budget video production, it looks fine. The stereo sound is marginal, with relatively clear dialog but an irritating amount of wind noise. We have a few deleted scenes as extras, but there is no menu screen, so they are included after the main feature concludes.
Totally ridiculous and completely guilty.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Reality Entertainment
* 1.66:1 Non-Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Deleted Scenes
* Official site