To be taken up after my earlier quasi-defense of Apocalypto. Something occurred to me when I was just looking over On the Genealogy of Morals - specifically the second essay, section 7 (on pain). Of course one can reject Nietzsche's position, and one can reject Apocalypto, but to have a considered opinion for or against the violence in Apocalypto, one needs to address (directly or otherwise) Nietzsche's point about the historical dimension of pain, of the senselessness of suffering, and of the (alleged/conjectured) "cheerfulness" of a life where causing pain was seen as a kind of pleasure. I think that Apocalypto's world is one in which this is quite true, and implicit in the characterizations, cf. the pranks the villagers play upon one another even in the 'idyllic' prologue.
Having said that, of course, I am now more interested than I think I have actually ever been to eventually see The Passion of the Christ, which gives a new and potentially intriguing spin to this particular snuff-bondage passion play. Please note, particularly if you're new to this blog, that I am not endorsing Gibson here, and in fact I believe I am light years too far away from ever influencing anything about his life one way or another. I just think that the weirdos tend to be more valuable barometers & experimentalists than the vast majority of the mainstream folks.