I loves me some Old Testament stories. Forget, for a moment, the debate over their veracity or their divinity. Forget the most boring and didactic sections. Just look at the awesome, grotesque, violent, wild stories. I’m talking the deviant horror of Lot and Sodom, the gruelling moral quandary of Abraham and Isaac, the sexually explicit poetry of the Song of Solomon. So much great literature, and in many instances told with a pointed efficiency severely lacking in other forms of storytelling.
And that’s why we need more Old Testament movies. Sure, there have been tons. Yeah, I know. But I feel like the most known, most serious ones are based on the biggest stories. How many versions of The Ten Commandments are there? Darren Aronofsky is now signed on to make a big-budget version of the Noah story. But where are the smaller stories. And so I have a proposal. I would like to see a string of medium-to-small budget films directed by great auteurs and based on more obscure stories from the bible.
My first pitch? The perfect Tarantino film.
The story is question is part of the larger story of Saul and David, but I think it could definitely be expanded and made into something amazing.
From 1 Samuel 18:
25 And Saul said, Thus shall ye say to David, The king desireth not any dowry, but an hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king’s enemies. But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines.
26 And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king’s son in law: and the days were not expired.
27 Wherefore David arose and went, he and his men, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full tale to the king, that he might be the king’s son in law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife.
28 And Saul saw and knew that the LORD [was] with David, and [that] Michal Saul’s daughter loved him.
29 And Saul was yet the more afraid of David; and Saul became David’s enemy continually.
In case you have trouble reading Bible-speak, basically, what just went down was that David wanted to marry Saul’s daughter, Michal. But Saul doesn’t like David, so he gives David an impossible mission. Instead of a dowry, David must bring Saul the foreskins of 100 men. Well, David, ever the go-getter, runs off and kills 200 men and brought those 200 foreskins to Saul. Can you imagine the look on Saul’s face?
I read that story and immediately thought of the 100 scalps mission in Inglourious Basterds. Now, it’s possible that this one story might be too single-minded to make for a great Tarantino movie, but I think if he really delves into the characters, expands on the ways David gathers those foreskins, and maybe throws in some bits from other stories it could make for yet another modern masterpiece.
So that’s my pitch. Quentin Tarantino’s David Uncut.
What are your favourite crazy, sexual or violent Old Testament stories, and who would you like to see put them on the big screen?