Looking for a disc of the movie ‘Apocalypto’

Has anyone noticed that the Mel Gibson movie Apocalypto is nearly impossible to find, and, via Amazon, is hugely expensive and probably bootleg?


Why would that be, I wonder.

I wonder.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Charles E Flynn says:

    Once a disc goes out of print, with little chance of being re-released, the remaining new copies appreciate to a surprising degree. There are times when the CD of the soundtrack of Stanley Kubrick’s “Barry Lyndon” costs $150.

  2. KateD says:

    I saw it somewhere recently….like a garage sale or something.

  3. Netmilsmom says:

    This is from Reddit – the distributor went under in 07. Buena Vista was the distributor and they got acquired by Disney. It appears Disney didn’t continue the distribution of certain Buena Vista titles, and this is one of them. So any DVDs out there are the ones put out on the initial release run. I believe this limited supply is why the copies are so expensive.

  4. OssaSola says:

    Yes, I see a used copy at thrift books . com for about $10 but can’t tell if it can be viewed on a US player. It was a cracking good action movie that I’d love to see again now that you bring it up. Also good: The Professor and the Madman with Mel Gibson.

  5. dahveed says:

    the dvd is available from abebooks, for very little money. I’m tempted, myself, what with recent events.

  6. Macgawd says:

    A few months back, ‘Apocalypto’ was being played on a major cable movie network (can’t remember which one) just about every other day for a couple of weeks. I don’t think there’s anything particularly nefarious about not being able to find a cheap retail copy, as it’s probably been out-of-print for a while. I’d check around the used bookstores.

  7. CasaSanBruno says:

    Evilbay has some cheaper copies.

  8. AveMariaGratiaPlena says:

    Father — there are USA region DVDs of Apocalypto for sale on ebay for not too much. I saw one for $21.99 from a reputable seller.

  9. mo7 says:

    ^^ your public librarian can help you get it.

  10. fr.ignatius says:

    I’m pretty sure in the UK it is in CES in the area with all second hand dvds at 50p

  11. $28.80 doesn’t sound that bad, and the DVD is probably worth it. It’s a fabulous movie. All the sets–which are a fantastic reproduction of a Mayan city, were built: no CGI. The effect is so realistic that it’s eerie, as though you’re being transported back on a time machine.

    Gibson hired a Maya archaeologist, Richard Hansen, as a consultant to ensure authenticity. (There is only one blooper, insisted on by Gibson over Hansen’s objections: The movie is set in the “Postclassic” Mayan period dating from around 900 A.D. to the Spanish conquest, a time when human sacrifice via having one’s heart ripped out was extremely common among the Maya. To make one of the scenes more dramatic, Gibson used a replica of a Mayan wall fresco that dates from much earlier (no later than 100 A.D.) The original depicts a sacrificed deer having its heart ripped out. Gibson had the replica altered to change the deer into a human.)

    Naturally the extremely PC academic anthropology establishment went crazy over “Apocalypto”‘s supposed inauthenticity. They prefer to think of the Maya as peace-loving astronomers deeply attuned to nature and spirituality.

    Here is an article I wrote in 2017 about Hansen for the Weekly Standard. He is quite a colorful figure on his own. My article included the whole “Apocalypto” brouhaha.


  12. Reginald Pole says:

    Father, I’m sure I have a copy around here, somewhere. (I really have to get this collection organized.) If you like, I’ll search for it and send it to you. Pre-Christmas gift. Let me know.

  13. excalibur says:

    A copy is on its way.

  14. Semper Gumby says:

    Thank you to Charlotte Allen for an excellent article on the interesting career of archaeologist Richard Hansen who assisted Mel Gibson with “Apocalypto.”

    Her article is well worth the read, it ranges from Mayan collapse theories and academic tomfoolery to base camp shenanigans and the Mormons.

    A few excerpts:

    “Still, there is an academic establishment in Mayan studies, and it is an establishment with whose reigning ideology Hansen has often found himself at cross-purposes.”

    “…many progressive North American secular intellectuals of the 20th century constructed their own mythology about the people who built the temples and palaces.”

    “”In the liberal mentality of our liberal colleagues, the Maya were star-gazing, poetry-reciting, peace-loving people in harmony with their forests,” Hansen says. “It’s a crock. They were as human as the Romans, as human as the Greeks. They were as human as Napoleon and Hitler. They had all the virtues and vices of contemporary society.””

    “Rigidly authoritarian, ancient Mayan society was glued into cohesion by shared religious ideology, the strength of the king’s personality, and naked force, Hansen believes—and it’s a belief that still rattles many sentimental academics who think that indigenous peoples possessed a superior political wisdom to that of the colonizing West: elders sitting around the campfire governing by consensus. “Everybody goes for these egalitarian models,” Hansen says. “Everybody’s equal, we’re all going to live together the same, we’re all equal. That’s a crock. That’s baloney.”

    “…a seismic postmodernist shift in the way many anthropologists (archaeology is a subfield of anthropology) regard themselves: as advocates for the groups of people they study rather than simply as scholars with claims to objectivity.”

    “Chagnon [an anthropologist during the 1960s and 1970s], despite his obvious affection for his hunter-gatherer subjects (he would occasionally dress—or undress—as a nearly naked but elaborately painted Yanomami warrior), described them as ferocious, filthy, and fighting incessantly and murderously over women. This not only undercut the myth of the noble savage; it interfered with prevailing Marxist-materialist theory that people go to war only over scarce resources or for other economic reasons.”

    Two brief notes. Environmental exploitation was a factor in the Mayan collapse, though the Mayan religion, culture, and politics were key factors.

    Allen briefly mentions the explorers Stephens and Catherwood, their travel accounts and superb drawings and lithographs from the 1840s, “Incidents of Travel in Central America” are a great read (see also “Incidents of Travel in Egypt, Arabia, and the Holy Land, also with magnificent illustrations).

    Great article by Charlotte Allen.

  15. Semper Gumby says:

    Here’s a link to Catherwood’s art, this page is primarily Mayan rather than Holy Land.


    Another suggestion is David Roberts “From an Antique Land: Travels in Egypt and the Holy Land.” Superb illustrations. (See his “Portfolios” also.)


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