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The Most Insanely Violent Cartoon Ever (Is About the Bible)

Samson's red-mist fury only worsens when the woman he rejected (after murdering half of her town) gets married to somebody else. So Samson -- and I'm serious here -- Samson goes out and captures stray foxes, ties their tails together and then lights them on fire to burn the Philistine's crops. I know what you're thinking: That sounds pretty dark, but it is in the Bible. The kids have to know it, but it's kind of a complicated thing, introducing young children to a story like that. But don't worry, Greatest Heroes handles it all very tastefully.

Through song!

...and you're sweeter than the honey from the beeeees / Well, except for the animal burning spreeeeees!

Then it's pretty much just a blurry mess of death and pain as Samson vows and revows revenge (Jesus, maybe the Philistine's should've checked the fine print and seen that Samson only issues Compound Vengeance). Here he is vowing revenge for the Philistine's revenge, and then immediately carrying it out on the nearest frightened old man that walks by. I'm not removing context here, I promise. Look:

The little dude knows what's going to happen; he doesn't even have a line, he just runs for his fucking life the second Samson opens his mouth. But it's too late for him now. For the song, it has already started. He hears its callous rhythm in his own quickened heartbeat: Bomb ba domp ba domp ba domp domp. He now knows the rest of his short life is only terror and agony, and his horrid, screeching squeals are to be percussion for its merry tune.

After killing half a continent, Samson is crowned king of the Israelites because ... well, what were they supposed to do? Tell him no? The man wipes out a species because they're good at puzzles; when he comes knocking, you just give him what he wants and pray he likes you enough to eat your head first.

Cut to 20 years later, and we find our hero "still [taking] time to seek out pleasure with the women." More specifically, we find him in the house of "a woman of the night."

Again, I know, I know: Biblical accuracy. But how strictly relevant was the Whorin' It Up section of this little allegory? Did it need to be explicitly spelled out for the first grade demographic? This proclivity for prostitutes isn't even painted in a negative light -- it's just shown as another thing that this awesome, invincible man-mountain does for fun. He kills and he whores, and when he finds time, he fronts the holy shit out of a Journey cover band down at the Elks Lodge every other weekend.

But oh, we can't all be fun-loving, race-murdering bachelors forever. Sooner or later, one of those awful emotional parasites that God laughingly called "women" will slip their life-draining proboscis into every one of us. Enter Delilah, and once again, Samson falls instantly in love. Which he shows by randomly clubbing four innocent bystanders so hard that their chests cave in:

Then Delilah, in true woman form (it's kind of like a black elephant, but covered in spines and with a giant, empty hole where a heart should be) betrays Samson again. With basically no provocation, she gives the secret of his strength away to the Philistines. They cut his hair, the source of his strength, and capture him. The Philistines gouge out Samson's eyes, and we finally get to see a bit of somber violence carried out on a character we know and love. It's heart-stopping: Samson screams, the villains laugh, Delilah weeps for her cursed womanly weakness. The whole scene really lands with the wrenching emotional impact of an atom bomb ba domp ba domp, ba domp domp:

Come on, kids! You know the words: Gouged out his eeeyyeeeess!

Samson is humiliated, and brought low before the Philistines. In desperation, he apologizes for straying from God's path (although wait, when was he on it? The first thing we see him do is bodyslam a lion, and then execute 31 different flavors of genocide) and in return, God restores his strength. Which Samson promptly uses to pull down the entire Philistine temple on the worshippers' heads. Sure, they're rotten Philistines -- corrupt and wicked -- and they deserved it. That's in the Bible. You can't just omit that part.

What you could have omitted, though, was the distinct, pained scream of a little girl right as the stones start to fall:

That call was totally in your hands, Greatest Heroes. And while the logical, rational parts of my brain want to condemn you for slipping such subtle cues of despair and tragedy into an upbeat children's cartoon, a much larger part of my cerebral cortex is standing up right now and slow clapping the sheer balls of it. What massive stones it must have taken to look at this scene and say: "Looks great, Doug, really good job on the mixing. All it's missing is the death cry of a six year old girl. So just go ahead and slap that on in there and let's hit the T.G.I. Friday's. I am going to absolutely ruin some fucking Queso Shooters."

So what was the moral of all this debauchery? What does the cartoon adaptation of Samson and Delilah teach us about ourselves, our spirituality and how to live our lives? Well, I'll let our precocious, spritely narrator sum up the entire tale. He's a great storyteller, after all. In fact, he only needs one sentence for the entire epilogue:

"Samson died a heroic death, in which he killed more Philistines than he had slain during his lifetime."

BOOM. CREDITS.

Th... that was it? That was the moral summation?

"Samson died, but he killed way more dudes there at the end than he ever did before, so it was all cool."

At this point, I feel like I should demand something of Greatest Heroes and Legends of the Bible. I want to demand that it explain the lessons of this story in greater depth, so as to avoid inadvertently raising a generation of little Christian Wolverines. I want to demand that its proponents account for the overzealous Christian mothers, who hysterically weep over all the pointless violence in our media, and then happily plop their own kids down to watch Conan the Whoremonger: Remorseless Edition. But honestly, if I have only one demand to make of Greatest Heroes and Legends of the Bible, I'm going to go with this:

Make so many more of these, please. This was amazing. If you could just script and film like, 11 more of these things, and maybe slap them up on a webpage next to a monstrously over-Photoshopped Ray Liotta, I would have material for the next year and oh, holy shit:

Truly, it is a holiday miracle. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

You can buy Robert's book, Everything is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead, or follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Or you could just kill some Philistines. They're a notoriously fragile race, apparently. Motherfucker can't even skip rope in this bitch without accidentally cappin' a Philistine.

For more horrifying discoveries from Robert, check out Secondhand Nightmares: 10 Horrifying Thrift Store Finds and The 7 Creepiest Real-Life Robots.

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Robert Brockway

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