Holy Whores and Heretics the Secret Life of Mary Magdalene

Pagan priestesses unveil a web of intrigue and betrayal in this apocryphal rock retelling of the Passion of Christ.

An original story, with 8 original songs, based on the Gnostic Gospel of Mary Magdalene, Gospel of Philip and Gospel of Thomas.

A film festival edit of the post-feminist psychedelic rock musical about Mary Magdalene, the bride of Christ, the dysfunctional dynamics of two dynastic families, and how their relationships influence the crucifixion.

Family bonds are tested when Mary Magdalene, her sister Martha, and her brother Lazarus, form shaky alliances with Jesus, his brother Thomas, their mom Miriam, and Salome, her cousin Prince Philip, his father King Herod, and Salome's mother Queen Herodias.

Featuring 8 original songs from diverse musical genres classic rock, Gothic, psych, folk, klezmer, gypsy, ska, surf, experimental and ambient in music videos showcasing punk circus subcultures, Burning Man sideshow stunts, gymnasts, fire spinners, tribal belly dancers, aerial trapeze artists, Acro-yoga contortionists, body modification piercers and hook suspension artists.

A tour-de-force of neo-primitive performance art, stoner guitar rock, pagan ritual and Game of Thrones palace intrigue.

23 years in the making, Holy Whores and Heretics is based on comparative mythology, revisionist Christianity, the Nag Hammadhi Gnostic Gospels, the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, the Qabalistic Tree of Life, and a popular French heresy from the Middle Ages detailed by Henry Lincoln et.al in his book Holy Blood Holy Grail.

  • Victoria Anne Byers
  • Victoria Anne Byers
  • Victoria Anne Byers
  • Mark Alan Markgraf
  • Alan Raz
  • Billy Grandy
    Key Cast
  • Kelli Sinclair
    Key Cast
    "Mary Magdalene"
  • David Castro
    Key Cast
    "Prince Philip"
  • David Lockhart
    Key Cast
  • Victoria Byers
    Key Cast
    "Salome Herodias"
  • Monica Ulrich
    Key Cast
  • Bryan Kent
    Key Cast
    "King Herod"
  • Mike Odd
    Key Cast
  • Rich Polysorbate
    Key Cast
  • Semjase Santana
    Key Cast
  • Michael Tiamo
    Key Cast
    "John the Evangelist"
  • Charles Pinion
    Key Cast
    "Herod's Announcer"
  • Vito Convertini
    Key Cast
  • Richard Amundson
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    2 hours 15 minutes 40 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 20, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    335,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Victoria Anne Byers

Victoria Byers has a background in Underground LA events production, performance art, ritual theater, pagan mythology, comparative religion and revisionist theology.

Drawing from a social circle of Burning Man Arts Festival punk circus performers, installation artists, tribal dancers, firebugs, body modification enthusiasts, Acroyoga and silk trapeze gymnasts, acupuncturists, herbalists and ritual piercing suspension artists, Victoria has been an underground force since launching her series of mythology theme parties collectively know as the Big Bang in 1990.

Victoria has worked independently in live events for decades but has also collaborated with equity theater projects and raves from Fabulous Monsters, to Dream Theater Circus to Moontribe.

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Director Statement

After spending several decades exploring the vast pantheon of world mythology I've concluded that all the gods are manifestations of the One Godhead, and that all our myths spring from that Universal Mind.

With Holy Whores and Heretics I wanted to explore the relationships between all the pagan religions and how elements of those earlier myths were ultimately absorbed into Early Christianity. The film has become something of a thesis on comparative mythology and revisionist theology.

I also wanted to show audiences the hidden underground of the freaky LA fetish scene, and what it means to be a pagan in modern, urban cities. I've tried to capture the zeitgeist of a fringe movement that remains defiantly individualistic, secretive and exclusive. and to document the particular personalities that drive performance art in Los Angeles.