MAGIC MIKE XXL And A Celebration Of The Cinematic Iliac Crest

You know the muscle we mean.

The crest of the ilium, Apollo’s belt, athlete’s girdle, the Jesus muscle, the iliac furrow: call it what you will, it’s the same thing: the shallow grooves on either side of the superolateral margin of the greater pelvis. In more relevant terms, it’s that little pelvic V that only the most extraordinary of muscular men have to offer. In honor of this month’s Magic Mike XXL, we pay tribute to that little V on the big screen. Here’s to the cinematic iliac crest.

Brad Pitt, FIGHT CLUB

Tyler Durden: the man, the myth, the legend. He must be a figment of our imagination to boast a bod like that. And yet Brad Pitt, the actor who portrays him, is flesh and bone, a real living human who somehow crafted his body into a totem of toned.

He can wear a pink fluffy robe decorated with teacups or nothing more than a yellow kitchen glove and he’s still the most stylish man in the room. Because his style goes beyond fashion into something more molecular -- or, at the very least, muscular.

He may tell us to “stop being perfect,” he may claim that “self-improvement is masturbation,” but that physique tells a different story. I’d like to go into his cave, because Tyler Durden is my power animal. (Meredith Borders)

Christian Bale, AMERICAN PSYCHO

Patrick Bateman may be a psychopathic serial killer and complete douchebag, but he’s right about one thing: he makes it look good. His meticulous daily hygiene and workout routine pay off, demonstrating the power of believing in yourself to the point of psychosis. The world’s biggest Phil Collins fan may not be likeable, but he’s definitely lustable.

Bateman’s body looks great whether banging two ladies at once or running around with a chainsaw coated in their blood. It’s completely understandable that he’d stare at himself in the mirror while having sex -- his powerful biceps and torso would be the envy of any cocaine-fueled Wall Street testosterone junkie. The start of Christian Bale’s Yo-Yo-ing Muscle Mass Period is a high point indeed. (Andrew Todd)

Dan Stevens, THE GUEST

Any fan of Downton Abbey expects a certain softness out of their beloved Cousin Matthew. Genteel, romantic, amiable and, if we’re being honest, a little doughy.

And then we meet “David” in Adam Wingard’s The Guest. Dan Stevens whittled, sculpted, crafted and whipped Cousin Matthew’s pasty British torso into the robust, powerhouse shape of a supersoldier. The moment David walks out of the shower with a towel just barely wrapped around his waist -- who are we kidding, that towel was at least four inches below his waist -- Cousin Matthew was dead all over again. And this time, women celebrated.

This is a man who easily carries two full kegs of beer, one under each arm, while taking the time to smile roguishly at every woman in the room. This is the man who can make a hoodie and a backpack look like fetish wear. And this is the man so dangerously charming, so intensely seductive, so pelvically blessed, that I would be totally okay if he were forced to kill my entire family. (Meredith Borders)

Jeff Goldblum, THE FLY

When is the last time you appreciated Jeff Goldblum's hot bod? Maybe when you saw Jurassic Park, you found yourself pleasantly delighted at the sight of him, shirt unbuttoned as he casually reclined, looking like he knows what's up but doesn't care. I could write an entire essay on this dork-hunk's handsome body -- fit but not ripped, modestly glistening with sweat, with just the right amount of hair on his chest, promising your fingers will never get lost in a coarse forest. And those hips -- not too bony, not too cushiony, but a polite amount of suggestion to inspire serious consideration.

Maybe you were surprised at Goldblum's nerd-hot-bod in JURASSIC PARK because you've never seen David Cronenberg's The Fly, in which Goldblum's bod reached peak levels of Damn, Son. Where Jurassic Park doles out those smooth hips in moderation, Goldblum was far from reserved in The Fly, in which his hips were not so much a courteous insinuation as they were an explicit assertion. And that's not even considering his hair.

Whether gently hinting at a glorious truth we are -- and remain -- unready to accept, or aggressively commanding attention, Jeff Goldblum's hips are a monument to his nerdy perfection, the cradle of his sexy life, and the pinnacle of all human achievements (sorry, The Rock's oily biceps). (Britt Hayes)

Harrison Ford, INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM

I don't spend a lot of time considering the male form -- it's simply not how I'm wired -- but if called upon to identify my idealized form of red-hot masculinity, I've got an immediate answer for you: Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Temple Of Doom.

From where I'm standing, this is about as perfect a package as you can get. Indy's chiseled yet vulnerable (a dichotomy perfectly captured in his chin: impossibly strong, but with a little scar, just in case you think this God-amongst-men can't bleed). He's brawny yet brilliant (when he's not eradicating the notorious Thuggee cult one uppercut at a time, he's studying up on the Jin Dynasty). He looks just as good wearing a crisp tux in a nightclub as he does rocking a sweaty bare chest while drinking blood out of a mummified skull. He's fearless, he's funny, he's good with a whip, and he is literally the only dude who should ever be allowed to wear a fedora.

Your gyrating male strippers are nice, I guess. But if I'm gonna get with a dude, it's gonna be with Indiana Jones: badass masculinity personified. (Scott Wampler)

The Spartans, 300

When talking about dude-ity, it’s hard to go past 300. Taking both a quality and quantity approach, Zack Snyder’s swords-and-sandals movie delivers as much literal fetishism as it does figurative. While most movies are content to serve up a single piece of man-candy (if that), 300 dumps the whole box on you at once, with literal hundreds (three of them) of toned, muscular male bodies.

That it’s an ancient Greek war movie only improves matters. As our Spartan warriors become sweatier, greasier and bloodier, the additional fluids intensify the lusty male flesh on display. Sadly, high-waisted Spartan battle underwear conceals any furtive glimpses we might get of the warriors’ iliac crests, but the improbable six-packs sported by Gerard Butler and co. make up for it. Tonight, we perve in hell. (Andrew Todd)

This was originally published in the July issues of the Birth.Movies.Death. magazine. Magic Mike XXL arrives in theaters today. Check drafthouse.com for listings.

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