Mel Gibson has hit back at critics who claim his new historical epic APOCALYPTO is too violent, insisting he showed great restraint when it came to the film's ancient Mexican torture scenes. Film fans and critics who have seen early screenings of the film, which chronicles the struggles of the ancient Mayan race, were left wincing during harrowing scenes of sacrifice and torture. But the actor/director reveals he stopped short of getting too authentic with the scenes - because he feared cinemagoers wouldn't be able to cope with the true violence. He says, "I was actually merciful when it comes to the violence... They used to chop the heads, hands and feet off and sometimes they'd rip out their entrails and quarterise (sic) them to keep them alive as long as possible."