Movie Picture
This week: The MPAA RATINGS BOARD
07.25.02

Ok, I'm all for the ratings system. Something needs to be in place so people know what they're getting into. Plus, it's good for parents to keep track of what their kids are doing. But, don't we all agree that it goes too far sometimes?

Case in point: Rob Zombie and his little horror flick, House of 1,000 Corpses. Poor Rob has been trying to get distribution for this flick for what feels like forever. He's whittled it down, and whittled it down, but the MPAA refused to give him anything but an NC-17 rating. And, as we all know, that's the kiss of death for a film. No distributor is going to touch a film with an NC-17 because the demographic for it is so small. I mean, come on! Yeah, it's going to be ultra-violent, not to mention oozing with gore, but who cares? It's also going to be highly unrealistic. If someone is going to believe there are zombies out there, and this kind of violence is warranted in the real world, they have more problems than the MPAA can solve. And now, Rob finally found distribution through Universal, and the latest rumor is that they're sending it straight to video and DVD.

I think Trey Parker and Matt Stone (South Park) summed it up best one night on the Dennis Miller Show. To paraphrase, they said that in order to get an R rating, they had to, "remove the line 'rim-job', but keeping Saddam Hussein flashing around a big c*ck was ok". Does this make NO sense to anyone but me? Kevin Smith has the same issues with the MPAA, and we all know what happens if a movie has, God forbid, (whisper it with me) S... E... X... in it!

So what are we to make of all this? Isn't it us, the movie-going public, who should be outraged? Aren't we the ones who could be missing out on a great film because the MPAA deams it "NC-17", and no distributor will touch it? Shouldn't we have a say in the rating's system? I guess not. We file to the theater like cattle whenever a safe, boring, unoriginal Studio film is released. Maybe we should be told what to think.

My dream is that Rob Zombie would put House of 1,000 Corpses out on DVD on his own, with no studio involvement. Then we all go out and buy the DVD, making it the highest selling DVD in history. Rob would make a pile of cash, his film would be seen, and the studios wouldn't make a freakin' dime from it. Maybe then they would see that it's the people who watch these films, who line these damn execs pockets with cash day-in and day-out, who should have the say. Let me be a responsible parent and decide what I think my child should and should not watch. Hell, let me be a responsible adult who can decide right from wrong, and realize that just because I see a little violence, or sex, or (this is the big one) objectionable language, it doesn't mean I'm going to become a menace to society (rim-job, rim-job, rim-job). Ted Kaczynski didn't get his ideas from watch Speed ya know! (Don't know who that is? Shame on you...)

Believe me, people, the more this country "protects us from ourselves", the less of a 'self' we're going to have.

~ Kerouac out!

Brian B.