INCLUDE_DATA

Is fear of the MPAA the reason why most American horror films (like THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT remake) wimp out? by DARK SIDE

Posted on August 20th, 2009
Posted on August 20th, 2009


Just saw the documentary This Film is Not Yet Rated (3 out of 5 stars) about how how the Motion Picture Association of America has one of the most powerful, secretive and arbitrarily unchecked bureaucratic systems in the U.S.  When you can hand down a rating for a movie (G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17) and not have to give a reason, nor reveal who made the decision, you’ve got an abuse of power there, sir!  While I usually don’t have too many qualms with their system – because frankly, it doesn’t affect me one bit – I have been at employed by a hum-dinger of a bureaucratic system (not gonna say who) and I’m telling you, the MPAA is a bulls@#% system.  They get away with murder without consequence, everybody knows it, they don’t deny it and they can’t be taken down.  In the realm of Hollywood, this organization has been the one true fascist dictatorship since its creation in the late 60’s. 

It’s actually hilarious that the documentary, which exposes the identities of the secret members of this cabal, received an NC-17 rating for two reasons:  1. For showing scenes that the MPAA deemed NC-17 worthy   2. Out of pure, obvious spite.  What, did you expect them to be good sports about it? 

After I saw it, I popped in the DVD of The Last House on the Left (rated version) remake and I got to thinking about how the MPAA might have influenced not only its rating, but also how the filmmakers actually filmed it.

For those who don’t know, House on the Left (3 out of 5 stars) involves a family (Tony Goldwyn, Monica Potter and Sarah Paxton who plays the daughter) who goes to their remote lake cabin for a vacation.  The daughter takes the car to town to visit her friend (Superbad‘s Martha McIsaac) and they both end up going back to this shy, cute boy’s (Spencer Treat Clark from Unbreakable) hotel room to smoke some pot.  Unfortunately, the boy’s murderous father (Garret Dillahunt once again playing an extremely scary bad guy) and his psycho girlfriend (Riki Lindhome) and brother (Aaron Paul) show up and decide the girls must die for seeing their faces.  Horrible things get done to the girls, the villains wreck and end up at the family’s cabin in a nasty storm.  The couple take them in, but once they find out what these fools did to their daughter, look out!  Ma and Pa suddenly get all homicidal-like.

I hated the original.  Despite being Wes Craven’s first film, it looked cheap, ugly and had no style…  but at least it pushed some boundaries.  This version had a slick production, great acting and some extremely tense scenes, but in comparison with the original, it was obviously neutered. 

Whether that lack of audacity came from the MPAA saying “take it out or you’ll get an NC-17 rating and make no money,” or the filmmakers saying, “The MPAA will never allow a castration-by-teeth scene or the father hacking them up with a chainsaw so let’s not even try,” we may never know.  Actually, we might know if I had bothered to watch the commentary (if it had one) but I’m a busy clown.  I ain’t got time to rewatch even the semi-decent horror films. 

Instead I’ll use it as a point of discussion.  Do you think horror filmmakers (aiming for theatrical releases) proactively neuter their visions to please the MPAA and avoid a NC-17, or do you think they make what they like then cut what they have to?  Maybe a bit of both?  Talk amongst ya-selves…


No movie about me would ever be anything less than NC-17.

-Dark Side

More great articles…

  • Why I hate “Creepy Kids” horror movies by DARK SIDE
  • The Secret Lives of Stunt Women
  • I’ve been saying it all along… Romantic Comedies are screwing up our love lives! by COOP
  • A Movie/Film Review Lesson Plan for Teachers! by COOP
  • BLEEDIN’ WICKED GOOGLY… Films about 35 of those “Other” Sports (Parts 1 – 7) by JAY
  • “Bard None: A Cinematic Guide to Really Bad Shakespeare” by JAY
  • Not a Xenu’s chance in hell… Travolta + Cruise does NOT = BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID!!! by JAY
  • Dex Romweber and the TWO HEADED COW… definitely the most bizarre documentary screening/concert I’ve ever seen! by COOP
  • 10 TOUGHEST MOVIE HEROES OF ALL TIME by COOP
  • TOP 10 REASONS TO WATCH THE OSCARS by Coop
  • TOP 10 HOLIDAY SEASON MOVIES by COOP
  • Top 10 Scariest Horror Scenes by COOP
  • Top 10 Greatest Halloween Villains by COOP
  • TOP 10 HALLOWEEN MOVIES by SEBASTIAN
  • DARK SIDE announces the BEST MOVIE VILLAIN of 2008… Who will claim 2009? **UPDATED**
  • DARK SIDE announces the BEST MOVIE VILLAIN of 2007… Who will claim 2009?
  • THE DARK SIDE CRITIC stars in his own horror short!!!
  • Porky’s Revenge: Swine Flu and the Virus in Film… by JAY
  • Top 10 Greatest Movie Titles Ever!
  • Top 11 Baddest Killer Robots!
  • Ten Movies Designed to Offend Your Religion (Part 1)
  • Ten Movies Designed to Offend Your Religion (Part 2)
  • Why Manly-Men Love Action Flick Chicks
  • Action Flick Chick’s Zombie Survival Guide for a Small Town
  • No Comments •

    Comments

    Search
    Search Form
    Trailer for the award-winning short PRISMA…


    A corporate promotional VHS tape from 1984 conceals a brain-altering signal which is said to grant increased health, longevity and psychic powers to those who watch it. View at your own risk...

    WINNER: SPECIAL JURY PRIZE, 2017 Oxford Film Festival

    WINNER: BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM, 2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival

    SEMI-FINALIST: 2017 NanoCon International Science-Fiction Film Festival

    NOMINEE: BEST ANIMATION, 2017 End of Days Film Festival

    NOMINEE: BEST GRAPHICS, 2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival

    OFFICIAL SELECTION:
    2017 Nightmares Film Festival
    2017 A Night of Horror Film Festival
    2017 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival
    2017 Oxford Film Festival
    2017 Crossroads Film Festival
    2017 Clarksdale Film Festival
    2017 Twisted Dreams Film Festival
    2017 Tupelo Film Festival
    2017 NanoCon International Sci-Fi Film Festival
    2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival
    2017 End of Days Film Festival
    2017 Grenada Afterglow Film Festival
    2017 Shiver International Film Festival
    2017 Southern States Indie FanFilmFest

    Trailer for the lost short GOD MAKER…


    Northern Mississippi 1932:
    In a cabin in the woods, a blind blues guitarist will discover his destiny from a lovesick goddess who seeks to corrupt his soul.

    GOD MAKER remains unfinished and in limbo for now, but the trailer expresses the mood and imagery intended for the project...

    Coop’s award-winning 48 hour short film trailer for REGRESS…


    Told in reverse, this experimental made-in-48-hours film begins with a shocking murder then backtracks (like a viewer rewinding a VHS tape) to reveal the chilling origins of this tragedy.

    WINNER: BEST SHORT FILM at the 2013 Clarksdale Film Festival...
    NOMINATED: BEST DIRECTING by the 2012 48hr. Guerrilla Film Challenge (international contest)...
    OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2013 Crossroads Film Festival

    Watch Coop’s award-winning short film THE BEST DAY…


    WINNER: 2012 MAGNOLIA FILM FESTIVAL "Best Homegrown Film"
    WINNER: 2012 SEATTLE TRUE INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL "Best Scream"

    OFFICIAL SELECTION:
    2012 OXFORD FILM FESTIVAL
    2012 CLARKSDALE FILM FESTIVAL
    2012 CROSSROADS FILM FESTIVAL
    2012 NORTHEAST MISSISSIPPI FILM FESTIVAL
    2012 ATLANTA INDIE HORROR FILM FESTIVAL
    2012 OTHERFEST
    2012 MISSISSIPPI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
    2012 SUN AND SAND FILM FESTIVAL

    Morgan Freeman asks Coop a question at THE BEST DAY premiere! Video below…


    My short film THE BEST DAY premiered in October 2011 at the Delta Cinema in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

    Little did I know I had a special guest in the audience who was about to ask me a question during the Q&A. Yep, I got a little flustered when I saw who it was.

    The Small Town Critic’s SCREENWRITING SERVICES
    Follow Coop on Twitter...
      follow me on twitter
      Follow smalltowncritic on Twitter
      Archives
      Subscribe via Email!

      Enter your email address:

      Delivered by FeedBurner

      Subscribe via RSS feed!