I'm Feeling a Little Pro-Censorship Today
This was a site you could see if you were driving through downtown L.A. a couple of weeks ago. It was an ad for an upcoming horror film for After Dark films; a low budget "Hostel" rip-off that is coming out this May. It's been taken down since and replaced with a blank billboard that spouts "Captivity Was Here."
The reason it got removed is because it never should have been fucking up there in the first place. When After Dark head, Courtney Solomon, submitted his ad campaign, the MPAA turned it down quickly, and I don't think it's hard to understand why. But he put it up anyways, and now he is paying the price. The MPAA is refusing to give the film itself any kind of rating, and is basically saying good luck getting this shit a decent release now.
I'm not about to say that censorship is okay, and to be honest, my sarcastic title to this post aside, I don't think this is censorship. I think the MPAA looked at this as a lot of us would look at this. You can't put a billboard up like this where everyone and their mother can see. People want to go see this movie when it comes out, be my guest. I might check it out if it looks decent; I haven't seen a preview yet for it. However, that is a person's choice to go sit in a theater and watch it with other people that have made the same decision. Do I think you should have a billboard up for children along with anyone else who doesn't need to or want to see a depiction of torture leading to death? HELL FUCKING NO!!!
And what's even more important here is that the MPAA said no, and you did it anyway, and now you want to go back on it and bitch about the circumstances. Give me a break, Mr. Solomon; you're a fucking moron if you think that will fly. And I'm not alone here; many people in the film industry including Joss Whedon and screenwriter and regular aintitcoolnews contributor, Drew McWeeny (Moriarty) are protesting the hell out of this and actually sanctioning the MPAA's decision for once. And I don't blame them.
A lot of filmmakers have tried to get certain things past the MPAA that didnt' fly, and have changed their material accordingly. So, why in the hell should Courtney Solomon get a pass? The simple answer is, he shouldn't.
The MPAA can be a bunch of fucking morons a lot of the time. Chris pointed out on his movie review site that "Hills Have Eyes II" got an R rated release with depictions of violence and torture that should have easily given the thing an NC-17. This upcoming weekend's "Grindhouse" has also been given an R rating, and I'm really curious to see if that's the rating it deserved as well. This weekend I got to see Eli Roth's faux trailer on-line that will be played during "Grindhouse's" intermission sequence. It's for a holiday themed slasher film called "Thanksgving," and it pays homage to the 80's slasher genre very well. However, there is one scene involving a cheerleader doing the splits on a trampoline and lands smack down on the blade of a knife. I have a strong feeling this did not make it into the R rated version, or at least it will be edited in a different way. But if it's not, for that reason alone, the thing should get an NC-17. I have no issue with the fact that he filmed this, but from everything I've ever understood about the rating system, it's not a scene that belongs in an R rated film.
And I know some people out there are going to think that I'm talking like the moral watchdogs that we accuse the MPAA of being. And I'm here to tell you I'm not. I have no problem with people making whatever the hell movies they want to make, and I have no opinion of what people like to watch and don't watch. But we should have a choice. And throwing a billboard up there like that, especially after the fact that you were told you weren't supposed to, is just a fucked up thing to do. And all it does is hurt the actuall intelligent filmmakers and producers out there that have to deal with the MPAA every day on their content. So, fuck you, Courtney Solomon, you sick bastard.