We all know the Motion Picture Association of America really doesn’t have an effective parental ratings system for the movies. The MPAA can allow all manner of violence, while usually demonizing sex. It has no transparency, and its members are shrouded in secrecy. Most significantly, it doesn’t have a functional rating for movies intended exclusively for adult audiences. What it does have is the NC-17.
Unlike the R rating, doesn’t allow children to accompany their parents into a theater. On the surface that seems like a great idea. Some movies Aren’t intended for kids, and as such, the young ones shouldn’t be allowed in the theater to see them. Unfortunately, though, movie theaters do some of their best business from films palatable to kids and teens and, better yet, films Geared toward kids and teens. Without those sweet juvenile dollars, the movie industry would be in a shambles. And that’s why most theaters refuse to even screen NC-17 films. It just doesn’t make sense from a business perspective.
It’s no surprise, then, that movies that do get shellacked with an NC-17 rating due to depictions of sex, violence, drug use, or language that no kids should see or hear, almost always go through some kind of reedit to secure a coveted R rating. The latest example? Evil Dead, Fede Alvarez’ reimagining of Sam Raimi’s mayhem-and-mutilation horror franchise. It got its NC-17 from the MPAA in January, far enough in advance to cut out the most brutal bits of gore that prevented them from getting the R. Bits of gore that will undoubtedly be restored for the inevitable unrated DVD/Blu-ray release. It’s far from the first movie to jump through hoops to get an R and, you know, actually be seen.
So here are 15 NC-17 moves that got around the MPAA’s censorship, one way or another.
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt