You gotta be kidding me. Looks like the MPAA ratings board has saddled the indie horror flick Hatchet with an NC-17 rating for graphic violence. While Lionsgate, Universal, Sony and the Weinsteins get consistent "breaks" on their gory fare, the little guy now has to contend with the blatant hypocrisy of the schizophrenic ratings board. (I guarantee that if Hatchet had been a Paramount pick-up, instead of it belonging to Starz / Anchor Bay, it wouldn't have to deal with this crap.) What this means is that director Adam Green must slice out some of the splat and then re-submit the film to a panel of frigid finger-waggers who wouldn't understand the tone of Hatchet even if you bought 'em the Friday the 13th box set for Christmas.

And I'm not just railing against the ratings board out of ignorance. I've already seen Hatchet, and I've also seen "R rated" fare like Grindhouse, 28 Weeks Later, Turistas, Hostel, Saw 3, The Hitcher and The Hills Have Eyes 2. And if those flicks (especially that last one) can earn an R, then it's a pathetic (and very suspicious) joke that Hatchet has been branded with an NC-17. (Hills 2 opens with a crotch-bursting birth scene and closes with a mutant viciously raping a young woman.)

The only difference between those flicks and this one? They come from established and very profitable distributors, whereas Hatchet will be the first wide release from a fledgling partnership. So basically the MPAA is picking and choosing which horror flicks they want to make "an example" out of, and hey, it's a whole lot easier to pick on Starz / Anchor Bay than it is to risk annoying someone at Lionsgate, Fox or Universal. (Yes, many of the aforementioned films had to lose some footage in order to get their R rating, but the theatrical cut of Hills 2, for example, is infinitely more "disturbing" than anything found in Hatchet.)

Matter of fact, the gore geysers in Hatchet are actually a little LESS disturbing than the material found in those other flicks -- and that's because of the tone Adam Green is employing in his debut flick. It's a very pulpy, very broad and enthusiastically "over the top" approach, one that will definitely tickle the intended audience -- but asking the MPAA to pay attention to the TONE of a horror flick, when all they really do is jot down a checklist of onscreen offenses, is obviously asking too much. "We have a movie with a swamp monster chasing comedians with a gas-powered belt sander and they gave us an NC-17 ... I'm trying to go back to when it was fun," is what Green had to say, clearly unhappy about being neutered in his first flick -- but perhaps not all that upset about the NC-17 news hitting Variety and blogs just like this one. Obviously the deletion of a few gory frames is not going to RUIN a very fun horror movie, but I'm just so tired of the blatant hypocrisy when it comes to the MPAA vs. the Little Guys.
categories Cinematical