The sanitized "more killing, less gore" world of PG-13 remakes

Our standards betray us, leading to action movies (particularly remakes of Paul Verhoeven's) which "trade subversive carnage for sanitized violence that asks fewer moral questions." James Orbesen:

"Research has shown that depicted violence does not necessarily lead to real-world violence. But depicted violence can say a lot about the appetites and attitudes of audiences. The Verhoven approach—bloody, unsettling, and confrontational—seems more and more like a relic. What people want now is violence that is clean and quick, provoking no questions."

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  1. It's purely a business decision, and it's unfortunate.

    The documentary This Film Not Yet Rated does an excellent job explaining some of the problems the industry is faced with, and also details how a very small group of people get to decide what is appropriate for audiences without any oversight or accountability. Another potential problem the doc presents is that it forces movies to present unrealistic consequences of violence, downplaying what really happens in this type of situation.

  2. I would rather have more gore with less killing. Kind of like those PSAs showing teens drooling and being fed pablum by their mothers while lying in a hospital bed, with the tag line "not everyone dies from an accidental overdose" or some such. Show how bloody and painful a non-lethal gunshot wound is. Show how noisy and messy and mistake-prone it is to attack people, no matter how well trained you are. Show people screaming in pain and writhing around, not quietly dying after some last bon mot.

  3. My kid is an anime fan, and we've noticed this. In the very most popular boys' anime, nobody ever dies - they just fall down, really tired, and mutter, "impossible!" But there's also adult anime that's very very disturbing, surreal and gender-bent and sometimes quite gory. Can you imagine that on American TV?

  4. Doccam says:

    Which is even more frustrating when you consider that in the film they also point out that it's much easier to get violence by the ratings board than sex, particularly if that sex scene focuses on a woman's enjoyment, (i.e. cunnilingus scenes etc.). This is why we can't have nice things. Le sigh.

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