I was 16 years old and it was the day before my 17th birthday. For a year I have had my own car, a job that helped me earn my own money, and a very fluid curfew. However, none of this mattered to me. I was not 17 yet and therefore not any closer to being an adult. Why? Because my parents still had to take me to see R-rated movies. I still had to beg my parents to lean just a bit so that they would finally take me to see the newest action movie that contained a few cuss words too many to warrant a PG-13. I did not consider watching movies with my parents to be cool, not by any stretch of the imagination.
But on my 17th birthday it would all change. I was a free man and all I wanted to do was enjoy a movie without restrictions. I was so excited to finally be able to enjoy something that up to that point was off limits.
Now fast forward to 2007. I’m older and truly an adult now. I can enjoy any movie I want to and no one can stop me. The only thing preventing me from enjoying an R-rated movie now is the movie itself. Quality R-rated movies do not exist anymore. Hollywood is all about money. (Not that this is any different from the past but now it seems to be at the expense of the audience) R-ratings are no longer the same type of movies. Now they just seem to be really vulgar comedies or borderline porn horror movies. The movies that would be great if pushed a little further into the restricted zone are instead toned down and turned into crappy PG-13 movies. This is in an effort to bring in a bigger audience. All it really does is put those that can see R-rated movies in the same theater with loud, obnoxious, pimple-faced teenagers. Did I really wait 17 years just to be snubbed as an adult in my 20's?
I have looked back into the past yet again and have pulled out a few examples from a few genres that were strictly R-rated and proud of it. I have also compared them with their crappy modern PG-13 counterparts.
The Action Movie
Example: The Die Hard Movies
Why they were rated R: Gloriously clever violence, profanity laden wise cracks, and criminal activities.
In 1988 the world was introduced to John McClane, the gruff, battered, unlucky in love, and always in the wrong place at the wrong time New York police officer. This guy couldn't go anywhere without a terrorist faction sprouting up and ruining his chances of reconciling with his wife. I mean this guy could go into 7-11 for a pack of smokes and an aspirin and that would be the exact second a small suburban terrorist group would hold the place hostage until gas prices dropped. The guy was prone to kill 12 Eastern Europeans before he sat down to watch Conan. And he did it with pure abandon. He didn't care about collateral damage, traffic laws, or even the reason these guys were there in the first place. John won't bore you with questions before he kills you, just a quick Yippie-kay-ya and a bullet through the skull.
Seriously though would you want to mess with this guy?
But now I am sad to report that John McClane has mellowed in his old age. He is back and yet again in the wrong place but he just isn't John McClane. Now I haven't seen the movie but I can say with some authority that this will not be the John we know and cower from. How do I know this? Because the movie is rated PG-13! John McClane is a (barefoot over glass) walking (profanity and wise crack) talking example of an R-rating. The only reasons this movie is rated PG-13 is because the violence and language will be toned down and all the wise crack comments will be given to Justin Long instead of Bruce. Sure from the trailer I can see that the movie will probably be heavy on action but, that just makes it the same as any other Bruce Willis action movie and not a true Die Hard film. You could have just put The Rock in Bruce's place and called it Hard to Kill. Am I excited about another Die Hard movie? You better believe I am. Do I consider this a new Die Hard movie? We'll see, but it'll be a stretch.
But no I still wouldn't mess with this guy.
The Horror Movie
Example: The Exorcist
Why it was rated R: Seriously frightening images, language, gore, and well... um... crucifix.
Little Regan MacNeil is just a normal 12 year old who hasn't a care in the world. Then she gets possessed by a demon. All hell literally breaks loose and mommy gets scared. Time to call in the priests. Perhaps a little exorcism will calm Regan down and mommy can take her out into public again without the risk of having to pay for the damage her pea soup spewing daughter caused.
This movie scared the crap out of me and even know I get chills when I watch it. It is by no means tame but it is a little dated now. It did however deserve it's R-rating.
John McClane seems kind of tame next to her:
Horror moves have possibly taken the biggest step back when it comes to ratings. They are not only not scary anymore they are also just flat out unoriginal knock offs or remakes of actual chilling Japanese tales. Many of us have seen the boringly long Exorcism of Emily Rose and if you weren't sitting there thinking this is just a boring version of The Exorcist than you were one of the many teenagers that was "totally freaked out" by this piece of crap.
If this movie scared you than you were 12 when you saw it:
It seems that now there is no hope for those that truly do want to be "totally freaked out". With crap like the Ring 2 (and to a lesser extent Ring 1), The Messengers, and the horrible The Grudge we may never be scared again.
This pic really could be from The Ring, The Messengers, The Grudge...
(Before you comment to tell me where it came from like I'm an idiot, I know it is from the Grudge)
Well if we can't be scared from horror movies we can all go to the old trusty slasher movie right? Right?
The Slasher Movie
Examples: Friday the 13th Series, Nightmare on Elm Street Series
Why they are rated R: Gory violence, teens using drugs, teens having sex, teens using profanity... now I know why these guys wanted to kill them.
Before Freddy and Jason "killed' each other, they were killing slews of teens and Johnny Depp. Jason was fed up with the lazy slacker counselors that let him drown all those years ago but he got really mad when they killed mommy. With some pretty clever techniques Jason has been killing teens every where he goes, even in space (oh God yes even in space). Freddy has been doing the same thing as well only he does it while you sleep. He haunts your dreams and kills you in your jammys. Though he never did make it to space he did at least enter the real world. Well sort of. (NOTE: I did not mention Michael Myers because although the original Halloween was awesome, Rob Zombie might pull off the impossible and top it. That would in essence negate his being here.)
Forever ruining the innocence of hockey masks and leather gloves:
The thing we love about the slasher movie is the slasher part. If you take that out all you have is a bunch of teens screaming into a camera shoved into their face. You might see the occasional blood spurt or nasty wound but nothing like a bed spewing more blood than you would find in a full sized humpback whale let alone in a skinny little Johnny Depp. The new teen slasher movies died after the Scream movies did. Now you get PG-13 crap fests or slasher porn like Hostel 1 & 2 or Saw 1,2 3,4,5,6,7... I'm sorry but if the ever make a Freddy vs. Jigsaw I'm sure it would be about 4 minutes long and 3 minutes of it would be Freddy laughing over the torn body of Jigsaw who he took out within the first 13 seconds of the movie.
Have you seen this guy before? Wow you must have been one of the three that saw Cry_Wolf.
I mentioned Saw and Hostel as movies that are rated R just for the sake of being rated R. This is also and annoying epidemic. There are a few movies from the past that were amazing just the way they were. The twist is that they might have been rated PG. For our last genre I will look at just such a film but we will start with the new version.
The Killer Animal Movie
Example: Lake Placid
Why it is rated R: Language and CGI violence that looks like crap.
This movie was really not very good at all. In fact it was bad. Bill Pullman is not an action hero. He cannot save us from aliens (ID4) or giant crocodiles. He was in Spaceballs solely to make fun of action heroes. Stick to that Bill it worked. The action was dumb because you had a movie full of people that could not handle action. Oliver Platt is fat. He is funny but he is fat. Stop making him wrestle be it human or reptile. At any rate all this movie has to offer is a more violent update to the greatest killer animal movie to date.
Jaws. Jaws was rated PG partially because PG-13 wasn't around and it was not bad enough for an R. This movie was scary, bloody, full of action, and at least at the time had great effects. It is dated for sure but it is still an amazing movie.
Is it just me ore are these posters similar?
This may seem like I am just making my first point invalid but I'm not. My whole point here is that we need quality R-rated movies not crap that no one wants to watch. Do not tone down R-rated movies for more money and do not add stupid things to good movies just to get an R-rating. Please just give us a quality movie that we as adults can enjoy. I really hate seeing two 14 year olds making out when I am trying to watch Bruce Willis kill a terrorist.
Thanks for reading.