A Brief History of Censorship, Part Two
It’s been fascinating, for me, at least, reading up on the subject, learning about it so that I could pass that knowledge on to you, our faithful followers. The milestones along the pathway to the ratings system we have today. A lot has changed in a relatively short time. When I was a kid, and that wasn’t that long ago, I recall watching PG movies with nudity and cursing in them. I got to see Daryl Hannah’s lovely derriere in SPLASH and Tonya Roberts in the buff in both SHEENA (like, full frontal) and BEASTMASTER. Jenny Agutter of AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON fame disrobed for the camera in LOGAN’S RUN, and there was nudity in CLASH OF THE TITANS, even. And these were all PG movies! There’s cussing in BIG, THE GOONIES, THE KARATE KID, and E.T. among numerous other examples.
It wouldn’t be the bare skin or the profanity that led the uptights to go bitching to the government, though, which in turn led to the creation of the PG-13 rating, which is today assigned to almost every movie, it seems. It was blood and guts. It was Horror. In particular, it was two particular movies, INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM and GREMLINS.
Now it might have just been a regional thing, but where I grew up, theater workers didn’t really pay much attention to ratings anyway. I got in to see some FRIDAY THE 13TH and other Horror flicks before I was 18, nor was I “accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.” It was just that the people taking the tickets didn’t care. These days it’s more likely the parents who don’t care, as I’ve seen a lot of ankle-biters in movies where they REALLY didn’t belong. (I mean, taking your preteens to see a Rob Zombie movie? Even *I* know that’s questionable parenting.)
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (www.evilcheezproductions.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/evilcheezproductions), specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/734763
MORTUI VELOCES SUNT!