– Assault of the Unrated

The decision to release both a standard and unrated edition of a film reeks of two similarly pathetic ideals: Cowardice and greed. To release a film with newly added scenes deemed too hot or horrifying for theaters is an admittance of censorship on the part of the studio. At some point someone thought a director’s footage might get them in hot water, and so they feebly watered down the film to earn a PG-13 rating from the all-mighty ratings board. However, come time for the DVD, greed takes over and not one but two editions are presented to the market, as the studio is now free of responsibility. They can’t get in trouble for releasing scandalous material, as they are offering a tamer choice for a more sensitive audience. In other words: No lawsuits.

I find the idea of an unrated DVD not only annoying but bizarrely intimidating. The covers of these supposedly better releases are horribly ugly, pushing the original poster designs out of the way to make room for the word “Unrated,” which is usually printed in a font two to three times bigger than the actual movie title. Doesn’t anyone else think this kind of in-your-face attitude is extremely immature? I can’t imagine adults actually being sucked in by this marketing ploy. Teenagers and younger kids, yes, as they want to be seen as “cool” or some such thing, but adults shouldn’t care. Sadly, they do, and they buy more DVDs then kids.

And if you do happen to buy the regular edition of a film, you will ultimately be seen as boring by the people you thought you knew. “What? You bought this? Oh, were they out of the Unrated Edition? They weren’t? Then why…man, what’s wrong with you? That’s such a waste of money! The Unrated Edition of Dukes of Hazard has five more minutes of nipple action man!”

Sorry, but being a gay man who happens to be a lover of film, you’re not going to sell me on extended nudity scenes. Similarly, if your film is a part of the horror genre, I won’t want to see more gore either. If I like the original movie just fine, then trust my instincts and don’t try to distract me with filler. “Unrated” footage is nothing more than some higher-up’s fancy term for “deleted scenes,” and like most DVD extras, they don’t make me blink twice.

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