Late lunch today (there’s a news flash). Heard the last bit of an interview with Rob Zombie about The Devil’s Rejects, which was all over Comic-Con. Interesting perspective on the MPAA rating process, where he actually had to contact the MPAA directly to negotiate down to an R. Apparently after going back and forth on cuts with the studio as a mediator, he got to the point where toning down the villains made them seem less evil. Instead of making a film with violent villains, it was heading toward becoming a violent action film. After another round of calls directly with the ratings people, he apparently managed to get them to agree with him.
Also interesting: The MPAA will let filmmakers show much more graphic violence with a known celebrity than a B-list, cult, or unknown actor. With any commercial film, you know intellectually that the actor isn’t really being killed. But with someone you recognize, you have the added sense that there is no way that (for example) Brad Pitt’s skull is really being ripped open. With an actor you don’t know, your brain doesn’t have that extra disconnect layer and (in theory) takes it closer to face value.