When Wes Craven made the original The Last House on the Left, he and his editor went down the hall from where they were cutting the movie and removed the R-rating from another film and spliced it into theirs. That’s the kind of exploitation gumption that made the grindhouse films of the 70s so wonderful – and that Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez may have to imitate to ever get their new film, Grindhouse, a palatable rating.
New York Post’s Page Six is reporting that the current cut of the movie, including the fake trailers in between Rodriguez’ and Tarantino’s halves, can never, ever get an R-rating. Some of the stuff they say makes the film outside of the MPAA’s comfort zone:
"Grindhouse" is actually two short movies – one directed by Tarantino, the other by Rodriguez – with an intermission between them. During the break, a series of fake trailers will be shown for such fictitious titles as "Werewolf Women of the SS," directed by Rob Zombie.
"In one scene, a cute, topless girl is roughly tied down on a table by evil female Nazi experimenters who begin draining her blood and, as she screams in agony, they brand her like livestock with a coal-hot steel swastika," our source said. "And every girl in the Nazi concentration camp is topless."
Another trailer, directed by Eli Roth, of "Hostel" fame, is called "Thanksgiving," in which a town’s celebration of Turkey Day is interrupted by a mad slasher.
"There’s a part where Jordan Ladd [daughter of Cheryl Ladd of ‘Charlie’s Angels’] is in a car with her boyfriend and giving him [oral sex] when she lovingly reaches to stroke his hair and discovers his neck is just a bloody stump – some maniac had just cut off his head while she was in the act."
Later, a frisky cheerleader climbs onto a trampoline and begins stripping naked as she jumps up and down until she does a split and her skirt blows up without panties underneath. "You get the full ‘Britney Spears-getting-out-of-the-limo view,’ " our source says. Another jolting scene shows a grossly obese man chewing on a baby.
What’s interesting from the report is that it’s obvious that the person has seen only these two trailers – there’s no mention of extreme content in the main films, or in Edgar Wright’s trailer (which is actually probably less over the top than the ones by Roth and Zombie anyway). I actually think that most of that stuff will get by the MPAA, although I do think a full split beaver shot would be more than the ratings board could handle. But the MPAA has been talking about new ratings systems, or at least new ways of using the current ratings, and Grindhouse could be a good first effort for a new ‘Hard R’ category.