I guess it was my lucky day or something, ‘cause when I’d finished staring glassy eyed at Milla Jovovich and Ali Larter (mainly Milla, but Larter’s a cutie herself and- honestly- Jovovich was the main reason I ever watched any of the movies to start with), I flipped over to SciFi to see what was on.
Lo and behold, it was “28 Days Later,” a really good flick- again, about a virus that wreaks worldwide have.
Pet peeve one (and I’ve mentioned this one before) is how people insist on calling the “things” in “28 Days Later” as zombies, when- in the classical sense of the walking dead- they’re not. They’re infected with the “rage” virus. They’re fast, too- sprinting after victims. Again, unlike classic zombies. And they can be brought down by things that would bring down a normal human (if said normal human was a pissed off speed freak, bent on seriously fucking you up).
Anyway, I caught the tail end of “28 Days Later” (I guess I only saw two days’ worth?), but that was okay. I’ve seen the movie I dunno how many times, and I have it on DVD. There wasn’t anything else on, though- and we’ve already established I wasn’t going to be productive (try to keep up).
After that, the “Dawn Of The Dead” remake came on. Now this is a movie I absolutely love (actually, I’m cool with either version, really- they both have their own outstanding qualities). The problem was, it was on regular TV.
Neither version of this movie is suited for regular TV, though. It’s violent. Very violent. Very bloody. There’s nudity (you think the walking dead would really care about their naughty bits hanging out? I’m pretty sure the answer would be “no”). And copious profanity. A metric fuckton of profanity. Oh, and did I mention the violence?
Anyway, when this movie’s shown on SciFi (this was the third time I can remember it being in their line up), it is hacked to bits (kind of like some of the zombies, really) for it’s content. Which turns it from a great movie to an extremely frustrating one.
Look, I get that SciFi (and other “broadcast” networks) has to worry about squeamish advertisers and whether or not Little Junior Sonofabitch (thank you, “Family Guy” writers) will be traumatized by their programming.
At the same time, let‘s think about this:
A) (as I said before) this movie (nor “28 Days Later) is not suited for “regular” TV. They were rated “R” for a reason. That means children under 17 weren’t supposed even supposed to see the thing in the damned theater without being accompanied by a parent or guardian. (A reminder. You know, just in case you’ve been under a rock for the past forty years or so.)
2) If SciFi, or some other “broadcast” channel is going to show the damned thing, is early evening really the best air time? Or do their programmers not think there’s a chance Little Junior Sonofabitch and his friends aren’t going to be tuned in on a Sunday afternoon?
C) If the answer to 2 is “they don’t think he’ll be watching”, then what in the fuck is the purpose of editing the damned things for content, if you’re expecting that adults will be the only ones watching? You think someone who’s offended by profanity or violence is gonna see a movie in the TV listings called Dawn-of-the-fucking-Dead and think ‘ooh, that sounds like a fun-filled viewing experience’?
Seriously, I realize at some point since I left the teenaged years behind that it became unfashionable for parents to actually set rules for their children, but give me a break. Time slot aside, why can’t the parents take some freaking responsibility of their own and say “okay, Junior- this isn’t appropriate for you to watch, so we’re turning it off”? I mean, I can remember being around 12 or so, and Dad and I were watching HBO late one night. A George Carlin special came on.
The curtain goes up and out comes George- already ranting. His opening gag? “You ever notice that women who are against abortion are women you wouldn’t wanna fuck in the first place?” My dad quickly grabbed the remote and said “no way.” (Meanwhile, I was chewing the inside of my cheek to keep from braying laughter.)
Anyway, I know calling for parents to be strict would actually require that Mommy and Daddy Sonofabitch to actually be accountable, and that’s not a popular stand. But- if you’re not into that whole, you know parenting thing, then keep your pants on in the first damned place.
And, should little Junior break the rules, how about a belt to the backside?
I know. Somewhere around the same time it became unfashionable to actually act responsibly as an authority figure, it also became passé to implement corporal punishment.
When I was in grade school, you could expect to be paddled if your misbehavior crossed the line (and- for me- I could expect another ass whooping when I got home). Even by the time I got to high school, the paddle was still around- though, by then, it was option. They had to have your parent’s permission. (I lobbied my Mom and Dad to forgo such permission, arguing successfully that it was akin to double jeopardy to get be punished twice.)
Seeing as nowadays striking a child is (for some reason) viewed as barbaric, the lack of “dire” consequences leads to a lack of rules for kids. Seriously, how can being sent to their room when they have a TV, laptop, internet access, video game, cell phone, etc. in there really be punishment?
Without the threat of unpleasant results (I.e., said blistering of said ass), Junior can pretty much give the middle finger to the rules (and the people making them)- and the rest of us are stuck watching a stripped down version of a movie that should- by all rights- scare little Junior shitless, and into turning it off after five minutes…