There will be more blood

A comment on a colleague's MyFace page jumped out at me recently. The discussion was about John Hillcoat's upcoming (November 25) adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's end-of-the-world-with-cannibals-versus-family-values novel "The Road." One of the participants in the thread said, "If you don't include the baby on the spit what's the point of making the movie?"

I reassured myself by thinking this a minority opinion. Hadn't the last sequel in the "Saw" series done relatively poorly art the box office? But then I spotted this story in "The Guardian" in which Peter Jackson recalled some changes he had to make in his adaptation of Alice Sebold's "The Lovely Bones" after showing an early version at a test screening:

 "Warning: this story includes implied spoilers...

"...Jackson told Reuters that he had returned to the editing room to ‘basically add more violence and suffering'. ‘[The audience] wanted far more violence,' he said. ‘They just weren't satisfied.'

Viewers were particularly exercised about a scene in which a man falls off a cliff. ‘We got a lot of people telling us that they were disappointed with this death scene, as they wanted to see [the character] in agony and suffer a lot more,' said Jackson. ‘We had to create a whole suffering death scene just to give people the satisfaction they needed.'

"However, despite the extra violence, The Lovely Bones will still be released under the PG13 certificate in the US on 11 December. It opens in the UK on 29 January."

It reminded me of back in 1987 when Adrian Lyne discussed how he had to change the ending of "Fatal Attraction" for much the same reason.

So when the moral scolds get on the bandwagon condemning Hollywood for corrupting the country for showing so much violence (and sex) on the screen, remind them that nobody's holding a gun to their heads to see it (though some in the crowd might actually like that). They wouldn't make it if they couldn't sell it. It's what the people want.

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