Seeing Red

Anyone who’s ever been to an American movie theater knows the green screen that precedes each preview, famously proclaiming the ad’s suitability for “ALL AUDIENCES” as judged by the motion picture industry’s rating board.

I wonder, though, how many people have seen the much-less-common “restricted” variant, with its arresting background:
Preview for Restricted Audiences

I see plenty of movies, but I only remember a few times, mostly in art houses or independent theaters, where I’ve seen restricted trailers (and of course, only before R-rated pictures.) And then, what did that distinctive red* glow signal? In my experience, it basically meant “standby for breasts.” Sure, sometimes a little violence, perhaps some profanity, but mostly you could count on some nakedness.

Or so I thought until I saw the trailer for Temporada de patos (“Duck Season“), soon to be released by Warner Independent in this country. In that case, the trailer was restricted because it showed… um, a quarter-second of a guy (sunk low, showing nothing) in a bathtub? A pellet gun? A flash of a violent video game?

No, I have no idea why this trailer is restricted. I’ve watched it three times, and I’m still at a loss. The film’s in black and white, and the trailer has no spoken dialogue (probably because Warner would just as soon you forget it’s actually in Spanish.) The boys shoot a vase with a pellet gun, but it’s pretty clear it’s not a real gun. There’s a somewhat weird-looking (I had flashes of Austin Powers) pizza delivery guy who has the aforementioned bathtub moment plus another when we see his bare back, so maybe we’re supposed to be worried he’s around these kids, but it doesn’t seem the least bit sexual.

Seriously: what the hell? I don’t know what these people are worried about. But maybe y’all are bigger prudes than I am and you can tell me. Watch the trailer and let me know what you think. (And yes, as far as I’m concerned, it’s totally safe for work. Hell, call your boss over and have him/her join the hunt.)

* “The color is to alert the projectionist against mismatching trailers with the film being shown on the theater screen,” sayeth the MPA. You know, back when they had a projectionist stay in the booth…

One Response to “Seeing Red”

  1. Simon Says:

    These things never cease to amuse me. Smoking Teens as you dubbed it was one of my favourites, but I’ve seen other idiotic ones.

    The film board is making itself a laughing stock of attempted political correctness.

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