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Harry and Moriarty Tag-Team On The Latest Crime Against Art By The MPAA. Re: SLEEPY HOLLOW!!

Hey, Head Geek...

“Moriarty” here.

I’ve recently instigated a vigorous program of random hypnosis as a method of developing spy material for AICN, and I’m delighted by the results so far. My method is simple and direct. I walk into a restaurant or a bar or a store or an office and I decide who I want to hypnotize. I walk up and introduce myself, and then use a particularly agressive hypnotic trick I picked up while traveling in India that snaps them into a deeply suggestive trance. I ask a few pointed questions, tell them to forget the last five minutes and walk away. It’s almost surgically effective, man.

Well, yesterday it paid off when I was having lunch. Some Stooge sitting one table over from me kept talking loudly about how they had something to do with the MPAA. I had no choice but to lean over and give the technique a try. Once I had them stunned and willing to talk, we spit out the following exchange:

MORIARTY: Are you guys mad at the way you’re treated in SOUTH PARK?

MPAA STOOGE: You bet. Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Scott Rudin... we’re pissed at the whole bunch of them.

MORIARTY: Are you going to get back at them?

MPAA STOOGE: We already are. Ask Scott Rudin about his SLEEPY HOLLOW poster.

Just then, the waiter walked up and interrupted us, startling the Stooge from the trance, and I had to flee the scene while the Stooge was trying to figure out what was going on. Still, I had a lead, and I figured I’d go straight to the people in the story and see where it led.

As you know, Harry, I retreated to the Labs and called you immediately. I began to spill the events of the morning to you, and you stopped me mid-story. "Ah, Professor... I have my sources inside CARA and the MPAA, too." You proceeded to fill in the blanks, telling me how the SLEEPY HOLLOW poster was rejected Tuesday morning by the MPAA because of its “graphic depiction of decapitation."

Wait a minute. You can’t use the Headless Horseman on a poster for SLEEPY HOLLOW? That’s like telling Warner Bros. they can’t use Superman on the poster for SUPERMAN. The Headless Horseman is a classic American literary figure, as recognizable as Sherlock Holmes, Tom Sawyer, or Tarzan. If the MPAA wants to argue that this is a move to cut down on movie violence, they’re cracked. This film is not about guns or kids killing parents or anything that could even remotely be linked to any real-life situation in recent or current America. This is a film about a giant supernatural demon who beheads select citizens of a small town in New York.

Besides, you told me... you were pretty sure there had been similar poster images in the past. Of the two of us, I’d defer to you in poster knowledge any day of the week, so why don’t you jump in?

Alright my dear professor, don't mind if I do. Ya know folks, Sometimes it's just eerie how Moriarty and I simply seem to appear on the same page. It wasn't but 2 hours before the old man called that I received via pnuematic tube a report from a spy, purporting to be from within the MPAA, who had thrown his/her hands up in the air in disgust with the whole spineless affair. The report detailed in cut out newspaper type that apparently the MPAA had just rejected a poster for SLEEPY HOLLOW based on the fact that it suggested decapitation. According to this source, the poster is all art, and has the headless horseman with a head tucked under it's arm like a football.

Now, I'm a huge fan of the world of poster art and motion picture advertisments. Panicked, I contacted a source at Paramount to give me a clue what was going to happen. Turns out they are contemplating using a photographic image of 'THE TREE' if they can't use the headless horseman motif.

Now, I'm sorry, but this just plain sucks. I've been attempting to secure the 'offensive poster' in question, but so far to no avail. But I can give you a brief history of the decaptitated poster world as I am familiar with it. First up is the 3-sheet gracing the wall behind my computer for BLACK SABBATH...

Alright, now this poster is taller than you are and depicts a gigantic disembodied head with blood drenching from the neck wound. It's Karloff and ya know what... This poster and image come from those 'innocent days of yesteryear' when the Beaver walked by the Bijou and asked Wally for a dime to see the picture show. I mean, this poor child might have seen this one-sheet for BLACK SABBATH framed on the outside of the theater...

Or he might have seen this image from THE HEADLESS GHOST...

Or even worse, it may have been this ghastly image from THE THING THAT COULDN'T DIE...

Now ya see folks. From what I have been told, these posters above actually depict harsher forms of decapitation than the currently offensive un-sanctioned by the MPAA SLEEPY HOLLOW poster. So... What is the problem? I mean, it wasn't too long ago that this PREDATOR 2 poster graced our theaters..

And that even had a spinal column attached, dangling from the scrubbed clean skull recently harvested from an ex-human being. Did children die of fright? Was there social mayhem? Hell, it wasn't even a terribly effective poster, though I loved it... Sigh... Here's Moriarty...

As Harry was putting together this exhaustive comparision of past approved images, I was still trying to find out exactly what was on the offending poster. My first call was to the MPAA, looking for an official explanation. They bounced me around from office to office, finally bouncing me to an office in Washington, where I was told that the MPAA never comments on decisions they've made "and we certainly aren't going to start with you." I'd say that was a pretty clear message sent and received.

Since they weren't interested in discussing the matter, I decided to try and contact the producers of the film, Scott Rudin and Adam Schroeder. We're still in the process of that, though. Rudin, being an Evil Genius himself, is even busier than I am and has been impossible to nail down. I'm hoping we have a chance to talk to him about the poster image. I've heard rumors about what it is, and it sounds breathtaking. It sounds like it is truly poster art, the kind that becomes a classic image immediately, and the fact that we're not going to get to see it is ridiculous.

I dare CARA and the MPAA to reconsider their decision. I know it hurts when you're beat up publicly the way you were in the SOUTH PARK film, but you need to be above it all. You need to contextualize your decisions. SLEEPY HOLLOW is one of America's great pieces of folklore. Keeping the key image from the story from us doesn't protect. All it does is punish the artist who created the image. Valenti and his crew claim that they're protecting kids, and that's all the ratings are for. They say that's what guides their decisions in what can and can't be shown on posters. So, fine... prove it. Regulate extreme imagery or blatant drug use or nudity... but only when it makes sense.

And this time, the only kind of sense it makes is the kind that makes you look small, petty, and wrong.

We'll keep you posted as the story develops, everyone, and if we're lucky, maybe we'll even be able to show you the image you're being protected from. Until then...

"Moriarty" out.

Hey folks, Harry here again. Ya know, as I went over this report, it just struck me that what we are dealing with here is a classic American Iconic Image. The Headless Horseman. Sure, it's morbid. But as I looked around the net to find out more about the character I found salt and pepper shakers, museums, collectors and even this 5th grade production of THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW intact with Headless Horseman et al. Folks, for me the MPAA is allegedly supposed to safeguard the family value morales of our society, and while I may have issues with that concept, I do know that if the story is taught in Elementary Schools. If the play is acted out by NINE YEAR OLDS, then surely we as a soceity can withstand the image of the Headless Horseman. Our world will not crumble. Our institutions won't topple. We can weather this already iconic image of American Culture. And who do the MPAA think they are to keep this from happening?

As Moriarty stated, we are on the case like peanut butter to bread, and we will continue to strive to bring you the offensive image so that... at the very least YOUR eyes may see it.

Harry Out...

Readers Talkback
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  • July 8, 1999, 3:16 a.m. CST


    by Justin Sane

    Okay, I'm no huge fan of the MPAA, but I recognize that they've gotta do what they've gotta do. But they just seem to go farther and farther, pushing the envelope until everything begins to look extremely ludicrous. For ONE, might I add, that the Disney version of The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow (the one that was sold individually without The Wind In The Willows) shows good ol' Ichabod running from The Headless Horseman (although, admittedly, I believe he's holding a pumpkin rather than a severed head... I don't clearly remember). He doesn't have a head there, and I haven't seen any traumatized children rocking back and forth, afraid to look under the bed for fear that a headless man will throw pumpkins at them... I don't think adding a severed head will do much more damage to their tender little psyches. In any case, I think these people are trying to make up for that whole Colorado thing (which I still don't understand the exact connection to films... people who kill do so because they have their own problems, not because of celluloid), and so are starting a giant campaign to block out anything they think might have a negative effect on children. Don't get me wrong, I like Disney films, but I'm afraid if this keeps up it's all we're going to be seeing until we end up in a sort of "Film 1984" where Big Brother is regulating everything we watch and people caught watching PG-13 movies and up must... "confess"...

  • July 8, 1999, 3:31 a.m. CST

    Jack V, my hero

    by Unpronouncable

    Dear Jack Valenti: I wanted to thank you, Christ-like figure that you are, for saving America from the horrible spectre of ghosts that don't have heads. Please don't listen to the clowns who run this page, because all that folklore crap is for sissies and people who use Minoxydil. I think your organization is doing a public service by combatting the rash of decapitations in New England, and the subsequent reappearance on horseback by the victims of these decapitations, as reported recently by Stone Phillips on Dateline NBC. As the death toll continues to mount, we clearly must continue to blame the media for our own moral failings, and I thank YOU for beginning the crusade against these Hollywood people with their loose morals, loose minds and disgusting imagery. Keep up the great work, Jack. God bless you man and God bless America! Let freedom ring!

  • July 8, 1999, 3:36 a.m. CST

    MPAA = Motion Pictures Association of Assholes

    by misterWINKIE

    BULLSHIT....when is the MPAA running what is takin in by my eyes..i have a right -as an american-remember---land of the free(?) view what content i believe is suitable.....even though it might not be to the next....when was the MPAA my mother and father? they're going to bust me for having pot hidin under the bed.....or-*gasp*...not the porns !!!!.......well ....till the MPAA bans halloween (the holiday-not the movie) because it is graphic and violent for all the lil kids who dress up in there vampire costumes..fake blood...etc...P.S.-will 8 HEADS IN A DUFFLE BAG have to get a name change---that strongly promotes decapitation...8 times.....hmmmmmmmmmmmm

  • July 8, 1999, 3:42 a.m. CST

    NO, you can't show that image

    by paragonian

    Do you have any idea how much damage in society it would cause. Forget Y2K and the Millenium, this image can inspire cults to mass suicide, the stock market would collapse, computers all over the world would shut down, Russia and China would take over the world, space satellites will drift away, Ken Griffey Jr. will leave Seattle, asteroids will be attracted to Earth, Larry Flynt will become President..... My god man, do you know what this will cause!

  • July 8, 1999, 3:51 a.m. CST

    What is it with you Americans?

    by Alessan

    I mean, what's wrong with you? (I don't mean Harry and Moriarity; you're cool). You have a Constitution that's the envy of the world, and you insist on screwing it up! I'm sorry - I love you guys, but you better get rid of that puritanical streak of yours, be it religeous or PC.

  • July 8, 1999, 4:24 a.m. CST

    Hang on, this might be a good idea...

    by reni

    Dear Jack, I am pleased you're banning a movie poster not the movie. I don't like the sound of it either. Please can you also ban tuna mayonaise on brown vienna rolls,mashed potato, HP sauce, lap dancing, spliffs, Led Zep, The Stone Roses, DVD players, star wars figures, trains, traffic, the weather, work, and getting shouted at by other people. Basically everything else is okay provided it has guns in them...

  • July 8, 1999, 4:54 a.m. CST

    Here we go again.

    by Phazer

    The MPAA has turned itself into a laughing stock again, almost as badly as the British Board of Film Classification (who didn't allow the release of The Exorsist on video here in the UK. Maybe they're just scared that in ten years time they won't have jobs anymore. You see by then we'll all just download films off the net anyway. It's not too hard to base your server in Croatia et al, where there isn't any laws in this regard. The power of the MPAA and BBFC will fade to nothing. And then peace and sanity will come on tho the world.

  • July 8, 1999, 5:10 a.m. CST

    Screw the MPAA

    by W. Leach

    This is certainly one of the most ridiculous posts I've read at AICN. Banning a poster because it depicts decapitation? Based on a story written in 1819? Come on. What decade are we living in? When I was in second grade, my teacher read us THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW for Halloween. Shortly thereafter, I borrowed an old record from the library of TLOSH, narrated and sung by Bing Crosby. About a year later, I saw THE ADVENTURES OF ICHABOD AND MR. TOAD for the first time on the Disney Channel. The Headless Horseman became as important to me as my other heroes at the time: Dracula, Frankenstein and his Monster, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, etc. While I do think the best way to market SLEEPY HOLLOW would be to NOT show the Headless Horseman, and let his appearance in the movie be a surprise, apparently the artwork has already been done, showing him holding a severed human head. The MPAA has no right to edit this poster, as I don't think it would be offensive to anyone. I mean, it's not showing nudity, right? I know a few posters have been doctored over the years because they showed a bit to much bare flesh, but a severed head? Come on. I've seen children's books in the aisles of Barnes & Noble that are more graphic than this proposed poster. Who is the MPAA protecting by changing it? BTW, I think one of the coolest posters I've ever seen is for Altman's THE LONG GOODBYE (1973). It's a cartoon, done up in the style of one of those Mad Magazine movie parodies (I think the same artists were involved), and there are dialogue balloons over the characters' heads. A very inventive and original poster, although I haven't been able to find it anywhere for sale...

  • July 8, 1999, 5:17 a.m. CST



    Bear with me -- I've had a few tonight. You know this is probably not the place to start an existentialist debate but censorship even as a concept seems completely ridiculous to me in this day and age. This is supposed to be 1999 and people are acting like we live in the fucking dark ages. Is this the Spanish inquisition or the dawn of a new millennium? This whole debate about violence in films affecting the youth of America has all the hallmarks of desperation that characterize a soul-sick society looking for easy answers and scapegoats. Remember the poster for HALF BAKED? The original was the image of the two guys standing on a lawn with the tag line "Two guys on grass". The MPAA shot this idea down, I suppose with the rationalization that kids would be nagatively affected by the obscure drug reference. Talk about delusional. Since when was humour, a bad pun or a dramatic image a threat to the mental and moral health of our youth. That's right -- NEVER.

  • July 8, 1999, 5:39 a.m. CST

    MPAA + Matt & Trey = DIE DIE DIE

    by RodimusPrime

    Not only did those two LOSERS Parker and Stone cheat me out of $8 on that crapfest South Park movie, they are directly responsible for agitating the brain-dead morons of the MPAA to ban the Sleepy Hollow poster??? I say we round up those two fools, drag them into MPAA headquarters, and let the idiot board members do whatever they want to them. Then maybe the MPAA simpletons will be appeased and let us have our poster back. Plus we would be rid of those two sacks of shit. Or maybe we can just come to an agreement whereby all copies of South Park are pulled from theaters, and in exchange they agree to let the poster for Sleepy Hollow stay. That way, no one else will be ripped off on the piece of excrement on a reel called South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut.

  • July 8, 1999, 5:51 a.m. CST

    Let's go on a killing spree, beheading people...

    by rulookin

    Yes, more violence, but with axes this time!!! Let's all do like him, and chop off heads!!! Let's head (pun intended) for the streets, yelling BLOOD! OH, and let us not forget, we have to chop off our head, put it under our arm, and ride into town on a horse. Why do you ask?? "Because I saw that in a movie, and on the movie poster! Sounds like fun!!" COME ON MPAA, AND THE WHOLE POPULATION (well, those who want more movies like babe2, parent trap, et al.)WAKE UP! A POSTER WILL NOT MAKE PEOPLE KILL EACH OTHER!!!! And anyways, the poster doesn't show any violence, or promote it in anyway, it just shows us a possibly gorry picture, not someone being stabbed. I'm sorry if im venting steam, but i'm so tired of people blaming movies for their own problems. Thank you for listening to my ranting!

  • July 8, 1999, 5:54 a.m. CST

    beheading pt2

    by rulookin

    Oh, I forgot to ask you people, what's next... Are axes going to be illegal??? Are you going to need a full background check to buy an axe?? At least a gun can be painless, but a chop of an axe...

  • July 8, 1999, 6:03 a.m. CST

    Sherlock Holmes

    by Stefka

    Sherlock homes is a classic British icon - not American....and the MPAA sucks. Thank you.

  • July 8, 1999, 6:03 a.m. CST


    by Jonte

    How about a spoilerwarning on the kids play? ;-)

  • July 8, 1999, 6:15 a.m. CST


    by TelstarMan

    My first post. Yay. I think it's obvious that we, as a community of film fans, should all learn to ride horses (if we don't already know how--like me), decapitate a stranger, and carry his head around. Because of this poster, which I haven't even seen. After all, according to the MPAA's reasoning, that's the kind of societal effect we're likely to get from the poster. Remember, EVERY SINGLE PERSON who ever heard "Don't Fear the Reaper" killed themselves. Tim Lehnerer

  • July 8, 1999, 6:16 a.m. CST

    "I ain't got no-body..."

    by Encelladus

    I'm with Rulookin... in fact, "A Tale of Two Cities" showcases beheading, as well as the entire French Revolution. Well, that's gotta go. "Boxing Helena?" Limbs are okay, just don't lose your head. "Johnny Mnemonic" is okay because Keanu Reeves doesn't really need his head, right? Oh wait, doesn't this summer's "Wild Wild West" have a beheading, not to mention a few creative uses for a bodiless head? And the worst offender of all: Disney's "Hercules," where heads are cut off continuously for a few minutes as the hero battles a hydra, but that's okay as long as it's not a human head, right?

  • July 8, 1999, 6:58 a.m. CST

    okay, to hear something even more ridiculous

    by half pint

    Along the same lines as the MPAA banning this poster, there's a new ordinance under consideration in Indianapolis making it illegal to sell spray paint to minors, as a means to try to deter vandalism. Does this sound stupid to anyone else? As to the MPAA, unfortunately, the movie community does have to give credence to them, the same as a doctor must to the AMA. However, as they are selected and elected within the movie community, maybe what's needed is new blood in the leadership. Just a thought. Maybe member of the MPAA will read it and get the hint. Nobody's irreplaceable.

  • July 8, 1999, 7:04 a.m. CST

    Can I have a job?

    by r_dimitri22

    If anyone at the MPAA is reading this, I would like to nominate myself as the ideal candidate to join your ranks. The MPAA will probably always get a bad rap, but I am willing to take those bullets if I can help further the integrity and credibility of your organization. Your rating standards are inconsistent and unclear, and this incident regarding the Sleepy Hollow movie poster is absolutely ludicrous. Your organization obviously needs an infusion of new blood. (I hope the "new blood" metaphor does not automatically disqualify me because of its startling level of violence.) I consider myself a knowledgeable fan of film. I also consider myself to be morally responsible and socially conscious. I have no political party allegiance, and as an agnostic I have no religious affiliation. If the fresh perspective of an objective free thinker is what you seek, I am your man.

  • July 8, 1999, 7:13 a.m. CST

    The Thing That Couldn't Die

    by Gordian

    I actually saw that movie. HAH! Anyways, I feel that the MPAA can throw their weight around however they want, so long as I get to see Sleepy Hollow in its true form. So long as they don't touch the film, let them scream at the rain...G

  • July 8, 1999, 7:14 a.m. CST

    movies do not promote violence

    by G

    I think it's absolutely ridiculous how some people have to blame movies, or other media like computer games, for promoting real-life violence. The bottom line, plain and simple, is that the yo-yo's who commit these violent acts after saying "the movie made me do it" or whatever, lack a brain in their head. I've seen just about every violent film imaginable and played hundreds of violent video games, and grew up around guns because my Dad hunted. I've never had the urge to hurt anyone because a movie "appeared" to glorify violence, or whatever, like those half-baked morons from Columbine. It's all a question of whether or not the individual has a brain to think for himself/herself.

  • July 8, 1999, 7:15 a.m. CST

    Contact the MPAA with your displeasure

    by Hobbes

    Granted these tyrannical fascist bastards probably won't do anything if we contact them, but you can alert then to your displeasure. Their web site ( has only ONE listed contact on their page. Email, call 818/995-6600, or send a letter to Motion Picture Association of America, 15503 Ventura Boulevard, Encino, California, 91436.

  • July 8, 1999, 7:30 a.m. CST


    by Uncapie

    They work on scare tactics the way the Hayes Commission did. The only companies that belong to it are the majors. Do you see any INDEPENDENTS endorsing the MPAA?! They make up their own rules as they go along. It works like this, you pay a fee to get a rating in order to have your ad run in the newspaper. Most newspapers won't run an ad unless it has been rated. Hence, the failure of Trey and Stone's, "Orgazmo", which was given an NC-17 rated for its content. I mean, "content?!" "South Park-The Movie" was more foul-mouthed than that(You Uncle F*ckers!) Think about this...remember that scene where the laywer was eaten by the dinosaur in "Jurassic Park?" Pretty graphic scene and that movie was a PG-13 when it should have been an "R". "Private Ryan" should have been "NC-17". A guy walking around carrying his own hand when it was blown off and don't forget the radio operator with the hole in his face! Pretty grim, if you ask me! Preferential treatment? "Nay!", says Jack Valenti and his loqautiousness of verbs, nouns and adjectives! Its called, "PAYOLA!" The MPAA is an organization that survives by donations from the big dog studios. Its the basic story of one hand washing the other for "favors"."Strongarming" the movie business is more like it like the hoods during prohibition. "Buy my watered-down liquor pops or I'll burn your soda fountain down!", chortled Hood #1 as Hood #2 slaps around poor "Pops" Jenkins. People have to know Jack Valenti's history. He was Lyndon B. Johnson's "butt-boy" assistant. LBJ would, literaly, kick him to get his frustrations out. When Kennedy was assasssinated, LBJ was sworn in immediately. Jack Valenti was given the post in charge of the newly created, MPAA. There's a conspiracy theory trying to link him to the Kennedy assassination where he was to have provided information on the parade route, but there is no proof of this. Jack, doesn't know Jack about movies either! Why is the MPAA being run by ex-government employees and retired FBI agents? The piracy issue is a joke! China, Taiwan, Japan, the whole pacific laughs at him! Trade sanctions, my ass! Okay, so we don't buy goods from the US directly, we buy them cheaper from the exploited Third World country that you gave them to for FREE, Yankee! Hong Kong is so far advanced in their technology that all their bootlegs are on DVD. Video Cassettes are a thing of the past. Old news! Say, "Phantom Menace" comes out on Friday at a theater. Saturday morning you can buy it on DVD! Cheap too! 4 DVD's $100.00 HK dollars or $20.00 Yankee dollars! Then there was the "scam" that the MPAA was going around and busting people for selling "Star Trek Bloopers!" They'd send this fat, ugly, grey haired guy saying he used to be an ex-cop and now he can decide what's legal and illegal and "Star Trek Bloopers" are illegal! They would always pick one dealer in the crowd an go after him trying to make an example. The cops would come in and the guy or gal would get his or her videos taken away! Whaaaaa! I mean, this guy was so fucking obvious, he would always wear the same cheap, stinky, ugly hawaiian shirt everytime! They would always use the same guy! They must pay this guy minimum wage or something! But, "Star Trek Bloopers?" Who cares?! I guess the MPAA has to justify themselves and go on their "panty raids" in order to flex their muscles for the Big Dog stuidos to give them money to do a functioning incomepent job. The MPAA says the lose over a 'BILLION DOLLARS" to piracy each year. Yeah, well how come the studio execs own nice big homes, have their little actress/mistresses on the side and drive big, fucking, fancy, fast cars or obnoxious SUV's and the little guy trying to pay his or her rent in a one room shack with two or three kids to feed. I'm sure these guys are just raking in the dough! Why is it that Jack Valenti made himself Czar of the MPAA until he wants to retire? What is with this guy? He also was against recordable VCR's in the seventies saying that it would destroy the market! Obviously, not the brightest turnip that fell off the truck. The MPAA should be shut down. When Jack Valenti dies, the studios should ban together and make their own set of rules. They don't need the MPAA. It serves more of a negative purpose than a positive one.

  • Dickheads!

  • July 8, 1999, 7:50 a.m. CST

    You haven't seen nothing yet

    by 5555

    If you think this is bad wait to see what they're going to do in the years and months to come.It's not over with yet.You're just going to have to get use to it.And you're not going to like it

  • July 8, 1999, 7:59 a.m. CST

    Moriarity, this is not true! I've seen the poster

    by inkymae

    Moriarity, I work at Paramount publicity and I have seen the posters for Sleepy Hollow. They do not have any pictures of a decapitations. It is only a picture of Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci and Christopher Walken. It's actually quite beautiful. There are no decapitations, nothing like that at all. Your source is wrong. Besides, think about it. If you were going to market a film these days would you advertise it was about decapitations or that it had Johnny Depp in it? Johnny Depp will always sell more tickets than the promise of decapitations.

  • July 8, 1999, 8:26 a.m. CST

    God bless the MPAA for protecting me from reality

    by HAL9000

    The MPAA is the most worthless and utterly disposable organization on the face of the planet (wait a minute, the second most worthless, I forgot about the overzealous organized religion groups that want to ban Dogma). Personally, I think an oversized shot of Christina Riccis cleavage would be much better than a decapitation shot, but I seriously believe that the MPAA has gone power crazy and paranoid after the Columbine massacre. Sleepy Hollow will be the movie event of November, it's inevitable. I still get chills when I think about the teaser.

  • July 8, 1999, 8:44 a.m. CST

    Let's Ban John the Baptist!

    by C.B. Lovehill

    If this is true, then I agree with the MPAA. Only I think we as a society need to take a much stronger stance against decapitation. Let's start by removing the story about John the Baptist being beheaded in the Bible. In fact, let's get rid of all those violent images and stories in the Bible -- which should, by the way, pare that unreadably dense book down to a nice afternoon read. Hey, come to think of it, the Bible is a pretty damn violent book. And the hero (God) makes no bones about being vengeful and wiping people out because of simple jealousy. Sounds like those Cool Cats in Colorado were just imitating God when they went on their killing spree. Wait a minute! Stop the press! I bet anything those kids had a Bible in their house... and access to it. Forget blaming the movies, I think we found our real culprit here! The Bible is corrupting the youth of America!

  • July 8, 1999, 8:54 a.m. CST

    What's the MPAA's Phone Number?

    by Rodent

    This kind of thing will continue untill people like us get off their butts and call them on their sh*t. Call them up and give them your opinion. Please be polite when you do though or your comment will be dismissed. rodent (putting the eek in geek)

  • July 8, 1999, 8:54 a.m. CST

    A Moment of Sanity Please...

    by JoeRCM

    Can you imagine the attitude the MPAA is going to take if/when they repeal their decision on this poster if everyone and their brother call them out the way you folks do? The frothing hatred exhibited by the folks in Talk Back (and to a lesser extent in Harry and the Dr.'s story itself) will only be returned in kind by the HUMAN BEINGS working at the MPAA. They've got ust as many hangups as you guys have. And claiming you stand on the side of truth ad justice will only make them feel that much more under attack. There's this thing called constructive criticism. It's supposed to help not just inflame. (And I'm not saying constructive criticism can't inflame, I'm just saying it contributes to solving the situation as well). Take a breath everyone and remember that every word of hatred is getting reiterated and thrown back at us by the folks at the MPAA. That being said, I hope we do get to see this poster, whether it be for sale or as advertisement.

  • No... I'm sorry. That was just plain wrong. I shouldn't put down Adolf Hitler like that! HE was an artist for fuck's sake! These MPAA motherfuckers couldn't recognize art if it fucked them in the ass. I think the very idea of their censorship is disgusting. Okay, you can't show the fucking Headless Horseman carrying a fucking head??? The Headless Horseman is right up there in American culture with Santa Claus!!!!!!!!! Imagine what the MPAA would do with the famous painting of Venus?????? Or any kind of paiting that contains nudity????????? And they don't like bloody scenes??? WHAT ABOUT THE FUCKING PAINTINGS IN MY EUROPEAN HISTORY TEXT BOOK FROM 11TH GRADE??????? I remember when we learned about the Crusades, our text book had some nice little paintings from hundreds of years ago that depicted some FUCKING BLOODY shit! I mean, I remember one painting in my text book that showed Christian nights tossing the decaptitated heads of Muslims over the walls of a city!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! COME ON!!!!!!!!! We need to start government campaign to do away with the MPAA for good!!!! It's getting worse and worse!!!!!!!!!! Reading this story about "Sleepy Hollow" made me sick to my stomach! I almost lost my breakfast!!!!!

  • July 8, 1999, 9:25 a.m. CST

    Movie Posters

    by Dr. Dorkenstein

    Cheers Harry! This is why I visit your site. When you provided great evidence of classic movie posters depicting the exact same "offensive" image, you depicted the MPAA to be paranoid and clueless. You didn't have to string a bunch of curse words or flames together, or yell about threats to our right to free speech etc. You simply pointed out the history of a classic image thoughout the history of film. I for one just thought of Black Sabbath as a metal band, not a Karloff movie. Let's hope some people at the ratings board have their eyes opened because of your examples. (Man, I sound like a guidance counselor.) Anyway, I'm glad you used your research tools for good!

  • Sums it up.

  • If those rumours about Jack are true, then be careful Harry and Moriarty. If you need any help just call me.

  • July 8, 1999, 10:02 a.m. CST

    Damn the MPAA

    by Basilica

    How does the MPAA justify a movie like Saving Private Ryan and not a movie like Sleepy Hollow? Saving Private Ryan was a good movie, but it had the kind of violence that is gut-wrenching and real. A movie like Sleepy Hollow is cartoon violence. It's about a guy running around without a head taking other people's heads. I find that much less disturbing than a movie about legions of men being killed which was based on actual events. Could someone tell the MPAA to take their head out of their fucking ass?

  • July 8, 1999, 10:02 a.m. CST

    MPAA? How Legal Are They?

    by The Bat Is Me

    First, I'd like to commend Harry on a FANTASTIC post!! If only that could be mailed to the MPAA so they can see what fascists (sp?) they are. Second, Where can I find this Sleepy Hollow poster? Many people above mentioned they saw it. . . where? Third, Who the hell is the MPAA? I know for a fact it is not illegal for a 2 year old kid to buy a ticket for an R rated movie. You cannot toss anyone in jail for that. Its not a law, much less constitutional. So why does the Studio system kiss these peoples collective asses? Can't they be removed from what authority they have? Fourth, can't this go on appeal? If it is artwork, no photographs, then why is it allowed to be censored? It sounds like any judge in any city would bitch-slap the MPAA for this blatant CENSORSHIP. Finally, if the MPAA is a government position (which I doubt, someone clarify this please) then these people are our public servants. We should be able to vote them out. P.S. Don't forget the Mask of Zorro, where not only was there a beheading, but it was kept in formaldihide (sp?) for some time, and graphically displayed. P.P.S. I don't think Irving Washington yet heard about Columbine when he wrote the AMERICAN Literary Classic The Legend of Sleepy Hollow way back in the 18th century. The idea of beheadings is not exactly new, and its not something that everybody hasn't heard about?

  • July 8, 1999, 10:29 a.m. CST

    oh, the humanity!

    by Powerslave

    This proves what I've always suspected: Helen Lovejoy of 'The Simpsons' is a member of the ratings board. I can just picture it: she sees the offending poster, and shrieks: "The CHILDREN! Won't somebody please think of the CHILDREN!" Now pardon me while I contribute to the downfall of society by going and working on my 'Quake II' deathmatch level. PS - A note to the excitable posters out there: Lay off the exclamation marks. And stop leaning on the 'capslock' key.

  • July 8, 1999, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Yay! Sleepy Hollow Will Be A Blockbuster!

    by Veiled Threat

    Thank you MPAA! This is a marketter's wet dream! The resulting controversy will result in gobs of publicity for the movie and ensure a healthy gross. Sure, the MPAA look like doofuses, again but think of the profits! In fact, this is such a blatant boner that I'm thinking payoff... Did someone from the Sleepy Hollow camp slip Valenti a fiver to create this ludicrous controversy to generate publicity for the movie? That's about the only thing that makes any sense...

  • July 8, 1999, 10:55 a.m. CST

    All I Want is a frickin' poster of a man on a horse..

    by Khaless

    ...without his frickin'head! Throw me a bone people! Seriously speaking, this is yet another disturbing example of the Colombine backlash that has been plaguing us over the last months. Although I never gave the MPAA much credit, this is pretty pathetic. Millions of us have jokes made at our expense everyday, and most of us are mature enough to take it in stride, but I guess we gave the "esteemed" members of the MPAA, much like a neutered dog, just doesn't get it! You won't stop violent acts through runaway censorship anymore than if you take away every gun ever made! I've played Doom, seen slasher films, and loved the South Park movie, and haven't harmed anyone because of it, no matter what the voices in my head say! (oops!)

  • July 8, 1999, 11:02 a.m. CST


    by darken

    I'm getting VERY worried that all this time the MPAA is spending trying to keep us from seeing violent images might take precious time and resources away from their real task... the harrowing and dangerous job of making sure we don't see naked people. More and more I'm becoming frightened when I walk into a film, unsure if I might be exposed to naked genitilia. What if they saw a severed head in the movie, but weren't mindful enough to demand the removal of an unclothed breast? Or what if there were frank and candid discussion of mature subject matter? Why the consequences could indeed be deadly. Without the moral compass the MPAA provides, I could easily end up seeing portrayals of violence and sexuality in a realistic and believable manner. Thank God they have been there to reduce them into consequence-free acts of cartoonish surrealism with this brilliant logic devised to protect my fragile little mind. One can only wonder what has happened to the poor souls who work at the MPAA, being forced to see these films uncensored day after day. In this post-Columbine environment we can only conclude that they must be serial killers by now, all of them. We should all pray for them and give thanks for the great sacrifices they have made for us the great mass of ignorant, with our dangerously open minds.

  • July 8, 1999, 11:16 a.m. CST

    The Real Big Picture

    by DeeJay

    There is no question that there are internal politics in the MPAA (like most organizations). There is also no question that Jack Valenti has his own view (as do we all) on what makes a good film. However, I hope that other film lovers understand that the MPAA is trying to make the most out of a lose-lose scenario. This is not a constitutional issue, as the MPAA is an inudstry organization that is simply trying to save the reputability of Hollywood filmakers. Just as when they were formed soe decades ago, they exist to defend the studios from political forces that want nothing more than to slander the entire industry and shut them down. If any film lovers want to make a difference, don't attack Valenti and the MPAA. Focus your attention on government officials that have nothing to say about right-wing hate radio which DIRECTLY encourages acts of violence against specific people. Focus your attention on the same people whose sound bites appeared countless times on news shows (the actual cause of attempted Columbine copycats). Whatever you do, please don't attack other film lovers (like much of the MPAA) who are simply trying to lose as little as possible in a no-win situation.

  • July 8, 1999, 11:17 a.m. CST

    THE POST-COLUMBINE BACKLASH..... a sickening attack on the art-f

    by quentin2

    Think about it.... Two nazi-hate-monger-depressed kids with HUGE amounts of bottled up rage go into a school, and blow away their classmates. They kill them, violently, and have no remorse. They then turn their guns on each other and it their own lives in the same brutal and bloody manner with shich they took the lives of their fellow students.... And WHAT caused this, might you ask???? WHAT DOES THE MEDIA BLAME????? A VIDEO GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A FUCKING VIDEO GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A FUCKING VIDEO GAME SENT THESE TWO KIDS INTO AN ANTI-SOCIAL RAMPAGE THAT ENDED WITH THEIR OWN DEATHS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK!!!!!!!!! Sorry for yelling, it just makes me sooooo pissed. And you know what else makes me pissed?? I remember seeing an interview with George Lucas on the Today Show before TPM opened. Some of you may not like TPM, but that's not what this is about. Katie Couric asked Lucas about the recent Columbine shooting and the responsibilty of the entertainment industry. Lucas said that people are looking for something to blame. He said that this was about the way two young people were treated and how they responded to that. This was about a mental backlash. And the media is looking for a weak link. That weak link is video games. He said all that, and I though it was very intelligent. After the tape of the interview was over, Katie Couric came on and said in a nasty tone "You might want to know that George Lucas in fact owns a video game company himself." AS IF THAT'S WHY HE DEFENDED VIDEO GAMES!!!! BECAUSE HE OWNS A VIDEO GAME COMPANY!!! WHAT A FUCKING BITCH!!!!! She also told George Lucas that TPM was very violent and she wouldn't want to take her 6 year old to see it. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT???? WHAT A DUMB SHIT-FOR-BRAINS BITCH!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • July 8, 1999, 11:51 a.m. CST


    by stewdog

    This talk back, like a lot of others, has generated much more heat than light. Granted, it's easy to take pot shots at the MPAA, but no one has suggested a good alternative. Do you think a 5-year-old girl should be allowed to watch a porno video? Some of you might, but I, for one, think that would be equivalent to sexual abuse. If you agree with that, then you agree that everyone should not be allowed to see any movie they want. And in that case, judgment calls must be made. Keep in mind that standards change over time as well. Stanley Kubrick's "Lolita" was very controversial in the 60's, but seems pretty tame by today's standards. So if someone can give me a considered, intelligent response to these points, then you can continue to rip into the MPAA. Until then...

  • July 8, 1999, 12:20 p.m. CST

    The "Post Columbine Party"

    by Ashura

    "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face."

  • July 8, 1999, 12:42 p.m. CST

    My new movie script: "Fuck the MPAA:The Phantom Menace"

    by Darth Siskel

    Think they'll approve that title?

  • July 8, 1999, 12:57 p.m. CST


    by LadyElektra

    Step 1: Pull your head out of your ass. Step 2: Shake the shit out of your ears. Step 3: Screw your head on your shoulders. Step 4: Use your head for something other than a fucking hat rack!

  • July 8, 1999, 1:08 p.m. CST

    Hollywood has no right to bitch, they pay the MPAA.

    by Darth Siskel

    GUess what? If you create a system of self-censorship, which is what the MPAA is, the Comics COde Authority, etc. to keep the government off your ass, you better be prepared to get fucked by yourself in the end. I say, revamp the system. An artist shouldn't have to change the title of their movie, or poster art, or cut some scenes to please a bunch of inconsistant freaks. "South Park: All Hell Breaks Loose" being rejected is an embarrasement to the people who fought for freedom in our country.

  • July 8, 1999, 1:11 p.m. CST

    in its place...

    by JetAlone

    Well, they can't use the Headless Horseman, so they're using good old fashioned sex to sell the movie. Has anyone seen the banner promoting the film? One hangs in the theatre I work in. The most prominent feature is Christina Ricci's cleavage.

  • Where was the MPAA when this film was released? Why weren't they looking out for my well being then? I want to collect on this! Where's my lawyer?! I'm sooooo distraught! Also, did the MPAA ever read world history? Ever heard of the French Revolution? How about ever read Charles Dickens', "Tale of Two Cities?" I must agree with Dr. X as well. It was Joe Kennedy that screwed his own kid, Jack. I always wondered how many cops that were killed to get his bootlegged whiskey across into the States from Canada or who Joe double-crossed. Especially the gentlemen that own pizza restaurants. You reap what you sow, Joe! Speaking of bootlegs, "Star Trek Bloopers"....If I was an ex-FBI agent that trained in martial arts, weapons and many other forms of self-defense and I bust some guy for selling a "Star Trek Blooper" for ten bucks, rather than take down a large shipment of heroin or some worthless piece of shit child rapist, I'd be really pissed!

  • July 8, 1999, 1:43 p.m. CST

    Headless VS Christ on a Cross

    by Scratchy71

    Well it seems that if we let them, the MPAA would probably forbid all crucifixes due to the depection of death. Strange world. Whose guidelines do they work under? Oh yeah... their own! scratchy

  • July 8, 1999, 2:24 p.m. CST

    headless poll

    by sigma957

    you forgot a couple headless/decapitation films, don't get much more decapitation than that. Re-animator....hell how long can a head sit on a plate and keep talking to you? What about Last Starfighter?...alex(robot) takes off his head to make some ear adjustments, freaks his little brother, and this gets a PG rating. Bite me MPAA.....ya freaking hipocrits

  • Stewdog, "everyone should not be allowed to see any movie they want"??? That is pure bullshit, my friend. In my mind, once we put restrictions on the art-form, whether it be in books, photographs, paintings, or cinema, we have taken the first step towards it's destruction. The very concept of "art" is lost amongst most people now. "Movies are art??? When the hell did that happen??" Now, people simply want to be entertained. A cheap laugh, and a sheap thrill. Does that mean that it isn't art? Maybe, but maybe not. To tell you the truth, I DO think a 5 year old girl should be able to watch a porno. Just think about it. Is it wrong for a child to view sexual intercourse between two members of it's own species??? This is something she's going to be doing someday!! Is sex evil, then? If it is equivalent to a decapitated head, then why does every God-fearing man and woman do it??? Do you think that in ancient times, long before civilization or society, that sex was considered something "evil", something that human beings should be "shielded" from??? Imagine if an alien came to this world, and you told it that we do not allow children to learn about sex at an early age. Instead, we blind them. We put a cute little veil over their eyes and let them figure it out for themselves. We have the ability to give them real knowledge and understanding about it, but we hold it from them, because we feel it will make them "better" members of society. That is pure bullshit. Why do you think that teen-pregnancy is so rampant? Why do you think that men view women as sex-objects? The seeds of this line of thinking is implanted into them by society at a very early age, and we don't even know it. Instead we just close our eyes, look away and hum a nice tune pretending that our child doesn't "need" to know about sex until their older. WHY NOT??? If you sat a 5 year old girl down and had a long, intelligent, and uninhibited talk with her about sex, she would evolve to a greater understanding of the matter. Imagine if you told that little EVERYTHING and answered every single question she had. Imagine if you told her about the dangers of early pregnancy and STDs, and the use of contraception and safe sex??? Do you think then, that she would run out and rape the first boy she saw? Do you think that just because she is five, she is incapable of the understanding it would require to hold that immense knowledge in her head? That understanding is not natural at all. It is something learned. That 5 year old girl would be the most ready and understanding human being in the universe at that point. Pornography would mean nothing to her. Why should she think it disgusting? She already knows every explicit detail about sex. And a porno is just a video of people having sex! big fucking deal!!! If every child out there was given the knowledge, and given the understanding that they can recieve only from their parents, the world would be such a better place. But, I doubt that humanity will ever reach that new level, I doubt that society will ever evolve to that point... No, my friends, society will continue to maintain that ancient backbone of ignorance and stupidity.

  • July 8, 1999, 3 p.m. CST

    a possible solution

    by Adam

    All this censorship starts in the government. The MPAA, waring labels on cd's, ratings on TV, it all came about because of threats from our government. The various industries did it to avoid being regulated by the government.To end this censorship and other threats to our freedom we need to battle the government itself. Perhaps what is needed is a new Party, how bout call it Freedom in America or something like that. Have its main purpose be to defend our rights and freedom as the government is supposed to be doing. I've met many people in real life and on the internet who have major problems with the ways our freedom is being violated but none of them ever seem to have done anything about it. Perhaps it's time we started to do something about it.

  • July 8, 1999, 3:17 p.m. CST

    Landis and MPAA

    by Quint

    I recently attended a tribute to John Landis (Harry and the rest of the gang was there, too)where they showed a good bunch of his films. Everything from Blues Brothers to American Werewolf in London. He said that although he didn't like the MPAA, he is a supporter of the organization. WHAT?!? He stated that the MPAA is there so Government isn't regulating films. So instead we have the self regulating thing going on. While I agree, this news and some of the past history of the MPAA has made me start wondering how much worse the Government would handle it. I personally think that any film should be allowed to be made and allowed to be shown as the filmmakers want it to be shown. Whether it's Star Wars or a porno. I think parents should know what is in the movie, but no one should be denied admission. I'll give on example before I go and let you guys read more on this subject. On Monday, I went to the Nationwide sneak of American Pie. I got carded. I've been going to R-rated movies by myself since I was 13. I am now 18. Yesterday, I went to a 3-D John Holms porn at a local art house with Harry and a huge group of our friends. I asked for a ticket and they gave me one with looking at me twice. I think it's quite revealing that I could get into a porn flick easier than a film that has one scene with breasts and a lot of innuendo. -Q

  • July 8, 1999, 3:20 p.m. CST

    Fighting the MPAA

    by CyberToad

    First of all, to Adam, the party you are looking for already exists: the Libertarian Party Second, if the MPAA ratings process is voluntary (which I believe it is), then I suggest that next summer the entire film industry should boycott the MPAA and release all their summer movies without ratings. Just plain cut them off at the knees.

  • July 8, 1999, 3:24 p.m. CST

    one other thought...

    by CyberToad

    Maybe we need several organizations to compete with the MPAA? If a film maker got a rating he didn't agree with, he could submit his movie to another ratings board. The film-going public and parents could see who had rated the movie and could make their decision based on how trustworthy they feel the organization is.

  • July 8, 1999, 3:53 p.m. CST

    We Don't need 'em.

    by the boom

    Fuck them. I haven't read the other posts yet, because I was simply too angered and had to utter curses immediately. Fuck the MPAA. Folks, this is not a government agency, this is a SELF regulatory board. This is voluntary. It's an agreement between film makers, distributers and theater owners to abide by a ratings system, and IT DOESN'T WORK. Let's get rid of it! It does way more harm than good. This is censorship, pure and simple. Fuck them and the horse they wouldn't ride in on.

  • July 8, 1999, 4:01 p.m. CST

    the poster's a different story

    by Zeb

    The MPAA being up-tight on movies and the MPAA being up-tight on posters are two very different issues,the reason being the visibility of posters.Even the smallest children might see the poster for a movie, and a headless man would be traumatic to them,if only for a few sleepless nights. By the way,Harry,those other posters you showed would be too scary for a toddler,too. With this controversy,Burton and Rudin and the bunch would do best not to fight this decision. If they ever did get the poster approved, it'd be guaranteed that newspapers and theatres all over the Midwest would refuse to put up the poster where tykes waiting to get in to the latest Disney opus might see it. And in this case, they would actually have a point.

  • July 8, 1999, 4:04 p.m. CST

    govt. can't censor

    by the boom

    Ok. I just read the previous posts. The argument that we need the MPAA so the government won't step in is hollow. There is still a little thing called the first ammendment, which the Supreme Court has never waivered in defending. The MPAA is about one thing: marketing. A "PG" or "G" rating is a quick "hey, it's ok for your kids to see this movie" flag for the parents so they don't have to be smart consumers. If we had no ratings system, parents would have to actually learn about the films their tykes wanted to see. Without a ratings system, the studios would have smaller box office receipts, ..... and better movies. More proof that all marketers belong in hell.

  • July 8, 1999, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Time to start a MPAA sucks website!

    by sinople

    Anyone wannna start a MPAA sucks website? I hate the MPAA. I like Jack V, but the rating board is bullshit and their ratings are worthless. When Dark City and Saving Private Ryan get the same rating you knwo something ain't right.

  • July 8, 1999, 5:42 p.m. CST

    MPAA = Spiteful Bastards

    by WesReviews

    If the MPAA is upset over how they were mocked in SOUTH PARK, maybe they shouldn't be so stupid all of the time. A personal attack on Paramount and Sleepy Hollow is very childish and shows the kind of mentality going on at the MPAA. I think its time Hollywood decided on a new ratings board and let ol' Jack work in the mailroom for a change. If only he had the intelligence to push around a mail cart.

  • July 8, 1999, 6:02 p.m. CST

    MPAA should get it's act together.

    by Saulot

    Apparently the MPAA certainly has decided to freak out after South Park: Bigger,Longer,and Uncut. Ignoring that movie(which I thought was very funny), taking the Headless Horseman out of the poster is stupid. If you've heard of Sleepy Hollow, you've heard of the Headless Horseman. And if you haven't, seeing a decapitated head won't make you go on a killing spree. It's that simple.

  • July 8, 1999, 6:45 p.m. CST


    by Brian A Thomas

    Okay, I don't like the MPAA much either, I think they need to get some fresh blood in on the board. But I think some people missunderstand what the MPAAs roll is, and attacking Jack unfairly in this case... there is plenty of reason to attack the MPAA and Jack, but not here. Stick with me. The MPAA was founded in 1922 or so, and there was no rating system until 1968. Jack is not invoved with the ratings a movie gets, though he did help create the system. The movie rating system was created by the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO)and International Film Importers & Distributors of America (IFIDA) along with the MPAA. It is NATO that we want to focus on here. All the major chains, and almost all smaller movie theaters are members of NATO. So being a member means that you will never show an unrated movie. There is no rule or law that says a movie must have a rating. If you want to, you can release the movie without a rating, or invent one of your own (XXX is an invented rating, the MPAA only went to one X and dropped that when it became synonomis with porn films). The problem with such a plan is that it will not be seen at any NATO member's screens. So you cut your potential audiance down greatly. Hollywood can not reject or turn away from the MPAA. Now then The Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) is a slightly differant story. They can show unrated movies, hence you get RoboCop in it's original uncut version before they cut a ton of violence out to bring it down to an R. The MPAA does have approval over all ads, including Trailers (the normal green trailer for all audiances, and the rare red restricted trailer that can be shown only at R and above movies), movie posters, billboards, news paper ads and more. So what do you do? Not much unless you want government control over the film and television industry. Which I hope you wouldn't want. I find it a tragety that there is even a V chip in modern sets. Of course you could be in the 35% of Americans who supposedly want the government to censor the media (see the shocking story at, if so then you get what you deserve... What Hollywood can do is to start a competing ratings board and make sure NATO is on board to support the MPAA and the new board. The board must be far more ballenced the the board of the MPAA without going overboard into being too liberal, there is a danger in that as well. The problem is you run the risk of confusing the customers if you have two ratings systems. You could go with a RSAC type system ( where your give a scale on serveral differant areas such as violence, nudity, sexuality and language. You would still need a base rating for id checks at the theater, the idea of having a RSAC type rating would be to better inform parents what they are letting their kids into. Still, I would expect to see the MPAA add such a thing before we see a viable new rating board made. The MPAA board is appointed inside the MPAA itself, to keep it from being influinced by the studios. The studios still have a degree of presure and can start demanding the board be refreshed. As to the poster itself. In the event it was banned the first time around, there is an appeal process, so relax.

  • July 8, 1999, 6:53 p.m. CST

    Headless Horseman Poster, 1949

    by Bliss

    Here's a link to some posters for Disney's "The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad", featuring the headless horseman. Good thing for Walt that the MPAA wasn't around in '49.

  • July 8, 1999, 7:48 p.m. CST

    You Americans can't handel this type of imagery. Canadians howe

    by Wicker Man

    ...have already seen the season finale of Buffy. Will the MPAA "thumbs down" be in effect up here in the frigid north?

  • July 8, 1999, 8:02 p.m. CST

    Since when....

    by elric

    did the MPAA have this much control over advertising? And how the hell did they get away with getting so much power? No wonder all the posters today(especially horror ones ) look so lame. How many Miramak/Scream style posters do we have to put up with? I say we starta petition to let the MPAA know we're fed up with this b.s. and let the Sleepy Hollow poster stay. Sheesh!

  • July 8, 1999, 8:27 p.m. CST


    by craziest_girl

    wow, you guys are really getting emotional about this movie poster rumour...comparing the MPAA to the German Socialist Party? I think that's somewhat of a're complaining about your freedom being violated and yet you can come on this web page and say whatever you want, waste plenty of time ranting and raving in vain when you could be out doing something useful with your meager little lives. Burton chose to work within the hollywood system, he plays by their rules cuz he wants to. we live in a country where you can dial up pictures of five year olds getting raped if you want to, even though it's "illegal", and you're bitching about a movie poster? no one said he can;t make the poster and make gobs of money from morons like you who'll buy it cuz it was "censored". he just can't hang it in some theaters. I'm looking forward to seeing the movie, not the poster. i'm not so worried about the 5 yar old girl watching the porn, it's her brother who's going to watch it and then try to emulate what he sees on his little sister that concerns me,that stuff happens all of the time. the backlash is going to come beacause of people like you guys that equate a voluntary movie poster rejection with nazi censorship. you think that you should have the right to see whatever you want whenever you want to, no matter the cost just because you said so. that is a pretty selfish and useless attitude. If you can't keep obscene materieals in the realm of adults, then you;re going to have a society which believes childhood passions are worthless, and sex and violence are the epitomy of art and entertainment, and you are going to have kids killing each other instead of playing trivial pursuit and 1 out of every 4 girls being raped...oh wait, it;s already like that. well, never mind boys, put down that hammer and forget about building that house for habitat for humanity...keep right on whining about movie posters not being allowed to hang outside of movie;re not spoiled brats, you;re really freedom fighters.

  • July 8, 1999, 8:55 p.m. CST


    by Nihilon

    On the one hand, its just a poster... at least theyre not making them cut the headless horseman out of the movie. Sorry but its a little hard for me to get worked up over a poster i wouldnt care anything about otherwise. Nevertheless, this is obviously a decision made by morons and cowards. For crissakes, I dressed up as the headless horseman for Halloween when i was only 8 years old! And not only that, I won for best costume at my freakin' CHURCH's Halloween Costume Party! I mean, if the church doesn't mind this supposedly horrible image, and even gave me an award for it, where the hell does the MPAA get off!

  • July 8, 1999, 9:01 p.m. CST

    Stewdog, you are WRONG!

    by The Bat Is Me

    I disagree with everything you have said. And to prove it, If "Lolita" is tame by today's standards, why was the much tamer remake BANNED in America?!?!?!?

  • July 8, 1999, 9:09 p.m. CST

    H-E-Double Hockey Sticks...

    by Veiled Threat

    Not that it makes a HELL of a lot of difference since "Bigger, Longer and Uncut" is a better title anyway (and far more obscene too, way to go MPAA!) but what the HELL was the matter with HELL? Did the MPAA just join a government program to hire "special" people, or what? The IMDB turns up 328 movies with Hell in the title dating back to Hell-to-Pay Austin (1916)!!! And just how the HELL did movies like HELLraiser or Jason goes to HELL or a classic like HELL IS FOR HEROES slip through? Meanwhile, Waters gets away with a title like PECKER. I'd call them half-wits, but they'd need to get half first! Somebody REALLY needs to make a kiddies movie along the lines of "Free Willie" about a sea-lion in France and call it PHOQUE!

  • July 8, 1999, 9:16 p.m. CST

    Simply Crazy...

    by Veiled Threat

    craziest_girl: So first you say comparing a poster rumor to NAZI's is a stretch.... But then you go on to compare a poster depecting a classic of literature, one often told as a children's story and with a motif that has a long precedent in the film industry to... child pornography. Oh, okay, just as long as it isn't a stretch.

  • July 8, 1999, 9:18 p.m. CST

    "This poster has warped my fragile little mind!"

    by gombi

  • July 8, 1999, 9:23 p.m. CST

    Real Nazi Censorship

    by DeeJay

    I agree with the point that the "Craziest Girl" made, real Nazi censorship was nothing like this movie poster deal (although I understand that the original comparison was merely allegorical in nature). Recently, I read about German director Fritz Lang's "Woman on the Moon". Lang had done such excellent research on rocketry (for his time), that Hitler had his workers confiscate every print of the film that they could... then had the prints destroyed. This was so that the world would not become aware of the "truth" obtained by German scientists. Now, THAT'S Nazi censorship. It's just too bad we didn't use that form of censorship with Armageddon (I'm just kidding... I actually enjoyed that movie).

  • July 8, 1999, 11:09 p.m. CST

    Craziest girl...

    by Uncapie

    Who would want to make child porno let alone see it? Some sick and twisted mind that's going to make a buck off it that's who! While I speak for many people, there are countries which allow this shit to go on. Even some of the States in the Southern U.S. allow 15 year old girls to become emancipated and have carnal knowledge. That's the government speaking too! Go figure it, I can't! Hypocritical bastards to the max! They enforce one law while castigating it at the same time! What makes a girl in Alabama more sexually active at 15 than a girl in California? Would I let my five year old daughter see a headless horseman image? Yes, because she would be able to tell reality from make believe; something that today's society has a major fucking problem with! Would I let me see a porno film? No, beacause as a responsible adult(Many who lack this ability.) I wouldn't let her. She should go play with her toys, dolls and enjoy her childhood. All little girls grow up to be big girls

  • July 8, 1999, 11:42 p.m. CST

    The "Lolita" remake wasn't banned...

    by Frisco's just that no American distributor wanted to pick up such a lame-ass movie. The Bat is Me's mom must be a PR wench for Showtime or something.

  • July 9, 1999, 1:56 a.m. CST

    Nothing new

    by ELGordo


  • July 9, 1999, 2:24 a.m. CST

    Random Spewing

    by Debaser

    Suggestion. That's what this is all about. The idea that just because a film, TV show, or a comic book depicts a certain act, is equivalent to the suggestion of said act has spread throughout our culture. Basically the powers that be have decided that free will doesn't enter the equation, so if you happen to see a depiction of a murder or a rape, you might as well have done it. I agree with grunter, "they" have won. We can sit here and throw out all kinds of logical ideas but the fact is, we cant do shit about shit. Next, I can remember when i was really young (5 or 6) I can vividly recall seeing the poster for "Bloody Birthday" hanging in front of a local theater. There was a still on the poster that showed a guy with a shish kabob shoved out the back of his neck. Just thought I'd share. Also, have people forgotten that "The Basketball Diaries" had a somewhat happy ending? Its being portrayed as a manual on how to massacre your math class.

  • July 9, 1999, 2:47 a.m. CST


    by Debaser

    Is it just me or has everything in this country turned its focus to "protecting" our children? That little idea itself is suggesting that children are being preyed upon, and I really don't think that's the case. When i was a kid (it hasn't been that long) so called "slasher" movies were my bread and butter. I remember watching in awe as Jason committed the infamous sleeping bag job. I saw Texas Chainsaw Massacre before I was 12. I did'nt need the MPAA to "protect" me. My parents gave me the benefit of the doubt and trusted that I knew the difference between real life and what was on the screen, and if I got scared and had a nightmare, oh well. I would just grab the latest Fangoria and go outside the next day just like nothing happened. Maybe today's kids have just lost all common sense and respect, I don't know.

  • July 11, 1999, 6:40 p.m. CST

    MPAA, Screw 'em!

    by dedboy

    These are the same people who will blame movies for what's wrong in society before they even think to look home. Jack Valenti needs a hot,barbed stake shoved up his ass. I still don't understand why we need a commitee of anal retentive goons to tell us what we can watch & what we can't. That's mommy's job, remember? It all starts with the family, don't blame the movies, movies don't create psychos...yadda, yadda, yadda... Jack, get a real job, I'm a big boy, I know it's make believe. If you don't like, don't watch it, don't let your kids watch it, but don't spoil it for the rest of us who appreciate a nice, wet dismemberment every now & then...

  • July 12, 1999, 9:36 p.m. CST

    I hate people

    by Purgatori

    I am tired of these self loving assholes in hollywood who think they should dictate what I see and when and how. They who themselves are sick and twisted in their own lives and hide behind a shield of fame and popularity. I mean this is ridiculous. This is a mean and evil way for the MPAA to take out its revenge on those of us who agree with Trey and Matt on every level. Pretty soon kids Bradberry's vision of the fireman is going to come true and they are going to have a big fat MPAA in gold print on the side of their wagon. I really hate people.

  • Aug. 2, 1999, 8:13 a.m. CST

    An MPAA curiosity

    by Kermit(the frog)

    I have a hypothetical question... if a movie did not want to feed itself through the MPAA, could they possibly release that movie without a rating to the same number of theatres? I mean, there were a few Spiderman comic books about drugs which weren't aprroved by the Comics Code or whatever it's called, and it was released mainstream without their little stamp of approval. And by the way, does anyone have an idea what this will be rated? I have a feeling Burton will push for a PG-13 rating, much like The Haunting (which WAS a good movie).

  • Aug. 10, 2006, 9:13 a.m. CST

    Fear the audit.

    by Wolfpack