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Terminator needs more nudity… according to irate posters on imdb.com

April 14th, 2009

explosion1While doing research in preparation for this blog I decided to take a spin around the imdb message boards to see what people were saying about Terminator Salvation.

Naturally, I couldn’t help myself from investigating a post entitled (and I’m not making this up…) “How will the lack of boobs affect the movie?”

According to the intrepid reporter behind this post, the powers that be in Hollywood have started cutting out content from Terminator Salvation (most disconcertingly for the poster, the aforementioned nudity) in order to get a PG-13 rating.

Well just to put the record straight, Terminator Salvation has yet to be rated, and I’m not sure where this guy is getting his sources, nor am I convinced there was ever such explicit content to begin with (frankly I’m just the littlest bit scared of googling “Terminator nudity”).

But our friend does raise an interesting point: does the success of Terminator depend on an R rating?

In the weeks to come I’ll be discussing some of the finer points behind the franchise (the gender politics, the conflicted relationship with technology, issues of maternal and paternal identity, etc.), but it’s worth noting that one of the major selling points behind Terminator is the often shockingly graphic action sequences (the kind that usually get a movie stuck with an R rating).

Terminator 1, 2 and 3 were all rated R, and frankly it’s hard to argue that they didn’t deserve it. All entries feature fairly impressive body counts and several instances of pretty severe gore (though does it count as gore if it’s being inflicted on a robot that just looks human?)

Now, I’m not gonna lie… even though it may make me immature, unrefined, and just the littlest bit unbalanced, I can’t deny that the graphic nature of Terminator entertains the pants off of me. Stuff blows up, cars go fast, guns go blazing, and inevitably Schwarzenegger mutilates himself in good old fashioned “so gross I can’t look away” style. It’s a winning formula that teenage boys (and guys in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s who still feel like teenage boys) can’t resist. I think I lack the self-awareness to properly explain this phenomenon, all I know is that I’m inexplicably drawn to movies with exploding helicopters. I could invoke Marxist film theory and suggest that I’ve been conditioned to consume products that brainwash me to the machinations of a destructive capitalist agenda, but I think I’ll stick with the much simpler explanation that car chases and robots are just plain cool.

So, if Terminator Salvation ends up being PG-13 (and I can’t say I’d blame them for trying; a PG-13 movie has a better chance of making more money), does that mean the end of Terminator goodness?

I’m gonna go ahead and say no. The trailers have already shown us that the movie is packed with several action sequences, as well as some classic mutilated Terminators in the form of Sam Worthington, so if they tone down the gore a little and maybe have a few more people live to see the credits, I think I’ll be okay.

But tell me your thoughts! Is Terminator dependent on stuff going boom and people losing limbs, or is it possible to turn out a family-friendly (okay, family-friendlier) movie that’s still entertaining?

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