Friday, October 3, 2008

Two Hearts Are Better Than None. Or Are They?

What we've got here is a failure to communicate...

I was initially pretty ambivalent about the changes required by the MPAA for the My Bloody Valentine remake teaser poster to get a passing grade (above on the left is the original version; to the right is the doctored U.S. one-sheet, which is either a brilliant inversion of Alfred Hitchock's chocolate-syrup-for-blood technique from Psycho, or just Lionsgate being lazy); I figured, hey, at least it's not another floating-heads job.

But the more I think about it, the more this incident bothers me. It's not that I'm expecting great things from the movie (if the 3-D aspect didn't temper my hopes, the involvement of Patrick Lussier -- who's sort of the Rick Rosenthal of the 21st-century -- certainly shoved a pick-ax in them) and feel it's been unfairly maligned (the MPAA applies its no-blood or low-blood policy to all posters it approves). It's the further implications of this case that are somewhat irritating.

The one assurance offered all along by those involved with the remake as a consolation to fans of the still-just-as-potent-as-ever-in-all-the-right-(and wrong)-ways original film has been the production team's dedication to making a brutally violent, gory film, maintaining the shameless Tales From the Crypty approach to the material that helps the '80s version endure so well. Had Lionsgate forged ahead with their campaign in the states (the original poster above still hangs in European cinemas), particularly in spite of the MPAA's decree, it might have sent a clear signal of intent and re-established the ballsy integrity the firm once had among genre fans (lost amid a swollen catalog of Saw sequels and shitty direct-to-video drops). Instead, one is forced to call into question all that we've heard about the film's splatter quotient and wonder if this is going to be another edited print dropped in theaters to grab some opening-weekend bank and then released later on an unrated DVD. Sure, there are worse fates to befall a movie, but it's a lot harder for me to keep my dismissive tendencies at bay and even give something a chance if I don't think the people responsible for its creation have put their... uhh, you know... into it.