NC-17 for the grotesque and bone-chilling spectacle of human beings having sex

Release Date: December 2

When the MPAA – in its great and inscrutable wisdom – forged the ratings system from ash and brimstone and fiery reels of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, certain immutable rules were laid down.

“Decapitation,” the stone tablets read, “shall result in a PG rating, for only by the age of 6 have children reckoned with the mundane reality of severed human heads.” And so Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones was rated PG, and the children prospered.

“The sewing of mouths to anuses,” the stone tablets continued, “shall result in an R rating, for while young children should never confront such horrors alone, the kind company of a parent or guardian will enable them to draw pleasure and amusement from it.” And so Human Centipede was rated R, and the children prospered.

“But the depiction of intercourse,” the stone tablets declared in their jagged and holy script, “must never taint the eyes of our youth. Though the high schooler may become pregnant, and the elementary schooler may steal from his parents’ liquor cabinet, and the middle schooler may solicit fellatio in locker room toilet stalls, never shall these innocent youth suffer the indignity of seeing sex on a movie screen.”

And so Shame was rated NC-17, and the children prospered.

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