The filmmaker and distributor behind Chained , a thriller about a serial killer have had their rating appeal rejected by the MPAA. The movie, which was directed by Jennifer Lynch ( Boxing Helena , and daughter of
David Lynch) and distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment, was given an NC-17 for some explicit violence.
It marks a rare instance of an NC-17 rating being given because of violence alone; usually NC-17 is more associated with sexual content.
It is not yet clear whether the films connections will stick with the NC-17, or else cut the film for an R rating.
Director Jennifer Lynch has told 24 Frames she will recut the offending scene, a graphic depiction of a woman having her throat slit open, that landed the movie the MPAA's NC-17 rating. But she didn't sound like a filmmaker who understood, or was
happy about, the censors' decision. She said:
The one thing they [the appeals board] kept citing was context, that violence in a lot of other films doesn't feel as intense, she said. I have a lot of compassion for what [the MPAA] does. And they were all very nice and warm in the room. But
it doesn't seem fair to me. I feel like we are being punished because the film was done the way it was set out to be done, which was authentically.
The film's distributor, Anchor Bay Entertainment, said it has yet to decide whether it will also release an unrated version to theaters (presumably after the rated version has finished its run, per MPAA rules) or, possibly, release the unrated
version on DVD. The film has not yet been dated for release.
Lynch said she knew that the stigma of the NC-17 was too great to risk a commercial release with that rating. But she hopes film-goers check out her uncut version of Chained , if only for comparison's sake. Horror fans will see
it and be stunned at the NC-17, she said: They've seen much worse.