Like the on-screen lives of so many involved with the film, the already limited theatrical run for Adam Green’s horror flick Hatchet II has ended prematurely. Having failed to receive an “R” rating from the ultra-classified MPAA, Green and Hatchet‘s distributor Dark Sky Films miraculously received screenings for the unrated cut in over 60 AMC theaters in both the US and Canada. As of yesterday, though, the film had been pulled from all AMC theaters without cause or explanation.
While you may or may not have been interested in checking out Hatchet II in theaters, the film’s inability to achieve an “R” rating as well as its ultimate removal from theaters is a great reminder of just how much power the MPAA wields over the motion picture industry. To check out some quotes from Green (who wrote/directed the film), hit the jump.
Shortly after Hatchet II‘s untimely theatrical demise, Green spoke with EW and described himself as “bewildered and confused.” In regards to AMC’s initial involvement, Green explains it was a voluntary participation on their behalf:
“It turns out the people who make the decisions at AMC were big fans of the original Hatchet and loved the sequel. I think the quote was that they thought it was the best slasher sequel they’d ever seen.”
As for his thoughts on why the film was pulled, Green explains:
“I assume it probably had something to do with the controversy online about an unrated movie playing in theaters. To me, the whole thing is unfortunate because this is not a movie that deserves to be unrated. It’s a very funny, silly slasher movie about a swamp ghost that’s killing people in ridiculous ways. And now it’s become, you know, ‘Banned from cinemas.’ I’ve lost 11 pounds in the last week from stress.”
Although the film grossed an unconfirmed amount of only $70,000 during its limited run, Green expressed his optimism that fans would be able to enjoy Hatchet II via on-demand services and DVD. Per the report, he and Dark Sky Films are working to get the film available on these platforms “as fast as they can.”
Finally, as mentioned before the jump, the unfortunate situation surrounding Hatchet II is a great example of the type of influence the MPAA has over film distribution. If you’re interested in learning more about the organization and the process of getting a film rated by the board, I would suggest checking out (if you haven’t already) Kirby Dick’s 2006 documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated.