As a fan of the occasionally-embarrassing-but-never-boring 1982 animated opus, ‘Heavy Metal’, I’ve more than once confused my wife by turning away from the film during late-night TBS airings.  Given the film’s extensive violent/sexual content, censors at Turner often chopped the hell out of Taarna’s preparations for battle, bowdlerized Harry Canyon’s dialogue beyond recognition and removed ‘Den’ entirely.  (Although, given that the villainous queen and Den’s love interest spend the entire segment with their enormous breasts bared, that’s hardly surprising.)  Worst of all, though was the clipjob applied to the EC Comics-inspired zombie tale, ‘B-17’, the most harrowing bit of the film, with sections excised willy-nilly and the most potent scares neutralized into incoherence by edits.  The upshot of it all is, while I love the movie dearly, I cannot and will not watch it on any channel that edits for content, which begs today’s query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) thinks that editing out the sexuality and violence of ‘Wild Things’ will leave you with a six-minute movie, asking:  What movies can you not stand to watch edited for television?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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12 Comments

  1. Mike E
    August 11, 2013 at 11:42 am — Reply

    There are two movies that just cannot be watched on TV. Blazing Saddles(if anyone would even air it at all) And Pulp Fiction. I think the reasons that these movies will be bad edited is obvious to anyone who has seen them and the reasons are ones that are best not deeply elaborated here.

  2. Kirby
    August 11, 2013 at 12:26 pm — Reply

    Mike E hit two of my choices. Also The Big Lebowski is nigh unwatchable on TV, as is most of Scorcese’s catalog, primarily for language reasons. Animal House likewise has some weird cuts that just utterly ruin jokes; “Nixon White House Aid” in and of itself is not funny. Blues Brothers & Office Space are both ruined by editing around simple cuss words.

    • August 11, 2013 at 5:46 pm — Reply

      “This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps!”

  3. Frank
    August 11, 2013 at 4:09 pm — Reply

    Blazing Saddles, with out a doubt. Animal House is the other.

  4. August 11, 2013 at 5:03 pm — Reply

    The aforementioned Blazing Saddles, and The Breakfast Club. “Eat my socks” instead of “Eat my Shorts” really?

  5. August 11, 2013 at 8:28 pm — Reply

    The Breakfast Club and Pulp Fiction have already been listed, but there are so many that are ruined by TV editing. Sometimes, like Breakfast Club or the Bill and Ted movies, it is just badly edited language (sometimes for no apparent reason when the original wording wasn’t even that bad). Others, like Pulp Fiction, Heavy Metal, the Toxic Avenger films and anything with a lot of adult language, sex, nudity and/or violence it may as well be a whole different movie.

    There are even TV series I can’t watch in syndication because they get edited down. Even Family Guy syndicated reruns cut out parts that are crucial to a gag or joke.

    There are just far too many to list because if I get started, I’m not going to stop.

  6. Oldcomicfan
    August 11, 2013 at 9:32 pm — Reply

    Pretty much everything that’s edited for content I will not watch unless it is impossible to find on DVD. But the one thing I WILL not watch on TV any more is the original Star Trek series. They cut out so much for commercials these days that they are now cutting out essential pieces of the plot. It’s pretty bad when they cut 15 or 20 minutes out of a 50 minute show! Why bother watching?

  7. August 11, 2013 at 11:32 pm — Reply

    The Australian broadcast edit of Pulp Fiction has always been a fave(sic) of mine… it’s been edited so much it plays like a poorly dubbed kung-fu flick which may actual appeal to Mr Tarantino’s style.

    “If any of you mothers move, I’m going to electrocute every one of your mothers” is one such outstanding display of censorship from the Australian edit.

    • August 12, 2013 at 9:50 am — Reply

      Wow, at that edit rate, it sounds like it would be right up there with “Backstroke of the West” (which isn’t an edit, but a badly translated English to Chinese to English “Star Wars Episode III”).

  8. Andrew
    August 12, 2013 at 1:08 pm — Reply

    Back in the day I can remember the first time NBC aired “Smokey and the Bandit”. Whoever dubbed Jackie Gleason sounded more like Fred Flintstone. “You son of a bitch!” became “You scumbum!” The NBC edit of “Meatballs” was horrendous too. When Bill Murray is showing some new campers around he points out some junior campers. What was originally “All they do is eat and wet the bed.” became “All they do is eat and eat.”

  9. August 12, 2013 at 6:29 pm — Reply

    Casino. I can only hear Sharon Stone say “Freak You!” so many times.

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