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July 31st, 2005

The Worst Censorship

We’ve talked about movies being edited for television in years past, but on Friday night I saw what had to be the worst case of this ever.

The Sci-Fi Channel was showing the fun, campy Army of Darkness. The scene I happened to catch was one where our hero sprouts an extra head that eventually forms into an evil twin. After the evil twin forms, the two have a conversation that goes something like this.

Good Twin: Who are you?

Evil Twin: I’m Bad (blanked out), and you’re Good (blanked out).

Presumably they bleeped the word out because it was “Bad Ass” and “Good Ass.”

The thing is, it wasn’t.

The blanked out word is “Ash.” The main character’s name.

I can only hope Sam Raimi had no clue the censors were going to go insane on his film.

Posted in Miscellaneous

FROM: Zack
DATE: Sunday July 31, 2005 -- 7:52:44 am
That's Hillarious! :D
Too bad I missed it.
Army of Darkness is one of the coolest movies ever!

FROM: snaily
DATE: Sunday July 31, 2005 -- 10:40:28 am
I've always hated censorship. Obviously little kids know what word is being bleeped out, so what's the difference if you actually put it in? It's not like it will fool the kids watching it and make them think there really was no word there. IF it was made in the movie, let it stay!

FROM: Robert [E-Mail]
DATE: Sunday July 31, 2005 -- 10:41:11 am
I forget: Does Bad Ash have a goatee?

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Sunday July 31, 2005 -- 2:43:31 pm
But sometimes it's funny, like when Stripes came to TV. In the scene where Bill Murray refuses to go on the hike until the troops are better rested, and Sgt. Hulka rewards the request with an extra two miles or whatever, one of the recruits mutters to Bill Murray, "Way to go, asshole."

On TV, the was quite a pause, almost a full beat after the word go, and then a voice completely different in sound and tone from the actor's, yells intead of mutters "Jerk!"

That was hilarious. After that, when my brothers and I would quote the movie, we quoted the censored version.

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Friday August 5, 2005 -- 11:24:47 am
I just remembered another one: National Lampoon's "Vacation", the first one. Clark W. Griswold gets lost in a bad neighborhood. He asks a pimp standing amidst his hoes for directions. In the movie, the pimp says "Man, f--- your momma!" but in the TV version the guy said, "Do I look like Christopher Columbo?" which I always thought was a lot funnier.

But of course, this is not the kind of censorship you're talking about.

I'm sure I've gone on and on somewhere in the Ping about how Blockbuster censors movies all the time and never even lets you know that you're getting a "family-ized" version of the movie you really wanted to see. BB's policy only seems to apply to nudity and profanity, though. Violence is just fine, apparently.

FROM: Merle [E-Mail]
DATE: Sunday August 7, 2005 -- 4:05:59 pm
Censorship is always so random.

So they cut "Ash" out because it sounded like "ass"... but they had no problems with broadcast TV shows like Dark Angel repeatedly using the word "bitch".

Hmm. I wonder if they censor the closed captioned subtitles. Now that I have a TV that isn't fifteen years old, I'll have to look into it...

FROM: Carl
DATE: Monday January 23, 2006 -- 6:57:13 pm
I agree that censorship has been taken to the extreme at times. However, does that mean that all censorship should be chucked out the door? When used properly, censorship can be a good thing. For example: Because of FCC regulations, "live" radio broadcasts are delayed for about ten seconds to prevent obscene language from being heard by the listening public. Is this a form of censorship. Yes. Is it a bad thing? No. Without proper regulations in force, I would be too afraid to turn on my radio because of what I might hear.

I am aware that people like Howard Stern have broken new ground (and wind) when it comes to what is and is not proper conduct on radio. The bar on morals seems to be changing everyday. But fortunately for me, I don't have to listen to potty-mouthed people since I do not subscribe to any-thing-goes satellite radio.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Monday January 23, 2006 -- 7:46:05 pm
Without proper regulations in force, I would be too afraid to turn on my radio because of what I might hear.

But there would undoubtedly be devices out there that would allow you to filter the stream, driven by the market. Kill the censorship; let the technology solve the problem.

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