Canadian horror fans expecting to catch Adam Green’s Hatchet II this weekend were sadly disappointed to learn that the slasher flick, a sequel to Green’s 2006 cult hit Hatchet, was pulled from screens in Toronto and Montreal after theatres were threatened with fines for showing the unrated cut of the film.
Green confirmed the film being pulled via his Twitter feed on Sunday afternoon:
Toronto and Montreal had to pull Hatchet II because of the rules against unrated films there and the risk of a fine. Sad, no?
There were also reports on Twitter of cops guarding theatres in the U.S. and fans being carded and hassled when entering screenings.
To answer Green, it is sad that a film can’t be shown in the theatre the way the filmmaker intended because of the power the censors hold over the cinemas. However, that is the way of the business and you either play ball and trim your work to get an R or NC-17, or you release it straight-to-DVD where the rules don’t matter as much (unless you want to sell it at Wal-Mart). Either way, when it lands on DVD later this year fans will get to see the film the way Green wanted them to see it.
It will be interesting to see how this affects Anchor Bay’s planned unrated release of the I Spit on Your Grave remake, which is set to open in Toronto on October 15, Montreal October 22, and Ottawa on October 29. Will they even be allowed to move forward with it now? Could they offer to pay to the fines the theatres receive with hopes it will generate more interest from the audience? Many questions we’re trying to get answers to.
Have your say — should unrated films be allowed to open in Canadian theatres? Leave a comment below or send us a Tweet @CriticizeThis.