Still from the film "Antichrist"
Already dubbed "the most horrific movie ever seen" for explicit and pornographic sadomasochism, violence and occult content, the film "Antichrist" is not yet rated, but when it is, the rating it gets could determine whether or not it's seen in your local theater – and there may be something you can do about it.
The Christian media ministry MovieGuide is inviting people concerned about the film's gruesome and graphic content to join a petition of the Motion Picture Association of America to rate the movie NC-17, which would not only prevent children from viewing the film, but also dissuade many theaters from showing it.
"Coming to your local theater Oct. 23 is a movie that I can only call the most horrific movie ever seen," writes Dr. Ted Baehr, founder and publisher of Movieguide and chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission. "It's called 'Antichrist,' and it's filled with a wicked worldview, vile pornographic scenes, onscreen mutilation of private parts and some other material which I simply cannot describe to you in a family publication.
"We cannot stop this movie," he continues, "but we have a strategy which we believe will be the next best thing."
MovieGuide's petition explains three reasons why an NC-17 rating, rather than an R rating for the film, would limit the number of people – especially children – exposed to the movie:
- "An R rated movie easily makes its way to the cinema in your local neighborhood. Thankfully, many local cinemas still won't show the movie if it's NC-17.
- "An R-rated movie stands a chance to make more money than NC-17, and this will only encourage some producers in Hollywood to make more vile movies like this.
- "And most importantly, children under 17 cannot get into movies with an NC-17 rating, unlike R-rated movies, which admit them."
The film "Antichrist" stars Willem Defoe, who also played the role of Jesus in "The Last Temptation of Christ," a film blasted as blasphemous by many Christians.
According to MovieGuide's review of the film, Defoe's newest effort includes demonic activity, full nudity and graphic on-screen depictions of sex, sadomasochism, sexual mutilation with both a block of wood and a pair of scissors, child abuse, and violent animal acts.
"'Antichrist' is the wicked story of a married couple's plunge into occult darkness as they try to grieve the loss of their son," the review states. "This movie wallows in evil and contains extremely graphic pornographic sexual scenes, much occult content and extreme sadomasochistic violence, making it a movie to avoid."
At the Cannes Film Festival in France, where Charlotte Gainsbourg won best actress for her part in "Antichrist," even some defenders of the movie's writer and director, Lars von Trier, were shocked by the content of his newest endeavor.
"I thought I had my head down a lavatory, frankly," said Baz Bamigboye of Britain's Daily Mail.
The Associated Press reports Bamigboye still maintains von Trier has a "right" to make outrageous films, but nonetheless demanded in a press conference that the director justify the content of "Antichrist."
"I don't think I have to justify it," responded von Trier. "I work for myself and I do this little film that I am now kind of fond of. I haven't done it for you or an audience, so I don't think I owe anybody an explanation."
"If the world had standards, this movie would be Triple X and banned," states the site's review of the film. "As it is, we are issuing our strongest warning not to see it, and to complain to the MPAA for allowing a movie like this to come to theaters near you."