Friday, June 25, 2010


I turned on the TV tonight and caught Pulp Fiction on AMC right as "The Watch" segment began, my favorite part of the movie. I've seen this movie at least 20 times and was prepared for a neutered TV-safe version. Any changes to this movie would jump out because A) the cursing and violence are bountiful and B) the story and dialogue flow at such a precisely orchestrated rate that any edit might feel like hitting a pothole. AMC for the most part let it play uncut, and even when they removed the f-bombs they at least replaced them with "damn" instead of "friggin'" or some PG word. Nice job, guys. Also, I learned that AMC allows anal man-rape, but limits depictions of John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson covered in that Mad TV guy's blood to 3 seconds.

I'm speaking of course about Marsellus Wallace's first time and "I shot Marvin in the face!"

Now as I said before, I'd just turned on the TV and AMC seemed to let things play uncut so as I watched Bruce Willis hear Ving Rhames getting violated from behind the cellar door I thought nothing of it. He screamed in pain, and I drank my Dr. Pepper. Then Bruce saved him with the samurai sword as I trusted he would yet again. It was bloody, and all was well.

Not long after that, Sam Jackson and John Travolta were in the car with the Mad TV guy, whose head suddenly went boom right on schedule. This was approximately the 21st time I'd seen that happen, so no surprise to me. I was surprised, however, to suddenly find Jackson and Travolta in Tarantino's kitchen talking about getting rid of the body. Wait a minute--AMC cut the whole dialogue in the car! That was the funniest part of the movie, and they cut it! Normally I'd have seen the two stars covered in blood arguing about what to do next, but after showing them covered in blood for exactly three seconds, AMC skipped all the way to the middle of the next scene!

So AMC censorship department, what was the thought process here? Man-rape okay, exploding heads bad? Theories:

1. Someone at AMC hates Ving Rhames and wanted to hear him get raped (or conversely, loves Ving Rhames and wanted to hear him get raped)
2. Exploding heads are okay, but no more than three seconds worth
3. Exploding heads are okay, John Travolta covered in blood is okay, and Samuel L. Jackson covered in blood is okay, but exploding heads, John Travolta covered in blood, and Samuel L. Jackson covered in blood all together is not okay
4. Exploding heads, bloody Travolta, and bloody Sam Jackson are okay only when preceding Ving Rhames man-rape, not after

Pulp Fiction is not just a violent movie, it's a movie about violent people. You cannot remove the vulgarities and have this be the same film. Some movies you just play them as they are, or you don't put them on TV at all. Am I right?

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