Over the weekend, I happened to accidentally tune into Bloodfist III: Forced to Fight, the story of a man who fights for justice in the most ironic of places – prison. Admittedly, I didn’t exactly turn it off when I saw it was coming on, one reason being that I was actually looking for a movie that I could fall asleep to, and also because I have a deep rooted love of karate movies stemming from the nine months of karate training I had when I was 14. (I can still count to ten in Japanese and perform the first Kata, thought not without looking like an utter douche bag in the process.)
But what really kept my attention was the parental warning that flashed across the screen before the movie started. I’m used to the standard content abbreviations – “N” for nudity; “L” for strong language; and “V” for violence. But then I saw an unusual one: “RP” FOR RAPE.
Really? Is that necessary? I see why you need the other ones, why a parent has to know if they’re sitting down to a movie with their child that involves nudity or cursing. But it’s not like the title of the movie was misleading. So do I really need to know ahead of time that there’s going to be a rape scene? Maybe I wanted to be surprised – have a scene with two attractive people standing outside the woman’s front door at the end of a date and have her say, “Well I had a great time,” and have the man say, “I did too,” and then cut quickly to a scene of him forcing his way into her bedroom with a knife and me saying to myself, ‘Boy, I didn’t see that coming.’
But no, there it was two minutes into the movie. A group of rowdy inmates corner a new prisoner in the boiler room and I know what’s coming next: Two lines of dialogue, rape, three more lines of dialogue, then blood, fists and fighting.
My message to the movie rating industry: Choose your battles. Because while you did nothing but ruin Bloodfist III for me, when I sat down a few weeks ago to watch Me and You and Everyone We Know with my mom, it would have been nice to know in advance about the lengthy scene of teenage fellatio as well as the scene where the five year old boy makes out with the strange woman on a park bench, spurring my mom to calmly indicate, “I don’t think I like this movie.”