5 Comics That Should Be Rated R Movies - Mania.com

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5 Comics That Should Be Rated R Movies

Comic Movies That Need to Keep It Real

By Chad Derdowksi     October 05, 2009

5 Movies That Need to be Rated R
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People have been saying it for a long time: Comics aren’t just for kids anymore--especially superhero comics. Hell, even if they were for kids, the only people that are reading them are over the age of 20. So why do movie studios insist on making family-friendly superhero movies? Sure, characters like Superman or the Fantastic Four lend themselves to a PG rating, but there are a whole lot more who don’t.
Here are a few costumed heroes who we think deserve an R rating for their next big screen adventure.

5. Daredevil

The 2003 movie kinda missed the boat (and starred one of the worst actors of our generation) but the character is too sweet to lie dormant. It’s time for a Daredevil reboot, and it’s time for an R.
The man needs to take his boots off to count the number of girlfriends he has buried. He’s suffered nervous breakdowns. He’s had his secret identity outed to the press. One of his former lovers became a porn star and sold his secret identity for drugs. What part of that says PG-13? And we haven’t even gotten into the organized crime side of things… or Bullseye, a character so depraved he deserves no less than a hard-R rating, not a stupid bullseye carved into his forehead.
Bring Frank Miller on board as a consultant and give Daredevil fans the movie they wanted the first time around.


4. Deadpool

He’s a mercenary and a murderer and he carries two big swords, an assortment of bladed throwing objects, a few grenades, several guns and… how can this be anything but an R rated movie? We don’t want to see Deadpool just cracking jokes and cutting bullets in half like he did in the Wolverine movie. He’s the Merc with a Mouth, and leaving out the “merc” part doesn’t do the character any justice.
Let’s see a body count pile up. Let’s see limbs severed and bones broken. Let’s see Deadpool put those swords to good use. It doesn’t need to be terribly gory; it just needs to be terribly violent.

3. Lobo

The Main Man has been kicked around Hollywood for a few years now and now the former Mr. Madonna, Guy Ritchie, has signed on to direct. Word on the street is that the movie is shooting for a PG-13 rating.
You might argue that Lobo appeals to the eternal 13-year-old that exists within all of us, but that 13-year-old has a lust for blood, gore and violence that a tamer rating just can’t satisfy! Would any self respecting 13-year-old let a group of old ladies and religious fanatics decide what they can handle? Hell no! When we were 13 we were sneaking into Friday the 13th movies and convincing our parents to rent Faces of Death. If the 13-year-olds of today aren’t doing the same, then there truly is no hope for the future.
For the sake of every bloodthirsty and violence obsessed child out there… please make Lobo a film worthy of its target audience. We’re talking about a character that killed everyone else on his home planet and even offed Santa Claus. He needs an R. Don’t worry–the kids will find a cool uncle to buy them a ticket.
And while you’re at it, put Rob Zombie on a strict diet and training regimen and cast him in the lead role. We don’t know if he can act, but damn that guy looks just like Lobo.


2. Swamp Thing

It doesn’t matter if they’re going to make this as a straight-up horror flick about a man turned into a walking heap of vegitation or if they’re going the Vertigo route and telling a story about a plant elemental who fights werewolves and has crazy psychedelic sex with a pretty lady from the Balkans when she eats his tuber root (get yer mind outta the gutter: we’re talking about potatoes here): the concepts in this story demand an R rating.
We’re talking about the grandfather of all Vertigo books here! The first mainstream comic to abandon the Comics Code and go strictly for an adult audience. We don’t need an R rating based on violence and gore, but we we’d like an adult movie tackling adult themes, something the series did quite well when penned by the legendary Alan Moore. Swamp Thing fans deserve it and Swamp Thing himself deserves it.

1. Wolverine

He’s allegedly the best there is at what he does, but what he did best in his most recent film outings was cry a lot and charm the pants off of ladies both onscreen and off. That’s not the type of behavior fans of Marvel comics have become accustomed to over the past 35 years since Wolverine first graced the pages of The Incredible Hulk
The entire X-Franchise is in desperate need of a reboot, but since a Wolverine sequel is probably the next thing on Fox’s mutant plate, how about getting it right this time? Remember that time Wolverine snuck into the Hellfire Club’s headquarters through the sewers and left a bunch of bodies floating in the muck? How about that time he cut Magneto’s head off? Remember when he put his claws through Sabretooth’s skull?   Fans do, and they want to see that level of carnage displayed on the big screen.
Or to put it simply, if you’ve got claws, use ‘em. Those things ain’t can openers.
We understand the real reason why these films aren’t treated the way they should be. It’s not about reaching a wider audience, it’s about making more money, and a PG-13 rating will allegedly bring in more ticket buyers than an R will. But sooner or later fans will stop coming to see these movies unless they get the proper treatment they deserve. Violent characters call for violent movies. Hopefully Hollywood is listening.



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Wiseguy 10/5/2009 10:12:51 AM

And I was about to say, Wow, it's past noon and no list yet and lo and behold we got a list

Yeah I agree with all the ones in this piece. And I'd like to add one of my current faves, Moon Knight baby and for group effect how about X Force.

Luke Cage is another that should be R. If they go the Heroes for Hire rout I can see a pg or R depending on approach, buddy comedy I can see pg, gritty urban tale R

pekstrand 10/5/2009 10:13:59 AM

I always find the call for an R Rating interesting. I've seen plenty of genre films rated both R and PG-13. Some were excellant, some were awful. The rating didn't really matter all that much. If a movie is good, it's good. I find it interesting that people think simply adding violence, or whatever, to a film and getting that R rating will somehow make it a better film. Spider-man 2 was a good comic book film... no R Rating. Punisher War Zone was a really bad film... R Rating. Dark Knight... PG-13 Great film. Raiders of the Lost Ark... PG Great Film. I think it just comes down to the movie. If it's good, no matter what the rating, it's good.


Hobbs 10/5/2009 10:48:21 AM

Wiseguy, MOONK NIGHT baby!! MOON KNIGHT!!  I was thinking same thing. Under rated character in the marvel universe. 

Otherwise I agree with this list.  R does make a huge difference pekstrand, this is an old argument on this mania site but look at some of the best R rated movies in Hollywood and try to imagine it PG-13.  They wouldn't be the same movie.  We are not saying make it an R for the sake of being an R...just the content that is needed to tell the story has to be R or you have to change the story.  Wolverine is a perfect example of that.  The Dark Knight is the only movie anyone can ever bring up to make their point...that was a hard PG-13...it walked that line.  But if Batmans girlfriend became a porn star and sold his secreat Id for drugs it wouldn't have been PG-13.  Above's remark about Daredevil is dead on.

themovielord 10/5/2009 10:49:29 AM

They willl always be PG-13 rated Superhero flicks as long as kids buy action figures... that is where the true focus is at... extra dollars!

monkeyfoot 10/5/2009 11:40:07 AM

Pekstrand hit it on the nose (If it were R rated it would be a bloody nose with bone shards driven into the brain causing it to drop to its knees and convulsively die). The rating makes no difference about the quality. TDK was a fantastic and gritty story that was told very graphically with alot of violence and implied violence. It didn't need an R rating. 

Wolverine as directed by Gavin Hood was a semi- X-men 4 with similar look and tone to the other movies. It is my hope that now that they've gotten the origin out of the way the next Wolverine will have a more gritty and real style similar to TDK or the Bourne or recent Bond movies. None of them required and R to make them enjoyable. Getting a new director for the sequel with that type of style would go along way to making the next Wolvie movie beter IMHO.

TKay42one 10/5/2009 11:43:03 AM

I gotta say, I don't really get the obsession with R ratings for comic book movies.  I'm not against movies being R rated, but it seems like this article is just saying SOME movies should be R rated for the sake of being R rated.  How much sense does that make?  R does not equal dark or gritty or awesome.  I'm totally with pekstrand on this one.  Perfect example is The Dark Knight.  I thought they nailed the tone of a movie with the Joker as the bad guy perfectly.  Even if there are those who hated Heath Ledger's version of The Joker, the chaotic and violent tone of the film was perfectly fitting to the Clown Prince of Crime.  I'm sure they could have TRIED making him more depraved, but I don't see how much further they could have taken it.  And did all that awesomeness warrant an R rating?  Nope, because Christopher Nolan knows how to spin a great yarn. 

violator14 10/5/2009 12:22:10 PM

Good list. Im sure we can all agree that Wolvie should be a hard R movie. Blood and guts everywhere with wolvie licking his claws clean, red eyes of rage and everything!!!  I was also thinking bring the mask!! I know it might not be practical from the real world, but hey, fuk it. If done right, it could look pretty sick.

wrrlykam 10/5/2009 12:27:34 PM

For 2000ADers with long memories, Flesh. The original Jurassic Park.

TKay42one 10/5/2009 12:57:52 PM

An addendum to what I said before - while I don't necessarily think comice book movies need to TRY to go for an R rating, it does piss me off to no end when it's obvious that they've tried WAY too hard for PG-13...perfect example, the "Spawn" movie.  AWFUL...why?  Because it's PAINFULLY obvious that they were trying to dumb it down so that the little 12 and 13 year olds who were also buying the comics could get in.  I mean seriously...you wanna know how painfully obvious it was to me that they were going for a PG-13 rating?  The ONLY curse word in the whole movie (theatrical release) was "Damn", a response from Al after using a power he didn't realize he had.  In the unrated version, the only thing I noticed that was changed what that that "D*mn" was a "Sh*t" (sorry, I just don't want to have to retype this whole thing for having too much F*CKING curse words in it).  In my mind, the line between PG-13 and R is pretty clear, and it really takes something away when you go out of  your way trying to make a story one or the other.  Make your story and let the chips fall where they may.  I'm sorry, but if your story is about a superhero who gets his powers from the underworld after being a b*stard of a government assassin, then you MAY just get an R rating.  

krathwardroid 10/5/2009 1:03:47 PM


What Chad said in this article has nothing to do with R Ratings simply making the movie better. It's about the quality of these characters. As we have seen in past films, toning them down doesn't always do them justice. Look at the Blade movies (except for Blade: Trinity) and you can see how staying true to the source material helped them. They would not have been as good as a PG-13. Do you think The Matrix films would have been as good toned down to a PG-13? And please, don't tell me how much you thought Reloaded and Revolutions sucked. That's not the point. Just think of the first movie. When you talk about Spider-Man and Raiders of the Lost Ark, those are entirely different characters and stories. Spider-Man didn't always border much on extremely violent content anyway. Batman skirted that line a lot, which they pulled off nicely in The Dark Knight. As for Punisher, I think they overdid it a bit with War Zone. The movie was just stupid. It fell short by excluding a really engaging storyline, which suffered the same fate as Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem despite that movie being R Rated as well. But wasn't Predator a really good R Rated sci fi horror flick in 1987? We saw what happened when they toned it down for the first AVP movie.

With these five characters here, I agree they should all be given full R Rated treatment for their movies. Especially Lobo and Deadpool. As for Wolverine, I highly doubt they will go R Rated for his sequel. And let's not forget Ghost Rider. His movie was supposed to be R Rated, but they went for PG-13, just as they plan to do for his sequel.

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