Man, they don’t make them like they used to…
The MPAA moving ratings system was voluntarily implemented by movie studios in the late 1960’s as a way to avoid government censorship. By the early 70’s the MPAA ratings broke down like this:
- Rated G: General Audiences – All ages admitted
- Rated PG: Parental Guidance Suggested – Some material may not be suitable for pre-teenagers
- Rated R: Restricted – Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
- Rated X: No one under 17 admitted
During this time, there was a wide, and I mean WIDE, swath of material that fit the PG bill. G was mostly for kids movies and R meant extreme graphic violence and sex. So where do all the moderately violent and slightly sexy movies live? PG, of course! But soon, the PG rating was filled with too much gore and boobs. Both released in 1984, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Gremlins were just too darn scary for PG. I mean, we all remember this scene, right? And it is from the bubbling pile of rotting gremlin flesh that the PG-13 rating was born and continues to actively live today.
However, before PG-13 went into effect later that year, there was a glorious decade in which PG movies had the potential to be truly horrifying. They were also accessible to little me and probably little you. No doubt your childhood was traumatized by at least one of the movies featured in this great YouTube clip. Flying dismembered limbs (and bodies), melting faces, gun violence and a beheaded chicken all await you…