A Video Store Cleans Up Its Act
By David Volk
of the great things about being a humorist is that theres
no need to be encumbered by the actual fact process. On
a busy day, there are plenty of stupid politicians and bad
ideas to take potshots at. On slow days, its okay
to either write a nostalgia column or make things up.
there are days when ugly things like Clean Hits Video in
Federal Way, Washington emerge with a whole new level of
Puritanism and the rants write themselves.
owners of this new store specialize in videos for family
viewing. Normally, this would be a recipe for financial
ruin because the market for an all "G" rated store
is undoubtedly infinitesimal, but the owners have added
a new wrinkle to the concept.
of just sticking with tried true "Dumbo" and "Free
Willy" (the one about the whale, not the former president),
the owners have edited "PG" and "R"
rated films that good Christian families would find offensive.
Theyve edited out what the proprietors call "sex,
nudity, profanity, or excess violence."
doing Hollywood a favor. Many of these people wouldnt
otherwise view these films," said one of the owners
in a recent radio interview defending the practice of sanitizing
perfectly good (and perfectly awful) movies, putting them
back on the shelves and renting them out as the real thing.
it could be argued that its probably a good thing
that such people wouldnt see these films, theres
no need to go down that road. Instead, its more fun
to look at the catalogue of titles and talk about what cuts
the company has already made and suggest a few new ones
along the way. I admit I havent seen any of the new
versions of the films, but thats the joy of being
unencumbered by the truth process. I can simply make it
up as I go along.
a modest selection of the stores films and how theyve
Slavery was edited out due to concerns about political correctness.
ASHES: Poverty and anti-church sentiment were edited out.
The family is still Irish, but now they have been relocated
to a lower middle class neighborhood, near Detroit.
BEAUTIFUL MIND: This was a tough one. Initially, the company
toyed with editing out mental illness, but then opted to
edit out visions of the younger child due to concerns over
the rash of recent child abductions. The imaginary college
friend was edited out. In addition, John Nash no longer
asks women to screw him. The imaginary paranoid cold warrior
is now a real friend because "the Commies really are
out to get us."
BODYGUARD: In a surprising show of taste, Kevin Costner
was removed and the theme song is now sung by Dolly Parton,
not Whitney Houston.
With the rape and death of his wife edited out, Mel Gibson
is now angry for no good reason. He goes on a rampage but
never actually fights because excessive violence has been
COLOR PURPLE All references to the color purple were removed
due to its potential sexual suggestiveness.
DOOLITTLE I & II: Images of animal genitalia were removed
because they were "engorged and tingling."
Excessive violence was removed. Now the total running time
has been reduced to three minutes, five seconds.
HORSE WHISPERER: Whispers were removed due to fear of possible
Now called either "Octocat" or "Octovagina,"
it was renamed due to the sexually suggestive nature of
PRIVATE RYAN: Extreme violence was edited out. However,
in an effort to keep the movie from being too short to rent,
a sex scene was added.
WARS: In another surprising show of good taste, Jar Jar
Binks was removed from all films. Unfortunately, "family
entertainer" Jerry Lewis is his replacement.
SENSE (my personal favorite): The child no longer sees dead
people due to the violent nature of their deaths. Instead,
the boy says, "I see stupid people." The film
now stars George W. Bush.
hear Siskel would have given it his thumbs up seal of approval,
but the company edited it out because they thought his thumb
looked too much like a penis.