Trimark Pictures confirmed yesterday that it will distribute “Dead Alive” unrated, because of what Trimark veepee of distribution Tim Swain called “the unfortunate public perception that NC-17 films are pornographic.”
The NC-17, while maintaining an adults-only standard, was established by the Motion Picture Assn. of America in 1990 to remove the pornographic stigma attached to an X.
MPAA president Jack Valenti did not return a telephone call yesterday.
Directed by Peter Jackson, “Dead Alive” has been dubbed a “goremedy” for its mix of comedy and horror. Trimark is attempting to avoid any connotation of sexuality to the pic.
Trimark said it had no doubt that the MPAA would give “Dead Alive” an NC-17 if it were submitted to its Classification & Rating Administration.
In exhibiting the unrated “Dead Alive,” theaters will be responsible for setting restrictions on the movie. With an unrated release, Trimark believes “Dead Alive” will be better positioned to reach its core audience of males aged 18-30, according to Trimark chief executive Roger Burlege.
Following a screening at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 29, Trimark plans to open “Dead Alive” at three theaters in New York Feb. 5, followed by release to Los Angeles around Feb. 26 and national release in April.
Trimark has notified the MPAA it will appeal the NC-17 on another title, “Extreme Justice.”
Burlege said the producers and directors of “Extreme Justice” are discussing the possibility of cutting or resubmitting the movie to garner an R rating.
Among the 12 movies rated in the 1,251st CARA bulletin, one received an NC-17 , three received Rs, four got PG-13 and four PGs.
“I’m Your Man” (Loews Theatres; “for mild violence, language and sensuality.”)
“For Love or Money” (Universal City Studios; “for elements of sensuality and mild language.”)
“Prehysteria” (Paramount Home Video; “for mild action and language.”)
“Robot Wars” (Paramount Home Video; “for language and sci-fi violence.”)
“A Cry in the Night” (Republic Pictures Corp.; “for violence.”)
“Rain Without Thunder” (Orion Classics; “for theme.”)
“Shadow of the Wolf” (Triumph Releasing; “for some violence and sensuality.”)
“Untamed Heart” (MGM; “for some strong language and violence, and for sensuality.”)
“Caught on Camera” (Metropolis Prods.; “for sexuality.”)
“Ruby Cairo” (Miramax Films; “for a scene of strong sexuality, and for violence.”)
“The Vanishing” (20th Century Fox; “for terror and violence, and for language.”)
*”Extreme Justice” (Trimark Pictures)
*appealed to the CARA Appeals Board.