At the stroke of midnight this morning Saw VI began running in theaters across the country serving up it’s annual gore and terror. The franchise has become somewhat of a staple during the Halloween season, and is known for pushing the envelope. The film is rated R for obvious reasons, but according to Reuters, over in Spain they took it a step further and gave it a big, fat “X.”
The Spanish Culture Ministry’s Film Institute gave Saw VI an X rating due to it’s extreme violence, and has regulated the film to be run through a limited circuit of theaters dedicated to pornography films. The people over at Buena Vista were shocked at the decision because this is the first time within the series that a film was awarded an X because of violence. The film hits theaters today in the country, so the ratings conflict couldn’t be resolved prior to its release.
The distributor had scheduled a wide release with 300 copies, a large number for the Spanish territory. An X rating prevents a big release because such films cannot be screened in commercial theaters and are limited to the eight theaters in Spain that feature X-rated films, which have been — until now — pornography.
The Saw series has been very successful in the country, so this decision comes completely out of left field. This once again shows the difference between European and American cinema. They are a lot more relaxed when it comes to sexual content, and we’ve become more desensitized to extreme violence. I don’t think either perspective is OK, but Saw is pretty much a collection of torture scenes strung together.
Do you think Saw VI deserved an R rating in Spain?