The dark side of the U

I just appeared on the radio. Which was nice.

Basically, Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode were chatting on the radio the other day about the most horrific things that have been allowed in a U-rated film. The obvious death-of-Bambi's-mother thing was raised, but then somebody emailed in and pointed out that something far, far more atrocious occurs in Star Wars: A New Hope. Although you don't see the individual deaths, the testing of the Death Star on the planet of Alderaan is essentially the genocide of 1.97 billion people. Crikey.

Which got me thinking about The Empire Strikes Back (as most things do) and I worked out quite how inappropriate the U rating is for that film as well. In summary (and this is what I put in an email that Mr Mayo kindly read out), the film contains:

  • the disembowelling of (and encampment within) an animal that has died of hypothermia
  • someone being shot and then trampled under gigantic mechanical foot
  • one freudian dream-decapitation
  • a couple of death-chokings
  • the severing of one arm and one hand
  • somebody being frozen alive
  • a character essentially attempting to commit suicide (but is lucky enough to be saved by some space-guttering and a TV aerial)


  • one disturbingly incesty kiss.

I'm sure there are other things, but really, that is one twisted U-rated film, isn't it?