Rocker-turned-film director Rob Zombie has found a novel way of persuading censors to reconsider harsh movie ratings - talk to them.

The former White Zombie frontman was upset when bosses at Hollywood's governing body the Motion Picture Association Of America (MPAA) gave his ultra-violent new movie THE DEVIL'S REJECTS a hardcore NC-17 rating.

Despite shocking scenes, Zombie - real name ROBERT CUMMINGS - felt his film deserved a less harsh R rating, so he bypassed studio bosses at Lion's Gate and called the MPAA directly.

He says, "It's a pretty hard R that we got away with, but it took us putting it through the MPAA about eight times, which I guess is probably standard.

"They weren't worried about any specific thing, but the tone was too dark. The biggest thing was this scene in a hotel room where the character OTIS is terrorising a female character. We cut almost two minutes out of that scene.

"There was nothing really bad, just verbal and mental abuse. There's no nudity, there's no violence or badly bad language so what am I supposed to do here?

"Eventually I cut out Lion's Gate (film distributor) and just talked to the MPAA by myself and we had our R rating in two seconds. They're reasonable people but you never get to talk to them."

15/07/2005 02:54