You can show it but not say it?
May 21, 2009 7:13 AM   Subscribe

NSFW question about adult films...

I have noticed a very weird think in some adult films (porn). And of course I've not seen this in ALL adult films, but I've seen it in enough to find a pattern.

Several of the films I've seen, especially the more high budget Vivid stuff from the 80's, the curse words are muted out, the audio goes to silence if someone says a bad word like shit, fuck, etc.

It's very a XXX movie why would they worry about language? I at first thought it was just a flub in the audio track, but have noticed that it always happens around curse words, and if you ONLY listened to the dialogue of these movies, it's very PG rated.

Any ideas why this would be?
posted by arniec to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Could it be for primitive versions of scrambled cable tv? I remember as a youngster happening across channels that were visually scrambled but with porn audio which was not scrambled. Maybe they just censored around the limitations of the scrambling technology.
posted by cowbellemoo at 7:17 AM on May 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

I can't offer any explanation, but I've seen this as well. I had a tape that was probably a fifth-generation dub of 3 or 4 Vivid films from the mid-nineties, and all cursing was met with a dumped audio track, very precisely.

It seemed just as odd to me as it does to you: You can show the fucking, but not mention it?
posted by SpiffyRob at 7:34 AM on May 21, 2009

If anyone needs a data point, you can rent the only (I swear) porno I've ever rented: Nasty Nymphos VII. In one scene a man, during coitus, says "Ooohhh, yeahhhh, oh yeah, oh baby, oooooh shit, I MEAN SHOOT!".

I can't make that up.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 7:58 AM on May 21, 2009 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: Given the dates at which I was watching these movies (early to mid 90s) I think CowBelleMoo may have it... that...KINDA makes sense... I remember those channels being scrambled. That said, wasn't HBO also scrambled for non-subscribers and people curse up a storm in movies.
posted by arniec at 8:15 AM on May 21, 2009

Vivid is what they consider a "couples friendly" film. The sort of porno you watch with your wifey. It wouldn't suprise me if someone figured the best way to keep things lady-friendly is to cut the swearing. Rougher movies from the era have plenty of profanity. They're just catering to their market.
posted by Jilder at 12:53 PM on May 21, 2009

Response by poster: Jilder,

I see what you're saying, but then why not tell the actors to just not use those words (like spikelee talks about, obviously the guy was told to not curse). In these cases people were obviously cursing but they edited the audio.

Why would they go through the work of audio editing? It had to be some type of afterthought or something...
posted by arniec at 2:08 PM on May 21, 2009

International rules? They probably don't make a US and international version so maybe in some screwy backwater they have to bleep the bad words. I'm just guessing.
posted by chairface at 9:20 PM on May 23, 2009

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