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February 21, 2007

The Horror of The Sperm


Will The Sperm be coming to America? While The Sperm is about to be released on March 22 in Thailand, Americans will most likely catch it on DVD or streaming video. Aside from the easy jokes one shoots off with the title alone is the reminder of how uncomfortable Americans are with certain words and images.

If you haven't read it yet, there is controversy over a Newberry Prize winning childrens's book that includes the word "scrotum". I read about the story in The Huffington Post where one commenter claimed that his daughter was briefly suspended from school because she said "penis", a word appropriate in one class but not another within the same school. But back to the subject, ahem, at hand.

Considering Hollywood's audience of choice, and the censorship of the MPAA, if the film turns out to be successful enough to have someone consider theatrical release, it would be tricky to get The Sperm on American screens. Wisekwai reports on seeing the preview in Bangkok. Based on his description, the film sounds like a mash-up of Village of the Damned, The Amazing Colossal Man, Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman, Demon Seed and the funniest sequence from Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex but were Afraid to Ask. While Thai films released in Thailand are rubberstamped PG-13, they often have enough nudity and especially violence to indicate that the rating means something a bit different that in the U.S.

The title of this film stands out as a beacon for twelve year old boys of all ages to dig deep in their pockets to whip out hard cash during the opening weekend. The Sperm could also conceivably shake up the MPAA. This is the same group of people who banned one poster for showing a marijuana leaf, tried to hide the image of torture for the poster of Road to Guantanamo, and recently ordered a change on the poster for The Hills have Eyes II. It's OK to show some guy dragging a corpse in the desert, as long as even every body part, including one hand, is totally wrapped up. We will have to see if the MPAA gets their hands on The Sperm. This is the humorless bunch that banned the advertising line for Guy Ritchie's film, "Snatch - Opening Wide".

Those who like humor mixed with horror may want to see director Taweewat Wantha's previous film, Sars Wars. You can also sneak a peak at The Sperm here and here. I don't know if The Sperm will be a seminal release when it explodes across theater in Thailand. Obviously the title is enough for those of us with an appetite for puns and below the belt jokes.

Posted by peter at February 21, 2007 12:16 AM