Bizarre reasons parents gave for not letting you see a film

Feature Den Of Geek 25 Jul 2012 - 06:04

Most people were stopped from watching a film for one reason or another while they were growing up. But can any of the reasons you were given beat this little lot...?

Last week, on Twitter and Facebook, we posed you a question. Just what obscure reasons did your parents give to stop you watching movies?

Personally, I didn't have too many disagreements with mine, save for my mother threatening to report the local cinema chain when I got in to see The Last Boy Scout underage. My dad never let me connect my Spectrum computer to the colour television either, because he said hooking the two together would break the television. I think I realised I was a bit nerdy when I demanded a detailed explanation as to how that could possibly happen. Friends, I am still waiting for it.

Anyway, here are some of the ones you sent to us. We've listed the film, the reason the person concerned wasn't allowed to see it, and the sender. Do feel free to add your own in the comments section

We think you'll love our favourite, which we've saved for the very end...

@MFBrigg's mother banned this one, because "it doesn't look educational, and that bloke doesn't look like he's all there".

"Mum said I was too young", @MattFricker told us, "and should write to the BBFC. I did, and got a lovely reply!". Sadly, we couldn't get hold of a copy of that reply...

Sometimes, parents get it right. @BindiBangi's parents told him that if he watched Temple Of Doom, "you'll get nightmares". "Promptly ignored by me", he told us. "I watched people turn to ash. Had nightmares. Parents 1, Me 0".

@TunaEd was stopped by their dad from watching this one. The reason said father gave? "He wanted to preserve my brain cells".

The aunt of @naomimulgrew had strong views on Patsy Kensit's body of work, and thus imposed a ban when she was on babysitting duty. "Patsy Kensit = nudity back then, apparently".

@Orangewarrior was banned from watching this one, because "The Times reviewer said it should be used for punishing children".

We love the ruleset that @Agent547 grew up under. "My mum wouldn't let me rent The Lost Boys because it had sex in it. But she let me rent RoboCop instead, as it was 'fantasy'!"

"My mum had a thing about hanging, so any film with hanging in it was a no no for a long time", recalls Andrew Bullmer. "I didn't see Braveheart until I was 18, but I got Grand Theft Auto: Vice City for my tenth birthday. Now that's priorities." 

"I was told I wasn't allowed to stay up to watch Fame because it was 'a film about a terrifying monster which eats people'", reported Graham Cammack. "Looking back, my mum was right to shield me from such evil."

From Francesca Campbell: "I was banned from watching The Snowman. We had recorded it on VHS over the beginning of Indiana Jones - when The Snowman finishes, it cut directly to the scene where the skulls come out of the trees in the jungle. My little brother was so mentally scarred he couldn't watch The Snowman for years!". Now that's editing...

George Gibson was banned, but not for the reasons you might think. “Verhoeven violence and three-boobed ladies was totally fine, but my mum thought the very idea of 'those poor people being charged for air' was far too distressing for my young eyes!”

"I was not allowed to see or read anything with Smurfs - the TV series or the comic books - because my parents thought I would lose my vocabulary", Inga Bazinga told us...

Scary one, this, from Justin Hampton: "When I was a kid there was a small panic going on around a TV movie called The Day After. The movie was meant to be a realistic look at nuclear war with a bomb hitting somewhere in Kansas. My school sent a warning letter to all of the parents, and my mom, of course, decided that I wouldn't be allowed to watch it because it would be too "real". I found a bargain priced DVD of it a few years ago and bought it but never bothered to watch."

"Forcibly removed from the VHS player by my Dad", Stephen Saul recalls, "after he walked into the living room and saw the frozen wide-eyed grimaces of my sister (11 yrs) me (9 yrs) and my brother (7 yrs) as the vomit monster attacked."

"Time Bandits was banned in our house", reports TashaAJ. "Mum thought it'd be much better with taller people in it..."

"I wasn't allowed to watch Lord Of The Rings because my parents said even though it was, according to them, a Christian allegory, it was about demonic possession so I would get possessed by watching". That's from Melissa Menchini.

From Rebekah Helms: "I wasn't allowed to watch Disney's Pocahontas because my mother was afraid I'd start worshiping trees. Fern Gully - same story."

From the fine folks at MapleStStudios: "Because it was 'derogatory towards indigenous people.' Apparently, JCVD's acting wasn't bad enough on its own."

A round of applause for @daveroper77's dad. " In my mid-teens, Aliens and Predator were banned for nasty looking aliens. My Dad argued 'why can't they all look like ALF?'" A fair point.

Before we get to our top five, an honourable mention:

This is from @SteJay: "Rather than ban me from films, my Dad would make me my own copies of movies by cutting out gore/nudity, and then dubbing out any swearing. RoboCop for Kiddies was about 20 minutes long." 

And then, here's our top five...

Jamie Harvey, we like this. "When I was a kid my dad refused to take me to see The Neverending Story because 'it went on for too long!' I'm ashamed to say I've used that cliched old gag on my own kids as well..."

Roseosaurus Pope? We love your mother. The reason she gave for not letting her daughter watch Titanic: "My mum wouldn't let me see Titanic until I was 14 (even though it was a 12 certificate) on account of the fact, and I quote, 'That it will give you unrealistic expectations of romance'. Oh, and you should never get naked for a bloke who asks to draw you."

This is brilliant. "Mum believed Dumbo died halfway through, and the second half of the film was a vision of the afterlife", said @fechtbuch

"I was banned from The Life Of Brian because it was godless and blasphemous", says Frank Westworth. "Sadly I was about 22 at the time and didn't live at home. Before that it was Women In Love, banned for me because of the nude wrestling scene. Which was in fact the main reason for watching the movie..."

And how could you not love our winner...

"Not me", said @Sparklyfiend, "but my best friend's mother put the kibosh on (re)watching Back To The Future, because 'it'll give you ideas'". 

Add your own in the comments below...

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I wasn't allowed to stay up and watch Poltergeist with everyone else because I was told that my innocent 9 year old psyche would be scarred by the terrifying events. A fair point in light of the fact that my 17 year old cousin Alan watched it on the edge of his seat... My dad went outside, cunningly disguising his true intentions as a toilet break, and hammered on the window, scaring the living daylights out of poor Alan.

Heavy Metal: My mother banned me from watching it because it was "an animated porn film." Upon hearing my mother's description he told me to grab my coat and off we went.

I never had this problem, I was watching Nightmare on Elm St, IT and Childs Play at the age of 7. My Mum was pretty cool! And I do the same with my kids - true I tend to lead the kids away from sex scenes but really thats just to save myself from having to answer any questions.

I remember wanting to watch a hammer horror movie at age 10. I asked my parents who told me I could but not to come crying to them if I got scared. Never did and currently an avid horror fan 19 years later.

I am so going to scare my children using this!!!

This ain't the movie I'm talking about but what I want to know is how many people here growing up who had religious parents or went to religious school was told by them not to watch He Man And The Masters Of The Universe because Jesus was the only Master Of The Universe ? Thanks God ! :-(

That and in the video store I used to work at, there was story going around that back out in the nineties a woman was given the wrong copy of E.T for her then five year old daughter to watch. Instead of the Extra Terrestrial, it was the Extra Testicle ! LMAO ;-D

Ahhhhhh ... So anybody here seen the Da Vagina Code ? Because the only reason I was even told that story by somebody was because I had accidentally hired the video out to seventy year old woman who wanted to see the Ron Howard version. She was not impressed and personally I think she was a little pissed ! Wait, hang on, what were we talking about ? Sorry, my bad ! ;-D

The nightmare one rings bells with me. I was told that I wasn't allowed to stay up to watch An American Werewolf in London for that very reason. But I sneaked down and watched it anyway. And wouldn't you know it, freaky werewolf nightmares for the next month.

My problem was only watching half of a film. ITV had that horrible break in the middle of films for the News at 10. So I would see the first half, have to sit as quiet as a mouse during the news to not get sent to bed, and then as "we now conclude our showing of XYZ film" and I would be promply sent to bed. There must be hundreds of films I have no idea what happened in the end.

My mum threw away our VHS of Jumanji because "the idea of a board game coming to life is just wrong". Much later, while watching Zathura, we made a point of turning it off when she came in the room because she'd find it too scary

The Witches, as in the adaptation of the Roald Dahl book, when I was five. I watched it anyway. Still fine. :)

There was sex in the Lost boys???

A very brief sex scene between Star and Michael where it's all MTV'd up with blowing curtains, crashing waves and 'Cry Little Sister' playing. You don't see anything more than you would in a PG.

Save it for the clown puppet scene - that's when my dad did it!

No wonder I forgot.

or make your kids watch "It" and then take them to the circus :)

So that whole Dumbo thing didn't blow anyone elses mind then?

So I guess when you become a parent you also become incredibly stupid?

I was allowed to watch any movie that was on. Yeah I was five watching Nightmare on Elm-street/risky business/lost boys/temple of doom what have you. One of the earliest dreams I remember had Freddy in it. I was walking down this hallway made of orange glowing skulls and I killed Freddy with a pumpkin carving safety knife, but never had a nightmare. I was watching Hocus Pocus at a friends house which I had already seen a few times and his mom turned it off because "Witches are real," bitch please.

I saw it when I was 12. And cried afterwards. In all seriousness, that film horrified more than a lot of proper 'horror' films. In my defence, when i worked in a video store, it was the only (Australian rating) PG film that contained 'mild horror'.

I grew up religious too (a particularly stringent sect of Baptists), and we weren't supposed to go see movies at ALL. The reasoning behind this was (from the church, not my parents), suppose you've been witnessing to your little friends and then they see you coming out of the movie theater. How do they know you weren't watching some filthy movie?!?! Um, perhaps because I'm 9? And the local theater doesn't SHOW X-rated movies (it was X in my day, not NC-17)? And if they're whizzing past so fast they can't read the damn marquee, how are they going to spot my face? By the time I came up with that last argument, I was allowed to go to a different church anyway. But at the first one, we weren't even allowed to go see Billy Graham productions. (My mom did weaken now and again, so I saw some Disney films and on one memorable occasion "Sweet Charity," which my best friend and I were dropped off for.)

I never get tired of laughing at stupid conservatives.

And I just remembered this: Mom refused to let us watch "The Love God?" on TV, and then the next day she discovered it was a comedy with Don Knotts and said we could have seen it if she'd known that. Tears may have been shed.

I had a similar Freddy dream when I was eight. I made him impale himself on his own knives. I do get nightmares but they're usually more of an existential sort of horror.

In fairness, it pretty much was. Which is exactly why I taped it off HBO and watched it many times over as a teen.

My parents wouldn't let me see Star Wars because they said the cantina scene would give me nightmares. I was 5 when it first came out. They were fine with me seeing it in 1981 for the ESB re-release.

Yeah, when you look at it, it's a reasonable idea in my opinion.

different media, but same problem....

My parents banned my from reading fantasy and scifi (fantasy with magic swords rather than pork swords) because they where worried I might think it real... when I pointed out that they were just words in a book to me and that I was able to understand the concept of make belief worlds being expressed in novels... Which went down like a ton of bricks.. especially when I pointed out that unlike Christians I was able to recognise a work of fiction and treat it accordingly...

My parents were pretty good when it came to films, despite the mixed Christian/atheist background. Anything we couldn't see in the theaters we waited for it to come on television in the "sanitized" version. So I didn't realize until years and years later that in all those viewings of "Airplane!" that there was a quick shot of bare boobs just wiggling in front of the camera. And my dad would actually watch more "questionable" films ahead of time before he would let us see them -- when "First Blood" came on TV and my brother wanted to see it, he recorded it and watched it first because he didn't want my brother watching something that was just one big bloodbath. Once he saw that it actually had a plot he let my brother watch it.

My parents banned my sister and I from watching Supergil, due to bad guy being a witch. Don't even get me started on how they reacted ScoobyDoo.

I feel your pain.

The first time I watched The Princess Bride, aged 7, my (a few weeks older) friend told me I was too young to cope with the shot where the R.O.U.S. jumps on Westley, and also the 'not to 50!' scene. It quickly became my favourite film but for a long time afterwards I dutifully shut my eyes for those bits.

My mother banned me from watching Jurassic Park... because she'd been scared of it herself. On the other hand I was allowed to read my parents books from a young age so had read the novelisation of Jurassic Park and books far scary and far more sexually graphic than the films they banned me from.

My grandmother tried to make my parents ban me from watching Fern Gully after she walked in on Tim Curry singing the "Toxic Love" song - she concluded that Hexxus "appeared to be a poor role model, both musically and morally".

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