Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Best R18's I Saw Before I Turned 18

Hey, its me, creeping out of the wilderness again (although I'm getting more and more prolific - this is my fifth post in two months! almost back to my best, I'd say). The reason for my return this time, is not to tell you about how my Head Girl duties are going or if I've had the chance to relax yet or to give you my retrospective on a year that happened about 20,000 years ago, but instead to tell you a horrifying truth: this young grasshopper/little sister/"omg you're only that young?!" blogger will no longer be young tomorrow. Yes, the time has arrived. Having Shame as my top film of the year will no longer be impressive. Having a vast knowledge on French New Wave will probably no longer be impressive. Instead, I can freely go into my own workplace and get out any movie I want, and even get a membership. I'll be 18 years old. Honestly, I couldn't be less excited for the day itself (I'm already old and cynical about birthdays), but I do find it a little bit weird that age restrictions for movies will never again matter to me. And I'm fairly sure that I'll turn all hypocritical and start saying things like "no, a 16 year old should not be allowed to watch Shame" or "no, you can't watch Pulp Fiction until the very day you turn 18". But I do find it kinda weird to look back on all of the R18 films I managed to sneak into my DVD player while not being 18. Like, there's quite a lot. And as I was sifting through them all, what was even more shocking is how young I managed to watch them at. Yes, my parents are utterly negligent. And yes, these R18's obviously had a shocking effect on my brain. Anyway, I just thought it would be kind of fun to list my 18 favourite R18 films I saw before turning 18, in order of how young I was when I watched them. Prepared to be dismayed/think I'm totally awesome.

Pulp Fiction - Age 12
Just because I say I watched Pulp Fiction when I was 12 really doesn't mean anything. I sat in front of a TV that had it playing, but I can't say I really absorbed any of it until I watched it again when I was 14 (jeez, that doesn't really make it sound any better). That said, I was exposed to the world of Tarantino at an extremely young age, and that's always a good thing, right?

Fight Club - Age 14
I guess this is a similar case to Pulp Fiction, it took me a couple of watches and a bit more maturity to fully grasp the amazing-ness of this film. Needless to say, the film is very close to being in my top ten of all time. 90's David Fincher was awesome.

Kick-Ass - Age 14
The funny thing about this film is that whenever I think of R18 films, this is the first one that pops into mind. I freaking love this film. I think I watched it about five times in one week once. I was all excited to see Kick-Ass 2 on my birthday (because it comes tomorrow) because I thought it would be awesome and an R18. Unfortunately, it's neither.

Requiem for a Dream - Age 15
This is probably the only film I wouldn't heartily recommend to anyone under the age of 18. Just because it ruined my life at the tender age of 15. I actually don't think I've fully recovered from seeing this movie twice, much to the point that I used the main theme as a song in our Stage Challenge performance as a coping mechanism. Surprisingly, I still like that song a lot more than I like Carmen by Lana Del Rey.

L.A. Confidential - Age 15
This movie, along with The Raid, has been sitting in my pile of movies I want to buy at work since...November, maybe? Just waiting for the day I turn 18. Well, I guess like the time has come to invite this piece of 90s awesomeness into my film collection.

American Psycho - Age 15
I'd probably say that this is the film that is the most deserving of it's R18 certification. Christian Bale running around naked, streaked with blood holding a chainsaw chasing a prostitute is certainly not my idea of family entertainment, that's for sure.

Boogie Nights - Age 15
I swear that every time I go into JB Hi-Fi I stare longingly at this movie because I'm not quite old enough to buy it. I also swear that there's no movie more vibrantly made than this one. I can't wait to see it again.

Strange Days - Age 15
From what I recall, this film is pretty brutal on it's R18 rating too. But that's just Kathryn Bigelow being badass. Am I alone in thinking that this is one of the most underrated films ever? Too few people have seen Ralph Fiennes at his most stunningly attractive best.

Trainspotting - Age 16
Danny Boyle is just endlessly awesome, and even though I'm more fond of his latest works (yes, that means Sunshine and Slumdog Millionaire), this is a great, if a little insane film. He has a knack for vibrancy, that boy.

Taxi Driver - Age 16
Again, this is another movie I always reach for to add to my collection, but then I see the big red sticker glaring at me. I actually think my next trip to JB Hi-Fi will not be the most cost-effective one.

Drive - Age 16
Unfortunately, the first time I saw this film was on a plane and they censored it down to a state where it could have passed for a PG rating. I'm still not entirely sure of why this has an R18 rating (in the grand scheme of things, I've seen worse R16s) - maybe Ryan Gosling is just too hot for the mainstream to handle? Who knows.

Red Riding trilogy - Age 16
Just last week I was in a shop and saw this DVD on sale, picked it up to buy it, and then saw that R18 sticker. I don't exactly remember why this brilliant trilogy is an R18, but I can't wait to see the three films again. By lord, they're bleak, yet they're so criminally underseen it kinda hurts.

Battle Royale - Age 16
I'm pretty sure this is the only movie that had a semi-'banned' thing going on (I'm not sure if it was banned here, but it was only released on DVD officially last year), but then again, I wouldn't set foot near The Human Centipede. This is probably one of the more violent films I've seen, purely for the fact that it has young kids running around being evil, and it presents it all in such an unsettlingly gleeful way. Not one I'd recommend to The Hunger Games fans, that's for sure.

Hard Candy - Age 16
I'm pretty sure that this movie has everything that I never wanted to see on screen just happen. It is just so incredibly unsettling, from the content to Ellen Page's ferocious performance. I'm fairly sure that's not even Ellen Page in that film. I'm calling that a conspiracy theory.

Tyrannosaur - Age 16
This is definitely not a film I'd ever want to see again, but one that has stuck with me ever since I first saw it, like it is vividly etched into my brain. If you haven't seen Paddy Considine's directorial debut, I think it is universally important that you do, even though watching it is similar to swallowing pins. A tough watch, but so very worth it.

Shame - Age 16
When I think R18, I always think of this one film. This one film that I've managed to stomach five times, mainly for it's unflinching portrayal of addiction, shown through the beautiful lens directed by Steve McQueen with a startlingly great performance by Michael Fassbender at the centre. I just love that film, and it is not even strange for me to say that.

Killer Joe - Age 17
How does one even begin to describe this crazy film? I'm not sure that there's any feasible way that you can. It is just about as crazy as how great Matthew McConaughey has suddenly become in all of his movies. Would still love an explanation for that.

Spring Breakers - Age 17
Just purely for the fact that this movie is so damn absurd and insane I don't know how the heck it exists. In between all of the bikinis and the Skrillex and the James Franco playing the part he was always meant to play, this movie is actually kind of fascinating. In a totally bizarre, wtf was anyone in this film thinking kind of way. Mind you, I think I wanted to take at least 10 showers after seeing it (all that sand and sun and tanning oil can't be good for anyone).

This is kind of the end of an era I guess - sneaking around and watching these censored films - but I really don't think I was too young to watch any of these films. Except for maybe Requiem for a Dream. I kinda wish I never got to see that one. Alas, it will be kind of weird to have access to every single film out there now without having to get my sister to get them for me. I mean, it isn't as scary as having to make important life decisions but ya know, it is up there. Also scary is the fact that I'm watching Killer Joe again, and I swear that it is crazier than I remembered it to be. Maybe my old age is making me sensitive already? Who knows.

Write to you all when I'm of age and a grown up and all those kinds of things. Feels like just yesterday I was a 14 year old grasshopper starting out in this biz...okay, I think I'm already getting too nostalgic.


  1. You're going to be so old, man. You're practically a grandma :P

    Great list of movies! I saw Fight Club when I was 14 also. Also, loving the inclusion of Spring Breakers.


  2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I was already 20 when I saw Pulp Fiction at the time it came out. I still got my ID checked on the way into the cinema. Obviously at that time I still actually looked young or something. So don't assume something like that might not happen to you too at some point, old person :)

    As for Requiem For A Dream, I couldn't recommend that to anyone of *any* age with a clear conscience. Great film but I never want to see it again.

    Really surprised that LA Confidential is R18 over in NZ, cos it was only MA (15+) here in Australia (as I think Kick Ass, Red Riding Trilogy, Tyrannosaur and Drive all were too).

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  4. Happy birthday! In the year of you turning 18, it is the tide for my teenage years now having begun my journey into the wonderful 20's.

    I'm sure I've said to you before, but ratings are pretty silly to me. I can't even remember half the things I watched that had probably been branded as an 18 before I was. It already felt like I was there - working a shitty job, earning barely any money. The adult life ~

    I'm pretty surprised that Fight Club is an 18. Possibly a 15 here in the UK but never bought the DVD so not too sure. Same with Kick-Ass, which I am positive was a 15 here because I remember watching it when I wasn't 18. Or they weren't IDing in that place as I still look about 15 now.

    Glad you dug Spring Breakers, though! One of my favourite films in years, and definitely my favourite this year.

    Hope you have a good birthday!

  5. Happy Birthday!! You've got a hell of a good list here. Tyrannosaur sticks with me as well, though I never want to see it again. Ever.

  6. Damn, that's a good list of films you saw before the age of 18. I had a share of a few films that I saw before that age as well. I don't exactly remember what I saw but it was fucking cool.

  7. Happy Belated Birthday! :) Pulp Fiction at 12? Wow. I don't think I saw that until I was 20. :)

  8. You've seen more r18 films than me - I haven't seen half of these, lol.
    And hells to the yes for Battle Royale! One of my favourites! I think the first R18 film I saw here would be Wolf Creek, when I was 14 or 15.
    Our ratings system is a bit different though - I have a dvd of Kick-Ass and it's only MA15+.
    And damn! I've been thinking of getting you a birthday present and your birthday snuck up on me before I could get one - I'll think of something, don't you worry :P

  9. A very happy very-very late birthday to you! Films are up to 16+ in Estonia, so I don't know what you feel (felt) - but I'm turning 18 in a month, so I get the other stuff. And, well, quite a few films to see before I become a boring adult. :D

  10. Great list and a nice concept for a post too. Cheers!

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You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.


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