Saw 2 Teaser Poster

Saw 2 teaser poster

Saw 2 teaser poster

Making the Cut

Lionsgate has released the Saw 2 teaser poster for the upcoming horror sequel Saw 2. The Saw 2 poster is a sequel in itself, following the look of a previous series of one-sheets from the first film. For such a gory concept (digits as digits), there isn’t much blood to be seen in this horror film poster. Why?

One thing you may not know about movie posters (and film trailers) is that the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) has approval over them. The film industry trade group, which assigns film ratings to all U.S. domestic films bound for a theatrical release, also has control over the content of one-sheets and trailers sent to movie theaters. As with all matters involving the MPAA, this involves some de facto censorship on the part of film studio marketing departments in an effort to comply with undefined and arbitrary rules imposed on advertising.

For example: Blood.

The MPAA hates blood, and doesn’t want to see much of it on one-sheets and in film trailers. Have you ever wondered why Miramax spent countless dollars to digitally removed all of the red blood (changing it to black “dirt”) on Uma Thurman’s yellow jumpsuit in trailers for Kill Bill: Vol 1?

Kill Bill Volume 1

Kill Bill Volume 1 trailer comparison

To avoid a “red band” trailer label from the MPAA, Uma goes from being a bloody mess to just a mess.

The MPAA also isn’t a fan of guns. Sometimes they choose to impose a rule that a character cannot be holding more than one gun at a time. (Example: One of Lara Croft’s trademark dual pistols conveniently falls under a shadow in the Tomb Raider poster to meet this requirement.) But like all oversight by the MPAA, these rules are not consistent. (Example: Is Niboe free to hold two guns in The Matrix Reloaded?)

But getting back to films like Saw 2, it’s interesting to note that the (literal) life blood of horror films is largely absent in recent horror film movie poster artwork.

Buy Saw movie posters at: AllPosters, eBay,, Amazon

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  1. gcomnzApril 28, 2005 at 9:36 PMReply

    I was in Bangkok Thailand during the promotion of the first Saw movie, and the city was filled with buses filled with very large stenciled images of cut off body parts. Same in the major shopping centers which had very large hanging posters from the atrium ceilings explicitly depicting feet and hands. Unlike the U.S. versions they showed the whole body part, rather than allowing the poster border to cut off the explicit amputation. Coming back the difference was very obvious.

  2. adminApril 28, 2005 at 9:53 PMReply

    Yeah, they have to edit the posters in some cases to make it “acceptable” for U.S. domestic approval. For example, I know they’ve had problems with the hooks hanging in the flesh on Pinhead’s outfit in poster concepts for the HELLRAISER horror movie series.

  3. 50 Cent vs 007 « « the movie poster weblogNovember 27, 2006 at 5:39 PMReply

    […] 50 Cent (correctly) points out that there is no standard as far as the depictions of guns on movie posters. The MPAA and studios don’t really have clear guidelines with regards to guns in key art. In fact, what is and isn’t allowed on domestic one-sheets isn’t always clear and tends to change with the times (and political climate). […]

  4. Held in Captivity « « the movie poster weblogJune 2, 2008 at 11:51 AMReply

    […] down hard on the “little guys” in this case. All studios voluntarily submit films (and ad materials) for review by the MPAA, otherwise they cannot advertise in most outlets or be shown in many North […]

  5. Saw Too « » the movie poster weblogJanuary 28, 2010 at 3:42 PMReply

    […] months ago we mentioned that the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) has approval over advertising used to market […]

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