Favorite R-Rated Comic Book Movies

After watching The Suicide Squad, I kept wondering why there weren’t that many R-rated comic book movies. Turns out there are quite a bit. Enough to, say, fill a whole top ten 😃

Why aren’t there more though? The graphic potential of an R-rating may seem exciting to rabid fans like you and me, but it effectively means less seats which means less dollars. Sure, Deadpool opened big but Iron Man 3, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel opened bigger. The corporate IP game is all about reigning supreme at the box office with the widest possible appeal, which the PG-13 rating ensures. Studios, then, are less and less willing to risk the potential for massive profit when it comes to their billion-dollar superhero franchises.

But every once in a while we get Logan or The Suicide Squad. These ten below are ready to queue up right now and satisfy those mature cravings that the PG-13 superhero can’t fulfill. You might notice some glaring omissions (sorry Snyder fans) but HEY, THIS IS MY LIST NOT YOURS.

This is the hard-R comic book terrain so far and it may point to where studios can go next.

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‘The Suicide Squad’ Review – Over-the-Top Comic Book Mayhem

We all know of James Gunn’s ignominious fall from grace. He went from shock-jock provocateur in his Troma days, which curiously led to him scripting the live-action Scooby Doo, followed by the Dawn of the Dead remake; he directed his own horror genre mash-up in Slither, proceeded to indict vigilantes and superheroes with his twisted indie Super, and then was handed the reins of an obscure Marvel franchise to call his own. Gunn’s career read like the unlikeliest of success stories.

Studio gigs are a dream come true for upcoming filmmakers because there’s an assurance to the work that doesn’t exist in independent filmmaking. If a director can meet all of the studio’s requirements for bringing in bankable stars, appealing to a PG-13 audience, merchandising and marketing, etc., then the studio will bankroll your “vision” and stand by you in both success and failure, supposedly. It’s the very assurance that Steven Spielberg had when Universal Studios secured him as a young talent through a multi-picture contract.

It seemed like Disney had Gunn’s back when Guardians 3 was announced months before Vol. 2 came out. And then they dumped him. I mention this because it’s the first time since entering the studio system that Gunn might have felt expendable—and perhaps why he was drawn to this expendable group of heroes.

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Where Could ‘Fear Street’ Go Next?

I promise I am moving on from Fear Street after this.

Clearly, I’ve been obsessed with Netflix’s slasher horror trilogy. I reviewed and I ranked, I rewatched and I gushed; I basically turned this blog into a Fear Street Tumblr page for the past month. I kept going back for more because Fear Street hit that perfect apex of nostalgia, subversion, and (summer) campy fun. For a saga that throws it back to the past in the form outright imitations and recycled genre tropes, Fear Street turned out to be a surprisingly unpredictable odyssey for me. I had no idea where the story was going, how big it was going to get, nor who would survive by the end.

And I have no idea where Fear Street is going next. Director Leigh Janiak says she wants to make the MCU-version of horror and I say LET HER DO IT. Now, I’m not in the writers’ room per se, but I have some thoughts on where this thing could go based on what we’ve seen so far. If any of these winds up coming true, you heard it here first, folks.

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Fear Street – Favorite Throwbacks

I’m a 90s child so I genuinely appreciate throwbacks to that era whether the nods are sincere or ironic. Fear Street makes no illusions about itself as a violent and bloody ode to the past—to high school and peak mall culture, to the heyday of slashers, to damn near every 70s jukebox track that found a second life in comic book movie soundtracks. Sure, movies and TV shows these days are cannibalizing stuff from our childhoods and practically weaponizing our own nostalgia. But what’s so reassuring about Fear Street is that the callbacks and referencing aren’t its only identity; they’re the way in, and only part of what makes the trilogy so addicting.

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Fear Street – Favorite Kills

I live in Shadyside now.

I think enough time has passed for me to feel guilt-free about posting spoilers so HERE WE GO, finally. A ranking of my favorite kills in Fear Street. Okay, maybe “favorite” is the wrong word here. As a throwback to slasher horror, Fear Street nails the gruesomeness and absurdity of its kills. Such used to be the only draw in past horror movies as long-running sequels, series, and copycats spun on beyond the penmanship of its originators. Fear Street, then, gives us pause on the notion, making characters’ demises feel as shocking and gory as they ought to be in the tradition of OG maestros like John Carpenter and Wes Craven.

Director Leigh Janiak knows she’s on hallowed sacred ground and delivers some truly visceral slayings worthy of the genre. Now, I could’ve easily ranked every kill in the trilogy, but I decided to limit myself by hand-picking just 2 kills from each movie. (Also keeping details sparse for those who have yet to check out Fear Street, though I recommend you stop reading if haven’t you seen it.) Without further ado, these are the ones that made the cut.

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