When Bad Lieutenant was released in 1992 the groundbreaking film stunned audiences with its shocking and graphic portrayal of an aberrant police lieutenant. Critics received the film in much the way they might receive a mouthful of vomit during a kiss with a beautiful girl. Even those critics normally attracted to art house cinema considered the movie to be so relentlessly nihilistic that it was difficult to recommend.
Some critics did manage to come around on the film, but one group never viewed Bad Lieutenant as anything other than abject filth: the Motion Picture Association of America.
The MPAA's ratings board slapped the film with a "hard" NC-17 and forced director Abel Ferrara to make a number of deep cuts to get the movie to an "R" rating and larger theatrical release.
After months of digging, I have managed to discover the list of NC-17 citations given to Ferrara by the MPAA. This is the list of citations that qualify the film for an NC-17 rating. Any one item on the list was enough to earn it an NC-17 rating and Ferrara was forced to cut all 59 things out of the final film.
Today, for the first time, the world will learn what Bad Lieutenant might have been!
1. Bad Lieutenant's scrotum stretched out to create a "Tijuana Trampoline" for a Mexican jumping bean
2. Drugs or alcohol injected into a baby for luck
3. Part of a skeleton's hand hidden inside a vagina
4. Four instances of the unutterable profanity, which cannot be reproduced here
5. Turtle made to eat its own vomit through trickery or special effects
6. More than one consecutive minute of a man staring into the camera
7. Ghosts portrayed as real and/or consulted as experts
8. Erotic skullduggery
9. Good Lieutenant locked inside a freezer by Bad Lieutenant and thrown into river
10. Bad Lieutenant laughs and flushes goldfish down toilet
11. Semi-automatic weapon discharged inside a well or cistern more than twice
12. Destruction of federal property in the act of intercourse
13. Bad Firefighter seen using the restroom for emotional gratification
14. Sexual humiliation of house cats
15. Bad Lieutenant stands naked and eats canned pasta over his sink as his penis becomes visibly engorged
16. Babies utilized as the subject of an auction or in a barter transaction
17. Bad Astronaut admits to destroying Challenger space shuttle out of jealousy
18. Locomotives constructed prior to 1990 participating in a wedding ceremony
19. Birthday cake decoration used to advocate abortion
20. Bad Helicopter used twice to terrorize or maim wild horses
21. Bad Helicopter appears with the word "Fuckwagon" painted on the side
22. Bad Helicopter appears with a realistic image of a woman defecating on a rattlesnake painted on the side
23. Bad Helicopter seen using the restroom for emotional gratification
24. Ritualized torture and murder of a notary public
25. Depiction of a crab or lobster notarizing official police documents
TOTAL WRECK - crazy-eyed hound is covered in cobwebs, has a vespiary on back, graffiti on side and savage thirst for boat fuel. Frankly, I'm in over my head. He's in room 115 at Motel 6, yours free. 555-2851
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