Complaints lead to rating change from PG to M.
This film had received its PG rating through the cross-rating process. After complaints from the public, the Chief Censor called the film in to be classified by the New Zealand Office of Film and Literature Classification. As a result the film was classified as 'M: contains offensive language and sexual references'.
The film is about three people who get transported to a parallel dimension.
The film centres on Rick Marshall, a scientist who has been shunned by the scientific community for researching time warps. Holly Cantrell, an avid follower of Rick's research, convinces Rick to test his tachyon amplifier theories. Rick and Holly meet their tour guide, Will Stanton, and set off through a water cave to test the amplifier. When Rick activates the amplifier, the cave trembles and the trio are teleported to an alternate world.
The elation of finding this parallel dimension quickly passes when they discover their only way home is with the tachyon amplifier and that is nowhere to be seen. During their journey to locate the amplifier and return home the group encounter an angry tyrannosaurus rex that they aptly name Grumpy, a reptilian army led by alien-looking leaders, and other dinosaurs and creatures who inadvertently take the amplifier all around the land. While in this foreign world, the four members of the group get to know each other very well.
Complaints about the PG rating on the film were received from a cinema manager (who had received many complaints himself from his customers), and from a person who took a 6-year-old's birthday party group to see the film. Another person also wrote a letter to the Editor of the Dominion Post about the film. All complainants felt that the PG 'contains coarse language' rating was too low and that the film was not suitable for young children.
As a result of the complaints, the Chief Censor decided to call the film in.
Under section 13 of the Classification Act, the Chief Censor can decide to classify a publication that hasn't previously been seen by the Classification Office, such as a cross-rated film. As Land of the Lost was already playing in cinemas, Classification Office staff went to a local cinema for a private screening to examine the film.
Land of the Lost contains a lot of material that is targeted at an adult audience.
While not all PG films have children as their target audience, some of the content in Land of the Lost is clearly aimed at a mature audience - lots of the jokes have sexual themes and there is offensive language that is more suitable for older audiences. The film also contains scenes of violence which would be likely to scare younger children.
The film contains some drug references.
For example, a boy in Rick's science class asks, 'If you shot a whole lot of pot at the sun, would everyone get high?' During their time in the Land of the Lost, three of the characters drink the juice of a fruit they find. In the next scene, they're 'spaced out', amazed and overwhelmed by everything around them and talking about how hungry they are. Adults would be likely to perceive the scene depicting the trio drinking from the fruit in the desert as a typical 'stoner' scene.
There are a lot of sexual references in the film.
The amount of sexual content in the film indicated that the film was made for an older audience who can understand the jokes and put them into context. A lot of the sexual jokes are pretty crass, for example when Rick and Holly meet Will at his gift shop before the water cave, Will shows Rick and Holly his range of stock, including a 'boobie mug', while making the comment 'the perfect woman, a big ol' set of boobies and no head'. He then refers to a fire cracker as a 'Mexican vasectomy'. There are also repeated references to and jokes about masturbation, which again signals that the film is aimed at an older audience.
There are some potentially frightening scenes in the film.
In one scene a group of small dinosaurs attack an ice cream truck that has landed on the sand. The man inside the ice cream truck has his arm ripped off by one of the dinosaurs, but in a stylised manner without any blood or gore.
A combination of factors led to the M classification. The M classification signals that the film has content that is more suitable for audiences aged 16 and over. It is an unrestricted classification, so legally anyone of any age can see it. However the 'M contains offensive language and sexual references' classification will help people to decide if they want to see the film or show it to young children.
RP16: graphic content may disturb.
20th Century Fox Film Distribution disagreed with the 'R16 content that may disturb' classification given to the film by the Classification Office and applied to have the decision reviewed. Find out more about 127 Hours
R13: contains violence, offensive language, drug use, and sex scenes.
Initially classified as R16 due to the violent and sexual material, and the depictions of drug use. On appeal by United Pictures this was reviewed and re-classified by the Board of Review. Find out more about 8 Mile
M: contains content that may disturb.
Originally cross-rated PG, we received complaints from parents that their children were frightened by the film. They asked the Chief Censor for permission to have the film assessed using our criteria. Find out more about A Christmas Carol
PG: some scenes may scare very young children.
Originally cross-rated G, we received complaints from parents that their young children were frightened by the film. As a result, the Chief Censor called the film in to be examined by the Classification Office. Find out more about Happy Feet
RP13: contains violence, drug use and offensive language.
The unusual RP classification is used where a film presents ideas or issues that could challenge younger viewers but might still be valuable to them if they have support while watching. Find out more about Matariki
R13: contains violence and offensive language (film).
RP16: contains graphic violence (video).
Different versions of the film have different classifications as the law changed between the release of the film and the subsequent video. Find out more about Once Were Warriors
R15: contains violence and content that may disturb.
The film is about the massacre of 13 people at Aramoana - a tragic event in New Zealand's history - and this depiction of real life events required special consideration by the Classification Office. Find out more about Out of the Blue
R16: contains horror scenes and offensive language.
Members of the public complained to the Classification Office about the film's unrestricted M rating. They felt that the film was very frightening and contained extremely disturbing themes. Find out more about Paranormal Activity
R13: contains violence, offensive language and sexual references.
The "highly offensive language, much of it sexual in nature" in the film contributed to the R13 classification, as did the film's "crassly homophobic sentiments". Find out more about Paul
R15: depicts graphic and realistic war scenes.
This film generated much debate and became a benchmark for NZ film classification. It contains depictions of serious physical harm which are lengthy, frequent, and of a very graphic nature. Find out more about Saving Private Ryan
R13: contains violence and offensive language (film).
R16: contains violence, offensive language and content that may disturb (Blu-ray).
The Blu-ray edition has a higher rating as it also includes a short film, Manjha, that has the theme of sexual abuse. Find out more about Slumdog Millionaire
R16: contains horror scenes.
Members of the public raised concerns about the M rating on the film as anyone, including young children, could potentially watch it. They felt an age restriction would be more appropriate. The Chief Censor called it in for examination. Find out more about The Grudge
R15: prolonged sequences of brutal violence, torture and cruelty.
The Office was inundated with letters of complaint and support over its R16 classification, which had included public consultation. On appeal, it was re-classified by the Board of Review. Find out more about The Passion of the Christ
A ragbag of lackadaisical plotting, drugs references, puerile lechery and shiny effects work, an assemblage far from child-friendly yet not quite grungey enough to wow older teens.Trevor Johnston, Time Out