Censorship or Stupidity?

Why “Sorority Row” will not be featured on the cover of Girls and Corpses Magazine

By R.S. Rhine (“Corpsy”)
Deaditor-In-Chief of Girls and Corpses Magazine

"Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it." - Mark Twain

Girls and Corpses snubbed?! Was it a form of censorship? We’ve seen this type of censorship before in Girls and Corpses Magazine -- we are new and different and sometimes misunderstood. Girls and Corpses Magazine is a newsstand comedy/horror magazine in the vein of Maxim meets ‘Dawn Of The Dead’ meets National Lampoon. But are we “adult”?

This all began when we offered the cover of Girls and Corpses Magazine to ID-PR, the publicity department for Summit Entertainment’s October release “Sorority Row.” Being that “Sorority Row” has both girls and corpses in their movie, we naturally figured they were a perfect match for Girls and Corpses Magazine. Apparently, we were wrong.

After a week of mulling around our cover offer, the publicity department at Summit Entertainment, headed by Vivian Mayer, finally got back – they were passing on a cover for “Sorority Row.”

Now, I know we are not for everyone, and God know there are enough horror movies around to promote on our cover, but the reason Summit Entertainment was passing caught our eye and our ire. The reason they were snubbing our cover offer… “Adult content.”  Huh?  We don’t even have nudity in Girls and Corpses. We are distributed as a non-adult publication.

I have seen the trailer for the ‘R’ Rated “Sorority Row” and it’s your typical slasher flick with naughty coeds having sex and then getting their heads lopped off.  But here’s the catch… they HAVE NUDITY in their movie, and sex scenes --whereas Girls and Corpses Magazine has the decency to cover up our models mammaries. So who has the adult content?

Here the Motion Picture Association of America’s description of an R-Rated motion picture:  “An R-rated motion picture, in the view of the Rating Board, contains some adult material. An R-rated motion picture may include adult themes, adult activity, hard language, intense or persistent violence, sexually-oriented nudity, drug abuse or other elements, so that parents are counseled to take this rating very seriously.”

Following, is the email exchange we had with ID-PR’s Noelle Meixell, (Vivian Mayer’s secretary at ID-PR) who was dealing with us. The following are the choicest excerpted quotes from our emails which will give you a glimpse into the maddening world of PR we have to deal with when offering to promote a studio’s movie on a newsstand magazine cover. 

Just so you know, I’m not some green promoter. I was a Unit Publicist for Columbia/Tri-Star and Universal Studios for a decade before turning my attention to writing and Girls and Corpses Magazine. I had also been a personal publicist helping to launch the careers of Michael J. Fox and Kirsty Alley and I also worked in film advertising for B.D. Fox and Friends. So, I know what the hell I am yapping about.

1) ID-PR to G&C Magazine:

“Thanks again for your support and offer to put the girls of SORORITY ROW on the cover of your magazine.  Unfortunately, we are unable to move forward with this offer due to the adult content of the publication versus our target audience.”

2) To ID-PR from Corpsy: 

“What adult content?  There is no nudity. And yet the movie you are promoting does have nudity. We are NOT an adult publication. We have full distribution on newsstands through Ingram -- which also distributes Time and Newsweek. This doesn't make sense to us. We are the perfect audience for your movie. I watched your trailer. How can "Sorority Row" be less edgy than our magazine when we don't have any nudity? It's just a comedy magazine. We don't even have gore in our magazine.”

3) ID-PR to G&C Magazine:

“I understand your concern and we do recognize that your publication is not an adult publication, but I believe the adult content referred more to featured stories surrounding “Female Ejaculators” or Gilligan’s Island XXX.  Regardless, this was ultimately the studio’s decision.  I am so sorry we couldn’t make it work out this time around.”

4) To ID-PR from Corpsy: 

“But the funny thing is that if you look at magazines on the newsstands such as Comso and even Teen Vogue, every issue talks about sex and orgasms and ejaculations and vibrators and more.  We have no sexual situations in Girls and Corpses Magazine but there are sex scenes in "Sorority Row" and topless girls, not to mention throat slashing, beheading and stabbings.  I mean, “Sorority Row” is not exactly a Disney release, is it?  Besides, practically every TV talk show has covered the porn industry including Oprah -- so why are we considered adult and not them?  Entertainment Tonight and Extra and E all covered the TV to porn movie phenomenon and has visited the same sets of XXX Gilligan’s Island, Brady Bunch XXX and others.  Our shots from that set showed no nudity.  So, the questions again is, do they really think that a comedy horror magazine can hurt a T&A horror movie?”

5) ID-PR to G&C Magazine:

“Thanks for these thoughts.  I will certainly pass this along to the studio.”

6) To ID-PR from Corpsy:

“You'll have to cross Rue Morgue Magazine off your press list for Sorority Row. I just found out that they covered the XXX Munsters movie produced by Hustler.”

7) ID-PR to G&C Magazine: 

“And don’t worry about how other outlets cover XXX films – the studio will evaluate outlets on a case by case basis.”

[Emails end here]

So... that was the email exchange. There will be no “Sorority Row” cover.  Keep in mind that we really don’t need to feature “Sorority Row” on our cover. There are no known stars in that film, so they won’t help sell more magazines for us. What we offered Summit Entertainment should have been a good thing for promoting “Sorority Row,” making the snub even more absurd.

I hope Vivan Mayer, Noelle Meixell and ID-PR have a great press campaign planned for Sorority Row, with other newsstand magazine covers, but they apparently feel our worldwide readers, and our two million monthly visitors to our website, aren’t worth their attention.

So, I ask you rapid Girls and Corpses fans, since they don’t care about you, is it really worth seeing another slasher film that you have seen a million times before?  Vote with your hard earned cash and instead see “Night of The Demons” and “Zombieland” out the same week.

You can always catch “Sorority Row” for free on late night cable, a month after its release.