Deadpool's $282 million haul over the weekend has likely led to some serious eye-opening throughout an industry which has always favored the family-friendly, and lucrative, PG-13.
However, although studio bosses might only just be warming to R-rated movies, one demographic has always been interested in age restricted films: Kids who aren't actually old enough to see them yet. Indeed, with Deadpool generating so much cash, it's likely theaters across the world probably included a few underage patrons who snuck into screenings.
With that in mind, we asked the Moviepilot staff to reveal their childhood adventures, and methods, of gaining access to movies they probably shouldn't have seen.
The Clever Use of Make-Up and Massive Shoes
Heather Snowden - 'Lake Placid' (1999)
I was 10 years old when I first snuck in to see an R rated movie at the cinema. Emily and I got all dolled up (platforms, blue eyeshadow, probably some butterfly clips - it was the '90s), stacked up on jelly-snakes and headed over to the ticket counter. We were going to see Lake Placid, and we were shitting ourselves. 17 years later I can still feel that naughty thrill of handing over clammy bills and receiving two stubs in return, everything had gone to plan - that is until Emily totally freaked out about her mom finding out and bailed, leaving me alone and crushed in the ticket hall. I still haven't forgiven her.
Fooling Gullible Parents
Allanah Faherty - 'South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut' (1999)
The year was 1999, and after finally hitting double digits I decided to try out my newly bolstered confidence to see just how far I could push my dad into letting me and my brother watch South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut. As it turns out, it was almost a non-issue, something, that in retrospect, I put down to the fact that South Park was animated, so in his mind was probably on the same level as Rugrats, or The Simpsons. But no matter how risqué The Simpsons may be for their time slot, it'll never include such musical classics as 'Uncle Fucker,' a song which will always have a special place in my heart to remember the first truly R-rated movie that I snuck into.
Remind yourself of that foul-mouthed number below:
Mark Newton - 'Starsky and Hutch' (2004)
The fact my hometown lacked a cinema meant I got into the whole sneaking-in game rather late in life, although not late enough to be able to legitimately see the Starsky and Hutch movie in theaters (I was one short of the 15 years required to see it in the UK). Although I've forgotten almost everything about the film (IMDB assures me there was 1 'fuck', 9 'shits', and 2 'dickweeds' in script) I can remember using some very quick, and not very convincing, mental arithmetic when asked for my date of birth by the ticket vendor. The event was made even more memorable by the fact my two friends and I were literally the only people in the screening. This made one of my friends very paranoid as he suspected it was "some kind of trap".
Genevieve Van Voorhis - 'The Hangover' (2009)
It was the summer I had just turned 16. I was already sweating as I smuggled Doritos and gummy bears in my purse past the ticket counter. My friend Miles and I each bought one ticket to see one of the Transformers movies. I don't remember which one, because after the guy ripped off our ticket stubs, as we were walking down the twisting halls of the theater, we walked past the theater playing The Hangover. We heard everyone inside burst into laughter. They seemed to be having such a good time. We looked behind us, and no one was watching (hardly anyone was even in the theater since it was about 4pm on a weekday). We went in and never looked back.
Alexandra Ekstein-Kon - 'Kung Fu Hustle' (2004)
When I was about 15 I did my first standard sneak into an R-rated movie with a group of friends. Thinking back on it, we were actually far too many to have gone in unnoticed, but at the time it seemed like we'd cleverly ninja'd our way into the theater. After grabbing tickets to some standard rom-com we just casually waltzed our way into another theater. Such stealth. Seeing as the film was in Cantonese we didn't exactly have our far from precious ears corrupted, but those extra badass endorphins I got from seeing it on the sly still make me love the film that much more today.
Having Cool Parents
Meghann Elisa - 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest'
It was the summer of 2006 and I had just turned 11. My best friend Hannah and I couldn't wait to see the second instalment of Pirates of the Caribbean and we weren't going to let something as insignificant as an age 12 rating stop us. After all, we were nearly 12. In my efforts to look a whole year older, I dressed as all 12 year olds do: in my shortest dress, about four inches of makeup and a pair of high heels I had stolen from my mum. No surprise, the cashier pointblank refused to sell us tickets - until I texted my dad. He came marching in from the car park, slammed a twenty onto the counter and said, "Can we have two tickets for these TWELVE YEAR OLD girls, please?!" Smooth.
Utilizing Bigger Friends
Emily Browne - 'Signs' (2002)
2002 was a big year for me: I had just started school and was hoping to make new, hopefully life-long friends. One such friend was Milly, she was tall and looked older than 12 so following her uber-cool lead we all trotted off to see Signs when it was released in theaters. Well let's just say I probably lost some movie cred when half way through I made some excuse and left only to hover outside the because I was so terrified. What's worse? It was PG-13. I don't speak to Milly anymore.
Check out one of the film's most iconic scenes below:
Tom Cox - 'Saw' (2004)
October 2004. I had 13 long years under my belt. I wanted to discover what the next 13 might hold by testing the benefits of my newfound height. Saw I seemed the most testing film imaginable. My neighbour Matt had the confidence boost being a year older, a man of the world, and I was keen to emulate him. He was sure we'd get in. Quaking, I handed over half my week’s allowance for a ticket to an unfazed cashier. Then the other half on a heap of fizzy pick ’n’ mix. We were in! I had nightmares for months. But it was worth it to be able to smugly ask my friends: “Do you wanna play a game?”
Avoiding The Cinema and Simply Recording Them Off The Television Instead
Jancy Richardson - 'The Tall Guy' (1989)
When I was a kid I took the initiative to find out what these R-Rated movies were all about in a suitably 90's way: I set the VCR to tape The Tall Guy and watched Jeff Goldblum roll around shagging Emma Thompson and get toast stuck to his bum.
Just Walking In Like You Freakin' Own The Place
Elise Jost - 'Lady in The Water' (2006)
M. Night Shyamalan's Lady In The Water was rated PG-13 and I was only a year too young, but I was still very proud to sneak into the theatre with my friend as if we were the coolest teenagers in the world. I was less proud when I realised that a story that was actually adapted from a children's book was enough to count as my most terrifying movie experience ever, confirming pretty early on that I am not made for horror stories. That's a bit upsetting when you know that the movie got terrible ratings for "not being scary at all".
Karly Raynor - 'Hollow Man' (2000)
I'm not sure if it says more about my brazen nature or the lack of professionalism of my local cinema, but as a 12 year old I simply walked into the 18 rated (in the UK) Hollow Man. Despite the fact the movie ends with the titular Hollow Man running around with his guts grotesquely flapping about after having his skin BBQed off, I was most scandalised by the fact that a well cute dog was smashed to death and that you got to see Kevin Bacon's floppy old wang on the heat sensitive camera. Appalling.