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'Saw II's' severed digits get thumbs down

Saw II
This poster for "Saw II" did not receive the approval of the MPAA.

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LOS ANGELES, California (Hollywood Reporter) -- The Motion Picture Assn. of America (MPAA) has turned thumbs down on an upcoming film's advertising materials featuring severed fingers.

The materials for "Saw II" were distributed to Web sites by Lions Gate Films, which enjoyed a surprise hit last year with the first installment in the horror series.

In an announcement released Friday, the MPAA said its Advertising Administration, which reviews all advertising and publicity materials submitted by producers and distributors for a film rating, had not approved the material.

If it had, it would have found that "materials for the film 'Saw II' (that) display dismembered fingers ... is unacceptable under Advertising Administration standards."

The MPAA, the trade group for the major Hollywood studios, also charged that some sites had the unapproved artwork available for sale as a poster, and other sites were carrying an unapproved theatrical trailer displaying an unauthorized "R" rating.

Lions Gate has agreed to contact the Web sites immediately to request that they remove the unapproved material. It also will ask exhibitors to return unapproved in-theater materials, according to the MPAA.

A Lions Gate spokeswoman declined comment.

Once the situation has been corrected, the MPAA said its Classification and Rating Administration will complete its review of the film and award it a rating.

"It is essential that film distributors comply with the rules of the Advertising Administration so that parents retain the confidence they have in the ratings certified by CARA and that advertising and publicity material associated with rated films is appropriate for all audiences," said Marilyn Gordon, director of the Advertising Administration. "We thank Lions Gate for its actions taken to correct the issues with the advertising for 'Saw II.' "

"Saw II" is scheduled to open nationwide October 28. It is a sequel to James Wan's "Saw," a horror thriller about two men chained up in a room by a serial killer. The first film, rated R, grossed more than $55 million domestically when it was released last year.

Copyright 2005 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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