Counting profanity in 'South Park' film

May be foulest movie ever by a major studio

Posted: Thursday, July 22, 1999

Moviegoers probably already know that ``South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut'' gets pretty raw. Now we know precisely how raw.

Swear word for swear word, the movie based on the cable TV series may be the crudest ever released by a major studio, according to a fledgling Colorado company that actually tallied all the bad stuff.

Movie Index of Colorado Springs found that ``South Park'' contained 399 words the company classifies as crude, obscene/profane or sexually suggestive. That's more profanity per minute than any other of the more than 1,000 movies it has examined.

And ``South Park'' is a cartoon.

The company isn't passing judgment. It's just keeping score. ``Indexers'' employed by Movie Index literally count the bad words, naked body parts, sex acts and instances of violence in popular films, and classify all of this according to intensity (mild, moderate, etc.).

The company is merely testing its indexing system now, but it eventually hopes to sell its information to media outlets as a service to parents, or just the curious (a Colorado Springs TV station is the only outlet that now carries the index on the World Wide Web - at www.koaa.com/movieindex/).

``The critics and the (Motion Picture Association of America) ratings will tell you if a movie is spicy or not. We'll tell you why it's spicy, whether it's got jalapeno peppers in it or something else,'' said Patricia Rothwell of Movie Index. ``We're not here to tell you whether something is bad or good, but to be objective. If someone is looking to find more sex, violence or nudity, they can use this, too.''

By Movie Index's count, ``South Park'' contains fewer salty words than ``Pulp Fiction,'' which weighed in with 411 no-nos. But ``South Park'' runs a mere 80 minutes, compared with ``Pulp Fiction's'' 154, giving the animated flick a much higher raunch-per-minute ratio.

``South Park'' also clocked in with 15 pairs of female breasts, one male behind and 220 ``moderate/semi-graphic'' violent acts, according to the company. That's far more than ``The Wizard of Oz'' (48 violent acts, including seven ``flying monkey attacks'') and far fewer than ``Saving Private Ryan's'' 6,535.



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