Tie That Binds, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1/2

Content: -4

There is no way to separate our "entertainment" assessment of this film from our evaluation of its offensive content because it has no entertainment value. Its flimsy plot about Janie (Julia Devin), a six-year-old girl adopted after police remove her from her psychopathic biological parents, is merely a vehicle for nonstop blood and gore. As the little girl's homeless parents, Leann and John Netherwood (Daryl Hannah and Keith Carradine), trace their child to the home of Dana and Russell Clifton (Moira Kelly and Vincent Spano) they ruthlessly kill and/or terrorize policemen, a social worker, and even a new mother and her newborn in a hospital. The climactic scene when the biological parents confront the adoptive parents defies the imagination as the attackers perform more heinous acts while little Janie watches. Anyone who finds THE TIE THAT BINDS entertaining needs our prayers.

If Calvin Klein is charged with exploiting children in his ads, then Buena Vista Distribution Co. should be forced out of the movie business. The child actress takes part in one of the bloodiest, most violent scenes of recent years. She even takes a knife and plunges it into John's stomach. If that isn't exploitation and abuse of a child, what is? The final scene shows Janie all happy and content in her adoptive parents' home, saying "At last I'm home." Get real, Hollywood. Any child who survived the horror she witnessed and participated in would be so traumatized she would need psychiatric care in a hospital. Besides the bloody violence, Leann's fascination with religion is offensive. She thinks she can do "laying on hands" healing and in two incidents puts her hands on another and murmurs some kind of short prayer. She also fantasizes about having madonna-like qualities and treasures a picture of the Madonna and Baby Jesus. In the next frame she will be setting up a policeman so her husband can kill him or threatening to kill a newborn baby. Her psycho husband does seem to love his daughter but shows it by performing atrocious crimes to get her back. Some crude and obscene language is spoken along with several regular profanities. But it's the bloody, gory violence that is obscene. Write the distributor and complain to your local theatre manager.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Buena Vista (Hollywood/Disney), 350 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA 91521

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (5) times - Mild 2, Moderate 3

Obscene Language: Several (7) times - S-word 3, f-word 3, other 1

Profanity: Several (5) times - Regular 4, Exclamatory 1

Violence: Incessant, mostly severe (terrorizing elderly couple; child bites and kicks policeman; bloody beatings, kicking, clubbings; throats cut, neck broken, stabbings; child stabs man in stomach; attempted hanging; woman threatens to kill newborn)

Sex: Implied once (married couple in bed, near nudity)

Nudity: None, but near nudity in bedroom scene

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (woman tries to seduce policeman)

Drugs: Once (man drinks whiskey)

Other: Amoral woman thinks she has power of

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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