Zack Snyder rarely ever holds back in his films, which only fuels his reputation as a maverick filmmaker. Zack Snyder’s Justice League exists as a monument to such a history, as its R-rated content made fans believe the Batman could swear and that Superman is a murderous, ticking time bomb waiting to happen. But even Mr. Snyder has his limits, as he cut a penis gag he had planned for his Netflix original Army of the Dead. Apparently, he draws the line at zombies biting parts of the male anatomy.
In the story he shared with The Sunday Times, Army of the Dead co-writer/director Zack Snyder gave the world a new reason to use the phrase “the Snyder Cut.” Sure enough, a male stripper-turned-zombie was the source for this proposed moment of horror debauchery. But as Snyder himself explained, cooler heads, and a personal degree of taste, prevailed:
We had a sequence where one of the male strippers had a huge penis with a bite taken out of it. We thought that was too much.
'Wow' is the first word that comes to mind when picturing this moment that was cut from Army of the Dead. Though that’s with the stipulation that the first words are meant to be polite enough to share with open company, otherwise some choice swears come into play. Even with Netflix trafficking in some pretty explicit content thanks to controversial offerings like 365 Days, that feels like a pretty big leap Zack Snyder could have taken.
Historically, this isn’t the first time that Army of the Dead walked back from a line that was perceived to be too extreme. In fact, this isn’t the worst example of what could have been in Zack Snyder’s return to the zombie genre, which spent quite a while in development hell. That’s thanks to the previous iteration of the project including some very rapey zombies in the picture.
Spawning some human/zombie hybrids that harkened back to that one scene in Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead remake, that idea was scrapped before the Netflix version of Army of the Dead came to pass. While there will probably be no shortage of zombie thrills presented to its Dave Bautista-led ensemble, content like the examples above would have lost Netflix its chance to make history as the first streaming movie with a wide release. So while zombie male strippers with chunks missing may not be part of the picture, being able to see a new Zack Snyder movie in theaters feels like a decent tradeoff.
We’ll see soon enough, as Army of the Dead is set to open in 600 theaters on May 14. Which is a great sign for future releases being able to do the same, with potentially greater numbers. Though if you’re not comfortable with going back to the theaters, or if you’d rather wait to watch it at home, Netflix will debut Zack Snyder’s latest on May 21.