Hollywood writer and director James Gunn†has vented his anger at Microsoft for "cutting the sh**" out of his original horror film for Xbox Live.
Gunn, who wrote Dawn of the Dead (2004) and directed Slither (2006), joined other top-notch talent such as Saw's James Wan to make shorts for a Horror Goes Comedy campaign last year.
"I wasn't too happy with the version of S&M that was shown on Xbox, as they cut the living sh** out of it," writes Gunn on his blog.
"Shortly after I signed on to produce the Horror Goes Comedy series, as well as write and direct my own, Xbox became pain in the asses about content. They started by promising us directors complete creative freedom - that's the whole reason we agreed to do it for, essentially, no money. We were told that anything goes. So I shot the most balls-out, f****ed up thing I've ever shot: Humanzee!
"Xbox saw it and freaked out," he adds. "There wasn't even a way to cut it down to make it acceptable. So they offered me the chance to do something else, and to take the rights to Humanzee myself, which I gladly did."
But, despite adhering to PG-13 guidelines and including no sex, Microsoft "freaked out" again when shown Sparky & Mikaela and ordered a slew of cuts be made, such as removing the words "penis" and "vagina" and cutting a scene with some fake pooh in.
"To sum things up, Warner Bros. was a bastion of creative freedom on Scooby Doo 2 in comparison," explains Gunn. "I'm not exaggerating or being facetious. Microsoft/Xbox was by far the most dreadful, non-talent friendly company I've ever worked for. "
"And if you think I had it bad, some of the other directors (most specifically, SAW director James Wan, who just happens to be one of my favorite [sic] people in the world) had it even worse."
Gunn says he still loves playing Xbox, but is confused the platform holder allows uncut versions of Grand Theft Auto IV and South Park yet restricts his work.
He reckons the platform could have become an entertainment network, but that "small-minded" executives have "crushed the potential for something that would have kept them relevant for a long time to come".