Martin Lawrence rule

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Mark Kermode's maxim that the nicer the movie, the nastier the people involved in making it (and vice versa).

"Nicer" in this context refers to the sort of U-certificate child-friendly entertainment that is actually more traumatic for kids than The Dark Knight.

Although the rule has been established for a while, it is named after Will Smith's Bad Boys co-star - "Eddie Murphy without the talent" - after his turn in College Road Trip playing a "creepy and ghastly" policeman attempting to stop his daughter from going to college. Mark explained that Lawrence had stopped being employed by Saturday Night Live after an opening monologue that was "less than progressive" in its attitude towards women, and then had spent the rest of the 1990s making headlines "running around in a state of bemusement and excitement and armament."

Simon Mayo asked what this rule implied for the editor of long-established BBC children's programme Blue Peter. Mark was astonished at how beautifully Simon made that connection, because it was Blue Peter's long-time editor Biddy Baxter who chaired the BBFC jury that doubled the number of cuts to Last House On The Left after hearing Mark's expert testimony on why the film should be passed uncut. (Baxter incidentally also turned Simon down as a Blue Peter presenter.)

Conversely, Mark has "yet to meet" an unpleasant person who has made a horror movie. Wes Craven may have made the aforementioned Last House On The Left but in person he is, in Mark's view, one of the most intelligent and gentle film-makers he had ever met (up until The Hills Have Eyes 2 at any rate). Mark and Simon both liked Eli Roth when they interviewed him, despite the horror (in all ways) that was Hostel 2.

That said, Mark has never met Rob Zombie.