You gotta love anybody who stands up against censorship - well, actually, no you don’t, at least not when they don’t know what they’re talking about.
First thing’s first: SWEENEY TODD is a very old story that has been told many times - in books, on stage, and on the screen - without R-rated violence, so it’s not as if the integrity of the story would be breached by avoiding graphic bloodshed.
Second thing: This particularly version of SWEENEY TODD is based on a well-loved popular musical; the film version is clearly intended to appeal to a wide audience, not to gore hounds pissed off that their favorite torture porn movies aren’t making money anymore.
Third - and absolutely most important - what prompted the above-quoted tirade was this article in the Daily Mail - which is an English news publication, writing from an English perspective about what might - or might not - happen to the film when it is released in England. In other words, the thinly sourced, highly speculative article has nothing to say about whether the film will be trimmed to get a PG-13 rating from the Motion Picture Academy of America because the MPAA does not rate movies for British release.
Here is the relevant passage:
Now pay close attention: these are British classifications, and the Brits have radically different standards from ours regarding what is and is not objectionable on screen?
So to summarize:
Yes, the Brits may be quaking in their boots over how much blood can fly before a black comedy turns into a deep red massacre, but that’s no reason for us to get a case of the vapors on this side of the Atlantic. Before we launch an anti-editing protest, let’s at least wait until there’s something to protest.