Director of ultra-violent action movie inspired by anime and revenge movies justifies its R-rating: "If Sam Raimi is your producer, nobody really questions that"

Boy Kills World
(Image credit: Signature Entertainment)

With Sam Raimi on board as a producer, the director of new action movie Boy Kills World says that gunning for an R-rating was pretty much a given. 

The film, which draws its inspiration from anime, manga, and revenge movies, follows a man named Boy (played by Bill Skarsgård) as he plots his revenge against the woman who killed his family. His journey to her features a hell of a lot of gore, violence, and creative kills, which director Moritz Mohr tells GamesRadar+ and the Inside Total Film podcast was key to telling the story.

"That's been something I've been doing in the short films that I’ve made [which are] always over the top, violent, and fun," he grins. "That was always something I was going for, and the great thing is if Sam Raimi is your producer, nobody really questions that. It's just like, 'Oh, yeah, that makes sense.' So it's a really great place to start and there weren't even any discussions like, 'Oh, we need to tone the violence down or anything.' We always knew what we were going for R and producers were totally on board for it."

Horror maestro Raimi was one of the key figures in helping bring Boy Kills World to the big screen. The Evil Dead and Spider-Man helmer came on board as a producer on the picture after watching the concept trailer directed by Mohr and stunt coordinator Dawe [Szatarski] seven years ago. It was a moment that the director says changed the momentum on the project, and Raimi helped them along the way with everything from developing the script to final edits.

Boy Kills World

(Image credit: Signature Entertainment)

Mohr adds that his advice when nailing the action sequences was also invaluable, and actually led them to cut a moment in the final film. "Sam actually said that everybody needs to get what they deserve on the violence scales," he says. "You can’t kill that poor henchman in such a horrible way that people would go, 'That's a bit much.' So you really need to reserve the mean kills for the mean guys, if you are too mean, then you lose your audience."

One particular sequence in the final film sees John Wick 4 star Skarsgård get very creative with a cheese grater to do away with some henchmen. Now, that will likely have your Raimi senses tingling thanks to Evil Dead Rise featuring the utensil in another creepy sequence, but Mohr says that was a complete coincidence.

"We were ready to shoot this [scene] and Zainab Azizi, who is Sam Raimi’s producer on the movie was like, 'Hey, Moritz, didn't I tell you there's a cheese grater in Evil Dead Rise?,'" he laughs. "I was literally standing on set to shoot this and I was like, 'Are you fucking kidding me? You're telling me now?' And then she was like, 'Yeah, but it's not like that long and this is different.' Then I actually watched it, and I was like, 'Alright, this is fine.' But again, what are the odds for these two movies with two cheese graters, both produced by Sam Raimi?"

Also starring Jessica Rothe, Michelle Dockery, Famke Janssen, Sharlto Copley, and Brett Gelman, Boy Kills World is a revenge fantasy following a deaf man who’s been trained to be an elite killer. The trailer gives you an idea of the unique tone of the movie, which has been compared to everything from John Wick to The Hunger Games in early reactions.

Boy Kills World is in US theaters and UK cinemas on April 26. Listen to our full chat on the Inside Total Film podcast, out later this week.

For more, check out our guides to all the other upcoming movies on the way in 2024 and beyond as well as the best action movies of all time.

Fay Watson
Deputy Entertainment Editor

I’m the Deputy Entertainment Editor here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I've also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.