FAQ

 About the Melon Farmers?



ETO Award

  Best Online Resource
ETO Awards
- Winner 2010
- Nominated 2011
- Nominated 2012

 

Erotic Awards finalist

  Campaigner
Erotic Awards 2005
 

 Who are the Melon Farmers?

History

Melon Farmers LogoThe Melon Farmers were originally conceived by Dave and Phil Martin in 1996. Phil concentrated on TV censorship whilst Dave published information about film and video censorship.

The name was inspired by Alex Cox who was asked to prepare a BBC friendly dub of his Repo Man. With tongue firmly in cheek, he overdubbed 'motherfucker' with 'melon farmer'. Censorship surely, but somehow Alex Cox showed that censorship could be defeated via spirit and humour. The Melon Farmers were born to serve this end.

The Melon Farmers are not a traditional campaigning or political organisation. There are no members, subscriptions or constitutions. Just a bunch of good people who contribute news, information and opinion. The objectives and aims of the Melon Farmers are an aggregation of the many that contribute, nothing more and nothing less. But somehow news, information and opinion makes for a very effective campaign.

The remit of the Melon Farmers has extended somewhat from the early days. The censorship of sex and violence in the media is still the primary focus but the Melon Farmers now extend to political and economic censorship the world over.

The Melon Farmers also take particular interest in those that claim to occupy the moral high ground and who seek to deny sexual enjoyment from their fellow man. Every person should be free to enjoy sex and life restricted only by the requirement to be considerate of others.

The website is still edited by Dave but the spirit of Melon Farming lies with the thousands of contributors and readers who request and demand that life and sex can be enjoyed to the full without unnecessary restriction.

 

19th June 2014

  The Original Melonfarmer...

   
Repo Masters Cinema Steelbook Blu rayIf you're reading this, you are almost certainly familiar with the term melonfarmer and its significance. For those of you who aren't, it was used by director Alex Cox to re-dub the expletive motherfucker in the version of Repo Man he prepared specially for television.

According to Alex Cox himself, this version came about after being called in to fix a very bizarre re-edit that the studio had put together itself. Cox said:

In an effort to explain the film, someone had gone and shot an insert of the license plate of the Chevy Malibu, and made the Hopi symbol dissolve into the HEAD OF THE DEVIL!. He continued, They'd intercut static shots of this license plate with shots of the car moving, and it looked completely cheesy, worse than an Ed Wood film.

The much loved variant Cox put together - actually seven minutes longer than the theatrical version - was finally made available for the first time since its original broadcast on BBC2 as part of Masters Of Cinema's excellent Blu-ray release in February 2012, but did you ever wonder how the term came about? How do you get from motherfucker to the euphemistic substitution melonfarmer? Was the term ever used before the TV version of Repo Man?

Mister Majestyk DVD Charles Bronson After the TV version was first broadcast and the phrase came into the popular consciousness, the first thought of some film enthusiasts was that it was taken from or somehow inspired by the 1974 Charles Bronson film Mr. Majestyk. In that movie, Bronson plays a water melon farmer who is threatened by labour racketeers and gangsters who want to either drive him out of business or kill him. They scare off his labourers and machine gun his melons until stoic diplomacy just won't cut it any more and he falls back on the plan B Bronson usually employed throughout the seventies...kill everybody. There are lots of melons on show, but at no time in Elmore Leonard's screenplay is the term used as a substitute for the expletive. All melonfarmers in the picture actually farm melons.

Last Poets This Madness It wasn't until many years later, listening to the soundtrack for the film Performance that I noticed something that may finally explain the origin of the phrase. Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg's film was extremely controversial on its release in 1970 for its sex, nudity, sadomasochistic violence and drug use, but what is not often noted is that the controversy also extended to one of the selections on the soundtrack. The song in question was the spoken word piece Wake Up, Niggers! by The Last Poets. In the film the track cut short, but if you listen to the full version featured on the soundtrack record - and also on The Last Poets eponymous debut album - the song includes the line, ...up against the wall black melonfarmer....

The film and the album date to 1970 making this the earliest use of the phrase suggesting that the term was invented by The Last Poets as a way to allude to the expletive without actually using it. This would make sense because around the same time, the proto-punk band MC5 ran into trouble when their debut album Kick Out The Jams opened with the shout of Kick Out The Jams, Motherfucker! leading to some controversy and later copies of the record being censored.

Thinking that I'd made a connection no one else had noticed, I searched around online for a summary of the lyrics for Wake Up, Niggers! to confirm it. All sources claim that the words for that line are not as I initially thought ...up against the wall black melonfarmer..., but are actually ...up against the wall black male and farmer....

So could that be it? Did the famous term actually come into being after Alex Cox misheard a line from The Last Poets' song, and in doing so accidentally coined a phrase that has persisted to this day as an amusing euphemism...and the inspiration for this very website?

When Alex Cox was asked about the films copious bad language and how he felt about having to remove it all for the TV version, he said:

By then I'd made Sid & Nancy and I was sick of swearing. It was fun coming up with synonyms for the swear words - 'Melon Farmers' was a particular favourite.

I don't think there is any doubt that Alex Cox invented the phrase - since used by Samuel L. Jackson in the TV version of Die Hard With A Vengeance - but has its ubiquitousness with movie re-dubbing in the years since the TV version of Repo Man led to a bit of self mythologising on Cox's part? To be honest melonfarmer is the only really inventive substitution in the TV version, far more so than the flip you and variations on that that make up the majority of the other substitutions. Was The Last Poets' track subconsciously at work and pointing him in the right direction. I guess you'll have to decide for yourself about that.

 

 

  Yippie-ki-yay motherfucker!...

 
US TV versions of Die Hard feature the 'melon farmer' overdub

Die Hard DVD Bruce WillisIn the movie Die Hard, Euro-trash terrorist Hans Gruber asks hero John McClane if he saw too many films as a child and thinks hes John Wayne.

Do you really think you have a chance against us, Mister Cowboy? Gruber asks.

McClane iconically retorts: Yippie-ki-yay, motherfucker!.

But some US TV versions have McClane retorting: Yippie-ki-yay, melon farmer!.

 

  The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet...
BBFC advised category cut replaces 'motherfucker' with 'melon farmer'
Poster Young and Prodigious Ts Sp 2013 Jeanpierre Jeunet The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet is a 2013 France / Canada family adventure TV movie by Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
Starring Helena Bonham Carter, Robert Maillet and Judy Davis. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

A 10-year-old cartographer secretly leaves his family's ranch in Montana where he lives with his cowboy father and scientist mother and travels across the country on board a freight train to receive an award at the Smithsonian Institute.

UK: Passed 12A for infrequent strong language after pre-cut for:

  • 2014 [2D + 3D] cinema release
The BBFC commented:
  • This film was seen for advice, prior to formal submission. The company was informed that the likely classification was 15, but that their preferred 12A could be achieved by removing a single use of the word 'motherfucker'. When the film was submitted for formal classification, this word had been replaced and the film was classified 12A.

Thanks to Pooch: You Melon Farmer!

Towards the end of the film, the titular character does a TV interview, whilst being manipulated by the lady who runs the Smithsonian Institute. In the original film, after the interview spectacularly fails, she calls Spivet You motherfucker, albeit at a distance, and from behind her, so you can't see her face/mouth!

In the UK version, motherfucker has been dubbed quite well by the same actress, or at least someone who sounds very similar, with the immortal You melon-farmer!

If it weren't for this, and two uses of the word fuck, which were all completely unnecessary and totally jarring, this would have been a PG-rated film, ideal for youngsters and families.

 

9th August 2005    Campaigner...
Erotic Awards finalist

  Campaigner
Erotic Awards 2005

 

Melon Farmers finalist at the Erotic Awards

erotic awards logo The Melon Farmers are proud to have reached the finals for the Erotic Awards. It is an honour to be part of the good work done in promoting generosity and enjoyment of sex.

See Sexual Freedom Coalition page for details about the awards, exhibition and the climax at the Night of the Senses

Finalists were nominated by the public and selected by our Grand Jury of Conspicuous Sensuality.

 

5th July 2010    Best Online Resource...
ETO Award

  Best Online Resource
ETO Awards 2010

 

Melon Farmers win an ETO Award

Melon Farmers ETO Award

  Melon Farmers Frank and Alan
showing off the goodies

The Melon Farmers are well chuffed to have won the ETO Award for Best Online Resource.

The awards are voted on by trade association members including many of UK's retailers, film producers and film distributors, both online and on the high street.

The Melon Farmers would like to thank everyone for all the support, and all those who participated in the evening's fun.

 

6th July 2014  
  Which ISP?...
Blocking report for MelonFarmers.co.uk
org blocked logoORG have set up an internet service to check which ISPs block websites that the user is interested in. Here are the results for www.melonfarmers.co.uk.

The results presented below may be different to your experience depending on the level of filtering configured on your network.

ISP Result Last check on Last blocked on
AAISP ok 2015-02-01 00:31:14 No record of prior block
BT-Light ok 2015-02-01 00:31:14 No record of prior block
BT-Moderate ok 2014-07-03 16:32:59 No record of prior block
BT-Strict ok 2014-06-03 01:17:02 No record of prior block
EE blocked 2014-12-13 19:38:48 2014-12-13 19:38:48
O2 blocked 2015-02-01 20:01:34 2015-02-01 20:01:34
Plusnet ok 2015-02-01 00:31:19 No record of prior block
Sky filter default blocked 2015-02-01 00:31:14 2015-02-01 00:31:14
TalkTalk Kidsafe ok 2015-02-01 00:31:14 No record of prior block
TalkTalk Strict ok 2014-07-02 19:32:56 No record of prior block
Three blocked 2014-12-06 17:55:56 2014-12-06 17:55:56
VirginMedia ok 2015-02-01 00:31:14 No record of prior block
Vodafone blocked 2015-02-01 00:31:15 2015-02-01 00:31:15

ORG explains the level of blocking that the website tests against:

We're testing using the default "adult content" filter levels for each network. Where an ISP provided their service with a level of filtering active by default we chose not to change these settings. For lines that came with no filtering active by default we activated the "medium" filtering level where a choice of filters was offered. If the choice was just filtering: yes or no, we chose yes. Some networks do not offer controls to activate filtering or change filter settings on their services. This means the active level of filtering varies across our test lines

Try the service at blocked.org.uk

 

17th March 2015  
  Proud to be Blocked...
Who's blocking Melon Farmers?
melonfarmers blocked uaeUAE

29th January 2015

MelonFarmers.co.uk is blocked in the UAE although CensorWatch.co.uk is allowed without censorship.

virgin via ee blockingVirgin Mobile vie ee

17th March 2015

 @PornPanic tweeted:

Tried to access @melonfarmers just now & this came up.