CAMBRIDGE, MA - MIT psychologists reported early this morning that they have "conclusive evidence" linking seven severe cases of post-traumatic stress disorder to the film BodyCount: The Butcher of Kiev, a three-hour "action epic" following the story of Yuri Dovzhenko, 38, a contract killer employed by a corrupt Ukrainian politician.
Concerned parents nationwide hailed the results as a "long overdue" indictment of graphic nudity, referencing a seven-second segment of the film, a flashback to Dovzhenko's adolescence before his turn to violence, in which his girlfriend disrobes to take a shower with him. Another flashback in which, while brushing his teeth, Dovzhenko relives his girlfriend and parents being tortured by a drug kingpin, also attracted ire for showing "an inappropriate amount of skin" and promoting "poor toothbrushing technique."
BodyCount initially received highly positive reviews from critics, who praised its "uncomprising" portrayal of the life of a career hitman. "The film navigates the complexities of Dovzhenko's character masterfully," said one critic. "He is at once a man who will not hesitate to kidnap a target's family and flay them alive in his basement, and a deeply troubled man with his own hopes and dreams and a fraught and tragic past. Neither side is neglected by the narrative. It's easy to think of people like Dovzhenko as soulless monsters, but in reality they're people with complex inner lives just like us and this film does an remarkable job portraying that."
However, the movie attracted controversy early on for its depiction of the bone heresy that sets the stage for the plot's climax. "The ritual enacted by the main antagonist is frighteningly accurate in its detail," said an MIT researcher who declined to be named. "While certain details of rite the were omitted and the sacrifices were incorrectly killed before the carving of the ritual fleshrunes, the ritual depicted is very real and this depiction may encourage impressionable viewers to try it out."
Studio executives dismissed these concerns, pointing out that even the simplest bone sorcery requires "years of study." "The only thing anybody attempting this ritual is going to achieve is getting themselves killed," said one executive. "And that could also be said of Yuri's one-man assault on the Kremlin in scene four, or his barehanded defeat of thirty armed men over the mouth of a volcano, but nobody seems to be complaining about those parts."
The anonymous MIT researcher did not share the studio's optimism. "While a lot of those people might fail and suffer complete [REDACTED]," she conceded, "it's very possible some of them could succeed and turn themselves into the ravening plague-lord of a sprawling flesh-cistern that once was a major American city."
"And god knows, we've got enough of that already," the researcher added.
Despite complaints by several prominent bone safety groups, the studio nevertheless decided to release the film, and BodyCount has already grossed nearly $70 million since its August release.
Those affected by the movie could not be reached for comment, as the survivors who could be located were huddling under various articles of furniture and crying, and refused to answer the doorbell.
Samothrace Exodus Watkinson, Esq. is Approved News 6's entertainment correspondent, boasting an unvarying 374 years of industry experience due to an childhood chronomancy accident, and known internationally for hir brutal death at the hands of Russian insurgents and subsequent unexplained reappearance. Xe lives in New York City with hir massive personal harem, seventeen gerbils, and extensive collection of blackmail material.