Hanging out with his cast and fans, director Kevin Smith opened up about the controversy surrounding his upcoming comedy Zack and Miri Make a Porno being slapped with the NC-17 rating – aka “The Kiss of Death,” for any film hoping to have box-office success.

The Clerks helmer explained:

“I didn’t feel it was an NC-17 movie. I think it’s a hard R. I think we earned the R.”

The MPAA’s phobia towards sex has always struck me as odd. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved The Dark Knight – actually saw it for a second time last night while taking my friends and it actually improved seeing it again. But I’m baffled that the MPAA let that film slide by with a PG-13 rating with its insanely dark tone and disturbing images all throughout.

Granted, I realize that having a film with a title like Zack and Miri Make a Porno and its subject matter, it shouldn’t be a surprise that there would be an issue with the ratings. That said, I can’t imagine Smith & Co. were doing disturbing sexual acts and what not on screen.

Nonetheless, Smith will appeal the MPAA’s decision.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno opens in theares on October 31, 2008.