The transporter accident isn't horrific as portrayed. It's funhouse mirror stuff with sparkles and an admittedly scary sound.
Yes, "as portrayed." That's my whole point. There is content in this movie that potentially
could've been considerably more graphic, but that got severely toned down in order to get a G. On paper, there's a lot about the idea that sounds PG, but it had to be underplayed in the execution, especially where Deltan sexuality is concerned. Deltans are an R-rated concept forced into a G-rated movie, and that's always felt incongruous to me.
And one more time: The Director's Edition is rated PG
. And the only reason for that change is because of tighter editing and a more intense sound mix in sequences like V'Ger's plasma bolt attack on the Enterprise
-- or perhaps simply because the 2001 MPAA panel had slightly different standards than the 1979 one. Like I said, it was a borderline case all along. It only took the tiniest changes to push it over the line into PG.