BANNED FROM TV was Refused Classification in August 2007. A censored print was resubmitted, but was again refused in November 2007. The applicant in both cases was Zeal Entertainment.
Classification Board Annual Report 2007-08
RC (Refused Classification)
Banned from TV and three films from the Faces of Death series were classified RC for gratuitous depictions of violence to humans and animals.
Thanks to Matt for this review.
BANNED FROM TELEVISION is your usual compilation of news and amateur footage showing animal attacks, death, car crashes, shootings, executions, etc, etc. Many are the scenes are re-played again, with the narrator saying "let's see that again in slow motion". It does have an extra element of sex that is often absent from other death documentaries. In this case it consists of the usual GIRLS GONE WILD type footage, undercover filming of sex in a lap dancing club, sex on stage at a 2 Live Crew concert, and a corrupt cop getting a blow job from a hooker. This latter scene features a badly censored shot of the cop's erection which seems to move in a out of view as the fogging struggles to keep up.
We all bitch about the lack of consistency in the OFLC decisions, but with the death documentary genre they are still as tough as ever. Reading on your site the reasons for the banning of INHUMANITIES 2: MODERN ATROCITIES back in 1990 I was struck by how they could just as well be talking about BANNED FROM TELEVISION. I've not seen the OFLC reasons, but I'd suspect it would read something like this:
"....... is a compilation of newsreel footage of atrocities, murders, natural disasters, aircraft accidents, and other spectacles involving violent death or extremes of human suffering. Much of the footage has been shown previously on television, where this kind of material is distressingly familiar; some of it, so the Board was told, had not been seen before. The extracts seem to have been chosen solely for their shock value and strung together at random. There is a commentary of more than the usual banality and sententiousness. The Film Censorship Board determined by majority that the video should be refused classification because of its prolonged and relished depictions of violence and cruelty. "
The version of BANNED FROM TELEVISION that I viewed ran 107:05 and didn't have any opening or closing credits.
We are not ones to praise to the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), but at least they explain their decisions. Here is what they had to say about BANNED FROM TV when they rejected it back in February 1999.
British Board of Film Classification (BBFC)
Press Release 1999
BANNED FROM TELEVISION
As the authority designated by Parliament with the responsibility for classifying videos under the Video Recordings Act 1984, the Board must determine whether or not a video is suitable for a classification certificate to be issued to it, with special regard to the likelihood of video works being viewed in the home. In making this decision, the Board must also have special regard, amongst other relevant factors, to any harm that may be caused to potential viewers or, through their behaviour, to society because of the manner in which the work deals with criminal behaviour, illegal drugs, violence, horror or sex.
BANNED FROM TELEVISION
The Board carefully considered this video in the light of these tests. The main consideration for the Board was the question of harm referred to above. In short, does the work have the potential for anti- social influence?
In the Board's view it does. It is a compilation of scenes of extremely violent death, injury and mutilation, many of which are repeated in slow-motion. The commentary draws attention to the grislier aspects and in effect invites enjoyment at human suffering. The inclusion also of sex scenes reinforces the impression that the purpose of the video is to provide entertainment. There is no attempt to justify the images by placing the incidents in any other journalistic or educational context. Whatever current relevance the images might have had when they were originally photographed has been lost in the general compilation of horrors. The Board is conscious that a particular genre that has always been identified as entirely unacceptable is that of so-called 'snuff movies'. Their main identifying feature is that at least one of the participants is actually killed. BANNED FROM TELEVISION is only different in that, instead of a death being created for the work, actual death and injury is collated from a wide range of pre-existing sources to create the work.
The Board has concluded that the video is potentially harmful because of the influence it may have on the attitudes and behaviour of a significant proportion of likely viewers. The instinct of concern and compassion for the suffering of others is a basic social necessity. So is respect for the dignity of real human life. By presenting actual human death and mutilation as entertainment, the work, in the Board's view, has the potential to erode these instincts. There is a danger of it falling into the hands of young and impressionable persons (whatever its classification) and of some significant brutalising effect on their attitude to human life and pain.
The Board has considered the possibility of cuts as a remedy for these difficulties. It has concluded, however, that they would be unlikely to modify the tone and effect of the work acceptably.
CBS/Fox Video had a 70m VHS of BARBARIAN QUEEN rated R in September 1985. It was awarded for violence, which was described as:
This 70:15 version that was released on tape by Medusa - CBS/Fox Video.
In October 1985, a 76m VHS was Refused Classification due to 'gratuitous sexual violence'. It is unclear why a censored version was rated before an uncut one.
In the U.S., BARBARIAN QUEEN was released on tape in two versions by Vestron Video. The first was the U.S. R-rated print, and the second was fully uncut.
Movie-Censorship has an excellent comparison between the two versions, and we shall refer to it in our description of the two Australian releases.
We can confirm that the Medusa - CBS/Fox Video VHS runs 70:15 and was censored. It looks to have utilised the fully uncut version as a starting point as it contains scenes that are not found in the U.S. R-rated print. This was presumably done to make up the running time and mask the censorship.
The Medusa - CBS/Fox Video VHS was censored as follows:
The pre-credits sequence involving a group of soldiers hunting a girl. 15s is missing when they capture her, open her top, touch her breasts, and begin to rape her.
This is in the MA15+ DVD.
The Girl is Cornered
The scene where a group of soldiers corner a girl in the town. 15s is missing when they say "I've got to hand it to those rebels" and "You went first last time, this ones mine" as they rip her top off and pull her to them.
This is in the MA15+ DVD.
The Rape of Amethea
The largest cut is to the infamous torture and rape of Amethea. Ironically considering how censored the VHS was, it does actually contain the 11s at the start of the scene where the torturer is shown touching her breasts with the claw and saying "You must learn not to struggle". Again, this scene originates from the uncut version, and was missing from the U.S. R-rated print.
The scene shows the torturer saying, "You are making a contribution to
science" and then jumping up to her.
Missing are the shots of him raping her, and her crushing him with her legs.
The scene continues again in the Medusa - CBS/Fox Video with her saying "Can
I", before pushing him into the acid bath.
Part of this scene is included in the MA15+ DVD.
In May 2008, Big Sky Video had a DVD of BARBARIAN QUEEN passed with an MA15+ (Strong violence and sexual violence) rating. The DVD was released through Beyond Home Entertainment. The actual running time was 70:26 and was taken from the censored U.S. R-rated print. As we have explained, it contains most of the footage that caused the film to be banned back in 1985, see the above-mentioned Movie-Censorship site for a full comparison.
These are the versions of BARBARIAN QUEEN that have been released in Australia.
1985: Medusa - CBS/Fox Video VHS - The uncut version, censored down to 70:15
2008: Beyond Home Entertainment DVD - The censored 70:26 U.S. R-Rated version.
In July 1970, an appeal against the banning of THE BASTARD was rejected by the Film Review Board. The 8268-feet (91:52) print was described as a 'reconstructed version'.
At the time, the highest rating available was SOA (Suitable only for Adults), which was broadly equivalent to the M-rating.
The R-rating was introduced in November 1971, and many previously banned films began to be resubmitted. Despite this, in September 1972, a 2518.24-meter (91:47) print of THE BASTARD was banned once again. The reason given was 'indecency and excessive violence'.
Warner Bros was the applicant.
In August 1977, a 2194.00-meter (79:58) print of BEACH BLANKET BANGO was censored by 27.90-meters (01:01) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove 'indecency'. Lestrig Trading was the applicant.
BEACH BLANKET BANGO contains hardcore sex, so it would appear that it was also pre-cut before submission.
Image courtesy of moviemem.com
When first submitted to the censors in November 1976, a 2815.00 meters (102:53) 35mm print of THE BEAST was Refused Registration for reasons of 'indecency'.
Cinecetta appealed to the Film Review Board, but this failed in July 1977. A censored version running 2701.70 meters (98:45) was eventually passed with an R-rating in October 1977. It was this print, cut by 04:08, which went on to have an Australian theatrical release.
Here is how Cinema Papers reported the 1977 censorship of THE BEAST.
La Bete was originally banned in November 1976. The decision was appealed in July 1977, but the was film again denied registration. At this stage it ran 2815m or 102.61min. The film was then cut by its distributors to 2701.70m (98.48min) and it was finally passed with an R classification without further cuts.
To meet 'community standards', 4.2min had to be deleted. These cuts represent most of the sequence where Romilda's (Sirpa Lane) passionate lovemaking exhausts the beast who collapses to the ground and expires. As a result the tale has been robbed of its irony
Walerian Borowczyk’s BEHIND CONVENT WALLS (1978) also had problems with the Australian Censorship Board.
THE BEAST was next before the censors in November 1981, when Star Video had a 94m
videotape Refused Registration. The reason given for the ban was sex, which
were described as:
During the early 80s, there was no law that compelled distributors to have video tapes classified. For a period, the Censorship Board simply viewed the tapes and passed them as 'Special Condition', the definition of which was:
That the film/tape will not be exhibited in any State in contravention of that State's law relating to the exhibition of films.
It was under this 'Special Condition' that Publishing and Broadcasting Video had an 89m reconstructed (censored) version passed in September 1983.
The X-rating was introduced in February 1984 and the same month THE BEAST
became one of the first titles to be awarded such a rating. The 92m tape
submitted by Publishing and Broadcasting Video was awarded the X-rating for
sex, which was described as:
Note that there was a brief period where the X-rating was considered not just for sex films, but also material that was too extreme for the R-rating. During this time, violence could exist in the X category, and films such as CALIGULA, JUNGLE WARRIORS, PINK FLAMINGOS, KILLER NUN, and ROSEMARY'S KILLER were awarded this rating. The guidelines were swiftly tightened up to remove violence, though pro-censorship groups will try to tell you otherwise.
Despite Publishing and Broadcasting Video having an 89m 'Special Condition' tape passed in September 1983, and a 92m X-rated tape passed in February 1984, we have yet to see any confirmation that either was actually released. If anyone has any evidence to the contrary then please send in the details.
An uncut print screened in Australia at the 2002 Melbourne Underground Film Festival.
In April 2007, Umbrella Entertainment had a DVD of THE BEAST passed with an R18+ (High Level Sexual Themes and Sex Scenes) rating. This was released in February 2008. The cover states 'Banned for 30 Years!'.
Thanks to James for this review of the DVD.
The Umbrella DVD runs 94:10 and appears to be the Directors Cut. The 102:53 version that was submitted to the censors back in 1976 would seem to be the same as the version that was released as the third disc of the Dutch Cult Epics DVD. According to DVD Beaver.
"It's like the shorter versions [Directors Cut] is the final version, and the cuts are made to speed-up the rhythm of the film. They have for example shortened the scene where the girl run's away from the Beast with over two minutes. The cuts are more like they have taken away some picture pairs. The girl runs a shorter time, the Beast ejaculates one time less etc. "
In the dream sequence, the Beast chases the girl in three parts.
Part one runs from 63:30 to 67:40 when the chase begins to when the scene concludes with the girl climbing a tree and the Beast licking her vagina. When she falls from the tree, he attempts to rape her.
The second part from 72 to 76min starts with Lucy masturbating with the rose. This scene is quite explicit, with her vagina exposed to the camera. This must have been cut by the censors back in 1976. The dream sequence then continues with the girl being raped by the Beast.
The final part runs from 79:30 to 81:15 and has the girl masturbating the Beast, and licking his penis until he dies of pleasure. This is the scene that you quote Cinema Papers as saying was most heavily cut for an R18+ rating back in 1977. However, it only runs under two minutes, confirming that other scenes were also cut.
The four minutes of cuts that the censors made back in October 1977 to secure an R18+ must have been made to these three parts of the dream sequence. There are other sex scenes in the film, but none are as explicit as the chase, rape, and eventual death of the Beast.
BEAST IN HEAT was part of a package of fifteen tapes that were seized by the Australian Customs Service in October 1991. They were forwarded to the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) who found them to be:
"…prohibited pursuant to Regulation 4A(1A)(a)(iii) of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations"
In 1981, Blake Films cut BEAST OF PLEASURE from 76 to 69m for an R-rating. The censored 69m (68:33) release on Roadshow's Vibrant Video label was reviewed in 1984 and confirmed with an R-rating. Thanks to Stephen F for the cover scan and time.
This film has never had problems with the Australian censors. It is included because we suspect the distributor censored it prior to submission to the Classification Board.
BEAT ANGEL ESCALAYER was passed with an R18+ (High level animated sex scenes) rating in July 2008. Siren Visual Entertainment released it on DVD as part of their Hentai Collection in November 2008.
This would join a number of other titles in Siren's Hentai collection that were either banned or censored in Australia. See the entry for HOLY VIRGINS for a full listing.
Thanks again to Geoff for this review in which he exposes more censorship.
It looks like Siren has once again submitted censored hentai to the Classification Board in the hope of escaping an RC-rating. Details of the three episodes are as follows.
Episode 1: Runs 28:22 and did not look cut
Episode 3: Runs 28:08 (29:08 including the English credits) and did not look cut.
Episode 2: Runs 27:24 and is definitely censored. The running times that I'm going to quote include that of Episode 1. The scene begins around the 33min point and involves Sayuka being attacked by a huge red octopus. Missing are scenes of him pulling off her bra, wrapping his tentacles around her breasts and squeezing them, and a brief shot of her naked breasts before the camera pans down.
The tentacle is then shown going into her mouth and then there is a very obvious cut at the 34:50 point. It should continue to a shot of her legs being prised open by the tentacles and exposing her vagina. There then follows a full on tentacle rape which takes place as a group of robot like creatures look on and cheer. Interestingly Siren have put a shot from earlier in the scene featuring a fully clothed Sayuka, they also reinstate several earlier shots to cover the cuts.
To be honest I really don't know why Siren cut this scene so badly. Maybe they thought the censorship board still had a thing about tentacle rape since the Urotsukidoji-Legend of Overfiend ban back in '94. It's doubly puzzling when you see that they left in the scene that starts around the 49min mark in Episode 2. Here Sayuka is raped (and enjoys it) by a character called FM77, a female looking creature with a huge dick!
It's pointless going by the running times to judge the cuts because as I mentioned Siren have used other footage to mask them. There may be other censorship, but the octopus rape scene was the most obvious. There are no extras at all, and the DVD menu lists only two episodes, but all three play.
In September 1972, a 2760.41-meters (100:37) print of BEDSIDE DENTIST was banned because of 'indecency'.
A censored 2687.19-meter (97:57) version was passed with an R-rating in October 1972. U.I.P released it theatrically.
In August 1982, Blake Films had a 1077.00-meter (98:08) 16mm print of BEDSIDE DENTIST passed with an R-rating. The running time appears to indicate that is was already censored.
This was followed in February 1984 by a 100m videotape which was also passed with an R-rating.
In both cases, Blake Films had the rating awarded for sex, which was
described as being:
Image courtesy of moviemem.com
In June 1979, a 2577.30-meter (93:56) print of BEHIND CONVENT WALLS was censored by 15.3-meters (00:33) for an R-rating. Superstar International submitted the film under the alternative title WITHIN A CLOISTER.
K&C Video released a tape of BEHIND CONVENT WALLS in the early 80s. It ran 89:14 (PAL), which suggests it was a cut version.
A tape was passed with an X-rating in January 1986. Although Palace Home Video made the submission, it is unclear if they released it. The 78m running time indicates that this was also a censored version.
Walerian Borowczyk’s THE BEAST (1975) also had problems with the Australian Censorship Board.
This film has never had problems with the Australian censors. It is included because the distributor released a censored print.
Troma had BEWARE! CHILDREN AT PLAY passed by the OFLC with an R18+ rating in 1998. This version was the softer US R-rated print that removes many of the violent scenes. The Troma video was released in Australia through Siren.
Movie-Censorship has a comparison between the US unrated and R-rated versions.
In 2000, violent clips (taken out of context) from the unrated version contributed to the banning of six DVDs that contained the TROMA INTELLIGENCE TEST.
In June 2005, BEWARE! CHILDREN AT PLAY was back before the OFLC, and again it was rated R18+, this time with a consumer warning of 'High level horror violence, Blood and gore'. The DVD was the full-uncut version, which ran 93:17. It was released by Stomp Visual in September 2005.
On the back cover, the following was written:
Troma Intelligence Test and Trailers are not available on this release
See our separate entry for THE TROMA INTELLIGENCE TEST for an explanation of why it was dropped.
It is a mystery why Stomp dropped the COMING DISTRACTIONS extra, as it was simply a series of trailers for other Troma titles.
Both THE TROMA INTELLIGENCE TEST and COMING DISTRACTIONS extras are listed on the DVD menu, but have been removed.
In February 2011, BEWARE! CHILDREN AT PLAY was re-released on DVD by Jigsaw Entertainment, through Gryphon Entertainment.