In June 1985, an 86m tape of ESCAPE FROM HELL was banned because of 'gratuitous sexual violence'. We can find no record of this being passed with an R-rating. However, Showcase Video released a censored 85:33 (PAL) version on tape.
Thanks to Matt for this review.
Troma Team Video [us] 92:14 (NTSC) converts to 88:33 (PAL)
Showcase Video [au] 85:33 (PAL)
Troma’s DVD begins with the Wizard Home Video logo, so presumably this print was taken from that mid-80s tape.
In the UK, the film was released as HELL PRISON in 1986. The submitted version (before it was censored) ran 88:34, which must be the uncut PAL running time, as it matches the above NTSC to PAL conversion. This means our Showcase tape was censored by approximately 03:00, and the banned 86m tape must have been cut before submission.
There are two scenes of 'gratuitous sexual violence' that I assume were removed from the Showcase tape. Both involve actor Serafino Profumo as Martinez, basically the same evil bastard role he played in the also banned, SS EXPERIMENT LOVE CAMP and SS CAMP 5: WOMEN’S HELL (1977).
Assault #1 - Martinez and his men have hunted down an escaped female prisoner. From 04:20 to 05:10, he holds her down, tears off her top, and roughly kisses her breasts. A shot from this scene appears on the cover of the Showcase tape.
Assault #2 - A girl is shown bathing naked in a stream when Martinez and one of his men arrive. They grab her and take her into the bushes. From 33:45 to 35:25 Martinez holds her down as the other man rubs her breasts and between her open legs. This is quite an explicit shot, and would not be out of place in a Jess Franco WIP film. He then kisses her breasts and between her legs. Eventually he turns her over and has sex as Martinez holds her still. This would have definitely been censored in the Showcase tapes as it is the most graphic scene in the film.
Parts of ESCAPE FROM HELL were edited into a Linda Blair film called SAVAGE ISLAND (1985). The Censorship Board passed that with an R-rating in May 1986. It was released on tape as BANISHED WOMEN by Roadshow Home Video. It would be interesting to see if either of the above scenes appeared in this version, as we know that censors are never consistent.
In April 1974, a 3003.00-meter (109:28) print of ESCORT GIRLS was censored by 99:06-meters (03:36) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove 'indecency'.
The film was originally submitted under the title ALL LOVERS ARE STRANGERS, but in November 1974 this was notified as being changed to ESCORT GIRLS. It was released by MGM BEF Film Distributors.
In August 1981, a 105m videotape of was banned because of sex, which was
found to be:
L&M Imports were the applicant.
Until 1984, there was no law that forced 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.
Video Classics had a 98m tape of ESCORT GIRLS passed with such a warning in May 1983.
In June 1985, a 98m tape of ESCORT GIRLS was passed with an R-rating. It
was awarded for sex, which was now identified as:
Video Classics were the applicant. The tape was released as part of their Movie at Midnight range.
Image courtesy of moviemem.com
In February 1980, Mandarin Cinema Pty Ltd submitted a 2593.00-meter (94:46) print of EUNUCH OF THE WESTERN PALACE to the Censorship Board.
It was passed only after 14.5
meters (32s) of 'excessive violence' was removed. The R-rating was awarded
for violence, which was described as:
Thanks to Matt for this review.
I've seen the old English dubbed VHS released by Ocean Shores in 1980 and it runs 92:17. To be honest I cannot really see what would have bothered the censors back in 1980. People are stabbed and speared, and struck by flying stars, but it is all relatively bloodless, and certainly not grounds for censorship.
The Ocean Shores print of EUNUCH OF THE WESTERN PALACE does run two and a half minutes shorter than the version submitted to the Classification Board. There may be a cut to a sex scene at the 76:38 point when the Eunuch pulls back the bed cover from the girl, the film seems to jump and we are then shown Lo Lieh's character coughing. Apart from that the difference in running time could be down to something as simple as different credits.
The only thing that may have troubled the censors could have been the scene between 3 to 4m where we are told the background to the history of Eunuchs in China. It depicts young boys being castrated before they begin their life as Eunuchs. Again this is not graphically shown. It is depicted only by the screaming faces of the boys which in the English dub sounds like it is done by Adults giving it an unintentional air of comedy. In 2009 this would be M-rated, or MA15+ tops!
In August 1970, a 8332.00-feet (92:35) print of EVA, THE FIRST STONE was banned because of 'indecency'. At the time, the R-rating had yet to be introduced and SOA (broadly equivalent to M) was the highest classification available.
In February 1973, the Censorship Board demanded that cuts be made to a 2539.59-meter (92:34) print. Star Films appealed to the Film Board of Review, who overturned the decision and passed in with an R-rating uncut.
In 1997, a package sent from Holland containing EVIL DEAD TRAP 1 and 2 was seized by customs. Both tapes were then sent to the OFLC in Sydney for classification. EVIL DEAD TRAP 2 (1992) was released, whilst this first episode was confiscated.
The refusal was due to scenes of extreme ‘snuff' style violence, specifically where a bound and gagged woman gets her eyeball skewered in close-up.
Warner Brothers had a 104m 'reduced version' of EVILSPEAK passed with an R-rating in November 1981.
In January 1986, Warner Home Video had an 89m (88:27) tape rated R.
Thanks to Steve.L for the following details regarding this release.
During the scene in which the pig pulls out a piece of Miss Friedemeyer's stomach, there is a trim, deleting footage of it snapping. I suspect the OFLC did it, but I don't know. This is the only (completely pointless) gore cut in the Warner Bros. tape, and that shot is completely cut out of the U.S. "R"-rated version which has numerous other cuts to its discredit.
The remaining 11 minutes are basically dialogue-related, and were ditched from the U.S. theatrical release... and likely not by the director. So, I'm assuming, while Australia was given the complete 103-minute version for the theatrical run (barring whatever they did to it), when it came time to do the video, they were given a master of Moreno Co.'s chopped 92-minute version--before the MPAA cuts were made.
Incidentally, the Warner Bros.' tape has the best-looking print of EVILSPEAK I've seen to date.
Optus Movie Greats screened EVILSPEAK throughout 2002. Due to the restrictions on showing R-rated features, this particular print (still with Warner logo) has been censored for an MA-rating. The running time was 87:49, and was most noticeably missing a couple of decapitations, the pigs pulling on the girl's entrails, and the heart removal scene.
In August 1981, a 2523.56-meter (92:00) print of EXECUTION was censored by 19-meters (00:42) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove:
Other Imitable gunmaking
The R-rating was awarded for violence, which was now found to be:
The "imitable gunmaking" appears to have been censored.
DLA Movie Distributors and Wholesalers had a 58m videotape of EXECUTIONS 2 Refused Classification in May 1998.
This is a cheap cash in on the original UK produced EXECUTIONS tape which had been passed with an R18+ (Contains scenes of real executions) rating in 1995.
In November 1975, a 3049-meter (111:08) print of EXHIBITION was banned because of 'indecency'.
The film was censored down to 2605.50-meter (94:58), but in August 1976, this too was banned for 'indecency'. The print was described as a 'soft, subtitled version'.
In September 1976, Blake Films made a successful appeal to the Films Board of Review that saw the 2605.50-meter (94:58) ‘soft, subtitled version’ passed with an R-rating.
Image courtesy of moviemem.com
In October 1978, a 2139.54-meter (78:12) 35mm print of EXIT THE DRAGON, ENTER THE TIGER was passed with an R-rating. The distributor, Fatseas Enterprises, had censored the film prior to submitting it to the censors.
In March 1983, Video Classics had an 84m tape banned because of violence,
which was considered to be:
In August 1983, a censored 79m version of EXIT THE DRAGON, ENTER THE TIGER was passed with an R-rating. It needs to be confirmed if Video Classics ever released this tape.
EXIT THE DRAGON, ENTER THE TIGER was released on video in the mid-80s by Trans World Entertainment. The back cover claims that it was rated M, but we believe this to be false. The cover lists a time of 84m, when it actually runs 80:00. Despite this, the print appears to be uncut. The different times seem to be down to NTSC and PAL speeds.
Thanks to Matt for this review.
EXIT THE DRAGON, ENTER THE TIGER is a highly entertaining entry in the Bruce Lee exploitation genre. The Trans World Entertainment tape runs 80:00, and appears to be uncut. Here is my reading of it through the eyes of an Aussie censor. All times are approximate.
23:30 to 27:45 – David fights The Baron’s men in a yard stacked with barrels. I doubt the censors would have been troubled by this standard 70s fight scene.
26:15 to 27:45. The censors may not have approved of this scene where George is burnt on the hand with a cigarette and beaten by The Baron’s henchmen.
32:00 to 39:00 – David fights, and is captured by Long Fei’s men. Again, this is a standard fight scene. However, at 38:45 he is tortured with a blowtorch, which is shown burning his skin. I believe that this would have been a problem for the censors.
46:00 to 47:00 – Long Fei is captured be David and beaten until he confesses to Suzy Yung’s kidnap. This would probably not upset the censor.
54:00 to 54:30 – The Baron’s men torture Suzy Yung by putting needles under her fingernails. This is another problem scene.
59:00 to 62:00 – The Baron’s men beat George to try to find out where the tape is. They repeatedly bash his head down on the floor. They then strip a Kea (David’s girlfriend), and one of them rapes her. George attempts to help, but is beaten to death. This scene definitely contains material that the censors would not have liked.
62:00 to 65:30 – David finds Kea raped, and George dead. He then attacks the Baron’s men in a fight scene that gets quite brutal in places as he beats then with pieces of wood.
68:00 to 71:15 – David fights and kills Jing Gwon in the industrial factory. This would probably not upset the censor.
72:00 to 79:30 – The final showdown with the Baron takes place on rocks at the ocean. He fights the henchman, and eventually kills the Baron by stabbing him with a sword. This would have been unlikely to bother the censors.
I searched the British censor's site and found that in 1990, VPD submitted EXIT THE DRAGON, ENTER THE TIGER in an 80:01 (same as our Trans World Entertainment VHS) print. It was censored by 01:28 before being awarded an 18-rating.
The IMDb claims this was to:
"….remove nunchaku scenes, a kidney punch and a neck break, and to edit a scene where a woman is assaulted. The Prism DVD features the same cut print"
Global Film Distributors had a 2633.00-meter (96:14) 35mm print of EXORCISM banned in October 1975 for reasons of indecency and excessive violence.
In February 1976, it was censored down to 2522.00-meters (92:11) and awarded an R-rating. It was this version that was released theatrically in Australia.
Thanks to Matt for this review.
I recently viewed the US Synapse DVD release of Franco's EXORCISM. I guess you are aware that this has been released in multiple versions including one with hardcore inserts. The running time of the DVD is 93:45 and Synapse claim this version was specially prepared by Eurocine. I guess we could call this the Producer's cut. What is interesting is that this still runs around two and a half minutes shorter than the 35mm print banned by the Australian censors back in 1975. From viewing the Synapse DVD it is easy to see how this ran into problems as it is packed full of sex and violence.
The following scenes would have definitely had problems.
30-34min approx: Vogel takes a bar-girl back to his house. He gets her to the bed, claims she is possessed by the devil, and stabs her. He then chains her up naked and stabs her again.
40min approx: As part of a stage show Marina is inverted naked and stabbed in the vagina (off-screen). We only see the aftermath of the blood on her pubic hair and breasts. This is followed by an impossibly long orgy scene that lasts until around the 45min point.
49:30-59:30: Vogel stabbing a naked girl to death on a bed. Includes close-up shots of the stabbing.
82min approx: Vogel stabbing a naked Anne.
Considering that you list the film as loosing four minutes to the censors then some, or all of these scenes would have definitely been removed of toned down.
Overall I would say this is some of Franco's best work, and believe me I've seen a lot!
THE EXTERMINATOR was banned in December 1980, but Roadshow appealed to the Review Board, and the following month an uncut print was passed with an R-rating.
This was not the end of the saga, as Cinema Papers Magazine explained at the time.
An independent American production, The Exterminator was refused registration by the Commonwealth Censor in December 1980 for excessive violence. An appeal was launched by its distributor, Roadshow, and the Film Board of Review registered the film R uncut in January.
A few days before its Adelaide release, however, President Reagan was shot with an exploding bullet. As the film showed the making of a similar type of bullet, various groups in South Australia asked the Attorney General, K.T Griffith, to ban the film; this he did. Then Western Australia joined the fray and banned the film, followed by Queensland which took the unusual step of banning it from drive-ins but not hard tops. The film is now in release in New South Wales and Victoria.
A 97m uncut video of THE EXTERMINATOR was released on the Thorn-EMI label, but this was banned in April 1985 because of excessive violence.
The following month Pioneer Electronics also had a 97m tape banned.
In June 2005, THE EXTERMINATOR was back before the censors. This time it was rated MA15+ (Strong Violence, Coarse Language). The DVD was released by Paramount-Rialto Home Entertainment in October 2005.
The cover of the disc promised:
Finally witness the Director's cut, featuring never before seen footage from one of the most cold blooded tales of revenge ever to hit the screen"
Unfortunately, this proved not to be true. Paramount sourced a censored print, which was missing nearly four minutes of footage that could be found in the old Thorn-EMI tape. This was entirely the fault of the distributor, and their claim of a 'Director's Cut' was blatant false advertising.
The running time of the DVD was 94:00, and the censorship would seem to be the same as the UK Starvision VHS release. Movie-censorship has details of the cut footage. In 2005, an uncut version would have easily passed through with an R18+ rating.
In November 1984, a 2441.00-meter (89:13) print of EXTERMINATOR 2 was
banned because of 'excessive violence', which was described as being:
In February 1985, a 2480.00-meter (90:39) version was banned for the same reason. Despite running longer than the original submission, this print was described as an 'overseas modified version'.
In May 1985, an 88m tape was banned for the same reason. RCA/Columbia Pictures/Hoyts Video were the applicant.
In July 1985, a censored 2276.69-meter (83:13) version of EXTERMINATOR 2
was finally passed with an R-rating. It was awarded for violence, which was
..and for language, which was described as being:
Hoyts Distribution went on to release it theatrically.
In November 1985, an 83m video of EXTERMINATOR 2 was passed with an R-rating. It awarded for the same reasons as the censored theatrical version, so presumably it was identical. The RCA/Columbia Home Video tape ran 79:15 (PAL).
Thanks to Simon for this information.
The RCA/Columbia tape of EXTERMINATOR 2 is missing around six and a half minutes of footage.
MGM/UA Home Video [us] 89:19 (NTSC) Converts to 85:45 (PAL)
RCA/Columbia Home Video [au] 79:15 (PAL)
Times do not including Cannon title card.
CONVENIENCE STORE HOLD UP
Before – Gang member says to old woman "I don’t remember giving you no appointment"
Censored at 02:22 - There are 00:52 missing of the gang members taunting the storeowners. They hit the old woman, and shoot her husband. The old woman is eventually shot dead as she cries over the body of her husband.
After/Before – The four gang members run from the store, and are confronted by the Exterminator. They shoot, but he returns fire with his flamethrower.
Censored at 03:24 – There are 00:32 missing of two of the gang members burning and running around in agony, followed by a brief shot of the dead storeowners. The smoldering corpses of the two gang members are shown as the police arrive on the scene.
After – A newsreader is shown on the TV saying "Recent events around the city…"
Before – A gang member hits a security guard with a chain.
Censored at 13:08 – There are 00:19 missing of the gang member looking inside the helicopter as the pilot burns.
After – Bee-Gee arrives in his truck.
DEATH OF SECURITY GUARD / THE BURNING TREE
Before – The security guard has been crucified and is taken into the entrance of the subway station
Censored at 15:05 – There are 03:25 missing of the gang taking the security guard down into the subway, putting him on the line, and waiting for the train to run over him. This is the longest cut in the film, and the most unnecessary. Most of it consists of the gang walking through the subway tunnel. I can only assume that it was removed because the security guard is constantly heard pleading for his life.
After/Before – A gang member is up a tree, keeping a look out over the entrance to the subway. The Exterminator arrives, and the gang member says "Oh no", as he opens fire with his flamethrower.
Censored at 18:52 – There are 00:19 missing of the gang member being burnt alive in the tree.
After – Garbage trucks pulling out of their depot.
ATTACK ON CAROLINE
Before – Caroline is chased out of the toilet block by the gang.
Censored at 43:55 – There are 00:45 missing of the gang members chasing her through the park, bringing her to the ground, and beating her. John and a cop on horseback give chase. The gang scatters when the cop fires a warning shot.
After – Caroline lies still on the ground.
ATTACK ON THE FACTORY
Before – The gang members shoot up at the Exterminator; he returns fire with his flamethrower.
Censored at 75:05 – There are 00:24 missing of the gang members in agony, as they are burnt alive.
After – The Exterminator walks down the stairs.
THE DEATH OF X
Before – The burning body of X falls from the platform. This is followed by a shot of the 'Safety First' sign.
Censored at 82:30 – There are 00:05 missing of the Exterminator removing his mask, and looking down on the charred corpse of X that is impaled on a spike. There are several quick fire cuts between the Exterminator and the body.
After – The Exterminator turns and walks away.
Thanks again to Simon for this information.
In the US, the MPAA insisted on cuts if EXTERMINATOR 2 wanted to avoid an X-rating. It appears that all versions of the film are taken from this censored MPAA R-rated version. The cuts were reportedly to tone down the violence, and remove a rape. One scene that does seem to be cut is the death of Caroline, which does not appear in the MPAA R-rated version.
At 51m Caroline is shown in the hospital recovering from the beating she received at the hands of X’s gang. She does not appear again until 66m when John attempts to call her following the death of Bee-Gee. The phone rings in her apartment, and her naked body is shown face down on the bed.
John senses something is wrong, and races over to find a red X painted on the door. Her naked body is once again shown face down on the bed. I have yet to see any proof that a true uncut version still exists. Anyone advertising an uncut EXTERMINATOR 2, almost definitely has the MPAA R-rated version. Both the Australian and UK videos began with this censored print, and then further cut the violence.
In November 2002, EXTERMINATOR 2 premiered on Foxtel's Encore channel. It had a running time of 84:29.
Daybill image courtesy of moviemem.com
Warner Brothers had a 2312.5-meter (84:31) print of EYES OF A STRANGER Refused Registration in
February 1981. The reason given was violence, which was described as:
An appeal to the Review Board saw the ban overturned, and an R-rating awarded in February 1981. A theatrical release followed.
Warner Home Video released the film on tape in 1982.
In February 1984, it became law for all video tapes to be classified and
the censors began the slow task of reviewing all the titles that had been
released up until that time. They finally got to EYES OF A STRANGER in
January 1985. The R-rating was confirmed for the 81m tape, though now the
violence was described as:
Until the 2007 release of an uncut U.S. DVD, the Australian tape remained one of the best ways to view EYES OF A STRANGER. It was sought after by overseas collectors because it contained 30s of footage removed from the U.S. R-Rated version.
Daybill image courtesy of moviemem.com