In March 1971, a 9673-feet (107:29) version of THE HONEYMOON KILLERS was banned because of 'violence and indecency'.
In January 1972, the film was resubmitted in the same version. It was hoped that it would now fit into the new R-rating that had been introduced two months earlier. This was not to be the case, and it was again banned for 'violence and indecency'. Incamera were the applicant.
Thanks to Simon for this information.
There really is only one scene of 'excessive violence' in THE HONEYMOON KILLERS. It takes place at 78m when Janet is beaten to death with a hammer to the head. The scene is not as shocking as it sounds as the film is in black and white.
The murder of Delphine, by a gunshot to the head, and the drowning of her young daughter Rainelle, is not shown. Instead, they are conveyed entirely by sound effects.
The Censorship Board’s claims of 'indecency' are more difficult to understand. There is no sex and nudity, apart from a brief side view of a breast, a rear view of Ray. Maybe at the time, indecency meant Ray telling Delphine that she needed to take tablets to abort her baby. Overall, the censor probably just did not appreciate the tone of the film.
January 1972 was probably too soon after the introduction of the R-rating to re-submit it. Standards seemed to relax after a few years, so I believe it could have received an uncut release by the mid-70s.
In October 1989, a 103m print of THE HONEYMOON KILLERS passed with an M
(Occasional violence) rating. It was released theatrically by Potential
Films. The violence was described as being:
A 103m version was again passed with an M-rating in December 1990. The tape was released by Roadshow on their Premiere label.
SBS has screened an uncut version of THE HONEYMOON KILLERS a number of times.
In June 2004, DV1 submitted a 103:24 DVD. Once more, it passed with an M-rating, but now with consumer advice changed from 'Occasional violence' to 'Medium level violence'. The cover advertised the fact that it had been banned.
In March 2006, HOOLIGAN was banned by the OFLC. Siren Visual Entertainment had submitted this hentai DVD.
This would join a number of other titles in Siren's Hentai collection that were either banned or censored in Australia. See the Film Censorship Database entry for HOLY VIRGINS for a full listing.
A trailer for HOOLIGAN can be found on Siren's THE STORY OF LITTLE MONICA and NAUGHTY NURSES DVDs.
In February 1982, a 578.00-meter (52:40) 16mm print of THE HORNY VAMPIRE
was banned because of sex, which was found to be:.
A 438.80-meter (39:59) 16mm 'reconstructed version' was passed with an
R-rating in May 1982. The sex was now described as:
14th Mandolin was the applicant.
There is one report from 2004 of customs taking HORRIBLE HIGH HEELS. The DVD was the Hong Kong release on the City Laser and Video Company label. The reason given was:
"This disc portrays scenes of intercourse immediately followed by the beating and cutting murder of the female. Another scene shows the dismemberment of another murder victim in such a way that it offends the stands of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults."
In February 1974, 29.87 meter (66s) of footage had to be removed from a 2743.30-meter (100:15) print of HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB to achieve an R-rating. It went on to have an Australian theatrical release, but was never issued on video.
Thanks to Matt for this review.
This is a great piece of 70s Spanish horror cinema. The violence in the uncut version would now easily get an R-rating, or maybe even an MA15+. Some of the footage that the censors would have removed back in 1974 would possibly have included:
The pre-credit decapitation of Alaric de Marnac, the thief shot in the face (20min), Chantal getting her neck cut with a scythe with her breasts exposed (37min), the topless body of the girl being put on the skeleton and being killed with a scythe (53min), and the climax where the heart is ripped out and Alaric once again looses his head. There are various other violent scenes, but these are the most explicit.
The print that I viewed ran 88:37 which included the Victory Films title card. The copyright at the end is listed as 1977. Interestingly you list the print that was viewed by the censors back in 1974 as running 100:16. If correct, this is far and away the longest version that I have heard about.
In June 1975, a 2669.13-meter (97:17) print of HOT AND NAKED was censored by 239.7-meters (08:43) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove 'indecency'.
Warner Brothers released it theatrically.
Image courtesy of moviemem.com
In March 1974, a 2581.35-meter (94:05) print of HOT SPUR was banned because of 'indecency and indecent violence'. Regent Trading Enterprises was the applicant.
In August 1976, Briad Film Production submitted a 2475.10-meter (90:13) version. It was again banned, only this time for 'indecency' only. They finally received an R-rating in November 1976 for a heavily censored 2224.30-meter (81.04) version.
Thanks to Simon for this information.
The original submission of HOT SPUR to the Censorship Board ran 94:05. However, the US VHS release from Something Weird runs 89:39 (NTSC), and does not appear to be cut.
Some, or all of these scenes would have been censored for the 1976 R-rating. As you can see, there is plenty of typical Lee Frost action.
04:00 to 07:15 – O'Hara’s men strip and grope the Mexican waitress as Carlo looks on. This is intercut with flashbacks to the attack on his sister.
21:00 to 27:00 - O'Hara’s men have sex with prostitutes in the bar.
29:00 to 31:00 – O'Hara beats his wife and rapes her. Intercut with flashbacks to the attack on Carlo's sister.
56:00 to 57:45 – Carlo strips and gropes O’Hara’s wife as he has flashbacks to the attack on his sister.
60:00 to 67:30 – Carlo rapes O'Hara’s wife. This leads to a long flashback where it is reviled that when Carlo was eleven, O’Hara and his men had raped his seventeen-year-old sister.
76:00 to 76:30 – O’Hara’s wife is tied up naked and gagged. Carlo whips her as her husband and his men attack the cabin.
Blake Films had this teenage sex-comedy Refused Registration in June
1981. The 2210:00-meter (80:46) print of HOT TIMES was banned due to sex, which
was described as being:
In March 1982, 8.7 meter (00:19) of cuts were made. The sex in the
R-rated version was now described as being:
It was this cut print that Blake Films released to theatres.
In June 1985, CBS/Fox Video had an 81m videotape of HOT TIMES passed with
an R-rating. It was awarded for sex, which was described as being:
The actual running time of the CBS/Fox tape was 77:17 (PAL).
Thanks to Matt for this review.
US VHS: 80:35 (NTSC) equivalent to 77:22 (PAL)
Aus CBS/Fox VHS: 77:17 (PAL)
I compared the CBS/Fox VHS with the US version and could not see any obvious censorship. The US tape features the same cuckoo sound that masks every utterance of 'Fuck' and 'Cunt' in the Australian tape. Maybe this is the only version that exists.
The sex is purely softcore, and it is hard to see which scene would have lost 19s for the 1982 theatrical release.
Converting the NTSC time to PAL gives a running time that is very close to the CBS/Fox version. Without doing a direct comparison, I would say that our tape is either uncut, or censored by a few seconds.
Daybill image courtesy of moviemem.com
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.
In May 1982, Greater Union Film Distributors had an 85m 35mm print of HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY rated M for theatrical release. This was pre-cut prior to submission, as the uncut version should run around 87m. It was probably done on the assumption that the Censorship Board would ban a complete print.
In May 1985, Roadshow Home Video had an 81m videotape rated R. The actual running time was 81:10, and as the following comparison shows, it was missing around one minute from three different murders scenes.
During the 1980s, many of the films of Lucio Fulci, such as THE BEYOND, ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS, CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD, and THE NEW YORK RIPPER, were banned or heavily cut in Australia.
THE FIRST MURDER
Before - Girl screams, shot of knife held above her head.
CENSORED AT 02:06 (11s missing) - Knife being thrust into back of girls head, and exiting through her mouth. Shot of her body falling to the floor, with the knife sticking from her mouth.
After - Shot of dead girl's hand.
LAURA GITTLESON'S MURDER
Before - Shot of her being stabbed in stomach with a poker.
CENSORED AT 42:58 (20s missing) - Poker stabbing her in the heart.
After/Before - Two close up shots of her face.
CENSORED AT 43:01 (20s missing) - The poker moves up to her throat, and punctures her jugular vein. Blood flows out.
After - Shot of Freudstein dragging her away by the legs.
Before - Bob walking towards the camera.
CENSORED AT 58:37 (5s missing) - Further shots of Ann having her throat cut.
After/Before - Bob walking down, and around the back of the stairs.
CENSORED AT 58:41 (5s missing) - Close up shot of the knife cutting Ann's throat, and blood flowing out.
After - Brief shot of Ann falling towards the camera, before Bob walks into the room and calls her name.
In 2001, there were two confirmed reports of customs confiscating copies of the Dutch EC Entertainment DVD release. The discs were forwarded to the OFLC, who refused them a classification. A third confirmed confiscation of THE HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK took place in 2003, when a DVD imported from the USA was seized.
In August 1972, a 2476.79-meter (90:23) print of HOW DID A NICE GIRL LIKE YOU GET INTO THIS BUSINESS? was banned because of 'indecency'.
In the same month, following an appeal by MGM BEF Film Distributors, the Film Board of Review overturned this decision and awarded it an R-rating.
Image courtesy of moviemem.com
This film has never had problems with the Australian censors. It is included because the distributor chose to censor it to achieve a more commercial rating.
In 1996, Roadshow Entertainment was awarded a PG (Low Level Violence) rating for Disney's THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME. Knowing that this would be bad for business, Roadshow appealed to the Review Board in an attempt to gain a G-rating.
The appeal failed and the rating was confirmed as PG (Low level violence).
Here is what the Review Board had to say in reaching their decision.
5. Findings on material questions of fact.
5.The film is an animated version of Victor Hugo's story of Quasimodo, the 'hunchback' of Notre Dame, his unrequited love for the gypsy girl Esmerelda, and her perils at the hands of the evil judge Frollo.
The themes and scenes of violence and menace.
5.2 The Review Board considered the themes and scenes cited by the Classification Board.
1) at 3 minutes, a gypsy mother (with baby in arms) is pursued by Frollo on a ferocious looking horse. She is flung on to the cathedral steps, hits her head and dies. Frollo attempts to dispose of the baby down a well.
2) at 30minutes, Quasimodo is tied up in the village square, pelted with rubbish and flogged.
3) at 35 minutes, Frollo grabs Esmerelda in the cathedral, sniffs her hair, and says 'I'm imagining a rope around your neck'.
4) at 50-52 minutes, Frollo sings of his feelings for Esmerelda. Images of Esmerelda appear in the flames: menacing images of red robed figures and black shadows appear.
5) at 53 minutes, while searching for Esmerelda, families with children are thrown in the water, or locked into houses which are set on fire.
6) at 75 minutes, the battle for the cathedral rages.
7) at 78 minutes, Frollo pursues Esmerelda and Quasimodo with sword and much menace.
It was noted that the language used including the use of song to tell parts of the story, was complex, and would hinder young children's perceptions of the plot, and eventual outcomes.
5.3 The majority of the Review Board found these themes and incidents were not treated in a manner consistent with the classification criteria for G, viz. the violence depictions were neither 'minimal, mild and incidental' nor characterised by 'a very low sense of threat or menace' or 'a light tone'. Further the majority found the basic premise for G classification, viz 'parents should feel confident that children may view material in this classification without supervision, knowing that no distress or harm is likely to be caused', was not met.
5.4 A minority of the Board found that the violence was not so impactful that it would disturb children, and that sufficient warning to parents could be obtained from classifying the film G with consumer advice 'Some Scenes May Be Unsuitable For Young Children'.
6. Reasons for the Decision
6.1 The Review Board based its decision to confirm the Classifications Board's decision to classify the film The Hunchback of Notre Dame PG, with the consumer advice 'Low Level Violence' on the content and impact of the film as set out in 5.2 and 5.3 above.
6.2 The applicant argued that while the film had been made for children, it was not made for very young children. The Board should not have applied a test of suitability for very young children. Further, the film had a moral message, lightened by humour, and wizardry; the violence was animated and children could distinguish between animated action and real.
The Review Board rejects these arguments. Films in the G category are required to be suitable for viewing by children of all ages without supervision and without causing anxiety or distress. The appropriate classification to be used where there are disturbing elements (such as violence which is not minimal, mild and incidental), is PG. The classification gives a signal to parents that there are elements which may disturb their children.
Further, the Review Board did not accept that elements such as 'humour and wizardry' would provide sufficient balance to the tone and impact of the darker and extended sequences. Further, the effect of animation can be to heighten the impact of some violent sequences, providing an unnatural focus on them.
6.3 The Review Board concluded that the film cannot be recommended for viewing by persons who are under 15 without the guidance of a parent or guardian, within the meaning of Paragraph 6 of the Table under the heading 'Films in the National Classification Code'.
6.4 The Review Board also concluded that the film contained scenes and themes of violence which when viewed by those under 15 years require the guidance of a parent or guardian.
The Review Board's decision is to confirm the decision of the Classification Board to classify the film The Hunchback of Notre Dame PG with the consumer advice 'Low Level Violence'.
This decision was taken after full consideration of the applicant's submission, and after assessing the film as a whole against relevant legislative criteria, including those contained in the National Classification Code, and in the current classification guidelines for films determined under section 12 of the Classification Act. 11 to 12 July 1996
Following the unsuccessful appeal, Roadshow decided to censor THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME to achieve a G-rating. The 35mm print was cut from 91m to 89m, and was awarded a G (Some scenes may be unsuitable for very young children) rating in September 1996. This print that went on to play theatrically in Australia, and be released on VHS by Walt Disney Home Video.
In May 1999, Roadshow Film Distributors again had a 91m 35mm print of THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME rated PG (Low level violence).
Buena Vista Entertainment also had a DVD passed with the same rating in October 2001.
In February 1976, a 2688.33-meter (97:59) print of PLEASE DON’T EAT MY MOTHER was censored by 69.60-meters (02:32) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove 'indecency'.
Regent Trading Enterprises was the applicant.
In May 1976, the Censorship Board noted that the title PLEASE DON’T EAT MY MOTHER had been changed to HUNGRY PETS. It was under this name that K&C Video released the film on tape in the early 80s.