Film Censorship: Robotrix (1991)






Directed by Luk Kim Ming / 1991 / Hong Kong / IMDb

In 1991, the OFLC banned ROBOTRIX three times before awarding it an R18+ (Medium Level Sex, Violence) rating.  The Chinatown Cinema was the applicant.

The timeline was as follows:

This censored version of ROBOTRIX went on to play Chinese Language theatres in late 1991.


The Classification Board stated the reasons for the ban as 'gratuitous sexual violence'.

In the 1991 to 1992 Annual Report, the OFLC made the following comments.

"In the case of Robotrix, a film combining science-fiction, comic and sexually exploitative elements, depictions of graphic and relished violence also contributed to the decision for refusal"



Banned and censored on video

In 1995, Roadshow submitted a VHS of ROBOTRIX, but it too was banned. The 94m running time indicates that it could have been an uncut PAL version.


In February 1996, Siren Entertainment had a heavily censored VHS passed with an R18+ (Medium Level Sex, Violence) rating. This 90:02 version was presumably the same as the one that was passed for theatrical release in September 1991. The heavily censored tape, missing approximately 03:20, was released on Siren's newly launched Chinatown Video label.


Robotrix - Siren Entertainment [au] VHS


There exists a second Australian VHS release of ROBOTRIX on a cheap no-name label. This appeared around the late 90s and ran 90:24.



Siren's ROBOTRIX: The censored footage

The cuts to the Siren Entertainment's ROBOTRIX tape are detailed below.

The OFLC gave 'gratuitous sexual violence' as the reason for the 1991 ban. This obviously refers to the murder of the bargirl, and the rape of Dr Sara. Various other cuts were also made to tone down the violence.

Note that this is not an exact comparison; it is possible that other scenes may have been slightly censored.




Ryuichi Yamamoto is having consensual sex with the bargirl. He begins to get rough, she complains, so he strangles her and throws the body from the window. 56s were removed from the Siren VHS.

A cut was made when Yamamoto begins to get rough. The Siren tape makes it seem like he throws her out of the window after strangling her on the bed. He actually carries her to the wall and strangles her. This is by far the largest cut to this scene. Also missing is the shot of the girl's body on the car.


Robotrix - Murder of the Bargirl #1Robotrix - Murder of the Bargirl #2
Robotrix - Murder of the Bargirl #3Robotrix - Murder of the Bargirl #4




Ryuichi Yamamoto beating Snitchy Fai to death has been toned down in the Siren version.


Robotrix - Murder of Snitchy Fai #1Robotrix - Murder of Snitchy Fai #2
Robotrix - Murder of Snitchy Fai #3Robotrix - Murder of Snitchy Fai #4




Ryuichi Yamamoto decapitates one bodyguard with a suitcase, and punches the other in the stomach. The Siren tape makes several cuts to this scene.


Robotrix - Murder of the Bodyguards #1Robotrix - Murder of the Bodyguards #2
Robotrix - Murder of the Bodyguards #3Robotrix - Murder of the Bodyguards #4
Robotrix - Murder of the Bodyguards #5Robotrix - Murder of the Bodyguards #6




Ryuichi Yamamoto drills the leg of the Prince. The Siren version removes the shot of the drill entering his leg, as well as his reaction.


Robotrix - Leg Drilling #1Robotrix - Leg Drilling #2




Ryuichi Yamamoto ties up Dr Sara and forces her to have sex. This was by far the largest cut in the Siren tape. The entire 106s scene was removed.


Robotrix - Ryuichi and Dr Sara #1Robotrix - Ryuichi and Dr Sara #2




All shots of the drill entering Selina's chest have been removed from the Siren tape.


Robotrix - Chest Drilling #1Robotrix - Chest Drilling #2



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