Film Censorship: T #3





Tokyo Emmanuelle

Directed by Akira Kato / 1976 / Japan / IMDb

In March 1977, a 2578.00-meter (93:58) print of TOKYO EMMANUELLE was censored by 144.00-meters (05:16) for an R-rating.

Roadshow Distributors had to make the cuts to remove ‘indecency’.

Image courtesy of


Tokyo Emmanuelle (1976) - Roadshow Distributors [au] Daybill





Tombs of the Blind Dead

aka La Noche Del Terror Ciego

Directed by Amando de Ossorio / 1971 / Spain / IMDb

In September 1973, a 2450.00-meter (89:18) print of TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD was censored by 26.21-meters (00:57) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove 'excessive violence'.

Filmways was the applicant



Banned Redemption Video

In 1995, Siren Entertainment had a 97m and later, a 96m video banned by the OFLC.

Here is what they had to say about the film.

Film Censorship Board
Screening Date: 5.4.95, 19.4.95

Title: La Noche Del Terror Ciego (AKA Tombs of the Blind Dead)

Comments: This low budget Spanish horror drama made in 1971 warrants a refused classification in the boards view for gratuitous sexual violence against non-consenting persons which is depicted in unnecessary detail.

From 55mins: A terrified young woman is cuffed to a wooden frame and stripped to her underwear. Two men on horseback circle her and implicitly slash her with swords, exposing her breasts. In extreme close up, one of her breasts is sliced with resultant blood flow. In close up, a group of men then descend on her to feed on her breast.

From 76mins: While they search for clues about Virginia's death in the ruins, Betty informs the smuggler that she had a bad experience as a child and is not interested in sex. He reacts by saying he can change that. He forces himself on her despite her protests, implicitly slaps her hard across the face, bares her breasts, and explicitly squeezes and mouths them in close up before pulling off her knickers. During implied penetration, she screams, with aerial visuals of him thrusting on top of her. The scene is further trivialised by the perpetrator offering her a cigarette immediately after the rape, neither does Betty inform her friends of the incident.

In the Board's view, both these scenes are problematic in terms of classification guidelines. They serve little purpose to the narrative other than to combine sex and violence in a titillatory manner, and therefore warrant Refuse classification for exceeding community standards under ACT COPO 25 (3)"



Censored Redemption Video

A censored 95:32 version of TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD was finally passed with an R18+ (Medium level violence, Nudity) rating in 1995.

Siren Entertainment released it on their Redemption Video label. See our separate listings for THE FEMALE VAMPIRE (1973), and THE VIRGIN AMONG THE LIVING DEAD (1973) for two other Redemption tapes that had censorship problems in Australia.



TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD: The censored scenes

Review by Brett
I viewed the Redemption VHS and compared it to the old uncut Anchor Bay DVD from 1998. I can confirm that the two scenes mentioned in the OFLC report have been censored for the R18+ version.

From 55mins: The VHS removes four close-up scenes of the woman's breasts as they are slashed with the sword, the final blow cuts deep and draws blood. The knights then gather around her and begin to drink the blood. The VHS then removes four close-ups of the breast wounds as the knights suck at the blood. Interestingly the shots of the girls face has been slowed down to mask the cuts. This has the weird effect of making it look like she is sexually enjoying the experience!

From 76mins: The VHS shows Betty being pushed to the ground and protesting no. It removes the rest of the scene as she continues to say no. The smuggler then slaps her, removes her bra, and kisses her breasts. Finally he removes her underwear and rapes her. The VHS then continues with a high view looking down on the two of them. The cuts to this scene total nearly one minute.



2016: Shorter US version on DVD

In March 2016, Regency Media released TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD on DVD as part of their Cult Cinema range. It was not resubmitted to the Classification Board, and the cover lists only an R18+ rating, with no consumer advice. Kire Naumovski reported to Media Censorship Australia that the DVD was the shorter 83m US version. Movie-censorship has a comparison between it and the longer 97m Spanish version.

Conveniently, the US version appears to censor both the sacrifice scene, and rape of Betty that caused the film to be banned by the OFLC in 1995. In 2016, an uncut version should have no problem being passed with an R18+ if Regency Media had bothered to try.

Daybill image courtesy of


Tombs of the Blind Dead (1971) - Filmways [au] Daybill     Tombs of the Blind Dead (1971) - Siren Entertainment - Redemption [au] VHS

Tombs of the Blind Dead (1971) - Regency Media - Cult Cinema [au] Banner AdTombs of the Blind Dead (1971) - Regency Media - Cult Cinema [au] DVD





A Ton of Action

Directed by Unknown / 197? / USA / IMDb link required

In March 1981, a 647.23-meter (58:59) 16mm print of A TON OF ACTION was censored by 8.90-meters (00:49) for an R-rating.

The cuts were made to remove sex, which was said to be:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

In the R-rated version it was:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

14th Mandolin was the applicant.





The Toolbox Murders

Directed by Dennis Donnelly / 1978 / USA / IMDb

THE TOOLBOX MURDERS was due to screen on July 17th, 2004 at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival. It is rumoured that the OFLC became aware of this and contacted the organisers who pulled it, and three other features from the program.


The Melbourne Underground Film Festival issued the following press release on July 12th 2004.
STOP THE PRESS - MUFF films banned!!!!

The following films have been banned from MUFF by the O.F.L.C:

The following description of the film is taken from the MUFF website.


The following description of the film was taken from the MUFF website.


1977 | USA | 94 min

A cheapjack, sleazy, serial-killer thriller that has Cameron Mitchell running amok with power tools and a moonlighting porn star in one of many deadly encounters. Mitchell who’s idea for playing a serial killer seems to have been hatched by observing the guys from the other end of the bar that he was drinking in before coming to work, is allowed to chew the scenery in an unbelievable manic turn that’ll have you shuddering in disbelief and that’s not even considering the amazing and prolonged moments of violence, general non-acting and super surprise ‘sicko’ ending.

Saturday July 17th 3pm | George Cinemas




Review by Simon
What were the OFLC doing refusing to allow THE TOOLBOX MURDERS to be screened? It appears they were just flexing their muscles to MUFF.

Let us look at some of the films that they passed uncut around the same time.

All uncut, and all rated R18+ by the OFLC. All can be viewed at home on DVD. However, in July 2004 they would not even allow THE TOOLBOX MURDERS to be screened at a Film Festival where ID would have had to be shown.

I would lay money on THE TOOLBOX MURDERS getting an R18+ rating if it was ever submitted for DVD release. It is much tamer than any of the above-mentioned titles. The US DVD from Blue Underground is uncut and runs 93:42 (NTSC).





Total Recall

Directed by Paul Verhoeven / 1990 / USA / IMDb

On June 4th 1990, a 104m 35mm print of TOTAL RECALL received an R18+ (Very frequent violence) rating.

Hoyts Fox Columbia Tristar Films prepared a censored version in order to achieve a more commercial rating. On June 18th 1990, this 109m 35mm print was awarded an M (Coarse language; Frequent violence) rating.

Following the rating, it was found:

".....that contractual agreements between the director and the producers of the film prevented any version being screened with cuts or modifications"



TOTAL RECALL: Review Board report

With the censored option blocked, Hoyts Fox Columbia Tristar Films decided to appeal against the R18+ rating.

On June 28th 1990, the appeal failed and the Review Board confirmed the R18+.


Applicant: Hoyts Fox Columbia Tri-Star Films Pty Ltd
Decision Reviewed: Classify 'R' by the Film Censorship Board

Decision: Total Recall, a futuristic science-fiction adventure starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, was classified 'R' by the Film Censorship Board because of its violence. A modified version was submitted by the film's Australian distributors and classified 'M'. It was subsequently discovered that contractual agreements between the director and the producers of the film prevented any version being screened with cuts or modifications. The modified version was therefore withdrawn and an appeal lodged against the original 'R' classification. This appeal was considered by the Film and Literature Board of Review. The distributors contended in a submission to the Board that the film's violence was "tongue-in-cheek" and not to be taken seriously; that the film was pure fantasy in keeping with the comic-strip characters usually portrayed by Schwarzenegger; and that the violence was no more likely to seem real than that of many cartoons.

Total Recall is an expensive film. The special effects are elaborate. The production values are impressive. It is true that the story has a comic-strip flavour, but its tone is by no means light-hearted. The film depicts a fashionably pessimistic view of the future - a world of greater greed and violence unmitigated by greater technological prowess. The action is menacing rather than escapist, and there is a message of sorts at the end. To say that the film is in no way to be regarded as a serious work seemed to us disingenuous; the director presumably took the film seriously enough to forbid any cuts. But even if Total Recall were a manifestly frivolous film its violence would still have formidable impact. It is frequent, intense, and calculated.

Members of the Board of Review were in no doubt that it exceeded the limits of an 'M' classification. All of it was explicit; much of it was highly detailed, and some of it at least was relished. Both individually and cumulatively the violent sequences contributed to a prevailing tone of ruthlessness and savagery. Some of us felt - though such judgements, of course, are ones for the director - that the film would have been no less successful if the violence had been less pronounced. Others of us who enjoyed Total Recall for its spectacle and technical accomplishment, and might have been tempted to treat such a commercially ambitious and potentially popular film with greater indulgence, were nevertheless mindful of the film's power to disturb and its possible effects on young audiences. All of us agreed that Total Recall, in its uncut version, had been properly classified 'R' by the Film Censorship Board, and accordingly we affirmed the 'R' classification. 28 June 1990.



TOTAL RECALL: Censored M-rated version

With the appeal unsuccessful, and the objections of the Director and Producer sorted, Hoyts Fox Columbia Tristar Films submitted a censored print of TOTAL RECALL.

On October 16th 1990, a 112m 35mm print was awarded an M (Coarse language; Frequent violence) rating. This print was released theatrically in Australia. At the time the MA15+ was not an option, as it was not introduced until May 1993.

The IMDb has more details of the censored M-rated version.

In 1991, Columbia Tristar released both the M-rated and the R18+ rated version on videotape.



TOTAL RECALL: MA15+ version

In December 2005, disc one and two of the TOTAL RECALL SPECIAL EDITION was passed with an MA15+ (Strong Violence) rating. It was passed again in July 2010 with the same rating.


Total Recall - Columbia Tristar [au] VHSTotal Recall - Universal Pictures [au] DVD





A Touch of Genie

Directed by Joseph W. Sarno / 1974 / USA / IMDb

 In July 1977, a 1739.90-meter (63:25) print of A TOUCH OF GENIE was banned because of 'indecency'. This running time indicates that it was pre-cut before submission.

An August 1977 appeal to the Films Board of Review was unsuccessful.

Lestrig trading was the applicant.





A Touch of Sweden

Directed by Joseph F. Robertson/ 1971 / USA / IMDb

In October 1977, a 2298.40-meters (83.46) print of A TOUCH OF SWEDEN was banned because of 'indecency'.

A censored 2002.00-meter (72:58) print was submitted later the same month. The film lost a further 15.3-meters (00:33) because of 'indecency', before being R-rated. Blake Films released it theatrically.

Image courtesy of


A Touch of Sweden (1971) - Blake Films [au] Daybill





Tough Guns

aka Tramp Women

Directed Godfrey Daniels / 1972 / USA / IMDb

In May 1980, a 1673.18-meter (60:59) print of TRAMP WOMEN was censored by 44.1-meters (01:36) of sex and violence for an R-rating.  This was described as:

Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

Following the censorship, the sex and violence, was now described as being:

Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

SHS Box Office Gold was the applicant.


In 1994, Peacock Films submitted a tape for classification under the title TOUGH GUNS.

 It was Refused Classification by the OFLC. During this period, we believe sexual violence would have been the reason for the ban.



SADDLE TRAMP WOMEN: The gang rape sequence

Review by Simon
Alpha Blue Archives released a VHS of SADDLE TRAMP WOMEN in the US in 1996. The running time was 63:03.

The reason for the Australian censorship must have been the gang rape and beating of Ms. Novak.

Billy and four of his gang are shown chasing Ms. Novak, until they finally get her off her horse. The problem sequence then begins at 47m, and runs through until 49:30. They carry her away, strip, and take turns raping her. Finally, Billy sits on top, and proceeds to beat her unconscious. In the Alpha Blue tape, the music jumps during the beating sequence. This may indicate either slight censorship, or print damage.

Image courtesy of


Tough Guns (1972) AKA Tramp Women - SHS Box Office Gold [au] One sheet poster





A Town Called Bastard

aka A Town Called Hell 

Directed by Robert Parrish / 1971 / Spain-UK / IMDb

In November 1972, a 2643.00-meter (96:20) print of A TOWN CALLED BASTARD was banned because of 'excessive violence'. A censored 2635.90-meter (96.05) 'reconstructed version' was passed with an R-rating in April 1972.

Filmways released it theatrically.



M-rated video releases

In February 1984, a 94m tape was passed with an M-rating. This was released by Video Classics. Thanks to John C. for the cover scan.

A second tape, this time running 93m, was again passed with an M-rating in March 1987. It was awarded for violence, which was labelled as:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

The TAFT Hardie Group was the applicant.



MA15+ DVD releases

There have been several Australian DVDs of the film under the title A TOWN CALLED HELL. These include a 2003 release from Showtime DVD, and a 2011 disc from LA Entertainment.

In November 2005, a triple-bill DVD containing A TOWN CALLED HELL, ONE-EYED JACKS (1961), and DEATH RIDES A HORSE (1967) was passed with an MA15+ (Strong violence; Strong theme). Guardian Media Technology was the applicant.


A Town Called Bastard (1971) - Video Classics [au] VHSA Town Called Bastard (1971) - Showtime DVD [au] DVDA Town Called Bastard (1971) - Unknown label [au] DVDA Town Called Bastard (1971) - LA Entertainment [au] DVD





Traces of Death

Produced by Dead Alive Productions / 1993 / USA / IMDb

Traces of Death 2

Produced by Dead Alive Productions / 1994 / USA / IMDb

Traces of Death 3

Produced by Dead Alive Productions / 1995 / USA / IMDb

Traces of Death IV: Resurrected

Produced by Dead Alive Productions / 1996 / USA / IMDb

Traces of Death V: Back in Action

Produced by Dead Alive Productions / 2000 / USA / IMDb

A DVD box set of TRACES OF DEATH NINTH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTORS EDITION was confiscated by customs in 2003.  The set contained the first five episodes of this shockumentary series.


The reason given was:

1x Box Set of 5 DVD's titled "Traces of Death Volume 1 to 5 were seized under subsection 203B(2) being goods suspected on reasonable grounds to be special forfeited goods.

An authorised person believes on reasonable grounds that the said goods are forfeited to the Crown pursuant to Section 229 of the Customs Act 1901.

The DVD's titled "Traces of Death Volume 1 to 5" are deemed to contravene Regulation 4A(1A)(a) of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations.





Train Station Pick-ups

Directed by Walter Boos / 1979 / West Germany / IMDb

In December 1979, a 2628.60-meter (95:49) print of TRAIN STATION PICKUPS was banned because of 'indecency'.

A 2593.29-meters (94:31) 'reconstructed version’ lost a further 26.00-meters (00:57) before being classified in April 1980. The extra cuts were made to remove sex, which said to be:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

The R-rating was awarded for sex, which was now described as:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

In both cases, Filmways was the applicant.




In the early 80s, TRAIN STATION PICKUPS was listed in a Video Classics catalogue as being issued as part of their Movies at Midnight range.

We have yet to see proof that it was actually released.



Japanese DVD release

Review by Michael
Thought you may like to know that the Japanese DVD of TRAIN STATION PICKUPS released by JVD is cut. It only runs 83:51 which is ten minutes shorter than what you say on your site. The funny thing is that I didn't notice any obvious censorship, however none of the sex scenes go on for very long which made me suspect something.

Being a Japanese release it is also optically fogged. I thought they did this to remove pubic hair, however here this is not the case. There are plenty of shots of full frontal female nudity including pubic hair. However when the camera gets a little too close then it is fogged. I noticed this four times at 05:05, 21:27, 43:07, and 44:38. The print has the same title as it was released here in Germany, although it is dubbed into English.

Daybill image courtesy of


Train Station Pick-ups (1979) - Filmways [au] Daybill     Train Station Pick-ups (1979) - Video Classics [au] Catalog





Troma's War

Directed by Michael Herz - Lloyd Kaufman / 1988 / USA / IMDb

This film has never had problems with the Australian censors. It is included because the distributor released a censored print.


In July 1989, Roadshow Home Video had a 90m videotape of TROMA'S WAR passed with an M (Violence, Some coarse language, Sexual scenes) rating. Applause Video eventually released the tape which turned out to be the censored U.S. R-rated version.


In February 2011, TROMA'S WAR was released on DVD by Jigsaw Entertainment, through Gryphon Entertainment. Despite carrying the same M-rating, the disc was described as the 'Unrated Director's Cut'.


Troma's War - Jigsaw Entertainment [au] DVD





Tropic of Cancer

Directed by Joseph Strick / 1970 / USA / IMDb

In January 1972, an 8029-feet (89:27) print of TROPIC OF CANCER was banned because of 'indecency'.

A censored 2401.87-meters (87:47) version was passed with an R-rating in July 1973. U.I.P released it theatrically.


TROPIC OF CANCER was screened on ABC2 in October 2012. The in-house classifiers awarded the 83:04 print an MA15+ (Frequent strong coarse language, Nudity, Strong sexual references, sex scenes) rating.


Another Henry Miller novel, QUIET DAYS IN CLICHY (1970), was filmed at the same time as TROPIC OF CANCER. It also had problems in Australia, with 01:16 of 'indecency' being censored for a 1974 R-rating.

Image courtesy of


Tropic of Cancer (1970) - U.I.P [au] Daybill





Twin Games

Directed by Unknown / 197? / France / IMDb link required

In August 1981, a 52-minute tape of TWIN GAMES was banned because of sex, which was said to be:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

L&M Imports was the applicant.

This would appear to be an import of the UK pre-cert tape release on the TVX label.





Two for the Money

Directed by Lee Frost / 1972 / USA / IMDb

In April 1977, a 2304.00-meter (83:59) print of TWO FOR THE MONEY was censored by 86:50-meters (03:09) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove 'indecency'.

Lestrig Trading Co was the applicant.



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