American Horror Films of the 1970s – Page 1

1970s American horror movies that have been cut or banned in Australia.

The Psycho Lover

Directed by Robert Vincent O’Neill / 1970 / USA / IMDb

In May 1978, a 2194.40-meter (79:59) print of THE PSYCHO LOVER was censored by 11.00-meters (00:24) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove ‘indecency’.

Natan Scheinwald Productions was the applicant.

What indecency?

Simon reports.
Something Weird (us) – DVD on-screen title THE LOVING TOUCH – 81:34 (NTSC)
Double-billed with HEAT OF MADNESS (1966).

The plot involves a serial killer who rapes and strangles his female victims. This is one sleazy movie, so it is easy to see why the Film Censorship Board demanded cuts.

Two scenes, at 2 and 14-minutes, involve Marco (Frank Cuva) raping and killing women. The latter also shows him having sex with the body. Cuts would probably have been made to one or both of these attacks. Two other women are attacked at 34 and 77-minutes, but neither show on-screen rape nor murder.

The DVD runs 01:35 longer than the version that was submitted for an Australian rating. This may indicate some precutting by Natan Scheinwald Productions.

The Ravager

Directed by Charles Nizet / 1970 / USA / IMDb

In June 1982, a 2163.90-meter (78:52) print of THE RAVAGER was Refused Registration because of ‘sexual violence’.

A censored 1920.10-meters (69:59) print was passed with an R-rating in April 1983. Again, the reason for the decision was ‘sexual violence’.

Impact Films was the applicant.

Banned in Queensland

On 17 February 1984, the censored R-rated version of THE RAVAGER was prohibited by the Queensland Films Board of Review.

The distributor was Impact Films.

The problem scenes

Matt reports.
Something Weird (us) – 2004 DVD – 73:29
The is very damaged and runs 05:23 shorter than the one originally submitted to our Film Censorship Board. One scene, at 17:00, did look slightly cut where the couple is making love in the car. This jump may simply have been down to print damage.

The opening scene where two men rape, beat, and blow up a girl with dynamite is supposed to act as the trigger for the killer when he returns home to America. What follows are various scenes of rape and murder as he attempts to recreate the scene he witnessed in Vietnam.

In 2019, Mondo Macabro released THE RAVAGER on Blu-ray double-billed with THE BUSHWHACKER (1968). It was part of their American Arcana line and reportedly runs 73:26.

Dracula vs. Frankenstein

Directed by Al Adamson / 1971 / USA / IMDb

In May 1972, an 8550-feet (95:00) print of DRACULA VS. FRANKENSTEIN was banned because of ‘excessive violence’.

Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971) - Australian daybill movie poster 1
Daybill via moviemem

Roadshow Distributors were awarded an R-rating in June 1973 after it had been censored down to 2558.00-meters (93:14).

New system, same censor

Simon reports.
Troma (us) – DVD – 90:35
It is unclear why this is 04:25 shorter than the print that was banned in May 1972.

Presumably, the censored ‘excessive violence’ would have included these scenes.

05:45 – The woman being decapitated on the beach.

61:00 – Groton (Lon Chaney Jr.) killing Samantha (Ann Morell) and the bikers on the beach.

68:30 – Grazbo (Angelo Rossitto) falling to his death on an axe head.

71:00 – Dr Durea (J. Carrol Naish) being decapitated by guillotine.

84:30 – Dracula (Zandor Vorkov) pulling off the Monster’s (John Bloom) arms and head. This scene is so dark that it is hard to make out what is going on.

This illustrates that in 1972, despite the R-rating, Australia still had overly restrictive censorship standards. A few years later, this would have been M-rated.


aka The Abduction

Directed by Don Jones / 1973 / USA / IMDb

Around 1983, ABDUCTED was issued on tape by Prestige Video. It ran 86:35.

Abducted (1973) - VHS videotape 1
VHS – Prestige Video

Video classification was introduced in February 1984 and the Film Censorship Board began to review all previously released tapes.

Sometime in 1984, and again in March 1985, Prestige Video’s ABDUCTED was Refused Registration due to ‘gratuitous sexual violence’.

Rereleased on video

Many Prestige titles were reissued in the mid-1980s on the Silver Screen Promotions label.

In this case, the box cover retitled it to THE ABDUCTION.

Abducted (1973) - VHS videotape 2
VHS – Silver Screen

The tape is a direct copy, complete with the original title and opening logo, of the Prestige Video release.

The problem scene

Chris reports.
Prestige Video (au) – VHS – 86:35
Preceded by the MPAA R-rating card.
SCHOOLGIRLS IN CHAINS title has been changed to ABDUCTED via a very shoddy computer-generated effect.

36:00 approx. – Frank’s (Gary Kent) attack on Ginger (Suzanne Lund) would have to have been the scene of ‘gratuitous sexual violence’ responsible for the refusal. It lasts around three minutes and involves Frank stripping Ginger and raping her. Some full-frontal nudity is shown.

There are two less explicit scenes where John plays a Doctor and gets Ginger (28:00) and, in the end, Bonnie (Cheryl Waters) to strip. It is doubtful these would have contributed to the ban.

Scream Bloody Murder

Directed by Marc B. Ray / 1973 / USA / IMDb

In September 1981, an 83-minute tape of SCREAM BLOODY MURDER was banned because of violence, which was described as being:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

Grundig Sales and Service was the applicant.

This submission may be an import of the British pre-cert released by Intervision.

Frequent, high & gratuitous violence

Simon reports.
85:53 (NTSC)
This print may be missing some footage, including a shot of the old woman’s dead dog with a cleaver in its neck.

The violence in SCREAM BLOODY MURDER is plentiful, but the gore effects mainly consist of blood smeared on wounds. Some of the problem scenes would have included.

Pre-credit – Matthew’s (Fred Holbert) bloody hand and the body of his father (Rob Max) after they have been run over by the tractor.

11:00 – Matthew killing Mack (Robert Knox) with an axe.

17:00 – Matthew beating Lex (Willey Reynolds) to death with a rock.

31:00 – Matthew slashing the sailor’s (Ron Bastone) throat with a pallet knife.

40:00 – Matthew killing Bridey-Lee (A. Maana Tanelah) with a chopper.

79:00 – Matthew killing Vera (Leigh Mitchell) with his hooked hand.

83:00 – Matthew stabbing himself in the stomach.


aka California Axe Massacre

Directed by Frederick R Friedel / 1974 / USA / IMDb

In July 1981, a 1844.90-meter (67:15) print of AXE was banned because of violence, which was said to be:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

A 1810.38-meter (65:59) ‘reduced version received an R-rating in August 1982. The violence was now described as:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

In both cases, Regent Trading Enterprises was the applicant.

Censored video No. 1

In the early 1980s, K&C Video released AXE on tape. It ran 64:16, which compares with 64:49 for the uncut UK pre-cert on the Video Network label.

Axe (1974) - VHS videotape 1
VHS – K&C Video

Chris reports.
K&C Video – VHS – 64:16
The tape is censored when Lisa (Leslie Lee) murders Lomax (Ray Green) as he attempts to rape her.

Before – Lisa bring the scalpel down on Lomax’s neck and he screams.
Censored by 00:20 – The view onto the back of his bloody neck is missing as she slices in. This cut is easy to spot as the music jumps.
After – Lisa lying on the bed.

The death of Aubrey (08:00), the humiliation of the checkout girl (14:00) and the death of Steele (58:00) all looked uncut.

Censored video No. 2

In May 1985, a 63-minute videotape of AXE was resubmitted for classification under the title CALIFORNIA AXE MASSACRE.

It was passed with an R-rating due to violence, which was said to be:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

The applicant was C. White.

This 63:26 (PAL) tape was released by Platinum Video.

Axe (1974) - VHS videotape 2
VHS – Platinum Video

Chris reports.
Platinum Video (au) – VHS – 63:26 (PAL)
Missing the 00:15 Box Office International intro present on K&C Video tape.
Re-titling has been done by adding the computer-generated words either side of the original AXE title.

This tape is censored differently to the K&C version. Here, the death of Lomax appears to be complete.

The only cut was the death of Steele (Jack Canon). The build-up is present with Lisa trying to grab the axe, but the chopping that follows is missing. This is a strange scene to censor, as Steele’s death takes place entirely off-screen. This was complete in the K&C version.

It is unclear if this was deliberately censored by the distributor or was a result of them sourcing a cut print.

Criminally Insane

Directed by Nick Millard / 1975 / USA / IMDb

In April 1980, a 1717.17-meter (62:35) print of CRIMINALLY INSANE was censored by 20.70-meters (00:45) for an R-rating.

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

The violence in the R-rated version was said to be:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

Astral Distributing was the applicant.

All the violence

Chris reports.
Shock-O-Rama Cinema (us) – 2006 DVD – 61:54 (NTSC)

The 00:45 censored from the Australian version would have come from some of these scenes. These are all of the graphic moments in the film.

11:00 – Ethel (Priscilla Alden) stabbing her Grandma (Jane Lambert) in the back and hand.

16:30. – Ethel stabbing the delivery boy (Sonny La Rocca) in the stomach with a broken bottle.

29:00 – Ethel beating Dr Gerard (Cliff McDonald) over the head with a candlestick.

42:30 – Ethel killing Rosalie (Lisa Farros) and her boyfriend with a machete. This is probably the most graphic scene in the film.

55:00 – Ethel dismembering the bodies.

These scenes may sound graphic, however, they are so badly done that the impact is diluted. All of the gore can be found edited into the CRIMINALLY INSANE music video by the band SLAYER.