Australian Films of the 1980s

Australian movies that have been cut or banned by the Film Censorship Board and Classification Board.


Naughty Nostalgia Part 1 & 2

aka Naughty Nostalgia
aka Naughty Nostalgia Vol. 2

Produced by Hollywood House Video / 1980 / Australia

The Sydney based Hollywood House Video was one of the first companies to release tapes in Australia. Much of their product was never rated, of dubious quality, public domain and possibly unlicensed.

Their NAUGHTY NOSTALGIA videos were self-produced compilations of various erotic shorts from the early years of cinema. From the following submissions, it appears that over the years they edited these titles in a variety of different ways.

The dawn of video

In August 1980, a 60-minutes tape of NAUGHTY NOSTALGIA PARTS 1 AND 2 was banned because of sex, which was said to be:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

It is unclear if this submission was a combination of the videos that were subsequently classified, or whether it was a completely different edit. If it was the former, then footage appears to have been added, as together they would have a running time over the original 60-minutes.

Part 1 – X-rated to R-rated

In February 1985, a 42-minute tape titled NAUGHTY NOSTALGIA was classified with an X-rating. The sex was found to be:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

In March 1985, the tape had been censored down to 35-minutes and was passed with an R-rating.

In both cases, Hollywood House Video was the applicant.

Naughty Nostalgia Part 1 & 2 (1980) - VHS videotape 1
VHS – Hollywood House

The cover says it contains the earliest known 100% genuine adult film and a bonus adult cartoon from 1922.

An advertisement in VIDEO TRADER magazine for the R-rated version promised that an X-rated release was also available subject to State laws.

Part 2 – X-rated to R-rated

In November 1988, a 49-minute tape titled NAUGHTY NOSTALGIA VOL. 2 was passed with an X-rating. The sex was said to be:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

A 47-minute ‘edited version’ was submitted in the hope of an R-rating. However, in January 1989 it was X-rated, and despite being censored, the level of the sex increased to:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

Later that month, small cuts saw a 47-minute edited version classified with an R-rating.
The sex was now reduced to being:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

The producer of this tape was said to be Thirtieth Cemalux.

In all cases, Hollywood House Video was the applicant.

Naughty Nostalgia Part 1 & 2 (1980) - VHS videotape 2
VHS – Hollywood House

NAUGHTY NOSTALGIA VOL 2 is described as containing ‘the earliest known 100% genuine adults only USA stag film series and three notorious shows from Hollywood’s vintage underground’.

The cover claims that it includes THE BABYSITTER, THE OPINIUM [sic] DEN, DAY IN THE COUNTRY, FUDGE IN D-MINOR, and a bonus titled the NUDE HUMAN SYMPHONY.

Banned in Queensland

On 27 February 1989, the 47-minute ‘edited version’ of Hollywood House Video’s NAUGHTY NOSTALGIA VOL. 2 was prohibited by the Queensland Films Board of Review.


Genius is Lying

Directed by Ann Harding / 1982 / Australia / IMDb

In December 1982, a 21-minute print of GENIUS IS LYING was awarded an R-rating after one cut was made.

The was a school project that was submitted by the Swinburne Institute of Technology.

Film Festival problems

The controversy began when the producer pushed to have the uncut version included in the 1983 Melbourne Film Festival.

June 1984
Sydney & Melbourne Film Festivals
Amendments to the Customs (Cinematograph Films) Regulations, made in April, removed the anomalies which were inherent in the so-called Film Festival ‘agreement’ of 1975.

These amendments enable ‘approved organizations’ to exhibit films at ‘approved events’ without being subject to the registration provisions of the Regulations.

Approval of organizations and events is at the discretion of the Attorney-General, who shall have regard to:

(a) the purposes for which the organization was formed;

(b) the extent to which the event is in keeping with the purposes of the organization;

(c) the extent to which the organization carries on activities of a cultural or artistic nature;

(d) the reputation of the organization with respect to the screening of films;

(e) the conditions imposed on the organization with respect to the admission of persons to the screening of films by the organization.

Decisions of the Attorney-General either to refuse or revoke approvals may be reviewed by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Approved organizations may import films for approved events upon submission of applications and synopses to the Chief Censor. Permissions to import are granted subject to permission holders observing certain conditions, which include limiting admission to screenings of the films to subscribers aged 18 years or over and exporting the films within six weeks after the conclusion of the approved event.

The amendments have the effect of conceding to film festivals named as ‘approved organizations’ the freedom from censorship restraints which they have long sought.

The Board welcomed these amendments, as they implicitly confirmed that the Board had no legal mandate to grant the concessions previously sought by the festivals.

In 1983, the Sydney and Melbourne Film Festivals were named as ‘approved organizations’ and ‘approved events’. They were granted a total of 356 ‘permissions to import’, 102 to Sydney and 254 to Melbourne.

There was widespread misunderstanding about the legal status of Australian-made films used in film festivals. Few seemed to realise that the exhibition of such films is essentially a matter for State Governments, which may grant exemption to any film (whether imported or Australian made) from the operation of certain provisions of the relevant State Censorship Acts.

Misunderstanding focused on the film GENIUS IS LYING. This was submitted to the Film Censorship Board by the Swinburne Institute of Technology in December 1982, with a request that it be classified for normal public exhibition. Members of the Board decided, by a majority vote, to classify the film ‘For Restricted Exhibition’, subject to one deletion. It should be emphasised that this decision was made outside the context of film festivals.

When the film’s producer later sought to have the 1983 Melbourne Film Festival include GENIUS IS LYING in its program, it was suggested that the deletion required by the Film Censorship Board for the film’s public exhibition precluded its exhibition at the festival, as the festival’s policy is to show only uncut films.

However, the film could have been shown uncut at the festival had the Melbourne Film Festival successfully sought the approval of the Government of Victoria for its exhibition.

The Chief Censor issued a press release stating the correct position, in an attempt to dispel the media-created impression that the Board had acted obstructively vis-a-vis the Melbourne Film Festival. But, perhaps inevitably, the press release received less exposure than the allegations which prompted it.

– Film Censorship Board
– Report on Activities

Back after 24-years

In 2006, GENIUS IS LYING was included as part of the Victorian College of Arts Retrospective at the St Kilda Film Festival.

2006
GENIUS IS LYING by Ann Harding would never make it to the screen today (let alone though a funding round) and more’s the pity. Overlong, coarse and technically very basic it wasn’t so much a genre hybrid but a feast and famine sort of filmmaking.

Made in 1982, the AIDS HIV scourge was yet to be recognised and in what must have been a groundbreaking piece of reportage for its time, it focused on the life and times of the gay scene of the St Kilda beats, candidly discussing the cons and pros of incest and transgender issues for its day.

screenhub.com.au

Coming of Age

Directed by Brian Jones / 1983 / Australia / IMDb

In May 1984, a 1064.09-meter (97:02) 16mm print of COMING OF AGE was censored by 2-meters (00:11) for an R-rating.

Before the cuts, the sex was described as being:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

In the censored R-rated version, the sex was found to be:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

Stagedoor Productions was the applicant.

Video releases

In August 1984, a 98-minute tape of COMING OF AGE was passed with an R-rating for the same reasons as before.

It was released by Stage Door Video.

Coming of Age (1983) - VHS videotape 1
VHS – Stage Door Video

It was later reissued on VHS by Visual Communications Australia (VCA).

Coming of Age (1983) - VHS videotape 2
VHS – VCA

Presumably, both tapes are the censored version.


Razorback

Directed by Russell Mulcahy / 1984 / Australia / IMDb

In March 1984, a 2578.42-meter (93:59) print of RAZORBACK was passed with an M-rating.

It was awarded for violence, which was said to be:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

This print had been precut before submission to tone down the violence. It was this version that would go on to be released worldwide.

Greater Union Film Distributors was the applicant.

Razorback (1984) - Australian daybill movie poster 1
Daybill via moviemem

Uncut on video

Reportedly, Greater Union’s CEO, David Williams, had insisted the theatrical print be M-rated. However, when the release was not as successful as expected, Roadshow requested a more violent version that could be exploited on video with an R-rating.

When RAZORBACK was issued on tape by Roadshow Home Video, a sticker on the cover promised an ‘Un-cut R-rated version not seen in cinemas’.

Razorback (1984) - VHS videotape 1
VHS – Roadshow – Sticker

The National Classification Database has no record of it ever being passed with this higher rating. However, Roadshow did have a 92-minute tape classified with an M-rating in October 1985. The violence was described as being on the same level as the initial submission.

The fact that there is no record of an R-rating may explain why the ‘Un-cut R-rated version not seen in cinemas’ sticker was blacked out on many copies.

Razorback (1984) - VHS videotape 2
VHS – Roadshow

Some replaced the content of the sticker with ‘Rated alongside JAWS and PSYCHO by Variety’.

Razorback (1984) - VHS videotape 3
VHS – Roadshow

This means there are at least three variants of the cover.

The Roadshow tape would turn out to be unique, as it is the only known uncut version available in the world. In addition, the added violent footage now appears to be lost.

Movie-Censorship has a comparison between the theatrical version and the Roadshow Home Video release.

Presumably, the 92-minute version, rated M in October 1985, was the uncut tape and was submitted only after it had already been released. However, instead of the predicted R-rating, it instead still received an M. This is what happens when a distributor attempts to second-guess the Film Censorship Board.

DVD & Blu-ray releases

In September 2006, RAZORBACK was passed again with an M (Moderate horror violence). It appears that Umbrella Entertainment released it on DVD a year before this classification.

Razorback (1984) - DVD cover 1
DVD – Umbrella

The Blu-ray that followed had the same cover.

This version was the censored 90:39 (PAL) theatrical print. However, it did contain the uncut footage, taken from the Roadshow’s VHS, in an extra titled ‘Grisly Deleted scenes’. Running 02:24, it extends the station wagon, waterhole, Dicko and pet pack attack death sequences.

At the time, there were complaints by those who had been used to viewing the full-version on video. This prompted the DVD producer to explain the reason.

September 2005
As discussed in the JAWS ON TROTTERS documentary, this version is the theatrical release version. The gorier scenes were cut before the film was released and reinserted for the local Roadshow VHS release – they were never seen in the theatrical release.

I discovered that twenty years later, the original film components of these gorier scene had been lost and they only existed on a 1 inch 4:3 master – there was no film print in existence that included them, so rather than inserting 4:3 pan and scanned footage into a 16:9 transfer (with a 2.35:1 ratio) Umbrella decided to include them on the DVD as a ‘special feature’. Every additional scene from the ‘uncut’ Roadshow VHS release is included on the DVD.

For your info, these scenes have never been seen in any version in the UK or US.

– Mark Hartley, DVD Producer
michaeldvd.com.au

In August 2018. Umbrella Entertainment rereleased RAZORBACK on Blu-ray with a new 4K master.

Razorback (1984) - Blu-ray cover 1
Blu-ray – Umbrella

The ‘Grisly Deleted scenes’ extra comes with a new optional audio commentary. It also includes a copy of the full Roadshow Home Video version.