Blaxploitation Films

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

Pre-November 1971 decisions are here.

Black Angels

Directed by Laurence Merrick / 1970 / USA / IMDb

In January 1984, Prestige Video had THE BLACK ANGELS passed with the Special Condition ‘that this film/tape will not be exhibited in any State in contravention of State’s law relating to the exhibition of films’.

Black Angels (1970) - VHS videotape 1
VHS – Prestige Video

Rating the video backlog

In February 1984, it became law for all videotapes to be classified. At this time, the Film Censorship Board began reviewing previously released titles.

In November 1984, Prestige Video’s BLACK ANGELS was refused due to ‘explicit and gratuitous sexual violence’.

Why was it banned?

Prestige Video (au) – VHS – 81:45
Preceded by the Motion Picture Association of America’s R-rating.

68:00 – A woman is abducted from the street by two men in a car. They take her to a warehouse where they chain her up and rip open her top. One of the men holds a knife to her breasts. It ends with her screaming, the sound of which continues over the following scene of a biker couple kissing. Presumably, this is uncut and the editing of the sequence does not indicate any censorship.

Super Fly

Directed by Gordon Parks Jr. / 1971 / USA / IMDb

In September 1972, a 2619.00-meter (95:28) print of SUPER FLY was banned because of ‘indecency and incitement to drug abuse’.

Warner Bros. appealed to the Films Board of Review. They overturned the ban and passed it with an R-rating in February 1973.

VHS release

An 87-minute tape of SUPER FLY was passed with an R-rating in October 1986. It was awarded for sex, which was identified as being:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

…and for also drug abuse.

Warner Home Video released the tape as part of their Video Gems range.


Directed by Bruce D. Clark/ 1972 / USA / IMDb

In July 1973, a 2492.96-meter (90:52) print of HAMMER was censored by 18.89-meters (00:42) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove ‘excessive violence’.

Hammer (1972) - Press sheet 1
Press sheet via moviemem

United Artists Australasia was the applicant.

The excessive violence

Simon reports.
MGM (us) – DVD – 90:53 (NTSC) minus MGM lion before and after.

The 00:42 of ‘excessive violence’ would have come from some of these scenes.

04:00 – Riley (John Quade) beating up one of the dock workers.

20:30 – Roughhouse (Stack Pierce) being crushed to death by the car.

41:00 – Cops chase a black guy who is beaten by Brenner (William Smith).

78:00 – Brenner beating the Professor (Mel Stewart).

88:00 – Hammer (Fred Williamson) killing Brenner by putting his head through a car window.

The deaths of Roughhouse and Brenner are the most likely target for cuts because both show their dead, blood-splattered faces.


Directed by Jack Starrett/ 1972 / USA – Mexico / IMDb

In February 1973, a 2503.00-meter (91:14) print of SLAUGHTER was censored by 26.21-meters (00:57) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove ‘excessive violence’.

Slaughter (1972) - Australian daybill movie poster 1
Daybill via moviemem

Roadshow Distributors released it theatrically.

Blaxploitation double-bill

In May 1985, a video containing SLAUGHTER and FOXY BROWN (1974) was passed with an R-rating. It was awarded for:

Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

Sex and Language
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

Slaughter (1972) - VHS videotape 1
VHS – Playaround Video

Communications and Entertainment released the tape on their Playaround Video label.

SLAUGHTER ran 92-minutes and was presumably uncut.

Black Caesar

aka The Godfather of Harlem

Directed by Larry Cohen / 1973 / USA / IMDb

In November 1976, a 2496.00-meter (90:59) print of BLACK CAESAR was censored by 16.30-meters (00:35) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove ‘excessive violence’.

Filmways Australasia submitted and released it as THE GODFATHER OF HARLEM.

Retitled for VHS

In December 1988, an 88-minute video was passed with an R-rating. It was awarded for sex and violence, which were described as being:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

Black Caesar (1973) - VHS videotape 1

CBS/Fox Video released the tape under its original title of BLACK CAESAR.

DVD release

A DVD was issued in December 2013 by Umbrella Entertainment.

Black Caesar (1973) - DVD cover 1
DVD – Umbrella

The December 1988 classification was used, so it is missing consumer advice.