Directed by Tobe Hooper

The movies of Tobe Hooper that have been cut or banned in Australia.


The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Directed by Tobe Hooper / 1974 / USA / IMDb

In June 1975, a 2286.00-meter (83:20) print of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE was Refused Registration.

The Films Review Board upheld the decision in August 1975.

It was banned again in December 1975, this time in a 2112.00-meter (76:59) reconstructed version. The reason given was ‘excessive violence’.

This decision was appealed, but in April 1976 the Films Board of Review once more upheld the refusal.

In 1976, a censored version of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, missing 06:21, could even secure an Australian R-rating.

In all cases, Seven Keys was the applicant.

Into the 1980s

In July 1981, a 2283.4-meter (83:14) print was refused due to violence, which was described as:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

The same month saw the Films Board of Review upheld the decision.

In both cases, Greater Union Organisation Film Distributors was the applicant.

Prohibited videos

There are two reports from 1982 of the Australian Customs Service seizing PAL tapes of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE.

These had been imported from America, so presumably, were Wizard Video releases. At the time, they advertised the film in FANGORIA magazine with the promise that both PAL and NTSC versions were available.

Special Condition

In June 1983, Howard Smith Industries had an 80-minute tape 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’.

It was registered the same way in December 1983, this time the applicant was Mr and Mrs Caggiano.

Presumably, these were import videotapes, possibly of the UK pre-cert from Iver Film Services.

R-rated after 7-years

In January 1984, a 2276.69 (82:59) print of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE finally received an Australian R-rating. It was awarded for:

Violence
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

Other: Horror

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) - Australian daybill movie poster 1
Daybill via moviemem

Filmways Australia was the applicant.

Video releases

In May 1984, an 83-minute print was confirmed with an R-rating for video. It was awarded for the same reasons as in January 1984.

Once more, Filmways was the applicant.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) - Advertisement 1
Ad – August 1984
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) - Advertisement 2
Ad – September 1984

The tape was released by Filmways / VTC / K-Tel Video in September.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) - VHS videotape 1
VHS – Filmways VTC
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) - VHS videotape 2
VHS – Filmways VTC

September 1984
Absolutely brutal beyond description.
Grisly beyond comprehension.
Banned for over seven years.

Australian video trailer
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) - Advertisement 3
Trailer – Filmways VTC

Now with a consumer warning

In January 1991, an 84-minute videotape was awarded an R (Frequent graphic violence) rating by the OFLC.

The applicant, Hoyts Distribution, does not appear to have followed through with a release.

VHS re-releases

In the late 1990s, Force Video issued THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE several times on video. None were submitted for classification, so the consumer advice was fake.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) - VHS videotape 3
VHS – Force

R (Frequent coarse language, Extreme graphic violence).

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) - VHS videotape 4
VHS – Force

R (Graphic violence).

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) - VHS videotape 5
VHS – Force

They also issued a double-bill VHS that included the documentary, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: A FAMILY PORTRAIT (1988).

DVD debut

In 2000, Force Video released a 25th Anniversary Edition on DVD.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) - DVD cover 1
DVD – Force

They followed this with a ‘Special Edition’ in 2001.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) - DVD cover 2
DVD – Force

Resubmitted after 16-years

In July 2007, Umbrella Entertainment was awarded an R18+ (High level horror violence) rating for a DVD. They released it in October 2007.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) - DVD cover 3
DVD – Umbrella

This classification was very harsh when you consider that the 2003 remake was passed with an MA (High level violence). In addition, in 2005, the ultra-violent and sadistic THE DEVIL’S REJECTS (2005) escaped with an MA15+ (Strong violence, Strong coarse language, Sex scene) rating.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) - DVD cover 4
DVD – Umbrella

It was also made available in a limited edition SteelBook slipcase.

Blu-ray debut

In October 2010, Umbrella Entertainment released THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE on Blu-ray. The cover was the same as the October 2007 DVD.

They followed this in September 2014 with a ’40th Anniversary Special’ version.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) - Blu-ray cover 1
Blu-ray – Umbrella

TV debut

On 15 October 2014, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE was shown for the first time on Australian terrestrial television.

SBS 2 screened it uncut and awarded it an MA15+ (Strong horror and violence) rating. It was also made available on their SBS On Demand streaming service.

The print was sourced from Umbrella Entertainment.


Death Trap

aka Eaten Alive

Directed by Tobe Hooper / 1976 / USA / IMDb

In January 1981, an 82-minute tape of DEATH TRAP was banned because of violence, which was said to be:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

It was submitted by a company called Videolink. The tape may have been an import of the British pre-cert released on the VCL label.

13-year wait

DEATH TRAP was eventually passed with an R (Occasional graphic violence) rating in July 1989.

Death Trap (1976) - VHS videotape 1
VHS – Applause

The uncut 86:55 tape was released on Roadshow’s Applause Home Video label.

New title for DVD

In April 2004, it was passed with an R (Medium level violence) rating, under its alternative title of EATEN ALIVE.

Death Trap (1976) - DVD cover 1
DVD – Umbrella

Umbrella Entertainment released the DVD in October of that year and promoted it as being ‘Previously Banned Now Released Uncut’.

Death Trap (1976) - DVD cover 2
DVD – Umbrella

They issued it again in October 2007 as part of THE TOBE HOOPER COLLECTION box set that included SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION (1990), and THE AMERICAN NIGHTMARE (2000).

Blu-ray release

Glass Doll Films issued a Blu-ray in December 2015.

Death Trap (1976) - Blu-ray cover 1
Blu-ray – Glass Doll

The cover displayed the same R (Medium level violence) rating that was awarded in 2004.


The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

Directed by Tobe Hooper / 1986 / USA / IMDb

In September 1986, a 2750.00 meter (100:14) print of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 was banned due to violence, which was described as being:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

Hoyts Distributors was the applicant.

Prohibited VHS

There is a report from 1988 of an imported tape resulting in a Police visit.

February 20, 2019
In the cool, calm light of 2019 it seems ludicrous that a film like this, a gory but broad black comedy starring Dennis Hopper, a sequel to Hooper’s 1974 film of the same name, could be deemed unfit for the delicate sensibilities of Australian audiences. But then and now, both the Board and the Australian Federal Police took the importing of contraband media very seriously.

An acquaintance of mine discovered just that when he tried to mail order a bootleg copy of the film on video back in 1988. The tape never arrived, but two AFP officers did, and proceeded to grill him in front of his horrified mother as to what other disgusting media he might own. When he surrendered his single, much-loved issue of PLAYBOY, the cops realised that he was perhaps not the monstrous purveyor of horror and pornography they had expected to find.

– From Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 to Ken Park: films that failed the censorship test
article @ theguardian.com/au

A second report from 1992 saw the Australian Customs Service forward an uncut VHS to the OFLC, who then released it to the owner. As with most decisions of this type, there is no record in the National Classification Database.

Pay-TV screenings

In February 2000, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 premiered on Foxtel’s Arena channel as part of their Graveyard Shift show. This censored version ran 95:36. In comparison, the uncut New Zealand tape ran 96:09 (PAL).

The only footage missing was from the scene in the radio station where Chop-Top (Bill Moseley) attacks LG (Lou Perryman) with a hammer. One hit was shown before it cut to his legs shaking.

In November 2004, it played on Foxtel’s Showtime Greats channel. Once again, the murder of LG had been toned down, though in a slightly different way. This screening had Paramount opening and closing distributor cards, as opposed to Viacom when it was shown in 2000. The running time, including the distributor cards, was 95:27.

Bootleg VHS

In 2000, there was an unofficial video release on a ‘no-name’ label. The R (High level violence, Adult themes, Frequent coarse language) on the cover was fake.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) - VHS videotape 1
VHS – No Name label

The uncut letterboxed print ran 98:15. This indicates it had been dubbed from an NTSC source, as the runtime was longer than the New Zealand PAL tape.

MUFF massacre

In July 2001, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 was one of eight ‘banned’ movies dropped from the second Melbourne Underground Film Festival.

See database entry for SALÒ, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM (1975) for more information about this case.

R-rated 20th Anniversary

In November 2006, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 was finally classified with an R18+ (High level horror violence) rating. The DVD ‘Special Edition’ was submitted by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) - DVD cover 1
DVD – 20th Century Fox

It was released on DVD by MGM/20th Century Fox in January 2007. This uncut print ran 96:10 (PAL), minus the MGM intro.

Terrestrial TV

On 18 October 2023, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 screened on the SBS Viceland channel. It reportedly had minor cuts.