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:
The same month saw the Films Board of Review upheld the decision.
In both cases, Greater Union Organisation Film Distributors was the applicant.
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.
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:
Filmways Australia was the applicant.
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 tape was released by Filmways / VTC / K-Tel Video in September.
September 1984– Australian video trailer
Absolutely brutal beyond description.
Grisly beyond comprehension.
Banned for over seven years.
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.
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.
R (Frequent coarse language, Extreme graphic violence).
R (Graphic violence).
They also issued a double-bill VHS that included the documentary, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: A FAMILY PORTRAIT (1988).
In 2000, Force Video released a 25th Anniversary Edition on DVD.
They followed this with a ‘Special Edition’ in 2001.
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.
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.
It was also made available in a limited edition SteelBook slipcase.
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.
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.
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:
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.
DEATH TRAP was eventually passed with an R (Occasional graphic violence) rating in July 1989.
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.
Umbrella Entertainment released the DVD in October of that year and promoted it as being ‘Previously Banned Now Released Uncut’.
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).
Glass Doll Films issued a Blu-ray in December 2015.
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:
Hoyts Distributors was the applicant.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
It was released on DVD by MGM/20th Century Fox in January 2007. This uncut print ran 96:10 (PAL), minus the MGM intro.