films have been well treated at the BBFC in their recent classification. The
Decameron had previously suffered a cut to remove an erection but this has now
been passed uncut at 18. Canterbury Tales appears with a video
certificate for the first time, multiple cinema cuts have been restored and the video has
been passed 15 uncut. Finally Arabian Nights has also restored cinema
cuts that are now waived for an uncut 18 certificate.
After the recent uncut video certificate for Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2,
the BBFC have now also given it an uncut cinema certificate. Should make a neat double
James Cameron's Terminator 2 has now been passed uncut with a 15
rating. An uncut but shorter edit had previously been passed 18 for laserdisc but I guess
that Momentum Pictures' release must now be considered the definitive version.
Thanks to Gavin for his observation:
The consumer advice states some strong, once coarse for language. As you might
know, "motherfucker" (a coarse word which could easily be overdubbed by
melonfarmer), is used twice in the film, so it seems they can't even get simple things
like this right. This kinda thing has happened before. I can list countless films with
incorrect consumer advice.
Slaying the Censorship
The uncut version of Enter the Dragon has now been
posted on the BBFC website with the following informative history:
Enter the Dragon has been passed '18' uncut. All previous film and
video cuts have been waived.
The film was originally passed 'X' with cuts for cinema release in 1973. A total of 5
cuts were made to scenes of violence. In 1979, the film was recalled so that a brief
sequence in which Bruce Lee twirls and uses nunchaku could be deleted, along with another
sequence in which nunchaku were briefly seen being carried. The decision was taken to make
these further cuts because of the spread of nunchakus among youths in the London area.
Concern had been expressed that the nunchakus demonstrated in martial arts films were
being easily constructed and used by some violent individuals. As a result of concern on
the part of the police and judiciary it was decided that this weapon, which has no legal
use in this country outside the martial arts class, should be removed from violent films
in order to discourage its spread. The weapon was subsequently proscribed by the Home
Office so that it is now illegal to carry nunchakus unless en route to a bona fide martial
In 1988 the video version was submitted and passed '18' with cuts (1 minute 45 seconds
cut). Three of the five violence cuts made in 1973 were waived but two were maintained and
the cuts to sight and use of nunchaku implemented in 1979 were repeated for video.
In 1991 the Board modified its policy on nunchaku to some extent so that the weapon was
no longer removed on sight. Essentially it was the glamorous use of the weapon in a
violent film that was of most concern, and the modified policy reflected that. After 1991
a number of representations of nunchaku were passed but only when they were not actually
in use or were displayed in non violent demonstrations of skill or served to establish the
nature of a character. The video of Enter the Dragon was resubmitted
again in 1993 for widescreen release. This time the two remaining violence cuts were
waived, as was the brief sight of nunchaku being carried, in accordance with the new
policy. The only cut made this time was to sight of Bruce Lee twirling and briefly using
the nunchaku (21 seconds cut). Even under revised policy this scene was still not
acceptable. A full screen version was passed in the same form in 1996 and a special
edition, featuring some non-contentious extra footage was passed in 1998, again with only
the brief nunchaku sequence deleted prior to submission.
Throughout its history the Board has periodically reviewed its policies and adjusted
them as the situation demanded. A review of the weapons policy was undertaken in June 1999
. The review concluded that the depiction of weapons in films and other media, and the
nature of the 'weapons culture' in the real world was currently such that a firm
distinction between different types of offensive weapon was no longer appropriate, and the
policy has been rationalised so that knives, nunchakus, knuckle-dusters, ninja stars, and
other easily obtainable weapons are now judged on exactly the same basis. Depictions of
offensive weapons continue to be liable to cuts if they are considered likely to encourage
violent behaviour in the real world.
Enter the Dragon was resubmitted in its uncut form this year and, in
accordance with the Board's revised policy, has now been passed '18' without cuts. The 21
second cut made to the brief use of nunchaku in 1993 has been waived.
Well Fuck Me
Sideways with a Barge Pole
The BBFC have cut Satanic Sex,
a recent R18 video by Kovi.
The BBFC justified 5:07s of cuts as follows:
Cut required to sight of woman being penetrated by a
dildo on the end of a long pole which has the potential to cause harm.
Satanic Sex was dealt with according to the criteria set out in our Classification
Guidelines. Among the content which is clearly identified as unacceptable in an R18 sex
video is: Penetration by any object likely to cause harm..."
This criteria is a response to concerns about imitation, harm to performers, and the
need to ensure that material passed R18 would not be subject to prosecution under the
Obscene Publications Act. The Board is aware that the Crown Prosecution Services does
authorise prosecutions if videos include potentially harmful penetration and we have taken
expert medical advice regarding types of object we should be most concerned about. This
advice identified, among other things, objects which are very long and which do not have a
natural safe stopping point (or a significant thickening in diameter to restrict
penetration at a safe point). This clearly applies to the dildo on a pole in this title.
The use of such objects is particularly problematic if the penetration is being controlled
by a third party who would not necessarily be able to judge a safe stopping point, as in
In the light of the guideline and the particular details of this case, the Board came
to the conclusion that cutting was the correct response and that the addition of a warning
caption (which has been done in other circumstances) would not be sufficient.
Numb Nut Distributors
couple of weeks ago I reported on the cuts to
More of What Men Want:
To obtain this category cuts of 0m 38s were required. The
cuts were Compulsory. Cut required to sight of pieces of ice being inserted into the
vagina prior to intercourse on the grounds that repetition of such activity could cause
harm, in accordance with BBFC guidelines. The BBFC stated later that this decision
was taken on medical advice.
As is often the case, the story of these cuts were a bit more complicated than
was at first apparent. The video More of What Men Want was in fact
submitted to the BBFC with a request for an '18' certificate on the grounds that it was
'sex education'. Certainly it was constructed as an instructional video, rather than a
normal 'R18' porn tape, with the obligatory 'white coat' giving couples some rather
unimaginative ideas about how to spice up their love life. However, the combination of
very lengthy and explicit sex scenes (beyond what was necessary to make the point), and
the extremely brief comments from the doctor suggested to the BBFC that the video would be
better suited to an R18. This view was further supported by a complete lack of advice on
safe sex (all scenes were without condoms) and a focus on 'trying out' group sex.
Nonetheless, when it came to the ice sequence the nature of the video as 'sex
education' (at least in construction) was very relevant to the Board's decision to cut.
The video was specifically inviting viewers to 'try this at home' (the clip showed the
inserting of several ice cubes into the vagina and then the insertion of a penis
immediately afterwards) but with absolutely no explanation or advice about safety. When
the clip was shown to the BBFC medical advisor, her opinion was that, whilst inserting ice
into a vagina would not necessarily cause harm, there was a risk of people copying this
action (specifically because this was being sold as 'sex ed'). This carried a risk - if
the ice were not allowed to melt slowly before insertion - that trauma could occur to the
vagina through cold burns. In other words, if the clip had responsibly shown (with
demonstration or voice over) the need to allow the ice to melt a little and to insert it
with care there may not have been a problem. Sadly, however, it didn't tell you anything
except what a good idea it is to put lots of ice in the vagina. Rather than attempt to
remedy the problem by inserting extra safety advice (by voice over or on-screen caption)
it was, of course, far easier, to simply cut what amounted to a slightly irresponsible
The Truth about True Lies
The film version of James Cameron's True Lies
was cut by 1s. A further 9s were required for the 15 rated video. So how come that the DVD
version suffers 20s of cuts plus an additional 18s of substitutions? The BBFC details
these cuts as follows:
To obtain this category cuts of 0m 20s were
required., some or all of these cuts were substitutions. The cuts were Compulsory. Cuts
required to detailed scenes of violence in order to allow the work to pass at the same
category as previous versions of the same feature, in accordance with BBFC policy
In fact the BBFC ordered the same cuts as for the video version originally distributed
by CIC/Universal. The DVD distributors however implemented the cuts in a different way to
the Universal/CIC cuts, removing a lot more footage around the edges than on the video
version. The total cuts have therefore jumped from 10 seconds to 20 seconds on the DVD
(including the film cut). In addition to the removal of 20 seconds, they have also added
some rather clumsy substitutions, totalling 18 seconds to 'cover up the gaps' left by the
cuts. The film ends up looking a lot choppier than before.
Cannibal Holocaust has now been passed 18 by the BBFC. It
certainly hasn't had an easy ride though as it has lost an enormous 5:44s of cuts. Fours
scenes of animal cruelty have been removed along with three scenes cut for 'sexual
BBFC in need of
Those headless corpses
at the BBFC are in dire need of a shot of green gunk. They have decided to persist with
their cuts to Stuart Gordon's classy horror, Re-animator (seemingly now
retitled H P Lovecraft's Re-Animator).
I must apologise for previously suggesting that the BBFC have asked for more cuts than
ever. In fact the BBFC cuts required are the least of all versions so far. The confusion
arouse because the distributors have in fact been cutting more than they need.
Numb Nuts at the BBFC
guess it must be holiday season at the BBFC. All the staff are on leave leaving only the
monkey in charge. This is the only explanation I can think of for the truly ludicrous
decision concerning the R18 certificate for More of What Men Want:
To obtain this category cuts of 0m 38s were required. The
cuts were Compulsory. Cut required to sight of pieces of ice being inserted into the
vagina prior to intercourse on the grounds that repetition of such activity could cause
harm, in accordance with BBFC guidelines. The BBFC stated later that this decision
was taken on medical advice.
In the generality of risk associated with
sex, ice seems to be pretty minor. As to why the BBFC think that people would watch and
repeat to the point of harm beggars belief. We are all equipped with a healthy dislike of
too much cold and the sensation of pain serves us well.
The BBFC would also bear in mind legal issues. The refusal to
classify a film with such activities has knock on consequences to other enforcement
agencies such as Customs and Trading Standards. Customs etc could now seize and prosecute
And thanks to Shaun for his idea to keep the Daily Telegraph's
Freedom Campaign well informed.
This month sees an increase in censorship of R18
videos , perhaps as the distributors get a little bolder in the strength of
films that they are submitting. But
recent cuts are as follows:
- More of What Men Want, insertion of ice in vagina
- More of What Women Want - cut of
5s required to sight of urolagnia (in this case urination during masturbation),
- ROCCO RAVISHES PRAGUE 3 - repeated, aggressive, deep thrusting into mouth causing
gagging; head forced into urinal during aggressive fellatio, sexual violence
- ANAL SERVICE - degrading title changed from Animal Service, asphixia
- PLEASE 12 - MORE SEXUAL SUPERSTARS -forcibly restrained in a sexual scenario
- ROCCO'S SEXUAL SUPERSTARS - 'strong abuse, and violence' ?
- MANEUVERS AGONY OF VICTORY - licking urine and cigar close to penis?
- BARELY LEGAL #3 - urolagnia
- NAUGHTY YOUNG LESBIANS - title change
The frequent appearance of Rocco films in the list is not surprising as he does like to
get a little rough. However it is fascinating to cast ones eyes over the pay-per-view
schedules of the European equivalents to Sky TV. Rocco's films, including the above titles
all feature in the French/Spanish/Italian channel listings that I looked at. Rocco's films
are incredibly popular and if this issue is not resolved we may return to the bad old days
when standard porn fare that one imports is likely to breach 'acceptable'
guidelines. It is already likely that a large proportion of European made porn is likely
to be outside of BBFC guidelines.
BBFC Taking the Piss
Thanks to Sergio for pointing out that the BBFC are taking the piss somewhat
in their dislike of urolagnia.
22s have been cut from the R18 video, Maneuvers: Agony of Victory. They
gave the following justification:
The cuts were Compulsory. Cut required to sight of urolagnia (in this case a man
licking urine from his hand) in accordance with BBFC guidelines and in line with current
interpretation of the Obscene Publications Act 1959. A second cut was required to sight of
a lit cigar being held very close to a man's penis on the grounds of potential harm.
'potential harm'...if the bloke smoked the cigar would it be cut? Has smoking got
'potential harm'. How far away from a penis does a cigar have to be before it can be
When questioned, the BBFC sorted out the mis-interpretation of their comments:
As you have noted, this tape was cut on the grounds that the activity referred to
might suggest that some pleasure was to be obtained from burning of the genitals. For this
reason a cautionary cut was made. The smoking per se was not the issue, which concerned
potential harm. I do hope this is now clear.
Reporting the Report
I was planning to review this years BBFC annual report but Xan Brooks beat me
to it in the Guardian. A review of the highest
calibre (particularly as it provided a link to the Melon Farmers)
So what is this? Another brochure full of enticing movie stills? Far
from it. The glossy document that arrived in offices last week is the annual report from
the typically secretive British Board of Film Classification. Aiming to explain the
board's actions for 2000, it opens with photo-bylined introductions from president Andreas
Whittam Smith (affecting the frown of a kindly headmaster) and director Robin Duval
(smiley chap in glasses). The tone is chatty, nitpicking and eminently reasonable, with
constant reference to surveys, focus groups and letters sent in by the great British
public. At times, it reads like the transcript from a Tony Blair conference speech.
The main surprise about the report is how damn liberal the BBFC has become. It
transpires that only one 18-certificate cinema release received cuts in 2000 (Sacred
Flesh, an obscure yarn about lusty nuns). Elsewhere, the year's list of banned scenes
looks as chaste as the screen kisses outlawed by the starchy priest in Cinema Paradiso: a
butting sequence from a wrestling video; a naturist documentary from Canada; a scene from
Buffy the Vampire Slayer in which a character hotwires a car. Such are the depravities
that the modern-day censor deems unfit for public consumption.
Sex? Violence? By and large, these are yesterday's bugbears. So American Psycho and
Requiem for a Dream, both potential troublemakers, escaped unmolested by the censor.
Previously outlawed films such as 120 Days of Sodom and The Story of "O" were
finally passed for distribution. New, more lenient guidelines were introduced for
18-certificate pictures. "The public today is less worried than it used to be about
portrayals of sexual activity, particularly in a loving or responsible context,"
explains Duval (and he has the surveys to prove it). "By contrast, it is concerned
about levels of violence in the lower classification categories."
It's in this area - policing U, PG, 12 and 15 certificates - that the BBFC comes into
its own. And comic-book violence is clearly a no-no. "Head-butts accounted for cuts
in seven features," the report says, "and double ear-claps for cuts in
six." More recently the board cut three seconds of flick-knife action from the
12-certificate Tomb Raider.
Ranking a close second to ear-claps on the board's hate list is cruelty to animals.
Tumbling horses, burning snakes, "scenes of a monkey bound to a crucifix and an
attack on a rabbit": all summarily banned last year. Even then, they may not have
gone far enough: one viewer took issue with the mistreatment of the Plasticine poultry in
The annual report serves up several such comic anecdotes. That said, there's some
curious pretzel logic in there too. Take the reasoning over a recent Spike Lee film:
"The Original Kings of Comedy, liberally sprinkled with swear words, was given a 15
rather than an 18 rating because it was felt the language was mitigated by its context of
working-class black comedians. It was not likely to cause offence to its intended
audience." What are they saying here? That working-class blacks swear more than their
white counterparts? Or that white viewers (surely the bulk of Lee's audience these days)
accept that black folk talk dirty? In exposing its machinations, the BBFC runs the risk of
damning itself as a subjective house of cards determined by the mores and prejudices of
its (predominantly white, middle-class) censors.
The report offers a fascinating glimpse into an arena previously shrouded in secrecy.
Its airy justifications highlight the imperatives and pitfalls of censorship in modern-day
Britain. Its surveys and forums take the temperature of a culture that seems to be
loosening up on sex but still blanches at an expletive.
In order to survive, the BBFC has had to move with the public mood. In doing so, it has
cast itself in a bizarre new role. Once regarded as a draconian law-giver, the British
censor is now more akin to a bustling child-minder. These days his duties involve
shielding the kids from unsavoury sights and ensuring that the animals are well looked
after. Increasingly, the adults of Britain are being left to their own devices.
- Billy Elliot The BBFC felt that the film's "natural audience" merited a
PG or 12 certificate. But more than 50 uses of the dreaded F-word cranked it up to a 15.
Producers later hatched plans for a cleaned-up PG version to play during school holidays.
- Xena: Warrior Princess Fretting that impressionable souls might copy the warrior
princess, the censor trimmed a "potentially harmful and imitable double
ear-clap". Thus pruned, the camp action show was passed 12 on video.
- The Story of "O" Just Jaeckin's softcore S&M fancy was
rejected outright by a scandalised BBFC in 1975. Resubmitted last year, it was waved
through with a weary disdain. "The lack of strong sadistic or sexual detail, the
evident consent of the female character and the dated style led to the judgment that it
was no longer necessary to deny adults seeing this film."
- O, Christmas Tree The makers of this innocuous children's cartoon inadvertently
stirred the board's fear of copycatting with a slapstick scene in which a character cuts
through the tree's electric cable with a pair of scissors.
- Lolita The DVD version of Adrian Lyne's adaptation contained two deleted scenes
featuring Humbert romping with his nymphet." The board was concerned that these
sequences might invite feelings of arousal towards a child." A certificate was duly
- Gone in 60 Seconds Fearing the Nic Cage action flick might serve as an
instruction manual for would-be car thieves, the BBFC ran the film by a panel of police
experts. The cops felt otherwise, proving that this bovine farrago was of absolutely no
use to anyone.
The BBFC have published their
Annual Report for 2000. I have only
had a brief read but it gives a generally positive view of their recent liberal
tendencies. Various advisory committees seem to be going along with the flow and the BBFC
seem at ease with the positive feedback to their changes. The significant reduction in
cuts being required is justifiably highlighted (and may be reduced further in the future
when distributors sort out what they can get away with in 18 rated softcore as opposed to
R18 rated hardcore).
The Board have also taken the opportunity to outline
their proposed consultation on the idea of a PG-12 as opposed to a mandatory 12.
In addition they discuss several of the more contentious
decisions of the year. As always, well worth a read.
The BBFC have cut Lara Croft: Tomb Raider by 3s with
the following justification:
The company chose to significantly reduce sight of a
flick knife in several scenes, removing in particular material which appeared to glamorise
the weapon , in order to achieve a 12. An uncut 15 was available to the distributor. The
distributor also sought and was given advice during post-production which resulted in a
reduction in violence in the final fight sequence (including the complete removal of a
head butt) prior to formal submission.
The BBFC have also issued a press release on the
Concern about the violence and in particular the
glamorisation of knives in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider has resulted in cuts to the
film. In order to achieve a '12' rating the distributor has agreed to remove a number of
elements which are unacceptable under the BBFC Guidelines for that category. The
Guidelines in turn reflect the standards of acceptability set by the British public in the
course of the major consultation exercise culminating in their publication in September
The film, which received a 'PG-13' rating in the United States, is
the latest big Hollywood action film aimed at children but containing scenes which are too
violent for younger viewers. Mission Impossible II and Charlie's Angels were
similar recent examples of 'PG-13' films appealing to the young whose violent content was,
nevertheless, unacceptable in the UK at '12'. In their case, the distributors opted for
the more restricted category of '15' rather than the cuts necessary for '12'.
Robin Duval, Director of the BBFC said: The natural audience for Lara Croft is the 12 to 15 age group, but the
Board's Classification Guidelines make it clear that at '12' the glamorisation of weapons
such as knives and the graphic illustration of dangerous techniques such as head-butts and
throat chops are unacceptable. The film company has responded positively to the BBFC's
concerns with cuts to those elements and to other violent content at several points in the
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider remains an exciting
action-filled experience whose content should not now surprise audiences familiar with
'12' rated material from the Bond films onwards. As with the Bond films, the combat,
gunplay etc is mitigated by the absence of graphic or bloody detail and by the generally
fantastical setting of the story. The Board's concern about knives, however, reflects the
fact that they are much more readily accessible in the UK than the other more unfamiliar
equipment characteristic of these films.
A Piss Poor Feast
Gordon's landmark film, Blood Feast, has had a bit of a rough ride at the
BBFC and has suffered 23s of cuts.
The BBFC comments on their website: Four cuts
required to sight of woman being lashed for 18. Cautionary cuts required as a result of
successful OPA prosecution in 1994.
Barely Legal 3 also attracted cuts to the order of 24s. The BBFC
explain: Cut required to sight of urolagnia (in this
case urination while performing fellatio) in accordance with BBFC guidelines and in line
with current interpretation of the Obscene Publications Act 1959, to obtain an R18.
Cannibal Holocaust is still working
through the process at the Board. It has been given a cuts list requiring cuts for animal
cruelty and sexual violence.
Another at the BBFC that I have not yet heard news of is I Spit On Your Grave. And
there are plenty more iconic titles being resubmitted over the coming weeks too.
From the Independent on Sunday
Robin Duval on the Junior Roadshows
Before I took over as director of the BBFC two years ago, we had never exposed our
guidelines to a public and industry consultation before, writes Robert Duval. As far as I
was concerned, I felt that we had to do that to re-establish our credibility.
You do have to renew that link with the public from time to time, so we started out by
consulting with adults and we are now extending that to children.
I don't think we should make any assumptions about the outcomes of our junior roadshows
at this stage. The only precedent we have is one or two one-off screenings we have done
for films that we had concerns about. When Jurassic Park first came out
we showed it to some 12-year-olds, and that was very interesting because the reactions
weren't necessarily what you would have expected. Most of them said it didn't particularly
scare them, but they were very protective about the idea of their younger brothers and
sisters seeing it. We asked them if the PG certificate we had given it was correct, and in
the end we kept it at that level.
We have also held one or two citizens' juries with adults and, as part of that, we
brought children in at the end to debate certain points about film in general, but without
showing them clips. But what we haven't done before is carry out a controlled exercise
involving getting children to watch film clips, and observing how they receive this kind
of thing. If the findings tell us that we are being over-protective and the children are
signalling as much, then we need to think about that for when we next review the
guidelines. But if, by some remote chance, the kids said they resented legally not being
able to have access to extreme violence, then obviously there's no way we would act on
We are now beginning to think seriously about planning public research to find out
whether people are happy with the idea of a 12-PG rating, backed by strict guidelines and
advisory information. We haven't yet decided exactly what form the research will take, but
it will probably involve discussions with various advisory bodies. We are hoping to start
this process towards the end of this year.
As part of the junior roadshow, it will be interesting to find out what kids feel about
that too. I think that they might prove to be a bit more authoritarian about that than we
might think. Whatever comes out of all this, though, I can't see us going back to changing
the guidelines straightaway. The views of the children are only part of the mix in an
exercise in which the views of the parents are still arguably more important.
Thousands of schoolchildren are to be shown film clips featuring violence, drug abuse
and sexually explicit language in an experimental programme that could pave the way for a
further relaxation of the UK's censorship rules.
The BBFC is inviting children from around the UK to special screenings designed to
judge the success of its decisions, and to help it to decide whether to go even further.
By gauging their reaction to scenes involving such "adult" behaviour as sex and
drug-taking from films already available to them, it hopes to make up its mind whether to
make the current 12 category advisory, as with the PG rating.
Around 250 children aged 15 to 18 will attend the first screening, which is to be held
next month in east London. The excerpts to be shown include scenes from movies that
narrowly missed out on 18 certificates. In one sequence, taken from horror movie Valentine,
a scantily clad young woman is murdered by a maniac wielding a power drill, while another,
from the gothic fantasy Sleepy Hollow, depicts a small boy hiding beneath
the floorboards of a house while his family is slain by a headless horseman.
The screening will also include strong scenes cut from TV broadcasts such as teen
horror Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Simpsons. While
these scenes are not shown on British TV they are available on videos of the show. Each
clip will be preceded by a brief warning and an explanation of the context in which it
appears in the film from which it is taken.
Ros Bates, the senior BBFC examiner behind the new initiative, said it was introduced
to give children direct say in film regulation which, until now, has been reserved for
adults. Before we issued our revised guidelines last year, we held our first proper
public consultation, but we talked only to adults at that stage. The guidelines aren't set
in stone, and from now on we are planning periodic reviews. With this in mind it was
suggested that we should really be asking for the views of the biggest audience for films
and videos: adolescents. We want to find out what 15- to 18-year-olds think about our
classification decisions and whether they believe we're getting them right. After they
have seen the clips we will be asking them to fill in questionnaires. We obviously won't
be showing the children anything from an 18 film, but we have deliberately chosen clips
that address more adult themes, some of them from films that were borderline when it came
to deciding which certificate they should be given. Taking material out of context is
always problematic, but we will do our best to warn the children of anything scary or
risqué and to set the context for them.
Ros Bates said that, as well as expressing their own views on the excerpts, it was
hoped that the children would be able to comment on how their younger siblings might be
affected. Over the coming months a further nine screenings, or "junior
roadshows", would be held nationwide, some of them aimed at younger children.
News of the screenings has drawn a mixed response from parents and child protection
groups. Arthur Cornell, chairman of the Family Education Trust, a charity which promotes
traditional family values, said: I think it's quite difficult to sit children down and
ask them to assess what is and what isn't good for them. No youngster watching one of
these clips is going to say, 'oh, that frightened me dreadfully', because it's not cool to
Eileen Hayes, parenting adviser for the NSPCC, which opposes the prospective changes to
the 12 classification, added: Parents increasingly have less influence over their
children's lives, especially when it comes to screen violence. Although research on the
links between film violence and behaviour is inconclusive, parents feel the need to be
cautious. The BBFC excuses the relaxation of certificates by saying that children are
growing up faster, but the reality is that we are forcing them to do so by exposing them
to more adult images. Parents who want control over their children's viewing will find
this proposal undermining.
Films to be discussed
Next month, students on the BTEC National Diploma media course at Newham Sixth Form
College, Plaistow, will form part of the first of 10 pioneering children's viewing panels
being organised by the BBFC. In order to give them a sneak preview of the event, The
Independent on Sunday arranged to show them some of the excerpts they will be asked to
While many of the chosen scenes prompted mild amusement from the students, some
provoked far stronger reactions. Several people were particularly critical of the scene
from Sleepy Hollow in which a small boy cowers in horror as a headless
horseman massacres his entire family, before turning his axe towards him.
A brief scene from 12-rated action adventure The Mummy in which a
man's tongue is pulled out by red hot tongs also drew a mixed reaction. While some
students said that they the idea was too disturbing for a film aimed at children younger
than 12, others praised the careful editing that left most of the incident to the viewer's
A scene from coming-of-age comedy American Pie in which a suburban
father gives his son a pep talk on the birds and the bees drew laughter for its mixture of
lewd references and more subtle innuendo. Scenes of sustained but non-bloody violence in
15-rated martial arts movie Romeo Must Die drew a similarly measured response.
However, there were conflicting views on the question of censorship in general, and
moves to relax the criteria for 12 films in particular. While there was a consensus that
violence and psychological horror should be limited in movies aimed at younger age groups,
a more relaxed attitude was taken to sex, nudity and drug use.
The full list of excerpts to be shown at the first screening on 10 July is as follows:
Romeo Must Die (15) fight sequence
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (15) uncut video scene censored for early evening TV
The Simpsons (PG) uncut video sequence
Josh (12) fight sequence in Hindi film
American Pie (15) scene in which dad talks to son about sex
Picture Perfect (PG) spoken references to sexual activity
The Mummy (12) punishment scene in which the victim's tongue is cut out
Vertical Limit (12) father offering to sacrifice himself for his two teenage
sons as all three hang from cliff edge
Valentine (15) a girl in a swimming suit being killed by power drill-wielding
Sleepy Hollow (15) a young boy hides under floorboards as headless horseman
kills his family
Forces of Nature (12) teenagers smoking cannabis
Dude Where's My Car? (15) a dog smoking cannabis
Bird Brained Censorship
Censorship of animal issues is one that I choose not to get too involved
with. It is hardly a common occurrence and I feel that a too purist approach may kick up
a disproportionate fuss. An issue best left to those skilled in diplomacy.
The BBFC have issued the following press
release on the subject:
The BBFC has required a cut to the cinema film Before
Night Falls under the Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act 1937 which makes it illegal to
show any scene...organised or directed in such a way as to involve the cruel
infliction of pain and terror on any animal or the cruel goading to terror of any animal
Before Night Falls is a drama about the life of the Cuban poet
Reinaldo Arena. The scene which has been cut takes place in prison and involves the
capture of a bird by one of the inmates. The bird seems to have been lassoed round the
neck with a rope tied to the end of a stick. As it flaps, appearing to fight frantically
for escape, it is pulled through a hole in the roof of the cellblock. The bird is
The BBFC contacted the American Humane Association for further
information about the film and the AHA expressed concern about that particular scene. The
assurances from the trainer/handler of the bird about the way the scene had been filmed
were not consistent with what appears on screen. The BBFC, therefore, concluded that the
scene should be cut before awarding the film a '15' certificate.
The BBFC takes its responsibilities under the Cinematograph Films
(Animals) Act 1937 seriously and required cuts to twelve video works in 2000. These did,
however, include some archive material being submitted on video for the first time. It has
been several years since a feature film contained material which the Board considered to
be in breach of the Act.
A Complete Massacre at
As previously reported, Tobe Hooper's Texas Chainsaw
Massacre 2 was recently submitted to the BBFC. It has now been passed 18 uncut.
It will be a little while yet before this good news makes the BBFC website as the video
packaging has yet to go through the process.
The previous generation of censors were asked about the possibility of a video release
but they suggested that 20 minutes would probably have to be cut and the release proceeded
no further. At last we can get to see Dennis Hopper's classic chainsaw duel.
Another notable film passing through the BBFC is Tokyo Decadence, a
1992 Japanese film by Ryu Murakami. This is an art-house films with some explicit sex.
However, it appears that the version submitted is the softer of the two available
versions. Anyway the BBFC have passed it 18 for a cinema release by Blue Light
Another former nasty has finally been passed uncut. The Slayer, a 1981
US video by JS Cardone, has had 14s of previous cuts waived.
A few years ago the BBFC embarrassed themselves by cutting Doctor Who: Enemy
Within. At the time, they claimed that the American TV spin-off contained scenes
of irrelevant violence which would have been unacceptable in Britain for any category
lower than 15, so for the sake of the youngsters, it was cut for a 12 by 1:06s. The
current administration has come out from behind the sofa and has waived all of the
previous cuts for a new 12 certificate release.
Massacre at the Board
to see more Bruce Lee videos sailing uncut through the BBFC. The latest is Way of the
Dragon that had 1:11s worth of cuts restored for an uncut 18 certificate.
Dario Argento's Phantom of the Opera is another that has been passed
I have also heard that Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 has been submitted.
It is one of my favourite jokey horrors so I will be interested to see how Dennis Hopper
and his chainsaw duel get by.
Squirming Over Squirting
Dover's Squirt Queens has finally passed the BBFC shorn of 6 minutes & 12
seconds. The video feature several segments all climaxing in a rather wet female orgasm.
The BBFC have decided that this is in fact urolagnia and as such is obscene and to be
banned. They justified this decision as follows:
required to sight of urolagnia, in accordance with current interpretation of the Obscene
Publications Act 1959.
Deprived of its reason d'etre, the video has apparently
been retitled Ben Dover's British Cum Queens.
If anyone feels deprived at UK restriction of this
particular interest may be interested to know that SexView, a new digital satellite sex
channel on Hotbird, is literally awash with high quality films featuring golden showers.
Fisting is another British no-no that becomes a yes-yes on SexView.
Passing Water at the BBFC
noticed this week another video cut due to urination. Slumber Party 11
was cut by 32s for an R18 with the following justification:
Company required to make
cuts to female urination during sex in line with BBFC guidelines in order to achieve an
However the BBFC have been consulting with various enforcement agencies and have now
decided that urination is acceptable as long as it does not take place during sex. In fact
Barely Legal 1 & 2 have already been passed R18 and contain scenes of
urination prior to the sex scenes.
Sex & Lies at the BBFC
Following up the news item:
Hardcore Artcore it appears that Jang Sun Woo's Lies (Gojitmal)
has in fact already been seen and approved by the BBFC.
Lies was first shown at the London Film Festival in 1999 and has
subsequently appeared for limited runs at the ICA and at a few
festivals, including Bradford earlier this year. The film's UK distributors, Momentum
Pictures didn't submit Lies for a cinema certificate, presumably because of its limited
appeal. However, they did submit the film for video classification last year and the Board
approved it '18' uncut for video release.
The distributors haven't yet got their act together for the video packaging approval
and so it has not yet received it's final certificate.
Contrary to the reports in the Japan Times the sex in the film, whilst undeniably
protracted and fairly explicit, does not actually include any 'hardcore' material.
The most troublesome thing about the film is its extended - and escalating - S/M beatings.
However, there's no aroused genitalia or penetration.
sure about the good though)
More good news from the BBFC. Friday the 13th
part III and Friday the 13th The Final Chapter have been passed
uncut with previous cuts waived.
Not so good news about Henry though
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer has
been cut by 48s. The BBFC report on their site: Some previous film cuts waived and all
additional 1993 video cuts waived. The BBFC required only 27 seconds of cuts for this
submission. However, the company made 21 seconds of cuts in addition to those formally
requested. Cuts were required to remove images of sexual violence on the grounds of Board
Policy and under the terms of the Video Recordings Act 1984 (harm to society through the
depiction of violent behaviour and human sexual activity).
If you don't want to be messed about by the censors
don't forget that Henry is widely available internationally on both video and DVD. There
are uncut European versions and US versions available.
Cutting Through the
The BBFC have helpfully added a statistics section to their
website outlining the amount of films/videos submitted and the amount that are cut etc. An
initial inspection of these statistics suggest that if anything the amount of cuts is
going up rather than down as expected. ie in 2000 the BBFC cut 173 out of 6328 (2.7%)
videos certificated. This year so far they have cut 115 videos (5.8% of the videos
However, thanks to Shaun Hollingworth who wrote to the BBFC, we now have a good
explanation for this apparent increase in cuts. He received the following reply from the
You are quite right in stating that the number of videos cut so far in 2001 has
risen significantly compared to 2000. However, this apparently huge rise in cuts is in
fact misleading. The rise in cuts is actually explained by the submission of a number of
series' of sex videos for '18' classification (Class Action, Medieval Mischief, Star
Whores, Banged Up, Department Sex, Randy and Stan, Sam Gets Her Girl), but which contained
material only acceptable at 'R18'. What we have in effect had is entire series' of sex
tapes submitted, with up to 13 instalments in each, requiring cuts to be made in virtually
every episode for an '18' rather than an 'R18'. All of these series could have been passed
fully uncut at 'R18' and - had the distributor chosen to accept this category - the number
of cuts made in 2001 would in fact be significantly lower. So far, 62 of the videos cut
this year have comprised episodes of the above mentioned sex series', all of which could
have been passed uncut at 'R18'.
I hope this reassures you that 'censorship' per se has not drastically increased in
2001. All that has changed is that the companies submitting works for '18' have
unfortunately been less careful in pre-cutting their product in line with our '18'
One thing your query does underline, however, is the usefulness of our new websites
'statistics' section and it is gratifying to see that this is already proving useful and
of interest. In fact, you can see on the website what proportion in which category is
being cut. Simply click on the year you want and the statistics will be displayed by
category on the right. As you will see, so far in 2001, 28.5% of '18' videos have been cut
as opposed to 11.2% overall in 2000. This is for the reasons stated above. However, seeing
as these '18' sex video series' now seem to have come to an end it is entirely possible
that the overall '18' statistics for the year 2001 will level out. As you will see,
intervention at the levels below '18' has not in fact increased ('12' and '15' are so far
the same, 'PG' has dropped and only 'U' has increased). Furthermore, of the 163 'R18's
classified so far this year, only six have required cuts.
Of Cannibals &
The Mountains of the
To obtain an 18, cuts of 2m 6s were required. Cuts
required to sight of animal cruelty, including animals being goaded to fight each other,
in accordance with BBFC policy.
House by the Cemetery
Thanks to Boyd
The BBFC have recently classified this video with cuts of 33s. The BBFC have explained
that the cuts weren't really required but were forced on them due to legal advise. They
explained this as follows
House by the Cemetery was last convicted under the Obscene
Publications Act in 1994. It received this conviction as a result of its content, not
simply because it was unclassified. In accordance with current BBFC policy, which is based
on our latest legal advice, it was therefore necessary to make cuts to the video before
classification. This is exactly the same situation as applies to Zombie Flesh
Eaters and it is likely in the case of both films that no cuts would have been
required had there been no recent convictions. With regard to the cuts requested, two
scenes were cut which appeared to the Board to contain the strongest violence in the film,
and therefore the most likely scenes to play a part in any decision to find the film
obscene. Whether the violence was against women or men was in this case irrelevant. If the
worst violence in the film had featured men it would be these parts that the Board would
feel compelled to cut. We were simply required to seek out any material in the film that
might result in a conviction and whose removal would render the film acceptable. That
said, the BBFC has attempted to keep the cuts to a reasonable minimum, as opposed to the 5
minutes 57 seconds of cuts for the previous video version.
Bridget Jones's Diary
The distributors (UIP) chose to remove the word 'cunt'
from the dialogue line 'ham fisted cunt' in order the achieve a 15. An uncut 18 was
available to the distributor.
Nightmare on Elm Street 4: Dream Master
Has been passed uncut with all previous cuts waived with a 15 certificate.
More on Squirting
recently ran a story on the strife at the BBFC caused by Bend
Dover's Squirt Queens. Those good people at
www.world-sex-news.com did more
research than I and obtained the following response from the BBFC.
The Melon Farmers article is in fact inaccurate in several respects.
The BBFC's guidelines for 'R18' clearly prohibit 'urolagnia' on the basis that it
is an example of a 'degrading and dehumanising' activity. Furthermore, our advice (taken
when the new Guidelines were drawn up last year) is that such depictions are still likely
to be found obscene in UK courts under the Obscene Publications Act 1959.
In 2000, the BBFC classified a tape for Ben Dover showing a few brief instances of
fluid being ejected from the vagina which we did not at the time consider to be
'urolagnia'. However, subsequent expert medical advice informed us that there is no such
thing as 'female ejaculation' and that the fluid present in Squirt Queens
(and the earlier tape) was in fact urine. This advice was taken from a medical adviser
rather than from the Police, as was incorrectly reported in Melon Farmers. Nonetheless,
subsequent Police advice also suggested that any such depictions of 'squirting' were also
likely to be found against by Courts. The Melon Farmer's story that the Police said such
material 'would be prosecuted' is a distortion of events and so we have no 'official
correspondence' to offer. All the Police provided was verbal advice, as we may ask them to
do from time to time, that such material, were it to be put before a Jury, would be likely
to be found against. They did not say, as the story suggests, that they intended a crusade
against such material, nor did they threaten that the BBFC would be prosecuted. The Police
simply and factually stated that Juries would be likely to convict such material were this
tape to find its way into a courtroom. In the light of this information and our medical
advice, the BBFC asked for the 'squirting' sequences in Squirt Queens to
be cut. These sequences in fact form only a small part of the work in question and, once
removed, would still leave a viable hardcore sex tape. Squirt Queens was
not refused classification, as suggested by Melon Farmers. The Board simply asked for cuts
to what our latest advice suggested was a potentially legally actionable depiction of
urolagnia. We are currently awaiting resubmission of the cut version. Ben Dover was in
fact invited to supply evidence that our medical advice was incorrect and that the scenes
shown were in fact 'female ejaculation'. Although he initially undertook to do this, he
was ultimately unable to provide any such evidence or any medical opinion that would back
up his position.
When making decisions the BBFC is required to consider what kind of material is
likely to be found against by the Courts. We are not able to classify obscene, or
otherwise illegal, material. In order to establish what is currently legally acceptable we
need to regularly consult the Police and CPS to keep abreast of what material is being
found against. This does not mean, as implied by Melon Farmers, that the Police are making
decisions on our behalf. It simply means that the BBFC is seeking to avoid classifying
obscene material based on current standards of acceptability, something we have always
Holocaust at the BBFC
waiting on news about how Cannibal Holocaust is faring at the BBFC but at least the
trailer has now been passed.
Evil Dead Re-Enbranched
landmark has been passed this week with the BBFC passing an uncut video version of The
Evil Dead. And before anyone asks, the tree rape scene has been left intact.
The video was submitted by FilmFour but the UK rights belong to Anchor Bay who are
currently deciding upon their release plans.
More excellent work from the BBFC who are surely deserving of promotion from The Hall
of Shame to the Hall of Fame.
I have just learnt that the BBFC that have passed Michael Ninn's Shock
(hardcore version) uncut R18. This film involves a mild pussy-whipping scene and a
"pony girl" scene in which some kind of gag may have been used.
Fuck Me Less
probably the strongest of the porn/mainstream cross over films, so an 18 cinema
certificate is welcome news. However it has been cut by 9.5s. A single shot has been
removed showing a close up image of the rapist's erect penis going in and out of the
victim's vagina during the rape scene in Reel 1. The rest of the rape scene was left
untouched and all the hardcore sex scenes throughout the rest of the film (including the
close up fellatio etc) have been left intact.
The BBFC justified their classification in the following press release.
The BBFC has classified Baise Moi '18' for
adults only. A cut, however, was required to the scene of violent rape early in the film.
The Board's policy on sexual violence
(published in its Classification Guidelines in September 2000) warns that, where the
portrayal eroticises sexual assault, cuts are likely to be required at any classification
level. Additionally, any association of sex with non-consensual restraint, pain or
humiliation may be cut. This policy is in part informed by the evidence of media effects
research that violent pornography may excite aggressive responses from some male viewers.
But the Board also recognises that the graphic presentation of violent non-consensual sex
is unlikely to be acceptable to the British public at any level. For these reasons, the
Board concluded that one particular shot was unacceptable. Its extreme sexual imagery is
unmatched elsewhere in the rape scene. Without it, the sequence remains a compelling
portrayal of the ugliness and horror of rape. With it, the scene takes on a more
explicitly pornographic dimension and is a matter of serious concern. As a matter of
policy, even the Guidelines set by the BBFC for R18 sex videos (pornography which is
available only through licensed sex shops) prohibit such explicit sexual violence.
There are graphic sexual images elsewhere in
the film. The important difference, however, is that none of them occur in a context of
rape or violence. It is also relevant that the two female protagonists remain in control
of events: the most serious concern identified by effects research, which is male sexual
aggression, is not an issue in the rest of the film. Furthermore, the explicit shots which
remain in the latter part of the film are in line with the precedents already established
by the Board in passing films such as The Idiots, Ai No Corrida and Romance. These have
been generally accepted by the public. It should also be acknowledged that Baise Moi,
contrary perhaps to early reports of its reception in France, is a serious and well-made
film. It concerns the reaction of two young women to the violence and humiliation
habitually visited upon them by men. It represents an important viewpoint. The explicit
images illustrate the theme which is bleak and, for many viewers, profoundly unpleasant.
It would be less effectively rendered if cuts were made to the later scenes to reduce its
The context (and therefore explanation) for
these images is not the same as in pornographic works where the purpose of the images and
of the work as a whole is to excite the male (or, possibly, the female) viewer. In
contrast to pornographic works, the explicit images in the latter part of Baise Moi are
brief, very occasional - they in fact only occupy a small part of the film's time - and
clearly do not have the primary purpose of providing sexual satisfaction to the viewer.
There will be many different views about the
merits of this film. Indeed, media comment in this country has so far been largely
critical. The Board's view, nonetheless, is that the film has a serious cultural purpose
and offers an important perspective. We regret, however, the necessity to censor part of a
film directed at a mature adult audience who may reasonably expect to make up their own
minds about it.
Good news from the
BBFC regarding Amores Perros which has
been passed uncut. Lets hope it doesn't kick up a stink. They have justified their decision
via the following press release:
BBFC has passed Amores Perros '18' uncut for an adult audience. The Board is satisfied
with the evidence that no animals were harmed during the making of the film. Assurances
were received from the film distributors and the principal animal trainer that the dog
fighting scenes in the film were achieved through training and cinematic illusion and that
no dogs were hurt. The Board's own detailed technical scrutiny of the fighting scenes
supports that conclusion. Most significantly, the American Humane Association, which
brings particular film expertise to these issues, has looked at the work critically. It
has subsequently gone on record "appreciat[ing] the voluntary efforts of the Mexican
trainers and handlers who have demonstrated a deep concern for the welfare of the animals
in their care during production." It concludes that the dogs were unharmed.
The BBFC has spoken to the RSPCA and SSPCA who were
concerned about some scenes where goading appears to take place. The Cinematograph Films
(Animals) Act 1937 specifically refers to "cruel goading of an animal to fury",
but the Board is satisfied that what is seen on the screen provides no actual evidence of
such cruelty. The BBFC regards dog-fighting as an unacceptable sport and would not
hesitate to take action against a film where dogs had been treated in this way. It has
during the past year cut 12 films and videos for scenes of actual cruelty to animals,
ranging from horse falls to snakes being burned alive.
Intimacy has been passed 18 uncut for cinema
release (Pathe). This is the new film based on some stories by Hanif Kureishi (My
Beautiful Launderette). The film caused some controversy at the Sundance and
Berlin Film Festivals as it is the first English-language film to be passed by the Board
that contains explicit unsimulated sex of the Romance variety. (The film
is set in London but it has a French director).
Interestingly, the players performing the sex are 'known' actors - eg in an early scene
Kerry Fox (of Shallow Grave) performs fellatio on one of her fellow cast
Dogged by the Censors
From the Guardian by Fiachra Gibbons
A "crazy and outdated" law may stop one of the most feted foreign films in
years being released in Britain.
Amores Perros, roughly translated as Love's A Bitch, has made the
first-time Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu the hottest property since Quentin
Tarantino. The film has won plaudits and prizes all over the world - 24 in all since it
cleared the board at the Critics' Week at Cannes last May. Last week it won an Oscar
nomination for best foreign film.
But despite predictions that it could match its Oscar rival Crouching Tiger, Hidden
Dragon as a mainstream hit here, it is highly unlikely to be passed uncut by the censor
because one of its three intertwining stories involves dog fighting. An obscure British
law dating from the 1930s has put the British board of film classification in the
"impossible position" of having to decide whether the film's pivotal scene can
be legally shown.
Stephen Frears, the British director of The Grifters and High
Fidelity, who was bowled over by the film at last year's San Sebastian film
festival, where he chaired the jury, claimed it would be a "national disgrace"
if it is not released here. This is freshest, most forceful film I have seen in ages.
This is what film-making is all about, he said. The very short scene which I
believe may cause problems in Britain, which really is crucial to the film, is nothing to
the sort of violence we see inflicted on human beings routinely without a word of protest.
This is a very humane film. "If a British law says we cannot see it, then it is crazy
and outdated and should be changed."
The film has been snapped up by the major US distributor Lions Gate and is being shown
in the rest of Europe without cuts. But the strict provisions of the Cinematograph Films
(Animals) Act, 1937, means British distributors have been very slow about picking it up
despite its triumph at the Edinburgh and London film festivals.
What worries them is 21 seconds of footage in the first and most powerful story, which
revolves around an illegal dog-fighting den in Mexico City.
Pit bull terriers, Alsatians and rottweilers appear to fight to the death in a graphic
demonstration of what the director calls the "bestial values" that have infected
their owners. The dog that is the tragic anti-hero of the film is a pet who fights for
his owner out of love for him but which itself turns into a killer, he said, just
as his owner becomes a killer out of a thwarted love for his brother's wife. I am really
worried about the film becoming known as a 'dog fighting film' because it is not. I think
that without that scene, the film loses its impact on the soul. People say we should cut
it, but without this moment the film has no meaning.
Mr Gonzalez Inarritu said that although the fight scene appeared to be bloody and
barbarous, "the camera lies" and he went to great lengths to ensure the dogs did
not do anything they did not want to do. We used hand-held cameras to make it look a
lot more dramatic. The dogs were just playing, he said. Sue Clarke, of the BBFC, said
the film put them in an impossible position. We are looking at the film very
carefully. Our only problem is with one very short scene and the reason we are taking so
long to decide is that we can see its importance to the film. Let's be very clear, it is
not the board that is the obstacle here, it is the law, and the law says animals should
not be goaded or in any way incited to fight."
(The issue of animal cruelty is difficult. Whereas a lot of
censorship is based upon a totally reprehensible holier than thou attitude, animal
issues are at least based on a passionate wish to avoid suffering. The level of passion
that this may inflame leaves me hoping for a quiet compromise. There seems little point in
jeopardising recent advances in UK censorship for the sake of a single film that we can
all quietly obtain on import anyway).
Pissed Off with Ben Dover
year the UK establishment got together and decided that explicit consensual porn was OK
with the exception of fisting, golden showers and violent/degrading material. As
expected, the police have stepped in to take an unnecessarily hard line on the boundaries
of this compromise. The likes of the police and customs like clear cut, black & white
guidelines so as to avoid having to think about issues such as harm, justification and
In September last year a Ben Dover video was submitted for an R18
certificate. It was called British Housewives Fantasies Vol 1. Two of the
ladies in the film 'squirted' on orgasm. The film was duly passed at R18, and is currently
on sale in licensed sex shops. Recently another title called Squirt Queens
was submitted, a tape in which all the female performers 'squirted'. A certificate
was refused. The grounds for this according to the BBFC was that the police had
recently told them that it is impossible for a woman to ejaculate, and that the
liquid issued is in fact urine, and that, according to the police, contravenes the Obscene
To be fair to the BBFC they have absolutely no problem with
female ejaculation, but the police have said that any tapes passed R18 containing
'squirting' will be prosecuted, and understandably the BBFC are not keen to be dragged
into a prosecution, which would have the Daily Mail et al up in arms.
I have seen a review copy of Squirt Queens and can confirm that whilst
being very erotic, it is ludicrous to suggest that it is any more obscene than any
other R18 video. The police are talking out of their arse. This matter
raises a couple of important points; Firstly, what are the police doing putting
pressure on the BBFC, effectively using the "you'll end up in court too" threat.
The police say that they have had female ejaculate tested and it is in fact urine.
Non-police research reports that while it is true, female ejaculate does contain
urine it is by no means only urine. The point is, are the BBFC making the
decisions on certificates or not? If the police have now started throwing their weight
around over this, what could be next? Secondly, this appears to be a blatant case of
sex discrimination. If we are now allowed to see men ejaculating, why not women? I
wonder what the women's groups have to say about this.
Beyond the BBFC
noticed last week that Lucio Fulci's The Beyond has been passed uncut by
the BBFC. Previous cuts have been waived. For a reason I have never really fathomed, The
Beyond generates more requests about cuts and bans than any other film in my
lists. A bit of a landmark then to see it pass unscathed.
Another notable waiving of cuts occurred as Lo Wei's Fist of Fury
passed through uncut with a running time of 101:54s.
On a less happy note, Urotsukidoji IV: Episode 3 Quests End did suffer
the loss of 2:31s. Better than a ban I suppose. However, I did appreciate the new found
clarity of BBFC justification comments, in this case:
Cuts required to remove sight of
tentacular rape and breast groping in accordance with BBFC policy to obtain an '18'
just noticed one of the most heavily cut R18s that have passed through the BBFC for some
time. However the site does at least give a little more information than usual as to why.
Dirty Anal Kelly in Rome 2 (Harmony) has been cut by 7:17s to 119:11s. The BBFC
justified their decision as follows:
Cuts required to explicit sex scenes in which women
and men are hit, spat at, appear to be in pain, or have their head forced into a toilet
bowl. Cuts are in accordance with BBFC guidelines on R18 material.
Waiving Goodbye to Cuts
Chin's Bruce Lee, the Man, the Legend has joined the list of uncut
re-releases. The BBFC has passed the video with 2:38s of cuts waived. About 5 mins of
additional material has also been added. The video however has been upgraded from a 15 to