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23rd June   

Update: Creepy...

The Human Centipede at the BBFC
Link Here
Full story: Human Centipede...Hype spreads mouth to arse

The BBFC have just passed much hyped The Human Centipede, 18 uncut. The certificate is for DVD rather than a cinema release though.

By all accounts, the concept is nastier than the actual film but maybe it would be more fun to believe the Sun's rantings:  

The Human Centipede features a depraved storyline about a psychopathic German surgeon who drugs his victims before surgically joining them together, mouth to backside, in order to create a human centipede.

The horror is said to be so gross that cinemagoers have been racing out of US screenings to be sick - and reviewers are warning audiences not to eat before seeing the film.

Update: Cinema Release Uncut

3rd July 2010.

The BBFC have passed the cinema release 18 uncut

Update: Taking legal advice over scat

25th September 2010.

The BBFC have added their Extended Classification Information:

THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (FIRST SEQUENCE) is a horror film about an insane German surgeon who kidnaps three tourists and surgically attaches them to each other to form a human centipede . The film was classified 18 for strong bloody violence, threat and horror.

The central conceit, in which three people are surgically attached anus to mouth to share a single gastrointestinal tract, provides the film's elements of horror and threat as the victims are chained up, drugged and left terrified by the surgeon's explanations of what he plans to do to them. The actual surgical process is not shown in any significant detail. Instead, the nature of the procedure is hinted at by two short scenes. In one, the surgeon removes one of the women's teeth with pliers, resulting in a lot of blood but with the actual process of removal hidden by the positioning of the characters' bodies. In the other, a scalpel is seen cutting into the flesh of a woman's buttocks before a bloody flap of skin is lifted. These bloody scenes, plus the later shooting of several characters with blood sprays from wounds and the stabbing of a scalpel into a man's legs, breach the BBFC's Guidelines at 15 which state that violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury . Once the surgery is completed, no detail is shown of the contact between the faces and anuses of the victims, because the attachments between them are covered in bandages. Although the central idea of the film is undoubtedly grotesque and revolting, the Guidelines state that works should be allowed to reach the widest audience that is appropriate for their theme and treatment and that adults should, as far as possible, be free to choose what they see, provided that it remains within the law and is not potentially harmful . The Board has taken legal advice which indicates that THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE is not in breach of the Obscene Publications Act 1959 or any other relevant legislation. In terms of harm, the scenario is so far fetched and bizarre that there is no plausible risk of emulation.

The film also contains multiple uses of strong language, some strong verbal sex references as a man talks about women being wet between the legs , and infrequent non-sexualised nudity as the female victims crawl around with their breasts partially exposed.


8th June   

Recessionary Cinema and Inflationary Popcorn...

BBFC publish their Annual Report for 2009
Link Here

A year of declining submissions for cinema and DVD but increased online certification via the scheme is marked in the BBFC Annual Report for 2009.

While the Board saw traditional media submissions fall for the third year running, the voluntary classification scheme for video content being supplied by downloading and streaming continues to draw new content providers and suppliers*. 2009 was the first full calendar year of operation and saw online certificates reach over 8,000, covering film and television content. The scheme was developed in the knowledge that the EU Audiovisual Services Directive would require the UK to introduce, by the end of 2009, a form of statutory regulation for certain video-on- demand services operating from within the UK. This EU Directive requires all member states to introduce certain basic rules for video-on-demand services which offer TV-like content to the public.

David Cooke, Director of the BBFC said:

While we continue to see a decline in traditional submissions we are looking to an online future. Considering that is a voluntary scheme, we have chalked up an impressive membership list, reflecting the importance the digital industry places on effective content labelling. The industry recognises the trust which the public places in BBFC classifications and the well recognised and understood category symbols and black card. We see widespread use of BBFC classifications through this scheme as the best way of signalling to consumers, and in particular parents, the nature of the video-on-demand content being offered and its suitability for different age groups.

That a BBFC classification offers something of value to the industry, beyond a legal obligation, was also clear from the fact that the vast majority of distributors continued to submit their works for classification during the hiatus in the enforcement of the Video Recordings Act between August 2009 and January this year. Entertainment retailers also continued to restrict sales according to BBFC classifications.

As far as the public is concerned, 2009 saw the roll out of the latest set of classification Guidelines, based on the extensive consultation exercise carried out in 2008/9, which ensures that we are in touch with current public attitudes. The provision of Consumer Advice and Extended Classification Information on both our main website and our website for Parents means that anyone trying to decide which film they, or their family, should see has access to as much information as possible to enable them to make informed decisions.

In 2009 the BBFC rejected three works because they were considered to be potentially harmful; eleven cinema films were cut, but these were cuts made by distributors to obtain a lower category; and 341 DVD submissions were cut, the vast majority of which (208) were in the R18 category and were to remove illegal or potentially harmful material.

A number of older films were resubmitted with a view to having previous cut material reinstated or changes overturned for a modern classification. When the video version of Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction came in for classification in 1994 a heroine injection scene was reframed to remove what was considered at the time to be instructional detail. In 2009 it came in again and the scene was passed uncut, based on up to date advice. The House by the Cemetery , a video nasty made in 1981, was passed uncut for the first time last year. The producer's cut of L'Empire des Sens In the Realm of the Senses , the Nagisa Oshima classic 1976 study of sexual obsession, sadomasochism, madness and murder was submitted for a modern classification and passed 18 uncut.

2009 saw a reduction in the number of complaints to the BBFC and no one classification decision dominated the feedback from the public. Not everyone who complained to the Board had actually seen the film. The Board regularly receives complaints if a film is the subject of critical press coverage. Top end classification decisions regularly bring complaints from under age viewers who resent having their viewing or game playing restricted by our decisions. And some correspondents think the BBFC is responsible for everything from the historical accuracy of a film to the cost of the popcorn at the cinema.


3rd June   

Takeover Games...

VSC expect to take over as games censors in early autumn
Link Here

The Video Standards Council, the new games censors in waiting, are expecting to take over the job from the BBFC around September this year.

Speaking to Eurogamer TV,  Laurie Hall, VSC director general said: The Secretary of State has to be satisfied that everything has been put in place before he presses the green button. There are various arrangements that have to be put in place: a statutory instrument for dealing with packaging regulations; the Secretary of State has to be happy that the arrangements that the VSC itself has put in place to carry out its statutory duties are in order before he designates us. When exactly will all this happen? We don't know. Our best guess is the early autumn, possibly September.

Speaking to Eurogamer TV earlier in the year, the BBFC's senior policy advisor, David Austin, said: We've been talking to them pretty much constantly since the decision as to how it's all going to happen. We'll be working in parallel forever, as long as there's a VSC and PEGI, because we will still retain responsibility for certain types of game and because game and film content are moving closer.

While the details are still being thrashed out, it is understood the BBFC will retain responsibility for rating the small number of pornographic games requiring an R18 rating.

Update: Elspa Expect

11th June 2010. See  article from

Trade body ELSPA expects long journey to conclude before busy Q4 season

ELSPA is hopeful that the PEGI system of age ratings for video games will be ratified in law this October just in time for complete clarity through the busiest selling season.


2nd June   

Update: Hype Inside...

Michael Winterbottom grabs the press spotlight
Link Here

Jessica Alba gets violently beaten in her new film The Killer Inside Me - but does that really make it one of the most controversial films ever made?

The film has seemingly split the critics between those who think it's a bold and dark piece of adult film making, and those who think it's a gruesome portrayal of misogyny.

British director Michael Winterbottom has defended his work to Sky News, insisting if he was going to adapt one of the most famous graphic pulp novels of the fifties, he would have to stay true to the original vision: Obviously this is a story that involves some violence towards women and I can understand that is shocking. It should be shocking. If you made a film where there's a guy beating up a woman and it was enjoyable that would be wrong. The original novel was written by Jim Thompson.

Most critics have picked up on two particular scenes in this remake, one of which features Jessica Alba's character getting battered by the murderous Lou Ford, played to chilling effect by Casey Affleck.

The BBFC passed it uncut as an 18 Certificate, saying the scenes in question do not eroticise or endorse sexual assault or pose a credible harm risk to viewers of 18 and over .

The director, though, hopes open-minded cinema fans will at least give it a chance. Every interview has been about the violence of the film which I understand because violence is shocking, he sighs: But at the same time it's a shame we don't get to talk about the actors and the dialogue and the story. There are two violent scenes in the whole film and the rest of it is a portrayal of Lou Ford as a sort of interesting, complex and violent character. Unfortunately we never get onto that part as we end up talking about the violence.


26th May   

Shear Revenge...

I Spit on Your Grave returns to the news
Link Here
Full story: I Spit on Your Grave...Remake enjoys some good publicity

Some news coming out of the Creation Weekend of Horrors concerning Steven R. Munroe's remake of I Spit on Your Grave .

Producer Lisa Hansen and director Steven R. Monroe let curious convention-goers know that they've been battling it out with the MPAA for quite some time now and are in the fourth round of dealing with the ratings board. Apparently they've been asked to make more than one hundred cuts to the movie due to its tone, realism, and grisly violence.

As a result all those involved promised that when fans finally do get to see the controversial little film, it will be in an unrated form as they all agreed, It's the only way to do it to properly revere the original work.

Meanwhile DarkAngel reports that the original I Spit on Your Grave has been resubmitted to the BBFC in its uncut format. No news of a decision yet though.


29th April   

Update: No Consideration for Others...

Academics calls for films to be rated according to their pet smoking concerns
Link Here
Full story: Adult Rating for Smoking...Anti-smoking lobby for 18 for smoking in films

Another analysis of modern films found that movies rated PG show cigarette use, with smoking also prominent in features granted 12 or 12A certificates.

The researchers also warned that active product placement may still be taking place, with British films more likely to feature specific tobacco brands than their US equivalents.

The analysis of the 15 most-popular films to screen in UK cinemas each year since 1989 was carried out by the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies. It scrutinised 300 films, recording how often tobacco use and smoking paraphernalia, such as cigarette packs, lighters, ashtrays, or a particular brand, appeared.

While it found that the prevalence of tobacco imagery has fallen dramatically over the past two decades, there remained notable exceptions. Tobacco, or tobacco by association, appeared in 70% of the films reviewed, over half of which had been given a 15 classification by the BBFC. Brand appearances were nearly twice as likely to occur in films with UK involvement, it added. It singled out two successful home-grown productions, Bridget Jones's Diary and About a Boy , for stern criticism.

Ailsa Lyons, a PhD student at the University of Nottingham who led the study, said the findings demonstrated the need for the BBFC to review its guidance on smoking in films in order to protect vulnerable youngsters.

She said: Although smoking imagery and branding images in the most popular films have become substantially less common over the past 20 years, it is apparent that children and young people watching films in the UK are still exposed to frequent and, at times specifically branded, tobacco imagery, particularly in films originating from the UK. More consistent application of BBFC guidance could dramatically reduce this exposure and protect children and young people from damaging imagery, and encourage film makers to avoid tobacco imagery without compromising artistic freedoms or factual accuracy.

Professor John Britton, head of the university's epidemiology and public health division and the report's co-author, added: It is well established that tobacco companies used films to promote tobacco products for many years, and adolescents who view tobacco use in film and who admire the lead actors whose characters smoke, were likely to view smoking favourably.

The BBFC said the idea of imposing an 18 rating on films which feature smoking was not going to happen, with the only exception being where a film actively promoted the habit.

The findings are published in the latest British Medical Journal's Thorax publication.


22nd April   

Rated A for Arbitrary...

Website filtering ISP uses BBFC classification symbols
Link Here

An ISP offering web filtering that uses BBFC classification certificates has launched.

It is the first time that the BBFC has teamed up with an ISP.

Parents select the filter level they require - U, PG, 12, 15 or 18 - on behalf of their children.

Tibboh is a 3G mobile internet service. Users need a dongle to access Tibboh, and they can register various profiles for different family members. There is a monthly charge of £19.99 for the service, which has a 15 gigabyte data limit.

According to Tibboh's ratings social networks Facebook and Twitter and search engines Google and Bing are given a 12 rating. News websites including the BBC, the Telegraph and the Guardian along with computer giants Apple and Microsoft have a U certificate. Sky and Virginmedia however are rated PG, along with web browser Mozilla. Blogging hosts Blogger and Wordpress are given a 15 rating.

Those on the most restrictive filters (PG and below) will be unable to access sites that have not been classified, while those on the 18 level may find that access is banned after a particular site has been screened.

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