Melon Farmers Original Version


2011: Oct-Dec

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31st December   

Update: BBFC Shows a Bit of Heart...

BBFC's 100 Years of Film Censorship celebrations will include an uncut screening of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Link Here

British fans will be able to see Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom just as its director Steven Spielberg wanted, almost three decades after its release.

The film will be screened unedited at the National Film Theatre in London for the first time at the end of next year as part of a season of films put together to celebrate the centenary of the BBFC.

Censors demanded a number of cuts to Temple of Doom when it was submitted in 1984 before it would grant a family-friendly PG rating.

Paramount Pictures was keen to avoid a 15 certificate as the film was aimed at kids and families, but it was too violent and intense for a PG classification, a spokeswoman for the BBFC said. And the option for a 12 certificate wasn't available at the time. The BBFC director at the time, James Ferman, flew to Los Angeles to edit the film for UK release with Spielberg.

The numerous cuts reintroduced will please the more bloodthirsty of fans. They include close-ups of a heart being ripped out and a head cracking against a rock. A scene where Indiana Jones is forced to drink blood before being whipped will also be reinstated.

The season will also include a showing of The Devil s, directed by Ken Russell who died last month. But it seems that a hundred years of film censorship is not sufficiently important to persuade Warners to allow a screening of their uncut version.

The season of censored films also includes The Evil Dead , which made the Director of Public Prosecution's video nasties list in 1982.

This is just one among several initiatives the BBFC is preparing for its 100th anniversary next year. David Cooke, director of the BBFC, said: This is a chance for us to look forward and to celebrate our past.


24th December   

YouView WeCensor...

YouView internet TV service to launch using BBFC classifications for films
Link Here

The BBFC has added TalkTalk to the classification service.

TalkTalk will launch YouView in Spring 2012, and subscribers viewing film content will see the same classification symbols and content information as those the BBFC provides for cinema releases and DVDs. The BBFC's information will make it easier for consumers to make informed decisions about the films they and their families watch.

David Cooke, Director of the BBFC, said We're delighted to add TalkTalk to our service. Parents have told us it's important for them to see the classification symbols they recognise before they stream a film for family consumption. We asked parents for their views and 82% said they would prefer to download films that are classified with the trusted BBFC symbols and Consumer Advice.

Max Alexander, Director of TV at TalkTalk, said It's important that our customers trust the suitability of content they are about to watch and this agreement with the BBFC gives them what they want. Working with the BBFC shows our ongoing commitment to ensure that we help protect our customers across all products and services they use with us.


21st December

 Offsite: Sex and the BBFC...

Link Here
Close Encounters with Foreign Erotica

See article from


20th December   

Forty Years Of Chocolate Orange...

BBC Radio Today programme discusses how attitudes to towards violence in films has changed
Link Here

Clockwork Orange and the BBFC were the topics of conversation on BBC Radio 4's  Today programme on the 19th December 2011. Previous BBFC President Andreas Whittam Smith and Julian Petley, professor of journalism and screen media at Brunel University, spoke about turn of the century BBFC film censorship.

During the talk, Whittam Smith spoke about the time when Clockwork Orange, The Exorcist. Straw Dogs and Texas Chainsaw Massacre struggled at the BBFC.

They also spoke about violence in films and whether it effected viewers. Whittam Smith said:

... nobody's ever .. uhm .. shown the link. The best research I ever saw took young offenders. Showed them violent videos uhm, and so on, about six months later they re-interviewed and they tended to remember scenes, the graphic scenes better than a control group of ordinary people. And that suggests that it does have some effect but it's very hard to make that, bring that up to the level required for uhm, a court of law, where actions had to be beyond all possible doubt

Julian Petley thnn says In my view there is no proven link...

So Andreas Whittam Smith says that the best evidence he has seen is not up to the level needed for a court of law.


20th December   

One Hundred Years Of Film Censorship...

BBFC celebrate with a year of nostalgic film certificate styles
Link Here

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) is marking its 100th year in 2012 by resurrecting its historical Theatrical Black Cards. Beginning in January cinema-goers across the UK will see updated versions of the vintage Black Cards ahead of all 2012 theatrical releases. The six retro designs based on those used in 1913, the 1940s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and the present day will be released as a series with each design appearing for two months at a time.

The first retro card to be show in cinema's in 2012 will be based on the 1912 theatrical card, first shown in 1913.

Other activities taking place to mark the BBFC Centenary year include a film season at the BFI; an exhibition about the history of the BBFC; and a Centenary book mapping 100 years of film classification and controversy.

David Cooke Director of the BBFC says: The BBFC's Centenary is a chance for us both to look forward and to celebrate our past. We are constantly striving to develop new services; provide the public with fuller, richer information; and to improve our efficiency. At the same time, we recognise our duty to explain our history, and we do a lot of this, particularly with schools and teachers. The retro Black Cards are a way of celebrating our history. I think they're pretty stylish too .

Established as the British Board of Film Censors in 1912, the BBFC was designed by the film industry to ensure uniformity in film classification and was a reaction to the 1909 Cinematographers Act whereby all Local Authorities had the power to provide or withhold licenses for cinemas in their area.

Areas of notable interest in the Board's history include T.P. O'Connor's 1916 list of 43 grounds for deletion, intended as a guide for Examiners; the shifts in public opinion and changes in the law over the decades; and the classification of various controversial films from Straw Dogs and A Clockwork Orange to the video nasties of the 1980s.

Today the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) is an independent, private, not for profit company which classifies films, videos, DVDs and certain video games, advertisements and trailers under the Video Recordings Act (1984).

...Read the full article


16th December

 Offsite: BBFC Infomercial...

Link Here
Calling the Shots Online

See article from


10th December

 Offsite: A Century of Film Censorship...

Link Here
On the cutting room floor:

See article from


4th December   

Free Speech Proves Too Expensive...

Economic censorship of micro market films
Link Here

A film maker has been assisted by her local council so as to get her movie shown to audiences at village halls and community centres in Northumberland. In rare move, licensing councillors will sit down to watch the 15-minute film next week, and decide what classification it should be given for public screenings.

The 15-minute webdrama Celia was written and directed by Rachel Cochrane and is the pilot for what is intended to be a six-episode monologue-style drama about a respectable middle-aged woman suffering a mid-life crisis.

It was initially made to be viewed via the internet only (of course that would have invoked ruinous ATVOD censorship fees), but then Rachel decided she would like to be able to show at film clubs in community buildings across the county.

Rachel said:

I made Celia as a webdrama but then felt I would also like to take it out to film clubs for older people who are not necessarily big on the internet or social media. I did some research and realised it needed a classification to be screened publicly at places like village halls. It would cost quite a lot to take it to the BBFC and they advised me that the county council could do it.


3rd December   

Update: Banging On...

Nutter MP presents a petition backing her call to appoint the BBFC as book censors for sex education material
Link Here

Conservative MP Andrea Leadsom has presented a 45,000 signature petition to Schools Minister Nick Gibb.

Leadsom is campaigning against explicit sex education in primary schools and feels that the BBFC are ideally placed to provide their censorship expertise to sex education materials. She said:

The Department for Education is currently drafting new guidelines for schools on sex and relationship education (SRE) and I would like to see a form of independent classification of the material used. The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has been rating films for 99 years and seems to be well placed to assess material, and I am sure that this would give worried parents some peace of mind in knowing what their children were seeing.

To see some of the images being shown to very young children in our primary schools was genuinely shocking.

After presenting the petition, Leadsom had a meeting with Gibb and a number of Northamptonshire parents. I know the Minister takes this matter very seriously and I hope he will take on board my idea of allowing the BBFC to age rate material , she said.


24th November   

Updated: Vaz Called to Nutter Duty...

Inevitable parliamentary motion to whinge at the new video game, Modern Warfare 3
Link Here

Keith Vaz, perennial whinger about computer games has compiled his usual parliamentary motion call for more censorship of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

Early Day Motion 2427

Primary sponsor: Keith Vaz
Sponsors: Jeremy Corbyn, Alan Meale, Bob Russell*

That this House:

  • is deeply concerned about the recently released video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 , in which players engage in gratuitous acts of violence against members of the public;

  • notes in particular the harrowing scenes in which a London Underground train is bombed by terrorists, bearing a remarkable resemblance to the tragic events of 7 July 2005;

  • further notes that there is increasing evidence of a link between perpetrators of violent crime and violent video games users; and

  • calls on the British Board of Film Classification to take further precautions when allowing a game to be sold.

Supported by Martin Caton, Mike Hancock, Kelvin Hopkins,  Dr William McCrea, Sandra Osborne and David Simpson

Update: Counterstrike

24th November 2011. See article from

Tom Watson gamely proposes to amend the Vaz EDM by replacing it entirely.

EDM Amendment 2427A1 - CALL OF DUTY 3

Primary sponsor: Tom Watson
Sponsors: Julian Huppert, Kerry McCarthy

That this House notes:

  • that the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) gave the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 an 18 classification, noting that 'the game neither draws upon nor resembles real terrorist attacks on the underground;

  • further believes that the game has an excellent user interface and challenges the gamers' dexterity as well as collaborative skills in an outline setting; and

  • encourages the BBFC to uphold the opinion of the public that whilst the content of video games may be unsettling or upsetting to some, adults should be free to choose their own entertainment in the absence of legal issues or material which raises a risk or harm.


20th November   

Offsite: Morality in Revenge...

Adam Rehmeier speaks of the reception so far to The Bunny game
Link Here

Brutal as hell have interviewed Adam Rehmeier on the progress of his BBFC banned film, The Bunny Game

Brutal as hell: Can you tell me your reaction to the BBFC decision to ban your film outright?

Adam Rehmeier: I think the BBFC decision to ban the film is quite harsh. Of course, they will let remakes of films like I Spit on Your Grave and Last House on the Left pass uncut. Hollywood remakes, nonetheless, that capitalize on the notoriety of rape and revenge of the original films and do absolutely nothing to further the genre.

I guess unremitting rape and callous behavior is okay with the BBFC as long as the victim exacts revenge on the tormentor, which, in reality, is never the case. The Bunny Game is a journey through several days in the life of a prostitute and is grounded in reality. It is grim and, as with most abductions, the ending is far from happy.

The BBFC seems to think that we are eroticising the torture in the film, encouraging the viewer to join in on the abductor's pleasure. Did they even watch the film? Out of all the screenings we have had in the past year, not a single person has ever expressed that same thought.

...Read the full interview


19th November   

Offsite: Tom Six and Lawrence R Harvey vs The BBFC...

Getting To The Bottom Of The Human Centipede 2 Controversy
Link Here
Full story: Human Centipede...Hype spreads mouth to arse

In June, the British Board of Film Classification banned The Human Centipede 2 , causing every news outlet in the country, and many more around the world to suddenly take an interest in the movie. We were no exception, reporting "The BBFC have denied The Human Centipede sequel a certificate on the outrageous grounds that it's too "sexually violent and potentially obscene"".

With the film finally out in the UK, we decided that it was the perfect time for us to do some digging, and try to understand what it was that so offended the BBFC initially, and what persuaded them to finally change their minds.

In the interest of balance, we also spoke to Tom Six and Laurence R. Harvey, respectively the director and star of Human Centipede 2.

...Read the full article


18th November   

The Exemption Gap...

Mike Weatherley MP meets the BBFC
Link Here

Mike Weatherly is the Tory MP for Hove who has a bee in the bonnet about sport, music and religion DVDs that are exempt from BBFC classification.

It seems that he would prefer that makers of these mostly benign videos to be saddled with the inevitably high cost of classification just so that a handful of titles identified by nutters could be given a 15 or 18 certificate. Exactly the sort of control freakery and expensive thinking that has suffocated western enterprise and that is now making us all poor.

Back in November 2010, Weatherly enquired in Parliament about exempt DVDs. During Parliamentary Questions he asked Ed Vaizey, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport

How many DVDs that were exempt from classification were released in (a) 2007, (b) 2008 and (c) 2009.

He received the bleedin' obvious answer

The Department does not hold the information requested.

No data are recorded for films released on DVD which are exempt from classification, as this exemption renders them outside of any administrative process.

Anyway Weatherley has been following up at the BBFC and he rather simplistically reports on his progress:

Mike has met with executives at the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) to gain a better understanding of the regulator and its work.

Mike was invited to the headquarters of the BBFC in central London and given a tour of the building whilst discussing the exempt category which is not actually classified by the BBFC. Videos which are designed to educate, inform or instruct or which are concerned with music, sport or religion are exempt from classification unless they contain certain extreme content. Mike was shocked though by some of the material that is in fact exempt from classification.

Commenting, Mike said: It was fascinating to see first-hand the work that BBFC undertakes and having met with representatives before, I was aware of the important work that they do. It was a very informative visit and I was given a demonstration of the classification process. I particularly look forward to working with the BBFC in the future to help solve the exemption gap.


18th November   

Offsite: Hate in Context...

HeyUGuys interview a senior examiner at the BBFC
Link Here put some questions to Craig Lapper, a Senior Examiner with the BBFC about their way the organisation works, the process they go through when deciding on a rating for a film, and how the board, and their stance on certain issues, has changed over the last decade or so.

HeyUGuys : How important is social context to decisions made by the board? We are already aware that there is a tough stance against the use of knives due to knife crime in the UK, but if the film La Haine -- that depicts youths rioting in the streets -- came out this year, do you believe that it would still receive a 15 rating, or is the social context of recent rioting in the UK enough to justify a higher classification?

Craig Lapper : It would all depend upon how the violence was presented and the overall message of the film. A film suggesting rioting is cool and glamorous would be far more of a problem than a film showing the consequences of such violence in a balanced and responsible manner. Just because a film depicts anti-social behaviour, that doesn't mean the film is endorsing it.

...Read the full interview


16th November   

Updated: Playing a Long Game...

BBFC to VSC handover of video game ratings now set for early 2012
Link Here

The last report of the handover of video game censorship from the BBFC to the Video Standards Council (VSC) suggested that this would occur by Christmas.

Now the handover date is being talked about in terms of sometime early 2012.

However the video game trade group UKIE has confirmed that plans are still on course for PEGI, which is currently awaiting final EU sign offs before UK Government grants the on-pack marks as the only ratings standard for video games.

Update: Playing a Longer game

16th November 2011. See article from

MCV are now reporting that the games censorship handover to the VSC, the new games censors using PEGI symbols, will not no occur early in 2012.

However a revised launch window has yet to be given.


12th November   

A Full Sequence of Spoilers...

UK version of Human Centipede 2 compared with Video on Demand version
Link Here
Full story: Human Centipede...Hype spreads mouth to arse

Just got back from seeing it on the big screen in London (Apollo Cinema, Piccadilly Circus)...

As hard as it is to believe, some scenes are in fact longer in the UK version than in the VOD version!! I made some notes on my mobile phone, so here goes...

First up, the company logo is no longer IFC, it's Monster films ...

Part that seems cut in both US & UK versions: When Martin looks at the warehouse with the lettings guy, it seems the attack on the guy is missing in both versions, as both jump from him being asked to sign the lease to him dead on the floor with stomach wounds...

Another part that seems cut in both versions: When Martin is on the stairs with the hooker, it jumps from him getting maced to the body being in the van...

The scene after Martin kills his mother: Not a huge difference, but the camera lingers for longer on her mangled face (When she's sitting in the chair), showing a slightly closer, gorier angle.

The sandpaper part: This is longer in the UK release, you see him unzipping his trousers (Not in VOD) and the sequence goes on slightly longer until he climaxes...

The part with the Dr, Martin and his mum together: A very small difference here, you see the centipede eating its prey for longer, as it crushes it etc...

The teeth removal part: This is shorter, there are less hits from the hammer (I think you see about 4 hits), then it switches to Martin dragging the bloody teeth etc from the mouth. Seemed a bit pointless to shorten this, as, like I said, it only removes a few hits.

The ligament cutting part: This part is almost exactly the same as the VOD release, but there seemed to be more screaming added.

The buttock cutting: Exactly the same as VOD.

The buttock stapling: This is essentially the same as VOD, however the VOD shows possibly around 2 seconds longer of the stapling itself.

When the completed centipede is revealed: The VOD is missing a shot of Martin with his arms out-stretched, looking very happy with his creation...

The laxative / Wall painting scene: Is identical, this is the only bit where colour (Brown) is shown...

The rape scene: This is where it get's interesting, as in the VOD, this scene is practically non-existant, you just see Martin slumped over the end of the centipede; In the UK version, this part go's on for 20 - 30 seconds, and is pretty nasty! There's no mention at all of barb-wire, but you see Martin Getting himself ready (Playing with his y-fronts), followed by him humping the centipede, with a LOT of screaming, shots of reaction from other members of the centipede, and like I said, lasts about 30 seconds and is pretty disturbing to watch. Absolutely NONE of that was in the VOD version.

The baby scene: The scene is essentially the same, but when the bay comes out it's on the screen for a tiny (Very tiny) bit longer, but cuts straight from that to the car driving off. (Interestingly, some shots of Martin banging on the car and shouting have been removed.)

When the centipede is being killed: During the shooting, one of the women pees herself, I didn't notice that in the VOD version - The shootings and throat slashings are the same.

And that's about it!! Sorry if I've missed any parts!! To be honest, for a UK cut of the film it really wasn't too bad, I went there expecting to see next to nothing!!


8th November   

Update: The BBFC Duty to Deflect Nutters Calling for a Ban...

The BBFC gives Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 an 18 classification
Link Here
Full story: Call of Duty...Nutters wound up by warfare video game series

The video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has been given an 18 classification by the BBFC. The BBFC is aware that some comparison has been drawn between the action in the game and terrorist attacks on the London Underground in July 2005. However, a full examination of the game makes clear that the storyline is far removed from these real events.

The game is a continuation of the Call of Duty Modern Warfare franchise, with characters returning from the previous instalment in a continuing narrative. The game includes a level set in a fictional London in which Special Forces soldiers chase enemy Russian mercenaries through London Underground tunnels as the mercenaries attempt to escape on a train. The train, which contains no civilian passengers, crashes beneath Westminster Underground Station and the battle continues through the station up to street level.

David Cooke, Director of the BBFC says, In reaching its decision the BBFC has given careful consideration both to the depiction of action on the Underground and elsewhere in London and the context in which that action takes place. The game neither draws upon nor resembles real terrorist attacks on the Underground. Nevertheless, the location of the action in familiar London settings, both above and below ground, establishes a context within which the tone and impact of the work may, for some, be more unsettling, and upsetting, than in previous games in the series. The Board's decision to restrict the game to adults primarily reflects some moments of strong violence, but also takes account of these contextual elements.

The BBFC is satisfied that Call of Duty : Modern Warfare 3 contains no material that requires restriction beyond the 18 classification. The Guidelines at 18 accept the principle, repeatedly endorsed by the public, that adults should be free to choose their own entertainment in the absence of legal issues or material which raises a risk of harm. The BBFC has no legal power to refuse classification solely on the grounds of offence.


8th November   

Offsite: British Viewers Anaesthetised with a BBFC Tyre Iron...

Why do we find the digestive tract so hard to stomach?
Link Here
Full story: Human Centipede...Hype spreads mouth to arse

The BBFC's outright rejection of The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) in June surprised some. The film's predecessor, The Human Centipede (First Sequence), was passed uncut last year. It too featured human beings sewn together mouth-to-anus so they shared a common alimentary system, but unlike its successor it was disturbingly realistic. Expert advice ensured that the experiment it depicted would actually have worked. Any filmgoers in danger of being depraved and corrupted into emulating what they'd seen were thus presented with a workable blueprint.

The new film, on the other hand, is outright farce. Its protagonist isn't a distinguished surgeon but a dim-witted car-park attendant. He makes no attempt to provide his victims with the nutritional supplements they would require, or even with water. He anaesthetises them with a tyre iron and attaches them to each other with a staple-gun. No one could possibly take him seriously.

...Read the full article

I wonder if perhaps the Guardian blogger shouldn't also be targeting the lords and masters of the BBFC at the Crown Prosecution Service. The CPS jealously guard the few things left that are considered obscene, and anything shitty is one of them. Perhaps they couldn't bring themselves to promise to lay off prosecutions for Human Centipede 2.


7th November   

Update: Gamers Going Down the Tube...

Modern Warfare 3 passed 18 uncut despite a few trivial nutter whinges
Link Here
Full story: Call of Duty...Nutters wound up by warfare video game series

The BBFC has given Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (MW3) , which is released, tomorrow, an uncut 18 certificate.

The BBFC states that the game, which involves chasing armed mercenaries through London Underground Tube carriages, establishes a context which may be unsettling and upsetting .

BBFC director, David Cooke, said they would not be restricting the game's London scenes. The board's decision to restrict the game to adults primarily reflects some moments of strong violence, but also takes account of these contextual elements.

When news of the game's content leaked earlier this year, it was panned by the nutters of Mediawatch-UK for being in incredibly poor taste .

Some bloggers have also reacted against a teaser trailer released late last week by the game's creators, which include gaming publisher Activision, stating it is heavy-handed and gratuitous .

The trailer shows a parked truck full of explosives vapourising next to a mother and child. It's a somewhat heavy-handed approach to get some shock value out of the game's story, said Pete Davison, contributing editor at gaming website


4th November   

Offsite: Cinema Extreme...

Uncoiling The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)!
Link Here
Full story: Human Centipede...Hype spreads mouth to arse

By now, you're all wondering if the film is worth it. How badly have the cuts affected the film. Well, having watched the cut version on DVD, I can now say that if you enjoyed the original, you will probably get a kick out of the sequel.

Unfortunately, the cuts are very noticeable. There are at least two major censorship moments in which the scene builds-up to a murder, only for the living victim to suddenly turn up dead, without any explanation.

...Read the full article


1st November   

Offsite: Christopher Tookey Recommends...

Human Centipede 2, which he likens to violent porn of the Tabak kind
Link Here
Full story: Human Centipede...Hype spreads mouth to arse

The newspapers are full of the revelation that Vincent Tabak, the Dutchman who strangled Joanna Yeates to death, was addicted to violent pornography showing the choking and strangulation of young women.

On the same day as Mr Tabak was found guilty of Jo Yeates's murder, I was exposed to the latest work by another Dutchman.

Writer-director Tom Six has followed up his controversial 2009 horror film The Human Centipede, which features a mad scientist joining three people together surgically.

For his sequel, The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence), Six has stitched together a film that is ten times more extreme, filthy and psychopathic than the original.

I don't think many critics are going to bother denying it is ugly, boring, nihilistic, repetitive and profoundly repellent.

...Read the full review


30th October   

Comment: Creeping Around the Internet...

Human Centipede 2 Online
Link Here
Full story: Human Centipede...Hype spreads mouth to arse

It seems that a video on demand version of The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) is all over the internet via file sharers - so much for the BBFC cuts and previous ban.

From the Melon Farmers:

From reports I have read though, this seems to be US Unrated version that is missing the barbwire rape of the 'centipede'. It is much more complete than the cut BBFC version though.

Reviewers don't seem to have been impressed by the need for BBFC cuts. For instance the sandpaper masturbation is off screen, the BBFC claimed sexual motivation is near non existent, and most of the violence is of a level that has been passed before.

This seems to leave just the BBFC concern that arses, mouths and shit in near proximity could be deemed obscene by the authorities.

Update: Differences

2nd November 2011. Thanks to goatboy

The sandpaper scene in the leaked VOD version of Human Centipede 2 is exactly the same as in the BBFC cut. Also in the VOD version the rape scene at 76 minutes is completely cut out, some of it is retained in the BBFC cut. However the guy having his teeth knocked out is shorter in the BBFC version and some shots of swallowing in the centipede are in the VOD version but not the BBFC .

It is an odd film!


28th October   

Offsite: No Media Influence...

An interview with David Cooke of the BBFC
Link Here

Front Row Reviews has received an interview with the director of the BBFC, David Cooke about the institution, The Human Centipede II and the changing audience of the cinema.

At what point does the meaning of censorship turn on itself, as in, at what point does banning a film or cutting a film cause the public to want to watch a film further? Do you find this to be the case often?

David Cooke: Media interest in any film whether it has been refused a classification or passed at any category will naturally spark public interest. However it is not for the Board to try to control or monitor this media activity or its impact on box office sales. The focus of the Board is protecting children and vulnerable groups from unsuitable content and giving parents and guardians the tools they need to make informed decisions about what their children view at the cinema or in the home. At the adult level our responsibility shifts to ensuring that works do not break the law or cause harm and again media comment has no influence on this.


26th October   

Update: Educationally Challenged...

Nutter MP repeats her call to appoint the BBFC as book censors for sex education material
Link Here

Conservative MP Andrea Leadsom has repeated her call for sex education books to be classified by the BBFC.

Leadsom claims some of the material being taught to children as young as five is extraordinarily inappropriate . She wants books and videos used for sex education to be given a rating by the British Board of Film Classification before they are used in schools.

During a Westminster Hall debate, Leadsom said many adults were horrified when they found out what children were being taught about sex. She said:

 I've seen cartoons of two people engaged in sexual activities with the caption 'Here are some ways mummies and daddies fit together', others depicting two cartoon characters locked in an intimate embrace, accompanied by a vivid explanation, using sexual terminology of the act of intercourse.

As well as cartoons I've been shown a video of two people engaged in intercourse, with a child's voice over the top, saying, 'it looks like they're having fun'.

She also wants the law changed so that parents actively have to opt in to sex lessons, rather than opt out , as is currently the case if they have objections.

Schools minister, Nick Gibb, said all sex education material used in state schools was scrutinised to ensure it set the right tone . The education secretary had set out statutory guidelines for schools and councils to follow, he added, which would ensure that inappropriate content would not be used.

Comment: Parental Guidance

Perhaps a Sex Ed Parental Guidance certificate would read:

Suitable for children of all ages. Children are advised to consider whether the material may upset sensitive parents before showing it to them.


26th October   

Offsite: Experts in Aberrant Psychology...

Adventures with the Censor: The BBFC and Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
Link Here

In the 1990s I worked as label manager for a number of UK video labels and distributors, a role which usually included acting as a VHS release producer (and, for a time, LaserDisc) responsible for all or most of the steps involved in getting videos mastered, packaged and on to retail shelves. In that capacity I had a few enlightening experiences dealing with the mindset of the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) and its then Director, the late James Ferman.

I first dealt with the BBFC on something other than straightforward submissions of videos and wraps for review and rating in 1992/93. The distributor I worked for had purchased the UK theatrical and video rights for John McNaughton's terrifying Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer , and was bound and determined to get it out on VHS, where the film's potential profits clearly lay (it had been shown initially in the UK at London's Scala Cinema without a certificate).

BBFC Director James Ferman had previously announced on Barry Norman's flagship BBC film programme that he could not envision Henry ever being granted a video certificate as it was simply too disturbing (meaning likely to inflict damage on susceptible viewers) to be viewed at home. However, my employer had quietly persisted in her attempts to get Henry certified for video, and asked Mr. Ferman if he might be willing to discuss possible cuts that could be made which would allow the film to be certified for a video release. After repeatedly rebuffing her entreaties, he reconsidered his position and said that he would consult with experts in aberrant psychology and get back to her.

...Read the full article


21st October   

Offsite: Censors Under Siege...

Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs was notorious, but can the remake repeat its incendiary impact?
Link Here

Forty years on, it is instructive to read the initial reviews of Straw Dogs in the UK press. Many of the same reviewers who had been fighting against censorship found themselves on the same side of the battle lines as Mrs Whitehouse and Daddy Longford and Cliff Richard, as critic David Robinson put it. They called for the film to be banned, and attacked the BBFC for passing it almost entirely uncut.

What the film censor has permitted on the screen in Straw Dogs makes one wonder whether he has any further useful role to play in the cinema industry, the Evening Standard complained. To have made such a vicious and degrading film appears an aberration of judgement on someone's part. To pass it for public exhibition... is tantamount to a dereliction of duty.

...Read the full article


14th October   

Update: Disappointing, Worrying and Sad...

Distributors, Trinity X, comment on the BBFC ban of The Bunny Game
Link Here

The Bunny Game is a 2010 US horror by Adam Rehmeier. See IMDb .

The film has just been banned by the BBFC for:

  • UK 2011 Trinity DVD

The distributors, Trinity X have now issued their comments on the ban in a press release:

Trinity X saddened by BBFC decision to ban The Bunny Game

Trinity X, the recently formed DVD genre distribution arm of UK-based film distributor Trinity, described the BBFC's decision to ban The Bunny Game as disappointing, worrying and sad .

Mark Sandell, co-director of Trinity, who acquired the film during Cannes this year, went on to say:

We knew the film was challenging and confrontational, but also felt, as a independent filmmaker, Adam Rehmeir (the director), had a highly original filmic eye and had elicited powerful performances from the cast. We did imagine that the BBFC might ask for cuts but an outright ban gives the film a twisted notoriety that, quite frankly, it doesn't warrant .

Adam Rehmeier, the director commented : Rodleen and I didn't make 'The Bunny Game' to glamorise prostitution. It is far from an erotic film. It is a modern cautionary tale grounded in reality.

Trinity is currently considering its options


13th October   

Update: The Bunny Game Banned...

Unremitting sexual and physical abuse of a helpless woman
Link Here

The Bunny Game is a 2010 US horror by Adam Rehmeier. See IMDb .

The film has just been banned by the BBFC for:

  • UK 2011 Trinity DVD

The BBFC explained in a press release:

The BBFC has rejected the sexually violent DVD The Bunny Game . The film follows a female prostitute who hitches a lift with a truck driver. The truck driver kidnaps the woman, restrains and forcibly strips her, and proceeds to physically and sexually abuse and humiliate her. The abuse of the kidnapped woman takes up the greater part of the film.

The Board's Guidelines state A strict policy on sexual violence and rape is applied. Content which might eroticise or endorse sexual violence may require cuts at any classification level. This is more likely with video works than film because of the potential for replaying scenes out of context. Any association of sex with non-consensual restraint, pain or humiliation may be cut . The principal focus of The Bunny Game is the unremitting sexual and physical abuse of a helpless woman, as well as the sadistic and sexual pleasure the man derives from this. The emphasis on the woman's nudity tends to eroticise what is shown, while aspects of the work such as the lack of explanation of the events depicted, and the stylistic treatment, may encourage some viewers to enjoy and share in the man's callousness and the pleasure he takes in the woman's pain and humiliation.

David Cooke, Director of the BBFC said:

It is the Board's carefully considered view that to issue a certificate to this work, even if confined to adults, would be inconsistent with the Board's Guidelines, would risk potential harm within the terms of the Video Recordings Act, and would accordingly be unacceptable to the public.

The Board considered whether its concerns could be dealt with through cuts. However, the pervasiveness of the abuse makes it very difficult to deal with The Bunny Game by means of cuts. If the company would like to attempt to cut this work in order to submit it in a reduced form, they are entitled to do so, but the Board can offer no assurances that such re-editing would be successful.

The decision to reject The Bunny Game was taken by the Director, David Cooke and the Presidential Team of Sir Quentin Thomas, Alison Hastings and Gerard Lemos.

The decision means that the film cannot be legally supplied anywhere in the UK.


13th October   

Offsite: Warping the Little People...

Just how stupid is the British Board of Film Classification?
Link Here
Full story: Human Centipede...Hype spreads mouth to arse

Just how stupid is the British Board of Film Classification?

Earlier this year, it refused to grant a certificate to the gory, freakish horror film Human Centipede II , on the basis that it could deprave or corrupt a significant proportion of those likely to see [it] . Yet the movie, which I and some other journalists finally got to see last night, satirises that very idea; it relentlessly takes the mickey out of the notion that Joe Public, the little people, you and I, can be easily warped by watching fictional immorality. The BBFC banned the film on the basis that there was a real risk it could cause harm to those who see it, seemingly unaware of the fact that the film is a clever attack on the idea that movies cause harm to those who see them.

...Read the full article


7th October   

Updated: Human Centipede 2 Unbanned...

BBFC agree to grant an 18 certificate after cuts
Link Here
Full story: Human Centipede...Hype spreads mouth to arse

Eureka Entertainment is pleased to announce the forthcoming release of the controversial horror film The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) .

Ian Sadler, Sales Director for Eureka Entertainment, Bounty Films' UK distributor said:

We are really pleased that after nearly 4 months of detailed discussion and debate, we have been able to reach an agreement with the BBFC and to produce a very viable cut of the film which will both excite and challenge its fans. Naturally we have a slight disappointment that we have had to make cuts, but we feel that the storyline has not been compromised and the level of horror has been sustained.

Further details of our plans for the UK theatrical and DVD release will be announced early next week.

The BBFC has awarded an 18 classification to a cut version of The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) after 32 cuts

6th October 2011. From press release from

The DVD of The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) has been passed with an 18 classification following 32 cuts made across 8 separate sequences. The cuts total 2 minutes 37 seconds and address all the concerns raised when the Board refused a classification on 6 June 2011, including those relating to sexual violence, graphic gore and the possibility of breach of the law relating to obscenity.

The President, Sir Quentin Thomas, said

When we first examined this work earlier this year we judged that, as submitted, it was unsuitable for classification; and, as we explained to the company, we could not ourselves see how cuts could produce a viable and classifiable work. That remains the view of one of our Vice Presidents, Gerard Lemos, who is therefore abstaining from the Board's collective decision.

The company lodged an appeal against our decision to refuse classification. In the course of preparations for that appeal, the company proposed a number of cuts which it was right for us to consider. In response, after further examination, we proposed a more extensive series of cuts. These cuts produce a work which many will find difficult but which I believe can properly be classified at the adult level. The company has now accepted these cuts, withdrawn its appeal and the work has been classified, as cut, at 18.

In its original letter of 6 June refusing classification, the Board made clear that it was open to the distributor to attempt cuts. The cuts which have now been made are, in the Board's judgement, necessary if the film is to be classified.

Update: The BBFC list their cuts

7th October See  article from

Human Centipede Part II (Full Sequence) has been unbanned and passed 18 after 2:37s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2011 Bounty video
  • UK 2011 cinema release

The BBFC commented on their cuts:

Company was required to make 32 individual cuts to scenes of sexual and sexualised violence, sadistic violence and humiliation, and a child presented in an abusive and violent context. In this case, cuts included:

  • a man masturbating with sandpaper around his penis

  • graphic sight of a man's teeth being removed with a hammer

  • graphic sight of lips being stapled to naked buttocks

  • graphic sight of forced defecation into and around other people's mouths

  • a man with barbed wire wrapped around his penis raping a woman

  • a newborn baby being killed

  • graphic sight of injury as staples are torn away from individuals' mouth and buttocks.

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