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2020: Oct-Dec

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Updated: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation...

The BBFC wish you a happy Christmas complete with Danny fucking Kaye

Link Here22nd November 2020
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is a 1989 US comedy by Jeremiah S. Chechik.
With Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo and Juliette Lewis . YouTube icon BBFC link 2020 IMDb

It's Christmas time and the Griswolds are preparing for a family seasonal celebration, but things never run smoothly for Clark, his wife Ellen and their two kids. Clark's continual bad luck is worsened by his obnoxious family guests, but he manages to keep going knowing that his Christmas bonus is due soon.

The 2020 cinema release has just been passed 12A uncut for infrequent strong language, moderate sex references

The film is uncut and MPAA PG-13 rated in the US but the film has a bit of a censorship history in the UK.

BBFC category cuts were required for early PG rated cinema and VHS releases as follows:

  • The dialogue: We're gonna have the hap-hap-happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye! lost the 'fucking' in favour of an overdubbed 'dancing'

It was later released uncut on UK Blu-ray in 2003 bearing a 12 rating, seemingly without being resubmitted to the BBFC.

In 2013 a commentary track based on the uncut version was passed 12 uncut for video. In 2014, the film itself was then passed 12 uncut for video.

This 12 rated uncut video version was not published in the BBFC's old database but appears in the BBFC's new dumbed down database.

As of 2020, all UK DVD releases still feature the cut UK version.




Is the UK cinema release cut or uncut?

Link Here18th November 2020

Possessor is a 2020 UK / Canada Sci-Fi horror thriller by Brandon Cronenberg.
Starring Andrea Riseborough, Christopher Abbott and Jennifer Jason Leigh. BBFC link 2020 IMDb

Tasya Vos is a corporate agent who uses brain-implant technology to inhabit other people's bodies, driving them to commit assassinations for the benefit of the company. While she has a special gift for the work, her experiences on these jobs have caused a dramatic change in her, and in her own life she struggles to suppress violent memories and urges. As her mental strain intensifies, she begins to lose control, and soon she finds herself trapped in the mind of a man whose identity threatens to obliterate her own.

Possessor exists as a cut US R rated version and an uncut MPA Unrated Version titled Possessor Uncut. The producers were keen to differentiate between the two versions and the 'Uncut' tag is an official re-titling of the film.

A Running time of 103m suggest that it was the cut version that was passed 18 for UK cinema release. The home video version runs for 104m which matches with the Possessor Uncut version. This too was passed 18 by the BBFC. However all advance publicity trailers and posters seem to feature the Possessor Uncut artwork.

Maybe this means that viewers watch at the cinema on 27th November will get the cut version whilst viewers watch the simultaneous digital streaming release will get the uncut version. The DVD is set for release on 8th February 2021 at UK Amazon #ad

Let's hope all these releases are the uncut version as the director Brandon Cronenberg himself states that he prefers the Possessor Uncut version. See article from

Presented stateside by distributor Neon, Possessor Uncut -- titled so to distinguish it from an R-rated version that also will be available in some markets -- is the complete version as far as director Brandon Cronenberg is concerned, replete with the uninhibited moments of sex and violence, such as the transfixing erection glimpsed in a sequence memorably bathed in electric blue, that might otherwise have earned the film an NC-17 rating. Cronenberg commented:

Generally I prefer explicit violence, and I prefer violence that is viscerally disturbing to people. I find it more unsettling if violence is very sanitized. If you have a PG-13 movie where 100 people get killed and no one bleeds, to me that's doing a disservice by trivializing the violence. So I prefer people to have that visceral response, because you should.



Offsite Article: Has the BBFC been scammed by cowboy database builders?...

Link Here 14th November 2020
The BBFC dismantles its own database. By High Impact Classification

See article from



Epic confusion...

Cinemas were confused over the BBFC rating for a special screening of John Carpenter's Halloween. Perhaps this was down to the BBFC's garbled new database

Link Here1st November 2020
Halloween is a 1978 USA horror by John Carpenter.
Starring Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis and Tony Moran. BBFC link 2020 IMDb

The film was always uncut in the UK and surprisingly 18 rated until a 15 rated cinema release in 2018. In fact video versions are still 18 rated.

Now it appears that cinemas are still a bit confused about the film's rating. Andy explains about a censorial travesty of epic proportions!

This being Halloween I was planning on taking my [15 year old] daughter to see the 1978 classic at the local cinema for it's one night retrospective performance. Two weeks ago I purchased tickets, advertised quite rightly as a certificate 15, and both my daughter and I were looking forward to seeing the film on the big screen.

Two days ago I was double checking timings and the cinema had upped the certificate to an 18! I did a double take, checked the BBFC website case study, rang the cinema and spent a good 30 minutes trying to explain why the film is now rated 15 for the cinema... to no avail. The lady was very helpful, even going to the regional booking centre before coming back to me and telling me the film is definitely an 18, so I had no choice but to cancel our tickets.

I checked the website - Parkway Cinemas - and in Cleethorpes, Beverly and Louth the film is playing with an 18 certificate. In Barnsley it is playing with the standard 15. As it is in all other local cinemas.

How is it possible for to get so confused about a BBFC rating? It did cross my mind that perhaps the cinema was somehow showing on old pre-digital print, but that seems unlikely.

Of course the other possibility is that the cinema looked up the film on the new garbled BBFC database, only to find that it is nowhere to be found. Readers are welcome to try, but I couldn't see it, (until I bizarrely followed up the title Halloween - Additional Scenes From Tv Version ).



Commented: Downrated...

The BBFC prettifies its website but takes away significant information, such as recent decisions and whether a film has been cut

Link Here29th October 2020
The BBFC has just reworked its website and significantly reduced the functionality of its classifications database.

Indeed the new layout is prettier than before but now the database offers significantly less information than before.

The BBFC noted this change in a rather understated tweet:

We have just relaunched our website with a more simplified search function.

In fact the BBFC have removed the following significant functionalities:

  1. The database no longer provides a page listing recent BBFC decisions for upcoming releases. It takes way the transparency of being able to monitor the latest decisions.
  2. The database no longer offers an advance search facility whereby users can seek films by director or cast etc.
  3. The database cannot be searched via alternative titles, even when the film has been released with a different title. Only the title that the BBFC uses as its primary title can be searched upon.
  4. Cuts information detailing the amount of cuts, or even if cuts have been made at all is no longer presented. On occasions that the BBFC has commented on cuts then these comments are still available but these do not detail the amount of running time cut.
  5. Banned/Rejected films no longer appear in the database.
  6. Film running times are now only specified to the minute rather than to the second as before.

On the plus side the database search facility provides extra links over and above the database entry. For example searching on a title reveals if the film has a case study or is mentioned in a press release.

Offsite Comment: The BBFC returns to a world of secrecy

29th October 2020. See article from

The British censorship board's website has gone from being a valuable resource to an empty vanity project that covers up their history.

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