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The UK 4K Blu-ray release of the Abyss has been cancelled as the BBFC are still insisting on censor cuts

Link Here28th December 2023

The Abyss is 1989 US adventure film by James Cameron.
With Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Michael Biehn. Melon Farmers link  BBFC link 2020  IMDb

Formerly married petroleum engineers who still have some issues to work out. They are drafted to assist a gung-ho Navy SEAL with a top-secret recovery operation: a nuclear sub has been ambushed and sunk, under mysterious circumstances, in some of the deepest waters on Earth.

The Digital Bits reports that the 4K digital release of The Abyss has been cancelled in the UK because the BBFC is still insisting on censor cuts to the rat scene on grounds of animal cruelty.

The scene has been cut by 45s by the BBFC for all releases to date.

The Digital Bits reported:

We've learned from industry sources that the 4K Ultra HD release of James Cameron's The Abyss (1989) in the UK has been cancelled, and for exactly the reason you think204the scene in which the rat is made to breath underwater. UK censors asked for the scene to be cut, Disney apparently wanted to comply, but [producers] Lightstorm vetoed it. So if you want this title in 4K and you live in the UK, you'll have to import it from elsewhere. On the bright side, 4K discs are region free.

The BBFC still want the scene to be cut despite the fact that the rats involved in the shooting of the scene weren't harmed. As noted on Wikipedia:

The idea for The Abyss came to James Cameron when, at age 17 and in high school, he attended a science lecture about deep sea diving by a man, Francis J. Falejczyk, who was the first human to breathe liquid through his lungs in experiments conducted by Johannes A. Kylstra at Duke University. The breathing fluid used in the film actually exists but has only been thoroughly investigated in animals. Over the previous 20 years it had been tested on several animals, who survived. The rat shown in the film was actually breathing liquid and survived unharmed. Production consulted with Dr. Kylstra on the proper use of the breathing fluid for the film.



The Holdovers...

BBFC censors object to a retro MPAA R rating card

Link Here8th December 2023

The Holdovers is a 2023 US comedy drama by Alexander Payne
Starring Paul Giamatti, Da'Vine Joy Randolph and Dominic Sessa BBFC link 2020 IMDb

Cut by the BBFC for cinema release in 2024.

Summary Notes

A cranky history teacher at a remote prep school is forced to remain on campus over the holidays with a troubled student who has no place to go.


BBFC uncut
MPA RUS: Uncut and MPA R rated for language, some drug use and brief sexual material:
  • 2023 release (rated 26/04/2023)
BBFC cut
run: 133:16s
pal: 127:56s
15UK: BBFC 15 rated for strong language, brief nudity for strong language, brief nudity after BBFC cuts:
  • 2024 Universal Pictures cinema release (rated 20/11/2023)

The BBFC commented:

This work had a compulsory cut made. A cut was required to remove a misleading category symbol.

Scott commented:

This 1970s-set Christmas comedy has been cut to remove what the BBFC refer to as a misleading category symbol. The film is styled like the films of the 70s, including opening with the era's Universal logo, and as part of this has an old MPAA R rating card at the start. This is clearly a creative decision made by the filmmakers to play up the retro tone, yet the BBFC think audiences are too stupid to realise and have cut it. They claim that even old BBFC cards are no longer allowed to be included in resubmissions of older films due to this unfounded misleading belief, yet the recent reissue of the 1960 Powell and Pressburger film Peeping Tom has the original X card at the start - did the distributor not include that upon submission?




Ludicrous BBFC cuts required for a 15 rating for the cinema release of Monica

Link Here16th November 2023

Monica is a 2022 Italy/US trans drama by Andrea Pallaoro
Starring Emily Browning, Patricia Clarkson and Trace Lysette BBFC link 2020 IMDb

BBFC cuts were required for a 15 rated cinema release in 2023.

Summary Notes

The intimate portrait of a woman who returns home to care for her dying mother. A delicate and nuanced story of a fractured family, the story explores universal themes of abandonment, aging, acceptance, and redemption.


BBFC cut
run: 113:09s
pal: 108:37s
15UK: BBFC 15 rated for strong sex, sex references, language for strong sex, sex references, language after BBFC cuts:
  • 2023 606 cinema release (rated 06/11/2023)

The BBFC commented:

The distributor chose to make a cut to a reference to erotic asphyxiation in order to achieve a 15 rating. An uncut 18 rating was available.

Thanks to Scott who noted that the "reference to erotic asphyxiation" was just in fact just someone saying "Choke me" during sex



Bhagavanth Kesari...

The distributors don't care about the viewers as they opt to cut an Indian actioner by 28m

Link Here29th October 2023
Bhagavanth Kesari is a 2023 India action thriller by Anil Ravipudi
Starring Nandamuri Balakrishna, Arjun Rampal and Kajal Aggarwal  BBFC link 2020  IMDb

Nelakonda Bhagavanth Kesari is adamant about getting even with a powerful businessman who cost him money. He is prepared to square off against the formidable foe and resolve their issues amicably.

The UK 2023 cinema release was extensively cut by 28m for a BBFC 12A rating.


BBFC cut
distributor and BBFC category cuts
cut: ~28:26s
run: 135:24s
pal: 129:59s
12AUK: A massively pre-cut version was BBFC 12A rated for moderate violence, bloody images, sexual violence references for moderate violence, bloody images, sexual violence references after further BBFC category cuts:
  • 2023 BTS Entertainments cinema release (rated 23/10/2023)

The BBFC commented:

The BBFC initially classified this film 15 uncut. The distributor requested a cuts list for 12A, but the BBFC refused to offer cuts because the changes would be extensive and could damage the integrity of the film. However, the distributor chose to make their own cuts, removing a number of scenes of strong violence, and submitted a new version of the film for classification. This edit also received a 15 classification. The distributor chose to make cuts to this version, removing further scenes of violence in order to achieve their preferred category of 12A.

Thanks to Scott who commented:

It's already been released as an uncut 15, so clearly now the distributor is trying to cash in and get the lucrative family crowd to see it. Cinema going is a family activity in Indian culture, hence distros regularly being happy to inflict gargantuan cuts on their films to get the 12A. I should add though that it's incredibly unusual for one to be cut by more than 10 or so mins - half an hour is unprecedented. I can't even begin to imagine the mess they've made of this. Apparently fellow Indian actioners Beast and Jailer were incomprehensible in their heavily cut forms, and they were only missing 6 or 7 mins.
BBFC uncut
run: 163:50s
pal: 157:17s

IFCO cinema 15A

ACB MA 15+

UK: Uncut and BBFC 15 rated for strong bloody violence:
  • 2023 2G Entertainments cinema release (rated 13/10/2023)

Ireland: Uncut and IFCO 15A rated with a trigger warning for strong bloody violence, scenes of sexual threat and references to child abuse:

  • 2023 2G Entertainment cinema release (rated 12/10/2023)
Australia: I Don't Care: Uncut and ACB MA 15+ rated for strong violence:
  • 2023 Tollymovies cinema release (rated 18/10/2023) titled Bhagavanth Kesari: I Don't Car




2023 France action comedy by Hugo Benamozig cut by the BBFC for a cockfight

Link Here24th October 2023

Sentinelle is a 2023 France action comedy by Hugo Benamozig, David Caviglioli
Starring Jonathan Cohen, Emmanuelle Bercot and Raphaël Quenard BBFC link 2020 IMDb

Cut for animal cruelty for 2023 15 rated VoD release.

Summary Notes

François Sentinelle has two lives. By day he is the most famous police officer on Reunion Island, known for his harsh methods and flowery shirts, who chases criminals in his 4x4. But the rest of the time, he is also a charismatic singer.

UK: BBFC 15 rated for strong violence, bloody images, language, sex references, drug misuse for strong violence, bloody images, language, sex references, drug misuse after BBFC cuts:
  • 2023 Amazon Media EU S.à r.l. VoD (rated 26/09/2023)

The BBFC commented:

The company removed a sequence in which cocks are caused to fight in a cruel manner.



Updated: Five Nights at Freddy's...

Belfast Council is again set to overrule the BBFC's 15 rating for a US PG-13 rated horror and replace it with a 15A rating

Link Here20th October 2023
Five Nights At Freddy's is a 2023 US horror by Emma Tammi
Starring Josh Hutcherson, Mary Stuart Masterson and Lucas Grant BBFC link 2020 IMDb

A troubled security guard begins working at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza. During his first night on the job, he realizes that the night shift won't be so easy to get through. Pretty soon he will unveil what actually happened at Freddy's.

A few years ago the BBFC received a few complaints about The Woman in Black being to scary for its BBFC 12/12A rating. Ever since, the BBFC have been out of step with the rest of the world by overrating any slightly scary US PG-13 rated film with a rather harsh 15 rating in the UK.

Now it seems that this overrating has overstepped the mark in Northern Ireland. Belfast Council looks set to overrule the BBFC 15 rating for Five Nights At Freddy's and replacing it with a 15A rating to match the Irish film censor's assessment of the film.

Michael McAdam, managing director of the Movie House chain in Northern Ireland, made the request to the council for the 15A classification. Last year, he set a precedent after making a similar request for The Batman.

After initially refusing the request for The Batman, the council permitted the use of the 15A in Northern Ireland for the first time.

The current decision has to be ratified at the full council, which will not convene until Wednesday, November 1. The decision is also subject to a call-in, where the council reviews decisions, and could be delayed further. This means there is some legal peril in presenting the film to the public before a final decision.

The Belfast City Council decision means that not only Movie House cinemas are able to show the film with a 15A classification, but any cinema in the Belfast council area that notifies City Hall in advance.

Michael McAdam argued for a 15A rating in a letter to the council:

The BBFC states on its website that statutory powers over film remain with the local councils, which can overrule any of the BBFC's decisions on appeal, including altering the age ratings for films shown in their area.

Over recent years there has been a significant shift in the way families consume film and parents prefer to be the decision makers. Parents find it hard to understand why they have the power to choose a 12A film for their children but not a 15 rated film.

This can cause frustration and embarrassment for those who arrive at the cinema and are then prevented from seeing the film. We anticipate that this will be the case for Five Nights at Freddy's, which has been awarded a 15 certificate in the UK.

Speaking after the council meeting, SDLP councillor and chair of the licensing committee Gary McKeown, said the reclassification by the council highlights the need for BBFC to be more flexible in its approach to classification.

This is the second time that Belfast City Council has changed a 15 rating to a 15A, but we need to be clear that the council is not a film classification body -- that responsibility lies with BBFC, so they need to act now to remove the need for councils to have to step in by introducing a more appropriate model that gives parents their place, and also recognises the role of steaming which doesn't impose any such restrictions in reality.


BBFC uncut
run: 109:15s
pal: 104:53s


IFCO cinema 15A


UK: Uncut and BBFC 15 rated for strong threat, violence:
  • 2023 Universal Pictures cinema release (rated 04/10/2023)

Belfast: Uncut and 15A rated by Belfast City Council:

  • 2023 Universal Pictures cinema release
Ireland: Uncut and IFCO 15A rated for supernatural horror with jump scares and some scenes of bloody violence, injury detail depicted, theme of child abduction:
  • 2023 Universal cinema release (rated 11/10/2023) titled Five Nights at Freddy's
US: Uncut and MPA PG-13 rated for strong violent content, bloody images and language:
  • 2023 release (rated 26/07/2023) titled Five Nights at Freddy's

Update: 15A rating confirmed

2nd November 2023

The 15A rating was confirmed by Belfast City Council and a few dasy after release the BBFC 15 rating was duly replaced by a local 15A rating.



Do you agree that the BBFC is great, with mostly right ratings, that should be on all streaming?...

The BBFC opens up its periodic public consultation with a disappointing public survey which allows for little public input

Link Here12th October 2023

The BBFC writes:

Public Consultation BBFC Classification Guidelines

Every four to five years we ask you what you think. These consultations provide the basis for our age ratings and content advice. Take part in our short survey to help shape the future of classification.

Take part in the survey from



The glamour concession...

The BBFC publish report that includes whether major adult retail websites are 18 rated or not

Link Here8th October 2023
Full story: BBFC Fees...High censorship fees censor niche market releases
The BBFC has just published its verdicts about whether online adult retail websites should be considered 18 rated or not for the purposes of mobile internet blocking for under 18s.  


BBFC Adjudication (18 rated)

The URL led to a retail site specialising in sex toys and lingerie. The site lists its products and offers customer reviews; it includes a blog and a forum. In the blog, we found an entry on electro sex which offered advice on how to apply electricity to the genitals. In the forum, we found repeated very strong language, erotica and entries on rough sex and pornography. Part B of the Framework states that the following issues should be considered inappropriate for children: fetish material; very strong references to sexual behaviour using pornographic terms; repeated very strong language; and sex education or advice which is i) aimed at adults and ii) inappropriate for children. Each is present on the site under consideration and, accordingly, the BBFC found material on the website that we would classify at least 18. 10 July 2023


Ann Summers:

BBFC Adjudication (not 18 rated)

As previously, we noted that the URL led to a site devoted to images of the male form. It contained a gallery section, a news section and contact details. The site no longer contained erotica or provided hyperlinks to other sites which we would rate 18+. The BBFC Mobile Classification Framework states that works whose primary purpose is sexual arousal should be considered 18+: we do not believe that the site met this test. Rather, we consider such images as were available on the date of sampling to be 'glamour' material, ie, material which may be sexual, but the primary purpose of which is not to arouse or stimulate. Consequently, we found no material that we would rate 18+ for reasons outlined in part B of the framework.


Agent Provocateur:

BBFC Adjudication (not 18 rated)

The URL led to a retailer of lingerie and associated products. There are multiple images of women posing in underwear, but these do not go beyond the requirements of the company to advertise their garments. The shop also sells items such as whips, but without describing in detail what these products might be used for. At the time of sampling, we did not find for sale any more advanced BDSM paraphernalia such as ball gags, nipple clamps or even handcuffs. The site does not feature a blog or anywhere for visitors to post comments. We found no material that we would rate 18+ for reasons outlined in part B of the framework


Another website also revealed a little about about the BBFC's thinking abpout glamour material


Zoe Ballz:

BBFC Adjudication (not 18 rated)

#The URL led to the homepage of a video game streamer, and included a brief bio, as well as links to her YouTube page, her Twitch stream and a list of some of her favourite songs. It also included a photo gallery with glamour-style photographs. The Framework makes some allowance for images which have clear suggestive intentions but whose primary purpose falls short of sexual arousal or stimulation. We found no nudity in the gallery, nor any stronger sexual detail and the images available at the time of sampling were comfortably permitted under the glamour concession. We found no material that we would rate 18+ for reasons outlined in part B of the framework

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