Film Censorship: A #3


 

 

 

 

Anthropophagous: The Beast

Directed by Joe D'Amato / 1980 / Italy / IMDb

Force Video gave ANTHROPOPHAGOUS: THE BEAST an unofficial Australian Video release in the late 90s under the title SAVAGE ISLAND. It was reportedly a very heavily cut version. Thanks to Jason D for confirming this.

There is one report of the R2 German Double DVD set on the Relax label being confiscated by customs in 2005.

Reasons given were:

"This DVD portrays scenes of Cannibalism in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be imported."

This has never been officially released in Australia, and despite the IMDb saying otherwise, (we believe) never been rated by the Australian censors.


 

 

 

 

Anybody's

Directed by Arne Mattsson / 1970 / Sweden - Yugoslavia / IMDb

In December 1972, a 2560.32-meter (93:19) print of ANYBODY’S was banned because of 'indecency'. The same month saw an unsuccessful appeal made to the Film Board of Review.

A 2563.90-meters (93:27) version was passed with an R-rating in March 1974. It is unclear if this print was the same as the original submission.

In both cases, Blake Films was the applicant.


 

 

 

 

Army of Lovers or Revolt of the Perverts

Directed by Rosa von Praunheim / 1979 / West Germany / IMDb

In February 1981, a 1075-meter (97:58) 16mm print of ARMY OF LOVERS was censored by 13.00-meters (01:11) for an R-rating.

The cuts were made to remove sex, which was said to be:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

The sex in the cut version was found to be:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Justified

In addition to 'sex', the R-rating was also awarded for "homosexuality'.

The applicant was G.Rowe.


 

 

 

 

Assault: Criminals Part IV

Directed by Chih-Hung Kwei and Chung Sun / 1977 / Hong Kong / IMDb

In June 1979. a 2547.80 meter (92:52) print of ASSAULT: CRIMINALS PART 4 was Refused Registration by the Censorship Board. The reason given was 'indecency and excessive violence'.

J.S. and W.C. International Film was the applicant

 

 

Shaw Brothers -  CRIMINALS 4 (1977) review

Review by Matt
CRIMINALS 4 consists of two (true-crime?) stories. 

Overall this is a typical piece of 1970s Shaw Bros sleaze. No full frontal nudity, but lots of topless shots.

MANIAC (42m)
A Mongoloid psycho and his gang are kidnapping women from the streets, holding them hostage and raping them. This censors would have found lots to object to in this episode.

2 to 4 mins approx: A topless Western woman is tied up with her hands above her head and whipped and beaten by the gang.

9:30 to 13:30 approx: A topless girl is tied up and the Maniac pours milk over her body and puts ants on her. The gang arrive force her to take some drugs, then move in to rape her as the scene ends.

32:30 to 35:30 approx: The previous victims sister is tied up with her hands above her head as the Maniac taunts and strips her

QUEEN OF TEMPLE STREET (47m)
A worthless husband owes a huge gambling debt so pays the gang off by selling his wife to work in their brothel. Again there area few scenes that would have caused problems.

60 to 62min approx : The wife is raped by several men.

78 to 79:30 approx: After she is caught trying to escape she is beaten and raped by the brothel owners.

The Hong Kong Celestial VCD runs 89:19 and may be censored. I noticed at 85:33 where the husband brings down the meat cleaver on his wife the screen goes black, with red blood splatter shown. This may be how the Director intended it. However a couple of seconds later at 85:35 the music seems to skip as we see the face of the husband after he has killed his wife. I suspect a shot of her body may have been removed.


 

 

 

 

As the Naked Wind from the Sea

Directed by Gunnar Hoglund / 1968 / Sweden-West Germany / IMDb

In August 1970, a 9447 (104:58) print of AS NAKED AS THE WIND FROM THE SEA was banned because of ‘indecency’. At the time, the highest rating available was SOA, which was broadly equivalent to the M-rating.

The R-rating was not introduced until November 1971.

A re-submission of the 9447-feet (104:58) dubbed version was made in May 1972. This time it was passed with an R-rating, but only after 64-feet (00:42) of cuts were made to remove ‘indecency’.

Blake Films were the applicant.


 

 

 

 

Auditions

Directed by Harry Hurwitz / 1978 / USA / IMDb

Two videotapes of AUDITIONS running 78m were Refused Registration in the early 80s.  First in June 1982 for Video Classics, and again in May 1983 for Syme Home Video. The reason given for the ban was "sexual exploitation of a minor".

In the early 80s, Hollywood House Video released AUDITIONS on tape. We require confirmation if it was uncut.

 

Thanks to Jay for this explanation.

I'm a big Linnea Quigley fan and came across your site whilst tacking down some of her lesser known titles. AUDITIONS was one of her earlier works and was released on VHS here in the States by Wizard Home Video in the early 80's. I finally managed to find a download of this, and having watched it I think I can explain what problem your censors had with it. The film is a mock documentary involving auditions for a soft-core porn film. The scene in question actually involves Linnea's character, Sally Webster.

We are introduced to Sally at around 6min when she auditions for her part. The producer asks her to take her clothes off and dance. After she does this he then says "we are going to have to check out your age though, because I don't know if I'll go for that eighteen though, but we certainly enjoyed the dance". The scene ends around 8mins.

The second scene starts at around 26min where Sally has been invited back for a second audition. Two guys pull her top off and lift her onto a bench. The producer then stops the scene and says there is a problem. The following discussion takes place.

Producer: "Is your name Sally Webster?"
Sally: "Yeah"
Producer: "How old are you Sally?"
Sally: "18"
Producer "How old?"
Sally: "18"
Producer: "Sally, I happen to know for a fact that you are fifteen years old. When you told me you were eighteen I wasn't sure, and had some people check, and I just found out the whole story. There is no way you are going to be in this picture, you are underage and we'll get in trouble. You are already in trouble because they know where you are. Your folks are very upset, why don't you give them a call and arrange to go back home"
Sally: "I'm going to be sixteen next month!"

So that would probably have been the two scenes that your censor's considered to be "sexual exploitation of a minor". Incidentally, Linnea Quigley was born in 1958, and AUDITIONS was made in 1978, making her twenty years old at the time. Get over it, it's a films guys, she was acting!

The actual film itself is not bad, and is surprisingly well acted. Also (a 20yr old!!!) Linnea has a full frontal nude scene which should be recommendation enough.

 

Auditions (1978) - Hollywood House Video [au] VHS


 

 

 

 

Au Pair Girls

Directed by Val Guest / 1972 / UK / IMDb

In September 1972, a 2436.70-meter (89:04) print of AU PAIR GIRLS was censored by 44.19-meters (01:51) for an R-rating. Blake Films had to make the cuts to remove 'indecency'.

In April 1982, Gold Lion Video had an 81m tape passed with an R-rating. It was awarded for sex, which were described as:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

Other: Nudity

In January 1985, TAG Video had a 78m tape passed with an R-rating. It was awarded for the same reasons as the April 1982 submission. We need confirmation if this was ever released.

 

 

AU PAIR GIRLS (1972): The censored scenes

Thanks to Simon for this information.

The Gold Lion tape of AU PAIR GIRLS runs 79:32 (PAL). A large part of the sex scene between Ricky and Christa has been censored. There are several obvious cuts after he says, "Who cares chicko". This scene is the most explicit in the film, so I would assume it made up the bulk of the footage that Blake Films pre-cut in 1972.

This scene is described in more detail at DVD Compare, where they look at the UK (cut) and US (uncut) Jezebel/Salvation DVDs. The footage of Anita on the mirror, and Christa smoking a joint are in the Australian Rampix tape. Even though the UK DVD also censors the Ricky and Christa sex scene, it still runs longer than the Rampix version.

Rampix was a UK label that was released here in the early 80s through Gold Lion Video. Others in the series included MONIQUE (1969), INTMATE GAMES (1976), PERMISSIVE (1970), THE SEX THIEF (1973), and ZETA ONE (1970). All have the same cover art as the UK releases. Presumably, the UK tape of AU PAIR GIRLS was the same as ours. The Classification Board’s database list most of these Rampix tapes as being resubmitted by TAG Video in 1984.

Daybill image courtesy of moviemem.com

 

Au Pair Girls (1972) - Blake Films [au] Daybill     Au Pair Girls (1972) - Rampix - Videopix - Gold Lion Video [au] VHS


 

 

 

 

Australia After Dark

Directed by John D. Lamond / 1975 / Australia / IMDb

When AUSTRALIA AFTER DARK was first submitted for classification, the Censorship Board demanded cuts before they would award it an R-rating. An appeal was made to the Films Board of Review, and in September 1975, their decision was:

'Register film For Restricted Exhibition without eliminations'

This uncut R-rated version ran 2276:00-meter (82:57).

 

Roadshow Distributors had a shorter 2226.00-meter (81:08) version passed with an R-rating in February 1976. The Censorship Board noted that it had been:

'Reduced by producer's cuts from 2276-meters.'

 

In 2002, Andrew Leavold interviewed the Director, John Lamond. This is what he had this to say about the Censorship Board and AUSTRALIA AFTER DARK.

Confessions of A Sleazemonger: John D. Lamond, "Ozploitation" King!
May 27, 2010, mondostumpo.blogspot.com

The funny thing was, when Australia After Dark came out, I found out they wanted about fourteen cuts in it. I found out you could go in front of the censorship board and argue your case. I objected to all the cuts and I won every time, they didn’t cut anything. Because they were intimidated, people didn’t usually turn up to argue, they could safely cut it.

 

 

Video and DVD releases

In December 1984, Palace Home Video had an 82m tape passed with an R-rating. It was awarded for sex, which was found to be:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

The tape was released on the Palace's Vibrant Video label.

 

This was followed in January 1985 with the submission of a 90m tape by Roadshow Home Video. This longer version was awarded an X-rating because the sex was now considered to be:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

We do not believe that this version was ever released.

 

Umbrella Entertainment released an uncut 82:25 DVD of AUSTRALIA AFTER DARK in July 2009. It was double-billed with John Lamond's next feature, THE ABC OF LOVE AND SEX: AUSTRALIA STYLE (1978).

It was re-released as part of Umbrella's OZPLOITATION DVD BOX SET VOLUME 3 in January 2011.

 

 

AUSTRALIA AFTER DARK: Uncut version released

During his commentary on Umbrella's DVD release of the film, John Lamond had mentioned that he owned the master of a longer version that contained at least one new scene. This was released for the first time in March 2016 when Severin Films in the US issued the film as an extra on their FELICITY (1978) Blu-ray.

We assume this was the version that received an X-rating from the Australian Censorship Board in January 1985.

Daybill image courtesy of moviemem.com

 

Australia After Dark (1975) - Roadshow Distributors [au] Daybill     Australia After Dark (1975) - Palace Vibrant Video [au] VHSAustralia After Dark (1975) - Umbrella Entertainment [au] DVD 1Australia After Dark (1975) - Umbrella Entertainment [au] DVD 2


 

 

 

 

 

Autopsy

Directed by Armando Crispino / 1973 / Italy / IMDb

In January 1980, a 2316.00-meter (84:25) print of AUTOPSY was censored by 20.00-meters (00:44) for an R-rating.

The cuts were made to remove 'excessive violence'. The R-rating was awarded for sex, which was said to be:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Low
Purpose: Gratuitous

…and for violence, which was found to be:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

House of Dare was the applicant.


 

 

 

 

The Awakening

aka Gli Spogliati

Directed by Denis Heroux / 1970 / Canada / IMDb

In January 1973, a 2693.00-meter (98:10) print of THE AWAKENING was censored by 4.87-meters (00:10) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove 'indecency'.

Filmways Distributors was the applicant.

 

In September 1975, a 2307.33-meter (84:06) print of was passed with an R-rating. It was submitted by Cinema Italia under the title GLI SPOGLIATI.

 

In 1972, Denis Heroux's INITIATION (1970) also had to be censored for an R-rating.


 

 

 

 

Axe

aka California Axe Massacre

Directed by Frederick R Friedel / 1977 / USA / IMDb

In July 1981, an 1844.90-meter (67:15) print of AXE was banned because of violence, which was said to be:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

An 1810.38-meter (65:59) 'reduced version received an R-rating in August 1982. The violence was now described as:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

In both cases, Regent Trading Enterprises was the applicant.

 

 

Censored K&C Video version

In the early 1980s, K&C Video released AXE on tape. Their print ran 64:16, which compares with 64:49 for the uncut UK pre-cert on the Video Network label.

Review by Chris
The K&C print of AXE is censored in the scene where Lisa murders Lomax as he attempts to rape her.

In the K&C print, we see Lisa bring the scalpel down on Lomax's neck. What is missing is the view onto the back of Lomax’s bloody neck as Lisa cuts into it. The censorship is easy to identify as the K&C print goes from a screaming Lomax, to a shot of Lisa lying on the bed. At the same time, the music also jumps.

The cut scene lasts around 20s.

The other scenes that I would have suspected of being censored, the death of Aubrey (8m), the humiliation of the checkout girl (14m), and the death of Steele (58m) all looked uncut.

 

 

Censored Platinum Video version

In May 1985, a 63-minute videotape of AXE was resubmitted for classification under the title CALIFORNIA AXE MASSACRE. It was passed with an R-rating due to violence, which was said to be:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

The applicant was C. White.

This 63:26 (PAL) tape was released by Platinum Video.

Review by Chris
The Platinum Video print of AXE is also censored, but in a different way to the K&C version. The death of Lomax is in this version, and did not look cut.

The only cut that I really noticed was the death of Steele. The build up is present with Lisa trying to grab the axe, but the chopping that follows is missing. This is a strange scene to cut as Steele’s death takes place entirely off screen. This was complete in the K&C version.

The Platinum version does not have the 15s Box Office International intro that was present in the K&C tape.

In addition, the retitling has been done by adding the computer generated words, THE CALIFORNIA and MASSACRE either side of the original AXE title.

 

Axe (1977) - K&C Video [au] VHSAxe (1977) - Platinum Video [au] VHS


 

 

 

 

Azumanga Daioh

Directed by Nishikiori Hiroshi / 2002 / Japan / IMDb

This film has never had problems with the Australian censors. It is included as an example of classification policy.

 

The Japanese animation AZUMANGA DAIOH: ENTRANCE - CHILD HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT/ OSAKA TODAY AS WELL/ NYAMO/ A FUN PROFESSION/ SUMMER BREAK was classified on June 22, 2004 with an MA15+ (Adult Themes) rating.

 

On July 8, 2004 Madman posted the following on their message boards.

Well thought I'd might let you all a little heads up. Azumanga Daioh has been given the rating of MA by the OFLC. It was quite a shock to us as we were expecting a PG or heck even a G rating for this title!

Reasons for the MA (Adult Theme) was due to Kimura Sensei's actions in Episode 4 - Pool! Pool! Pool! Unfortunately because of his perverse on what is considered to be minors and "pathetic" antics, this stepped over the guidelines and were the reasons given for the MA rating.

 

Thanks to Matthew W for the following information on this title.

I thought you'd like to know about a recent decision by the OFLC. Madman Entertainment had "Azumanga Daioh: Entrance" classified by the OFLC and they gave it an MA15+ which surprised the hell out of the company since they were expecting it to get a PG at the most. The title is a Japanese animated comedy focusing on a group of young high school girls and follows their everyday life, some which is a little surreal. The main problem the OFLC seems to have had is with the antics of one of the teachers; Kimura, who makes a comment that the students should wear more revealing swimsuits (or words to that effect, I haven't seen the show in a little while). During the entire season of the show he occasionally makes remarks like this.

The OFLC took offence to this as the girls are all under 18. There is no sex, nudity, violence (except that of the mild cartoon variety), or any real adult themes. There are no explicit discussions about sex or anything of that nature during the show. Any sexual content is of a very innocent nature and is really restricted to girls telling each other they have "big boobs" or girls blushing when they're talking about what a kiss tastes like (kind of a common cliché in Japanese pop culture of this sort).

The show with the same version of the English dub and subtitles has been classified PG and 12 in the UK by the BBFC without any cuts. The US company that released it placed a suggested rating of 13+ on the cover of the DVD (it was not rated by the MPAA). It's a really odd decision which a lot of long time fans of the show are totally bewildered by it. There is a discussion going on about the classification on the Madman messageboards.

I've watched the "offending" episode again, (the "Pool! Pool! Pool!" segment of episode 4) . What actually happens is that while the girls are having a P.E. lesson at the pool with their female gym teacher, Miss Kurosawa, Mr Kimura appears and suggests they should play Basketball in their swimsuits (which are of the typical Japanese High School one piece dark blue variety - very unflattering) in the gym. He then suggests that perhaps it's better that they're wet before they play. Miss Kurosawa is slightly annoyed but lets him stay. She eventually throws him out when he makes an unflattering remark about her. He then pleads to swap lessons with her, but she just ignores him.

The lecherous teacher is a common type of character in Japanese animation and comics. These characters are almost always perceived as an annoyance and used as comic relief and are not depicted as some sort of sexual predator, nor does the character ever take on these roles.

Watching the episodes again, I'm even more puzzled by the OFLC's decision. Since Mr Kimura's behaviour gets slightly worse during the course of the show, will future volumes be rated R18+ or even RC? When did Australia become so conservative? Even the BBFC gave the show PG and 12 ratings, and it's exactly the same version that's being released in Australia. It's fairly disturbing, and I don't understand how a simple little cartoon like this cause the OFLC to give it such a high rating.

 

 

Appeal withdrawn

The following information from the OFLC's 2004-2005 Annual Report shows that Madman Entertainment did indeed consider appealing to the Review Board, but eventually decided against it.

Classification Board & Classification Review Board Annual Report
2004-2005

Page 91
Classification Review Board
Applications withdrawn

During the course of the year, the Classification Review Board received a number of applications that were later withdrawn. A determination is not made on withdrawn applications, yet a considerable amount of time is spent by the Convenor and the secretariat on these applications.

Table 22: Applications to the Classification Review Board withdrawn
Title: Azumanga Daioh
Media: Computer game
Review applicant: Madman Entertainment
Reason for withdrawal: Commercial decision


 

 

Next Films: Anatomy of Hell (2004)  or  A to Z Listing