Film Censorship: B #1


 

 

 

 

Bacchanale

Directed by John Amero - Lem Amero / 1970 / USA / IMDb

In December 1980, a 1729.06-meter (63:01) print of  was censored by 3.70-meters (00:08) 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 censored R-rated versions was:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

14th Mandolin was the applicant. They released it on tape on their Video Budget label. The title on the cover was BACHANALE.

 

Bacchanale (1970) - Video Budget [au] VHSBacchanale (1970) - Video Budget [au] VHS image zoom


 

 

 

 

Bad Penny

Directed by Chuck Vincent / 1978 / USA / IMDb

In September 1978, a 2170.00-meter (79:06) print of BAD PENNY was banned because of 'indecency'.

A 1700.00-meter (61:58) 'reconstructed version' lost a further 20.3-meter (00:44) before being awarded an R-rating in December 1978. The extra cuts were again made to remove 'indecency’.

In both cases, Blake Films was the applicant.

Image courtesy of moviemem.com

 

Bad Penny (1978) - Blake Films [au] Daybill


 

 

 

 

Banging in Bangkok

Directed by Erwin C. Dietrich / 1976 / Switzerland / IMDb

In February 1977, a 1724.70-meter (62:52) print of BANGING IN BANGKOK was banned because of 'indecency'. A failed appeal was made to the Films Board of Review in March 1977.

In both cases, Blake Films was the applicant.

 

 

Note, this film is also known as HOT SEX IN BANGKOK. The Censorship Board awarded an R-rating to a 2293.00-meter (83:35) film under this title in October 1975. It is also listed as being produced by Erwin C. Dietrich, and submitted by Blake Films.

Assuming that the IMDb dates and alternative titles are correct, then this would have to be a different movie.

Erwin C. Dietrich produced another film based in the Thailand's capital called DIE SEX-SPELUNKE VON BANGKOK (1974). This may be the original title for the Australian release of HOT SEX IN BANGKOK.


 

 

 

 

Banned from TV

Produced by Mantra Films / 1998 / USA / IMDb

BANNED FROM TV was Refused Classification in August 2007. A censored print was resubmitted, but was again refused in November 2007. The applicant in both cases was Zeal Entertainment.

 

Classification Board Annual Report 2007-08
RC (Refused Classification)
Films
Banned from TV and three films from the Faces of Death series were classified RC for gratuitous depictions of violence to humans and animals.

 

 

BANNED FROM TELEVISION Review

Thanks to Matt for this review.

BANNED FROM TELEVISION is your usual compilation of news and amateur footage showing animal attacks, death, car crashes, shootings, executions, etc, etc. Many are the scenes are re-played again, with the narrator saying "let's see that again in slow motion". It does have an extra element of sex that is often absent from other death documentaries. In this case it consists of the usual GIRLS GONE WILD type footage, undercover filming of sex in a lap dancing club, sex on stage at a 2 Live Crew concert, and a corrupt cop getting a blow job from a hooker. This latter scene features a badly censored shot of the cop's erection which seems to move in a out of view as the fogging struggles to keep up.

We all bitch about the lack of consistency in the OFLC decisions, but with the death documentary genre they are still as tough as ever. Reading on your site the reasons for the banning of INHUMANITIES 2: MODERN ATROCITIES back in 1990 I was struck by how they could just as well be talking about BANNED FROM TELEVISION. I've not seen the OFLC reasons, but I'd suspect it would read something like this:

"....... is a compilation of newsreel footage of atrocities, murders, natural disasters, aircraft accidents, and other spectacles involving violent death or extremes of human suffering. Much of the footage has been shown previously on television, where this kind of material is distressingly familiar; some of it, so the Board was told, had not been seen before. The extracts seem to have been chosen solely for their shock value and strung together at random. There is a commentary of more than the usual banality and sententiousness. The Film Censorship Board determined by majority that the video should be refused classification because of its prolonged and relished depictions of violence and cruelty. "

The version of BANNED FROM TELEVISION that I viewed ran 107:05 and didn't have any opening or closing credits.

 

 

British Censors explain their 1999 ban

We are not ones to praise to the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), but at least they explain their decisions. Here is what they had to say about BANNED FROM TV when they rejected it back in February 1999.

British Board of Film Classification (BBFC)
Press Release 1999

BANNED FROM TELEVISION
As the authority designated by Parliament with the responsibility for classifying videos under the Video Recordings Act 1984, the Board must determine whether or not a video is suitable for a classification certificate to be issued to it, with special regard to the likelihood of video works being viewed in the home. In making this decision, the Board must also have special regard, amongst other relevant factors, to any harm that may be caused to potential viewers or, through their behaviour, to society because of the manner in which the work deals with criminal behaviour, illegal drugs, violence, horror or sex.

BANNED FROM TELEVISION
The Board carefully considered this video in the light of these tests. The main consideration for the Board was the question of harm referred to above. In short, does the work have the potential for anti- social influence?

In the Board's view it does. It is a compilation of scenes of extremely violent death, injury and mutilation, many of which are repeated in slow-motion. The commentary draws attention to the grislier aspects and in effect invites enjoyment at human suffering. The inclusion also of sex scenes reinforces the impression that the purpose of the video is to provide entertainment. There is no attempt to justify the images by placing the incidents in any other journalistic or educational context. Whatever current relevance the images might have had when they were originally photographed has been lost in the general compilation of horrors. The Board is conscious that a particular genre that has always been identified as entirely unacceptable is that of so-called 'snuff movies'. Their main identifying feature is that at least one of the participants is actually killed. BANNED FROM TELEVISION is only different in that, instead of a death being created for the work, actual death and injury is collated from a wide range of pre-existing sources to create the work.

The Board has concluded that the video is potentially harmful because of the influence it may have on the attitudes and behaviour of a significant proportion of likely viewers. The instinct of concern and compassion for the suffering of others is a basic social necessity. So is respect for the dignity of real human life. By presenting actual human death and mutilation as entertainment, the work, in the Board's view, has the potential to erode these instincts. There is a danger of it falling into the hands of young and impressionable persons (whatever its classification) and of some significant brutalising effect on their attitude to human life and pain.

The Board has considered the possibility of cuts as a remedy for these difficulties. It has concluded, however, that they would be unlikely to modify the tone and effect of the work acceptably.


 

 

 

 

Barbarian Queen

Directed by Héctor Olivera / 1985 / USA / IMDb

CBS/Fox Video had a 70m VHS of BARBARIAN QUEEN rated R in September 1985. It was awarded for violence, which was described as: Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

This 70:15 version that was released on tape by Medusa - CBS/Fox Video.

In October 1985, a 76m VHS was Refused Classification due to 'gratuitous sexual violence'. It is unclear why a censored version was rated before an uncut one.

In the U.S., BARBARIAN QUEEN was released on tape in two versions by Vestron Video. The first was the U.S. R-rated print, and the second was fully uncut.

Movie-Censorship has an excellent comparison between the two versions, and we shall refer to it in our description of the two Australian releases.

 

 

The Censored Medusa-CBS/Fox Video

We can confirm that the Medusa - CBS/Fox Video VHS runs 70:15 and was censored. It looks to have utilised the fully uncut version as a starting point as it contains scenes that are not found in the U.S. R-rated print. This was presumably done to make up the running time and mask the censorship.

 

The Medusa - CBS/Fox Video VHS was censored as follows:

Pre-credits
The pre-credits sequence involving a group of soldiers hunting a girl. 15s is missing when they capture her, open her top, touch her breasts, and begin to rape her.
This is in the MA15+ DVD.

 

The Girl is Cornered
The scene where a group of soldiers corner a girl in the town. 15s is missing when they say "I've got to hand it to those rebels" and "You went first last time, this ones mine" as they rip her top off and pull her to them.
This is in the MA15+ DVD.

 

The Rape of Amethea
The largest cut is to the infamous torture and rape of Amethea. Ironically considering how censored the VHS was, it does actually contain the 11s at the start of the scene where the torturer is shown touching her breasts with the claw and saying "You must learn not to struggle". Again, this scene originates from the uncut version, and was missing from the U.S. R-rated print.

The scene shows the torturer saying, "You are making a contribution to science" and then jumping up to her.
Missing are the shots of him raping her, and her crushing him with her legs.

The scene continues again in the Medusa - CBS/Fox Video with her saying "Can I", before pushing him into the acid bath.
Part of this scene is included in the MA15+ DVD.

 

 

MA15+ DVD is the U.S. R-rated version

In May 2008, Big Sky Video had a DVD of BARBARIAN QUEEN passed with an MA15+ (Strong violence and sexual violence) rating. The DVD was released through Beyond Home Entertainment. The actual running time was 70:26 and was taken from the censored U.S. R-rated print. As we have explained, it contains most of the footage that caused the film to be banned back in 1985, see the above-mentioned Movie-Censorship site for a full comparison.

These are the versions of BARBARIAN QUEEN that have been released in Australia.

1985: Medusa - CBS/Fox Video VHS - The uncut version, censored down to 70:15
2008: Beyond Home Entertainment DVD - The censored 70:26 U.S. R-Rated version.

 

Barbarian Queen (1985) - Medusa CBS/Fox [au] VHSBarbarian Queen (1985) - Big Sky Video [au] DVD 1Barbarian Queen (1985) - Big Sky Video [au] DVD 2Barbarian Queen (1985) - Big Sky Video [au] DVD 3


 

 

 

 

Barnens ö

Directed by Kay Pollak / 1980 / Sweden / IMDb

On October 1st 2013, a 104m item known only as ACMA INV-0000-3781 was passed with an R18+ rating. This online content was submitted by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

 

On October 18, it was announced that the Classification Review Board would meet to reconsider the R18+ rating.

Classification review announced for the review of the Australian Communication Media Authority decision INV-0000-3781
Australian Government
Classification Review Board
18 October 2013

The Classification Review Board has received an application to review a decision of the Board in relation to content referred by the Australian Communication Media Authority (ACMA).

ACMA INV-0000-3781 was classified R 18+ on 1 October 2013. Material classified R 18+ is legally restricted to adults and some material classified R 18+ may be offensive to sections of the adult community. Under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 online R 18+ classified material is subject to specific access restrictions.

The Classification Review Board will meet on 23 October 2013 to consider the application.

The Classification Review Board issued a media release with more information about the pending review available. You can view this release in the Media Releases section.

The decision will be published in the Classification Review Board Decisions area of this site.

 

 

Australian Federal Police behind the review

The Classification Review Board met on October 23, and increased the R18+ rating to Refused Classification. The applicant was only revealed as the Australian Federal Police after a new entry for the RC rating appeared in the Classification Board's database.

ACMA INV-0000-3781 Refused Classification by the Classification Review Board
Australian Government
Classification Review Board
23 October 2013

A three-member panel of the Classification Review Board has unanimously determined that the item, ACMA INV-0000-3781 is classified RC Refused Classification.

n the Review Board's opinion, ACMA INV-0000-3781 could not be accommodated within the R 18+ classification because the material contains a depiction of a child engaged in actual sexual activity and that this is content that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult.

The Classification Review Board has issued a media release with more information about the decision. You can access this release in the Media Releases section.

The decision will be published in the Classification Review Board Decisions area of this site, as soon as the are available.

 

 

ACMA INV-0000-3781 revealed to be BARNENS Ö (1980)

This item was known only as ACMA INV-0000-3781 because submissions by the Australian Communications and Media Authority are never identified. However, in this case the Classification Review Board named it as the 1980 Swedish film, BARNENS Ö.

Australian Government
Classification Review Board

MEMBERS:
Fiona Jolly
Melissa de Zwart
Peter Attard

APPLICANT
Australian Federal Police

INTERESTED PARTIES BUSINESS
To consider whether the Australian Federal Police should be recognised, under subclause 30(1)(d) of Schedule 7 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, as a ‘person aggrieved by the classification’ of R 18+ assigned by the Classification Board to ACMA INV-0000-3781; and, if the Australian Federal Police is recognised as a ‘person aggrieved by the classification’, to review that classification.

 

DECISION AND REASONS FOR DECISION

1. Decision

The Classification Review Board (the Review Board) unanimously has decided to classify ACMA INV-0000-3781 RC.

The Review Board found, under subclause 30(1)(d) of Schedule 7 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (the BSA), that the Australian Federal Police (AFP) was ‘a person aggrieved by the classification’ of the content by the Classification Board (the Board). The AFP therefore was a person who could apply to the Review Board for a review of that classification.

 

2. Legislative provisions

Clause 30 of Schedule 7 of the BSA determines who may apply to the Review Board for a review of the classification of content by the Board under that Schedule (unless the content is the subject of a ‘deemed classification’ under subclauses 24 (1) or (2)). Clause 30 states:

(1) If content has been classified by the Classification Board…any of the following persons may apply to the Classification Review Board for a review of the classification: …

(d) a person aggrieved by the classification.

(2) Without limiting paragraph (1)(d), if the classification referred to in that paragraph is a restricted classification, the following persons or bodies are taken to be persons aggrieved by the classification:

(a) a person who has engaged in a series of activities relating to, or research into, the contentious aspects of the theme or subject matter of the content concerned;

(b) an organisation or association, whether incorporated or not, whose objects or purposes include, and whose activities relate to, the contentious aspects of that theme or subject matter.

(3) However, a person or body is not aggrieved by a restricted classification because of subclause (2) if the classification was made before:

(a) the person engaged in a series of activities relating to, or research into, the contentious aspects of the theme or subject matter of the content concerned; or

(b) the organisation or association was formed, or its objects or purposes included and its activities related to, the contentious aspects of that theme or subject matter.

(4) In this clause:

"restricted classification" means:

(a) for content that does not consist of a computer game or an eligible electronic publication--the classification MA 15+, R 18+, X 18+ or RC; …

Clause 31 of Schedule 7 governs applications for review and subclause 33(1) states:

(1) For the purposes of reviewing a classification of content, the Classification Review Board:

(a) may exercise all the powers and discretions that are conferred on the Classification Board by this Schedule; and

(b) must make a decision in writing classifying the content.

Clause 24 of Schedule 7 deals with the classification of content by the Board and states that if the content consists of ‘the entire unmodified contents of a film’ which ‘has not been classified under the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995’ (the Classification Act), then the ‘Board is to classify the content under this Schedule in a corresponding way to the way in which the film or computer game, as the case may be, would be classified under the Classification Act’. Clause 36 states that ‘sections 10, 19, 20, 22, 23A, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 44A, and Division 6 of Part 2’ of the Classification Act do not apply to a classification under Schedule 7.

Section 9 of the Classification Act provides that films are to be classified in accordance with the National Classification Code (the Code) and the classification guidelines. Relevantly, items 1(a) and (b) of the Films table of the Code states that the following films should be classified RC:

1. Films that:

(a) depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena 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 classified; or

(b) describe or depict in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult, a person who is, or appears to be, a child under 18 (whether the person is engaged in sexual activity or not).

Item 3 of the Films table notes that ‘films (except RC and X 18+ films) that are unsuitable for a minor to see’ should be classified R 18+.

The Code also sets out various principles to which classification decisions should give effect, as far as possible.

Section 11 of the Classification Act requires that the matters to be taken into account in making a decision on the classification of a film include:

(a) the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults; and

(b) the literary, artistic or educational merit (if any) of the film; and

(c) the general character of the film, including whether it is of a medical, legal or scientific character; and

(d) the persons or class of persons to or amongst whom it is published or is intended or likely to be published. Three essential principles underlie the use of the Guidelines for the Classification of Films 2012 (the Guidelines), determined under section 12 of the Classification Act:

 the importance of context

the assessment of impact, and

the six classifiable elements – themes, violence, sex, language, drug use and nudity.

 

3. Procedure

The Review Board met on Wednesday 23 October 2013 in response to the receipt of an application from the AFP on 17 October 2013 to conduct the review.

Three members of the Review Board viewed the relevant content on 23 October 2013.

The Review Board heard oral submissions from the applicant. This was provided in addition to a written submission.

The Review Board then considered the matter.

 

4. Evidence and other background material taken into account

In reaching its decision the Review Board had regard to the following:

(i) the AFP’s application for review

(ii) the AFP’s written and oral submissions

(iii) the content, ACMA INV-0000-3781

(iv) the relevant provisions in the BSA, the Classification Act, the Code and the Guidelines, and

(v) the Classification Board’s report.

 

6. Synopsis

The Film ‘Barnens O’ is a Swedish film produced in 1980. The film is a coming of age story in which a ten year old turning 11 year old boy contends with the imminent onset of puberty and his fear of sexual maturation.

The boy, Reine, experiences a range of situations after skipping summer camp and staying home unsupervised.

 

7. Findings on material questions of fact

The Review Board assessed the content, ACMA INV-0000-3781, and found that it contains aspects of importance under various classifiable elements:

(a) Themes – The predominant theme in the film is that of ‘coming of age’ and coming to terms with sexuality. The treatment of themes was strong and justified by context.

(b) Violence – The Review Board considered that there was infrequent violence which was justified by context. The Review Board considered that the violence was no higher than strong.

(c) Sex – The Review Board noted that there were a number of scenes of implied sexual activity. The Review Board considered that, subject to the discussion below regarding the depiction of the minor, the scenes of implied sexual activity were no higher than strong.

At approximately 1.08 there is a sequence which lasts for 49 seconds which commences with Reine encountering the naked figure of Maria. Maria is shown lying asleep naked and the entire length of the back of her body, including her buttocks, is visible, as is the side of her left breast. The vision then cuts to Reine who is seated in a barn, visibly upset after encountering Maria naked. He is breathing heavily, he is naked from the waist down, and the camera pans down from his face and chest (at 1.08.25) to his genital area. The boy’s erect penis is clearly shown in a close up (at 1.08.30-33), and he touches the shaft of his penis tentatively. The camera pans back to his face and then returns to his penis which is slowly losing its erection.

(d) Language – There a number of occasions on which strong, coarse language is used. The Review Board considered that this was no higher than strong and could be accommodated within the MA 15+ category.

(e) Drug Use – The Review Board noted a number of instances of alcohol use and smoking and considered that the impact of this could be accommodated within a lower classification.

(f) Nudity – The Review Board noted that there were a number of scenes of nudity of the boy and a number of women. With regards to the boy, the images of him lying naked in the bath, examining his genitals for hair, and being showered by ‘Nora’ are justified by context. The Review Board also noted the full frontal image of Reine posing with a female wig, false eyelashes and makeup. In this scene Reine is seen to grasp his penis and place it between his legs in an apparent effort to look like a woman. The Review Board considered that this image was a long shot and it was not possible to see genital detail. The Review Board considered that this image was also justified by the context and no higher than strong.

The Review Board considered that the images of various women naked were all justified by context and were no higher than strong.

 

8. Reasons for the decision

The Review Board decided that all of the content and themes, other than the scene depicting Reine’s erect penis, were no more than strong in impact and therefore may be accommodated within the lower classification categories. The Review Board considered that the depiction of Reine in the barn with an erection is a depiction of a child engaged in actual sexual activity and that this is content that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult as per 1(b) of the code.

The Review Board considered that although the scene was relevant to the story and was brief in duration it is still the depiction of actual sexual activity of a minor and is not justified by context.

The depiction of a child engaged in actual sexual activity, being masturbation, is content that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult.

 

9. Summary

The Review Board decided that the content, ACMA INV-0000-3781, should be classified Refused Classification.

 

 

In February 2014, the news was reported in the Fairfax press. The article contained some interesting background information about the case. However, they mistakenly claimed that the Classification Review Board's report had only just been released.

Australia bans award-winning Swedish film Children's Island over child porn concerns
smh.com.au, February 27, 2014

The Australian Communications and Media Authority referred it to the Australian Classification Board last year after receiving a complaint.

Free-speech advocate Chris Berg, a research fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs, said:  "It is a bizarre and rather extraordinary overreach by the AFP to go to the Classification Review Board to censor movies.

"If they believe this is genuine child pornography they should contact their state colleagues and ask them to pursue it. If they are just concerned about offence, then that is none of their business. It is not the AFP’s job to protect people from taking offence."

An AFP spokesperson said:  "The film Barnens ö was first encountered by AFP officers in 2009 following a search warrant conducted in Sydney. The DVD was suspected of being illegally imported from overseas.

"While it is rare for the AFP to seek reviews of classification decisions, the AFP was concerned in this case that the movie contained child exploitation material. The AFP will continue to work with local and international law enforcement partners to detect, disrupt and bring to justice those who seek to produce, share and access child exploitation material."

The spokesperson said two child exploitation material experts provided submissions to the Classification Review board.

 

Interestingly, one of the comments on this article claims.

"I've seen this film, on SBS years ago"

Can anyone confirm if this was indeed screened by SBS? If so when, and was the problem scene included?

 

 

BARNENS O - THE CHILDREN’S ISLAND in court

This is the case that resulted in BARNENS Ö being submitted to the Classification Board and Classification Review Board.

R v De Leeuw [2015] NSWCCA 183
Supreme Court of New South Wales - Court of Criminal Appeal
July 10, 2015

Facts of Offences

7. An Agreed Statement of Facts was tendered before the District Court. That statement revealed the following.

8. On 2 August 2013, agents of the Australian Federal Police (“AFP”) executed a search warrant at the Respondent’s home premises at Wyoming. A preliminary review of computers and other electronic devices, DVDs and CDs located at the premises revealed a substantial amount of material identified by AFP agents as child pornography material as defined in s.473.1 Criminal Code (Cth).

9. A number of items were taken from the premises during the execution of the search warrant.

10. The Respondent was questioned in relation to the material located, but he declined to comment.

Sequence 1 - Possess Child Abuse Material Contrary to s.91H(2) Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)

15. In addition, he was also found to be in possession of a DVD entitled "Barnens O The Children’s Island" which features Category 4 child abuse material. The Australian Film Classification Board had classified this DVD as "Refused Classification" ("RC"), thereby banning it. RC material cannot be sold, hired, advertised or legally imported into Australia. It contains content that is very high in impact and falls outside generally accepted community standards.


 

 

 

 

The Bastard

Directed by Duccio Tessari / 1968 / France-Italy-West Germany / IMDb

In July 1970, an appeal against the banning of THE BASTARD was rejected by the Film Review Board. The 8268-feet (91:52) print was described as a 'reconstructed version'.

At the time, the highest rating available was SOA (Suitable only for Adults), which was broadly equivalent to the M-rating.

 

The R-rating was introduced in November 1971, and many previously banned films began to be resubmitted. Despite this, in September 1972, a 2518.24-meter (91:47) print of THE BASTARD was banned once again. The reason given was 'indecency and excessive violence'.

Warner Bros was the applicant.


 

 

 

 

Beach Blanket Bango

Directed by Morris Deal / 1975 / USA / IMDb

In August 1977, a 2194.00-meter (79:58) print of BEACH BLANKET BANGO was censored by 27.90-meters (01:01) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove 'indecency'. Lestrig Trading was the applicant.

BEACH BLANKET BANGO contains hardcore sex, so it would appear that it was also pre-cut before submission.

Image courtesy of moviemem.com

 

Beach Blanket Bango (1975) - Lestrig Trading [au] Daybill


 

 

 

 

The Beast

aka La Bête

Directed by Walerian Borowczyk / 1975 / France / IMDb

In November 1976, a 2815.00-meter (102:37) print of LA BETE was banned because of 'indecency'. A failed appeal to the Films Board of Review was made in July 1977.

A censored 2701.70-meter (98:29) was eventually passed with an R-rating in October 1977.

 

Here is how Cinema Papers reported the 1977 censorship of THE BEAST.

La Bete was originally banned in November 1976. The decision was appealed in July 1977, but the was film again denied registration. At this stage it ran 2815m or 102.61min. The film was then cut by its distributors to 2701.70m (98.48min) and it was finally passed with an R classification without further cuts.

To meet 'community standards', 4.2min had to be deleted. These cuts represent most of the sequence where Romilda's (Sirpa Lane) passionate lovemaking exhausts the beast who collapses to the ground and expires. As a result the tale has been robbed of its irony

 

Walerian Borowczyk’s BEHIND CONVENT WALLS (1978) also had problems with the Australian Censorship Board.

 

 

THE BEAST: No show on video

LA BETE was next before the censors in November 1981, when Star Video had a 94m tape Refused Registration. The reason given for the ban was sex, which were described as:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

During the early 1980s, there was no law that compelled distributors to have video tapes classified. For a period, the Censorship Board simply viewed the tapes and passed them as 'Special Condition', the definition of which was:

That the film/tape will not be exhibited in any State in contravention of that State's law relating to the exhibition of films.

It was under this 'Special Condition' that Publishing and Broadcasting Video had an 89m 'reconstructed version' passed in September 1983. It does not appear that this was ever released.

 

 

Rated X in 1984

The X-rating was introduced in February 1984 and the same month LA BETE became one of the first titles to be awarded such a rating. The 92m tape submitted by Publishing and Broadcasting Video was awarded the X-rating for sex, which was described as:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

Note that there was a brief period where the X-rating was considered not just for sex films, but also material that was too extreme for the R-rating. During this time, violence could exist in the X category, and films such as CALIGULA (1980), JUNGLE WARRIORS (1984), PINK FLAMINGOS (1972), KILLER NUN (1978), and ROSEMARY'S KILLER (1981) were awarded this rating. The guidelines were swiftly tightened up to remove violence, though pro-censorship groups will claim otherwise.

Despite Publishing and Broadcasting Video having an 89m 'Special Condition' tape passed in September 1983, and a 92m X-rated tape passed in February 1984, we have yet to see any confirmation that either was actually released. If anyone has any evidence to the contrary then please send in the details.

 

 

30 years later: uncut at last

An uncut print screened in Australia at the 2002 Melbourne Underground Film Festival.

 

In April 2007, Umbrella Entertainment had a DVD of THE BEAST (aka LA BETE) passed with an R18+ (High level sexual themes and Sex scenes) rating. This was released in February 2008. The cover states 'Banned for 30 Years!'.

Thanks to James for this review of the DVD.

The Umbrella DVD runs 94:10 and appears to be the Directors Cut. The 102:53 version that was submitted to the censors back in 1976 would seem to be the same as the version that was released as the third disc of the Dutch Cult Epics DVD. According to DVD Beaver.

"It's like the shorter versions [Directors Cut] is the final version, and the cuts are made to speed-up the rhythm of the film. They have for example shortened the scene where the girl run's away from the Beast with over two minutes. The cuts are more like they have taken away some picture pairs. The girl runs a shorter time, the Beast ejaculates one time less etc. "

 

In the dream sequence, the Beast chases the girl in three parts.

Part one runs from 63:30 to 67:40 when the chase begins to when the scene concludes with the girl climbing a tree and the Beast licking her vagina. When she falls from the tree, he attempts to rape her.

The second part from 72 to 76min starts with Lucy masturbating with the rose. This scene is quite explicit, with her vagina exposed to the camera. This must have been cut by the censors back in 1976. The dream sequence then continues with the girl being raped by the Beast.

The final part runs from 79:30 to 81:15 and has the girl masturbating the Beast, and licking his penis until he dies of pleasure. This is the scene that you quote Cinema Papers as saying was most heavily cut for an R18+ rating back in 1977. However, it only runs under two minutes, confirming that other scenes were also cut.

The four minutes of cuts that the censors made back in October 1977 to secure an R18+ must have been made to these three parts of the dream sequence. There are other sex scenes in the film, but none are as explicit as the chase, rape, and eventual death of the Beast.

 

In December 2016, Umbrella rereleased THE BEAST on DVD as part of their World Classics series.

 

The Beast (1975) - Umbrella Entertainment [au] DVDThe Beast (1975) - Umbrella Entertainment [au] DVD 2


 

 

 

 

Beast in Heat

aka Horrifying Experiments of S.S. Last Days

Directed by Luigi Batzella / 1977 / Italy / IMDb

BEAST IN HEAT was part of a package of fifteen tapes that were seized by the Australian Customs Service in October 1991. They were forwarded to the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) who found them to be:

"…prohibited pursuant to Regulation 4A(1A)(a)(iii) of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations"


 

 

 

 

Beast of Pleasure

Directed by Eddy Matalon / 1975 / France / IMDb

In April 1981, a 2084.90-mter (76:00) print of BEAST OF PLEASURE was banned because of sex. It was said to be:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

The following month, an 1898.18-meter (69:11) 'reconstructed version' was passed with an R-rating. The sex was now described as being:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

The applicant, Blake Films, released it theatrically.

 

In February 1984, Blake Films had a 69m (68:33) video passed with an R-rating. The reasons were the same as the May 1981 classification. The tape was released on Roadshow's Vibrant Video label. Thanks to Stephen F for the cover scan and time.

Daybill image courtesy of moviemem.com

 

Beast of Pleasure (1975) - Blake Films [au] Daybill     Beast of Pleasure (1975) - Roadshow Vibrant Video [au] VHS


 

 

 

 

Beat Angel Escalayer

Directed by Ikka Tsuchishida / 2002 / Japan

This film has never had problems with the Australian censors. It is included because we suspect the distributor censored it prior to submission to the Classification Board.

 

BEAT ANGEL ESCALAYER was passed with an R18+ (High level animated sex scenes) rating in July 2008. Siren Visual Entertainment released it on DVD as part of their Hentai Collection in November 2008.

This would join a number of other titles in Siren's Hentai collection that were either banned or censored in Australia. See the entry for HOLY VIRGINS for a full listing.

 

 

BEAT ANGEL ESCALYER: The censored footage

Thanks again to Geoff for this review in which he exposes more censorship.

It looks like Siren has once again submitted censored hentai to the Classification Board in the hope of escaping an RC-rating. Details of the three episodes are as follows.

Episode 1: Runs 28:22 and did not look cut
Episode 3: Runs 28:08 (29:08 including the English credits) and did not look cut.

Episode 2: Runs 27:24 and is definitely censored. The running times that I'm going to quote include that of Episode 1. The scene begins around the 33min point and involves Sayuka being attacked by a huge red octopus. Missing are scenes of him pulling off her bra, wrapping his tentacles around her breasts and squeezing them, and a brief shot of her naked breasts before the camera pans down.

The tentacle is then shown going into her mouth and then there is a very obvious cut at the 34:50 point. It should continue to a shot of her legs being prised open by the tentacles and exposing her vagina. There then follows a full on tentacle rape which takes place as a group of robot like creatures look on and cheer. Interestingly Siren have put a shot from earlier in the scene featuring a fully clothed Sayuka, they also reinstate several earlier shots to cover the cuts.

To be honest I really don't know why Siren cut this scene so badly. Maybe they thought the censorship board still had a thing about tentacle rape since the Urotsukidoji-Legend of Overfiend ban back in '94. It's doubly puzzling when you see that they left in the scene that starts around the 49min mark in Episode 2. Here Sayuka is raped (and enjoys it) by a character called FM77, a female looking creature with a huge dick!

It's pointless going by the running times to judge the cuts because as I mentioned Siren have used other footage to mask them. There may be other censorship, but the octopus rape scene was the most obvious. There are no extras at all, and the DVD menu lists only two episodes, but all three play.

 

Beat Angel Escalayer (2002) - Siren Visual Entertainment [au] DVD


 

 

 

 

Bedside Dentist

Directed by John Hilbard / 1971 / Denmark / IMDb

In September 1972, a 2760.41-meters (100:37) print of BEDSIDE DENTIST was banned because of 'indecency'.

A censored 2687.19-meter (97:57) version was passed with an R-rating in October 1972. U.I.P released it theatrically.

 

In August 1982, Blake Films had a 1077.00-meter (98:08) 16mm print of BEDSIDE DENTIST passed with an R-rating. The running time appears to indicate that is was already censored.

This was followed in February 1984 by a 100m videotape which was also passed with an R-rating.

In both cases, Blake Films had the rating awarded for sex, which was described as being:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

It appears that in the early 1980s, Roadshow was preparing to release BEDSIDE DENTIST on tape. The film was listed as being on a video called ROADSHOW HOME VIDEO PRESENTS SNEAK PREVIEWS FROM OUR CATALOGUE. We have yet to see any proof that the actual film was released.

Image courtesy of moviemem.com

 

Bedside Dentist (1971) - Blake Films [au] Daybill


 

 

 

 

Behind Convent Walls

aka Within a Cloister 

Directed by Walerian Borowczyk / 1978 / Italy / IMDb

In June 1979, a 2577.30-meter (93:56) print of BEHIND CONVENT WALLS was censored by 15.3-meters (00:33) for an R-rating. Superstar International submitted the film under the alternative title WITHIN A CLOISTER.

 

K&C Video released a tape of BEHIND CONVENT WALLS in the early 80s. It ran 89:14 (PAL), which suggests it was a cut version.

A tape was passed with an X-rating in January 1986. Although Palace Home Video made the submission, it is unclear if they released it. The 78m running time indicates that this was also a censored version.

 

Walerian Borowczyk’s THE BEAST (1975) also had problems with the Australian Censorship Board.

 

Behind Convent Walls (1978) - K&C Video [au] VHS


 

 

 

 

Bel Ami

Directed by Mac Ahlberg / 1976 / France-Sweden / IMDb

This film has never had problems with the Australian censors. It is included because the distributor chose to submit a censored version to the Classification Board.

 

In January 1978, a 2328.10-meter (84:52) print of BEL AMI was passed with an R-rating. Although it was not listed as such, this would appear to have been a censored 'soft version'.

Natan Scheinwald Productions was the applicant.

 

In August 1984, Blake Films had a 98-minute videotape passed with the newly introduced X-rating.

It was awarded for sex, which was said to be:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

Image courtesy of moviemem.com

 

Bel Ami (1976) - Natan Scheinwald Productions [au] Daybill


 

 

 

 

The Best of New York Erotic Film Festival

Directed by Saul Charney - Ken Gaul / 1973 / USA

In April 1975, a 2350.00-meter (85:39) print of the THE BEST OF NEW YORK EROTIC FILM FESTIVAL was censored by 23.00-meters (00:50) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove 'indecency'.

MGM/BEF Film Distributors were the applicant.

 

A 105m tape was banned in September 1981 due to sex, which was described as being:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

This submission from Video Classics was likely to have been an import of the American Wizard Video release.

A 2482.00-meter (90:28) version was censored by 23:00-meters (00:50) in December 1981. The cuts were made to remove sex, which was found to be:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

The R-rated sex was now described as:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Justified

 

In December 1984, a 110m tape of THE BEST OF THE NEW YORK EROTIC FILM FESTIVAL passed with an R-rating. It was given for sex, which was:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

The tape was released by Roadshow Home Video.

 

The Best of New York Erotic Film Festival (1973) - Roadshow Home Video [au] VHS


 

 

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