Film Censorship: Deadly Effects (1987)-Deadly Weapons (1985)


 

 

 

 

Deadly Effects: Wound Ballistics

Directed by Alexander Jason / 1987 / USA / IMDb

An 81m videotape of DEADLY EFFECTS: WOUND BALLISTICS was Refused Classification in January 1995.

 

An appeal to the Review Board produced the following response.

 

Applicant: Signal One International Pty Ltd

Decision Reviewed: Refusal to approve the classification under Section 25(4)(b) of the ACT Classification of Publications Ordinance 1983 by the Film Censorship Board.

Decision: The Board of Review confirmed the decision of the Censorship Board to Refuse to approve the classification of Deadly Effects: Wound Ballistics under Section 25(4)(b) of the ACT Classification of Publications Ordinance 1983.

2. Legislative Provisions

2.1 The ACT Classification of Publications Ordinance 1983 provides that "the Board shall refuse to approve the classification of a film that...promotes, incites or instructs in matters of crime or violence..."

3. Procedure

3.1 Five members of the Review Board heard oral submissions made by Mr Matthew Holden of Signal One International Pty Ltd. Mr Holden summarised the contents of a written submission submitted to the Board's Secretary on 19 January 1995.

3.2 Five members of the Review Board viewed the video

4. Evidence

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

(a) the applicant's Application for Review
(b) the film Deadly Effects: Wound Ballistics
(c) the submissions made by the applicant
(d) the relevant provisions in the ACT Classification of Publications Ordinance 1983, viz. Sections 24(4)(b) and 34(3)
(e) the current "Guidelines for the Classification of Films and Videotapes" issued by the Office of Film and Literature Classification, and endorsed by Censorship Ministers
(f) advice provided by the Ballistics Section of the Australian Federal Police to the Film Censorship Board, and similar advice provided informally to the Chairman from other State Police forces.

5. Findings on Material Questions of Fact

5.1 The video provided a detailed and lengthy demonstration, description and comparison of the size, penetration and performance of many different types of bullets and guns (including some used with silencers) on simulated human bodies, with a view to showing which combinations will have the best shock power, knockdown power and stopping power. The video dealt in detail with the physiology of incapacitation of humans, and the different types of wounds caused by a range of guns and bullets. The video also gave detailed instruction in making gelatin moulds for tissue simulation, in order for gun owners to test their guns and bullets for the necessary performance characteristics on human targets.

5.2 The video, through its dialogue and commentary, conveyed " encouragement in the use of guns for personal defence, and contained a number of statements which would promote the use of guns by private citizens. These include "sometimes the only way to incapacitate is to kill him with a bullet"; "there are too many situation in which a bullet is the only option"; "if someone warrants being shot at, why try to wound"; "choose overpenetration as the bad guy will more likely be incapacitated".

5.3 The video, while clearly instructional in the techniques of "stopping bad guys", was of poor quality technically, with much unsteady single camerawork, discontinuities in sound levels, and repetitious and tedious format. All these factors combined provide evidence of an; absence of indicators that the video had educational merit.

5.4 The Board formed the view, from the facts in 5.1 and 5.2 above, that the video "promotes, incites and instructs in matters of crime and violence".

5.5 The Board found that the video had no literary or artistic, and little, or no educational merit, and lacked medical, legal or scientific character sufficient to qualify it as suitable for classification under Section 34(3) of the ACT Classification of Publications Ordinance 1983.

6. Reasons for the Decision

6.1 The Review Board based its decision to confirm the decision of the Censorship Board to Refuse to approve the classification of the video under Section 25(4)(b) of the ACT Classification of Publications Ordinance on the content and tone of the video as described in 5.1 and 5.2 above.

6.2 The applicant argued that the Board should have regard to the educational merit of the video in terms of Section 34(3) of the ACT Classification of Publications Ordinance. He provided letters of support from two individual officers in the NSW Police and two pathologists from Westmead Hospital, which in combination stated (a) that the tape was a "relevant and excellent training aid", and (b) that the availability of the tape from Australian sources would reduce staff training costs, but (c) the tape should only be available to authorised persons.

The Board accepted advice given to the Censorship Board from the Australian Federal Police. that they were able to make their own arrangements for sources of suitable training resources in this subject area. In addition, while making this video available for Australian distribution might reduce the costs of training for a police force, this was not, in the view of the Board, of relevance in this matter.

The Board had regard to the instructional nature of the video, but formed the view that it was not of sufficient educational merit, nor was it of sufficient scientific character, to outweigh its promotion and instruction in matters of crime and violence.

The applicant gave an assurance that he would only provide the video to a restricted audience. The Board found that the law does not provide for material refused classification to be made available on that basis.

7. Summary .

The Review Board's decision is to confirm, under ACT Classification of Publications Ordinance 25(4)(b), the decision of the Film Censorship Board to Refuse to approve the classification of Deadly Effects: Wound Ballistics. This decision was taken after full consideration of the applicant's submissions and after assessing the video as a whole against relevant legislative criteria, and those contained in the current film classification guidelines endorsed by the Censorship Ministers. 20 January 1995.

 

Alexander Jason's training videos

Both DEADLY EFFECTS: WOUND BALLISTICS and DEADLY WEAPONS: FIREARMS AND FIREPOWER were banned in Australia. However a third Alexander Jason title, DEADLY FORCE - FIREARMS - SELF DEFENSE - THE LAW was rated R18+ (Adult Themes) on October 24th 1994.

 

Deadly Effects: Wound Ballistics - Unknown Label [usa] VHS


 

 

 

 

Deadly Weapons: Firearms and Firepower

Directed by Alexander Jason / 1985 / USA / IMDb

A 105m videotape of DEADLY WEAPONS: FIREARMS AND FIREPOWER was Refused Classification in January 1995.

 

An appeal to the Review Board produced the following response.

 

Applicant: Signal One International Pty Ltd

Decision Reviewed: Refusal to approve the classification under Section 25(4)(b) of the ACT Classification of Publications Ordinance 1983 by the Film Censorship Board.

Decision: The Board of Review confirmed the decision of the Censorship Board to Refuse to approve the classification of Deadly Effects: Firearms & Firepower under Section 25(4)(b) of the ACT Classification of Publications Ordinance 1983.

2. Legislative Provisions

2.1 The ACT Classification of Publications Ordinance 1983 provides that "the Board shall refuse to approve the classification of a film' that...promotes, incites or instructs in matters of crime or violence..,"

3. Procedure

3.1 Six members of the Review Board heard oral submissions made by Mr Matthew Holden of Signal One International Pty Ltd. Mr Holden summarised the contents of a written submission to the Board's Secretary on 19 January 1995.

3.2 Six members of the Review Board viewed the video Deadly Weapons: Firearms & Firepower on 20 January 1995, accompanied by Mr Holden.

4. Evidence

4.1 In reaching its decision the Board of Review had regard to the following:
(a) the applicant's Application for Review
(b) the film Deadly Effects: Firearms & Firepower (c) the submissions made by the applicant
(d) the relevant provisions in the ACT Classification of Publications Ordinance 1983, viz. Sections 24(4)(b) and 34(3)
(e) the current "Guidelines for the Classification of Films and Videotapes" issued by the Office of Film and Literature Classification, and endorsed by Censorship Ministers
(f) advice provided by the Ballistics Section of the Australian Federal Police to the Film Censorship Board, and similar advice provided informally to the Chairman from other State Police forces.

5. Findings on Material Questions of Fact

5.1 The video provided a detailed and lengthy demonstration, description and comparison of the power and penetration of many different types of bullets and guns on simulated human beings and outline targets, on car doors and windscreens, and on armoured vests. It also demonstrated the laying of dynamite around, and the incineration of, a car.

5.2 The video, through its dialogue and commentary, conveyed encouragement in the use of guns for personal defence, and contained numerous gratuitous expressions of enjoyment in the use of high-powered guns (some illegal in Australia) and ammunition, and in the detonation and incineration of motor vehicles. Examples of such dialogue included "famous as a cop-killer bullet", "some of you maniacs were looking forward to seeing petrol tanks go up", "it's a lot of fun this way", "beautiful, beautiful, the last one got him" (as the camera panned at length around the burning car).

5.3 The video, while clearly instructional in the techniques of "stopping bad guys", was of poor quality technically, with much unsteady single camerawork, discontinuities in sound levels, and repetitious and tedious format. All these factors combined provided evidence of an absence of indicators that the video had educational merit.

5.4 The Board formed the view, from the facts in 5.1 and 5.2 above, that the video "promotes, incites and instructs in matters of crime and violence".

5.5 The Board found that the video had no literary or artistic, and little or no educational merit, and lacked medical, legal or scientific character sufficient to qualify it as suitable for classification under Section 34(3) of the ACT Classification of Publications Ordinance.

6. Reasons for the Decision

6.1 The Review Board based its decision to confirm the decision of the Censorship Board to Refuse to approve the classification of the video under Section 25(4)(b) of the ACT Classification of Publications Ordinance on the content and tone of the video as described in 5.1 and 5.2 above.

6.2 The applicant argued that the Board should have regard to the educational merit of the video in terms of Section 34(3) of the ACT Classification of Publications Ordinance. He provided letters of support from the NSW Police and two pathologists from Westmead Hospital, which in combination stated (a) that the tape was a "relevant and excellent training aid", and (b) that the availability of the tape from Australian sources would reduce staff training costs, but (c) the tape should only be available to authorised persons.

The Board accepted advice given to the Censorship Board from the Australian Federal Police, that they were able to make their own arrangements for sources of suitable training resources in this subject area. In addition, while making this video available for Australian distribution might reduce the costs of training for a police force, this was not, in the view of the Board, of relevance in this matter.

The Board had regard to the instructional nature of the video, but formed the view that it was not of sufficient educational merit, nor was it of sufficient scientific character, to outweigh its promotion and instruction in matters of crime and violence.

The applicant gave an assurance that he would only provide the video to a restricted audience. The Board found that the law does not provide for material refused classification to be made available on that basis.

7. Summary

The Review Board's decision is to confirm, under ACT Classification of Publications Ordinance 25(4)(b), the decision of the Film Censorship Board to Refuse to approve the classification of Deadly Effects: Firearms & Firepower. This decision was taken after full consideration of the applicant's submissions and after assessing the video as a whole against relevant legislative criteria, and those contained in the current film classification guidelines endorsed by the Censorship Ministers. 20 January 1995.

 

Alexander Jason's training videos

Both DEADLY EFFECTS: WOUND BALLISTICS and DEADLY WEAPONS: FIREARMS AND FIREPOWER were banned in Australia. However a third Alexander Jason title, DEADLY FORCE - FIREARMS - SELF DEFENSE - THE LAW was rated R18+ (Adult Themes) in October 1994.

 

Deadly Weapons: Firearms and Firepower - Unknown Label [usa] VHS


 

 

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