In June 1978, a 2137.50-meter (77:55) -print of EASY VIRTUE: DAIRY OF A TEENAGE PROSTITUTE was banned because of 'indecency'.
Lestrig Trading Co was the applicant.
Although it was listed by the Censorship Board as being 'registered R without eliminations', it would appear that it was pre-cut before submission. In its uncut form, EATEN ALIVE should run over five minutes longer than the print submitted to the Australian Censorship Board.
House of Dare was the applicant.
In February 1984, an 85m videotape of EATEN ALIVE was passed with an R-rating. The Video Classics Gold tape had an actual running time of 82:27 (PAL).
Like the theatrical version, this release is heavily censored. The cover features a graphic image from a rape scene that certainly made it stand out from other titles on the video store shelf.
EATEN ALIVE 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"
In 2006, bootleg copies of the uncut (92:20 NTSC) U.S. Shriek Show release appeared in stores and markets that sell cheap DVDs. The R18+ (Strong Violence, Strong Sexual Content, Nudity) rating on the cover was fake. The cover makes no mention of it, but it contains the same extras as the Shriek Show disc.
Umberto Lenzi's other cannibal movies, THE MAN FROM DEEP RIVER (1972), and CANNIBAL FEROX (1981) suffered numerous cuts when released locally.
Lenzi actually edited footage from THE MAN FROM DEEP RIVER (1972) into EATEN ALIVE. The killing of the crocodile, the mongoose vs. cobra, and the cannibal scene where the woman's breast is eaten, all come from that film.
Footage from MOUNTAIN OF THE CANNIBAL GOD (1978) was also used. This includes the killing of the iguana, the snake vs. bird scene, and the cannibal castration and stabbing.
Finally, Mowara's death scene is taken from Ruggero Deodato's LAST CANNIBAL WORLD (1976).
All of these films had problems with the Australian censor, and lost these same scenes when they were eventually rated. All are covered in our Film Censorship Database.
In March 1981, a 2076.60-meter (75:41) 'pre-censor cut version' of THE
ECSTASY GIRLS was banned because of sex, which was said to be:
A 1978.39-meter (72:07) 'reconstructed pre-censor cut version' was passed
with an R-rating in May 1981 The sex was now described as being:
In both cases, AZ Associated Theatres was the applicant.
In June 1981, a 75-minute video of THE ECSTASY GIRLS was banned because
of sex, which was said to be:
A.Faiman was the applicant.
A 70m tape was passed with an R-rating in February 1984. The applicant, Video Classics, released it as part of their Movies at Midnight range.
It was later re-released by Palace Vibrant Video.
In June 1975, a 493.40-meter (17:59) print of EDEN CLUB was banned by the Censorship Board.
An appeal was made to the Films Board of Review. In August 1975, they overturned the ban, and awarded it an R-rating.
Blake Films was the applicant.
Joe Peterson also produced SPINASH LOVE (197?), which was banned at the same time.
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 March 2012, a 98m DVD of ELLES was passed with an R18+ (sex scenes). Palace Films was the applicant.
Paul Byrnes revealed in his review that this version had been pre-censored by eleven seconds.
Fascinating and repugnant subject mirrored in its telling
smh.com.au, January 31, 2013
…in the original cut, Lola was raped with a wine bottle and one of Alicja's clients urinated on her before he sang her a love song. Those moments are gone from the film showing here, 11 seconds cut by the film-makers in response to censorship regimes around the world. The Australian distributor, Palace Films, chose to submit this cut version but still received an R-rating. The cuts effectively blunt the film's argument by reducing the sexual violence the prostitutes endure, but it's hard to blame the distributor. Fighting a censorship rating here costs thousands of dollars.
Thanks to Darren for this comparison and screen caps. He has identified approximately 58 seconds of cuts, which have been made to two scenes.
Madman Entertainment [au] DVD - 94:13 (not including the Palace Films
Uncut version 95:15
Censored Scene #1: The golden shower
Before: Alicja and a client masturbate in front of one another.
Censored at 24:13 by 19s - A static shot shows the client urinating on Alicja's chest.
After: Alicja is shown on the sofa drinking wine as the client plays guitar and sings her a song. This is followed by a scene of Anne interviewing Alicja. The censorship leaves the viewer confused when they have this exchange.
Anne "Do men often ask you to do things like that?"
Alicja "Are you surprised?" "He couldn't do it with his wife"
Instead, the viewer is made to think that Anne is referring to the scene where they masturbate in front of one another.
Censored Scene #1: Raped with a bottle
Before: The client is behind Lola and says "Cry out" "Louder" She laughs and moans with pleasure. He is then shown picking up a wine bottle.
Censored at 57:23 by 39s - The client rapes her with the bottle. The scene focuses on her crying as he does so.
After: A close up of Anne's upper body as she lies on the bed masturbating.
This is Darren's e-mail exchange with Palace Films.
After identifying the cuts, I then e-mailed Palace Films and Madman Entertainment for some answers. Madman did not respond, but Palace got back to me the same day.
My e-mail to Palace Films
26 July, 2013
After viewing Madman's DVD of ELLES, I found out by way of Paul Byrnes review in the SMH that you had censored the film.
The cuts are much longer than the 11s that Paul claims. I have compared the disc to the uncut version and found at least 50s to be missing.
Both of these scenes show what the women must go through during their work. In the case of urination scene, the following dialogue now does not make sense.
Anne "Do men often ask you to do things like that?"
Alicja "Are you surprised?" "He couldn't do it with his wife"
The viewer is made to think that Anne is referring to the scene where they masturbate in front of one another.
The removal of both scenes changes the film in a significant way, as we now assume that the women just perform harmless or vanilla sex for a living.
I expected more from a company such as Palace. How can I trust any 'controversial title' that you choose to release? If it was not for Paul Byrnes review, I would never have known what you had done to this film.
The British censor is arguably more concerned with sexual violence than than our own. Despite this, they passed it uncut. My question is, why did you censor it? I assume it is because you were worried about the Classification Board. The uncut version should have been submitted and rated. In my opinion this would have easily achieved an R18+ rating. The Classification Board may sometimes be strict, but both scenes are justified, so I am sure they would have had no problems with the film.
Please do not repeat this in the future. Attempts to second guess the censor never work, and you only end up cheating the public.
Palace Films response
26 July, 2013
Thanks for your email. Your comments are very much appreciated and concerns understood.
Just quickly, whilst not the original 'directors cut', rest assured the version released by Palace in Australia was provided to us by the producers. We did not cut or edit the film ourselves. The decision was made to use the 'safer' version so the film could be exploited as widely as possible.
It's absolutely the case, of course, that the OFLC may have cleared the more explicit version but the costs of censorship are so onerous, we could not take the financial risk. We also had been committed to presentations in Australia quite close to date of supply of material, and the decision was made not to risk having screenings cancelled.
Thanks again, and best regards
Palace Films, Australia
I appreciate that Palace Films got back to me; however, I am concerned that feared that the film would be banned.
I sympathise with Australian film distributors having to deal with the Classification Board, as it must be hard to know how they will react. Palace are correct to say that ratings costs are onerous. However, in my opinion there is no way that ELLES would have had any problems.
Finally, I do not know what to make of their comment that they were "…committed to presentations in Australia quite close to date of supply of material". This does not make sense as ELLES was originally classified in March 2012, but did not open until February 2013.
Our opinion is that an uncut version of ELLES would have been classified R18+.
In 2007, the Classification Board finally passed an uncut version Frank Ripploh's TAXI ZUM KLO (1981). It contains a real scene of a gay man urinating in another man's mouth. In comparison, the golden shower sequence in ELLES is simulated. Both this and the rape scene would be justified by context.
This is not the first time that Palace Films have quietly released a censored version of a film. Back in 1999, they removed the orgy sequence from Lars von Trier's THE IDIOTS (1998) before releasing it theatrically.
Another recent pre-censorship case occurred when Bounty Films submitted a BBFC cut version of James Bickert's DEAR GOD NO! (2011). This time they had reason to be cautious, as they had just been awarded RC-ratings for HANGER (2009) and FATHER'S DAY (2011).
All of the above-mentioned films are covered in our Film Censorship database.
In November 1980, a 2646.80-meter (96:29) print of EMANUELLE AND JOANNA
was censored by 37.3-meters (00:81) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to
remove sex, which was described as being:
The censored version received an R-rating rating due to sex, which was
14th Mandolin released the film theatrically, and later on their King of Video label. The running time of this tape was 93:22 (PAL), which indicates it was the censored version. Thanks to Brendan for the cover scan and running time.
In November 1985, 14th Mandolin received an X-rating for a 109m VHS of
EMANUELLE AND JOANNA. The
reason given was:
It needs to be confirmed if this tape was ever released.
Around 1984, the film was issued on the Private Screenings Home Video label as INSATIABLE EMANUELLE. The first ratings submission under this title came in March 1985 from the Victorian Police who submitted a 94m tape. This was followed in January 1986 by the NSW Police with a 90m tape. Both were Refused Classification by the Censorship Board because of 'gratuitous sexual violence'.The Australian video appears to be a direct import of the US Private Screenings release. The fact that it was not submitted for rating by a distributor, and later attracted police attention may be explained by the following article. It covers Dennis Stevenson’s 1991 speech before ACT Legislative Assembly where he attempted to link the mafia to the Australian porn industry.
Mafia links in Australia
smh.com.au, April 28, 1991
To give a summary of the US connection so far, we have seen that Norman Arno and his associate Theodore Gaswirth were recognised by the FBI as leading organised crime figures in the US and members of the Colombo Family, one of five Mafia families controlling crime in New York. We have seen that Arno and Gaswirth had recently been arrested for illegal porn operations and that they then came to Australia to set up operations distributing pornography.
I have here Norman Arno's signature on a licence agreement with a company now operating in Fyshwick. But let me state it more clearly: it clearly shows a connection between Arno, the US Mafia racketeer, and our own ACT.
THE main contact in Australia for Arno and Gaswirth was Alexander Gajic, who, together with his father Todor Gajic, were directors of Sienna Pty Ltd, a company formed in South Australia and now operating at Fyshwick in the ACT in association with the businesses Australian United Videos and Private Screenings Home Video.
Private Screenings Home Video were run by Gajic and Barry Taylor. This was admitted on a Four Corners television program called X-rated. Taylor had been arrested in Asia for crimes connected with drugs and had escaped initially to Hong Kong.
In June 1978, a 2535.10-meter (92:24) print of EMANUELLE AND THE LAST CANNIBALS was banned for reasons of ‘indecency and excessive violence’. Roadshow Distributors was the applicant.
In September 1978, Blake Films submitted a 2468.70 (89:59) censored version. A further 2.5-meters (00:06) of 'excessive violence' was removed before it was awarded an R-rating.
In the mid-90s, Force Video released a heavily censored TV-print on VHS under the title EMANUELLE'S AMAZON ADVENTURE. The running time was 78:48, which indicates around ten minutes was missing. The tape was never submitted to the OFLC for rating.
There are at least two confirmed customs confiscations EMANUELLE AND THE LAST CANNIBALS.
In October 1991, it was part of a package of fifteen tapes that were seized by the Australian Customs Service. 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"
In 2006, the U.S. online DVD store Xploited Cinema was warning their customers about customs problems.
IMPORTANT NOTE TO UK CUSTOMERS - SOME OF THESE DVDS HAVE BEEN CONFISCATED BY UK & AUSTRALIAN CUSTOMS. SOME HAVE MADE IT THROUGH BUT SOME HAVE BEEN STOPPED. ORDER AT YOUR OWN RISK!
Review by Chris
The Italian Shock DVD of EMANUELLE AND THE LAST CANNIBALS runs 89:21 (PAL).
The Australian cuts for ‘excessive violence’ would have been to the following scenes.
11:30 – Emanuelle watched a black and white documentary about cannibals in Africa. A decapitation is shown, followed by a slow-motion castration.
58:00 – Sister Angela is captured by the cannibals. She is stripped, and her breast cut off and eaten. They then cut her stomach open and disembowel her.
75:30 – Maggie is stripped naked and tied up by the cannibals. They stab her just above her pubic region, pull out her stomach, and eat it.
All of these scenes would have needed to be toned down in 1978. There are some other less graphic scenes of violence, including the nurse who escapes from the patient with her breast bitten off (02:00), the disemboweled body of the native guide (46:00), and Donald being stabbed with a spear (67:00).
The sex scenes are purely softcore, and are nowhere near as graphic as those shown in EMANUELLE IN AMERICA. The indecency that the censors refer to may have included.
05:00 – Emanuelle rubbing between the legs of the girl in the straight jacket
18:00 – Emanuelle remembering having sex with Mark.
23:00 – Emanuelle and Mark having sex as Isabelle watches and masturbates.
38:00 – Maggie masturbates at the thought of Salvadore.
41:00 – Maggie and Salvadore have sex.
80:00 – The cannibals have sex with a drugged Isabelle.
The 02:31 of cuts in EMMANUELLE AND THE LAST CANNIBALS would have definitely been more to remove the ‘excessive violence’, than the ‘indecency’.
In October 1977, a 2720.80-meter (99:10) 35mm print of EMANUELLE IN AMERICA was banned for reasons of indecency.
Blake Films then submitted a censored 2560.80-meters (93:20) print. This was only passed with an R-rating in December 1977 after a further 21.7-meters (00:47) was removed. The extra cuts were for ‘indecency and indecent violence’.
The indicates that the print of EMANUELLE IN AMERICA that played theatrically in Australia ran only 92:49.
Review by Chris
Blue Undergrounds EMANUELLE IN AMERICA DVD runs 99:56 (minus the Studio Canal logo). This means the print that Blake Films initially submitted to the Australian censors was uncut, or very close to it. This is quite a surprise, as they must have known it would have major problems securing an R-rating.
These scenes would have contributed to the 06:38 of cuts.
22:00 approx: The infamous bestiality sequence involving Pedro the horse. What you get is around a minute of a naked woman stroking the animal’s penis.
52:00 approx: The orgy sequence after the party features lots of softcore sex. However, there is an extended sequence of a hardcore blowjob. This would have definitely been removed.
62:00 approx: Emanuelle spies on a couple in a straw hut. She watches them have sex, which includes hardcore scenes of a blowjob, penetration, and a cumshot. Again, this would have definitely been cut.
65:00 approx: Emanuelle spies on a woman and two men on a bed. She watches them have sex, which includes hardcore scenes of a blowjob, penetration, and a cumshot. Again, this would have definitely been cut.
68:00 approx: Emanuelle spies on a woman being whipped by a man. There is a graphic female masturbation shot that I suspect would have caused problems.
69:00 approx: Emanuelle spies on a couple watching a snuff movie on a projector. The footage lasts less than a minute, and is not particularly graphic.
82:30 approx: Emmanuelle watches a porn film with a man. There is a very brief shot of an erection that may have had to be cut.
83:45 approx: Emmanuelle watches the snuff film with the man. This is the first graphically violent scene in the film and involves naked women being tortured by prison guards. It includes the shots of the guards lifting a naked woman up and down on a huge sharpened dildo. The whole scene lasts around a minute, and would have definitely been the ‘indecent violence’ that the censors mention.
87:45 approx: Emmanuelle dreams she is at the prison camp watching the women get tortured. This is also a very graphic scene and shows women having their breasts cut off. The whole thing lasts for over a minute and is more ‘indecent violence’ that would definitely have been censored in Australia.
The censors may have also objected to the eroticisation the violence as those who view the snuff footage are shown being tuned on by it.
In August 1981, a 2470.10-meter (90:02) print of EMANUELLE: QUEEN OF SADOS banned. It was Refused Registration for the 'sexual exploitation of a minor'.
Despite missing over six minutes of footage, in February 1982, a 2291:00-meters (83:30) 'reconstructed version', was again banned due to the 'sexual exploitation of a minor'.
In both cases, Apollon Films was the applicant.
In 1994, Force Video released a slightly censored 89:27 VHS under the title EMANUELLE'S DAUGHTER. The cover had a terrible blurred picture on the front, as well as a fake R18+ (High level sex scenes) rating.
Review by Joe
This is a typical crap Force Video release from the mid-90s.
The print is sourced from JEF Films Inc., and is missing 25s of Mario’s rape of Livia. There may also be other brief censor cuts.
Review by Gavin
In 2005, US company Media Blasters/Exploitation Digital released the film under the title EMANUELLE'S DAUGHTER: QUEEN OF SADOS. It has an uncut running time of 90:40.
The scenes that the censors objected to would have been those involving Emanuelle’s stepdaughter, actress Liva Russo. I assume that at the time she was of legal age, though she is playing a character who is probably supposed to be 14 or 15. Specifically, the scenes that would have cause problems are:
5min to 6min: Emanuelle is stripped naked by Ilona and Robert and beaten by her husband. Livia stands at the top of the stairs and looks on.
There are flashbacks to this scene at 15:50 to 16:15, and at 37:20.
16:45 to 17:45 – Livia is shown naked in the shower as Emanuelle talks to her.
51m to 57m - Emanulle and Tommy are shown having sex. This is inter-cut with shots of Livia and Mike making out on the beach.
79:30 to 82:30 – Mario chases Livia and catches her as she falls in a pool of water. He then strips, and savagely rapes her. Apart from her naked shower scene, this is definitely the part of the film that would have caused the most problems.
Here in the UK, the BBFC removed 06:58 from a 2008 DVD retitled EMANUELLE'S SWEET REVENGE. There reasons for the cuts matched those of the Australian censor back in 1981.
In May 1981, a 2408.80-meter (87:48) print of EMMANUELLE 3 was banned
because of sex, which was said to be:
In September 1981, a 2286.82-meter (83:21) 'reconstructed version' lost a further 12.50-meter (00:27) before being awarded an R-rating.
The extra cuts were to remove sex, which was now described as being:
While in the R-rated version it was:
Associated Film Distributors were the applicant.
Video Classics released EMMANUELLE 3 in the early 1980s as part of their Movies at Midnight range. It was passed with an R-rating in July 1984 for the same reasons as the 1981 classification.
The Censorship Board document it as running 82m, however, the actual running time was 80:39 (PAL).
Palace Vibrant Video re-released it in the mid-1980s, in a print that ran 80:07 (PAL).
Jean-Marie Pallardy's film should not be confused with EMMANUELLE 3 (1977), which was released on DVD in 2009 by Madman Entertainment.
This was the official sequel to the first two EMMANUELLE films, and was released in Australia by Star Video under the title GOODBYE EMMANUELLE.
This film had no problems with our censors.
Daybill image courtesy of moviemem.com
A 2755-meter (100:42) 35mm print of EMMANUELLE 4 was Refused Registration in May 1984.
The reason given for the ban was sex, which were described as:
Filmways Australasia appealed to the Film Board of Review, who confirmed EMMANUELLE 4 as banned in July 1984.
French Film Too Sexy
smh.com.au, May 16, 1985
The movie distributor Filmways is considering suing the French producers of Emmanuelle IV to recover $100,000 it paid before censors banned the film for being too sexually explicit.
The managing director of Filmways, Mr Mark Josem, said he bought the film, which surgically restores the veteran Sylvia Kristel to a virgin and sets her loose in Brazil, while it was being filmed.
When the Australian Film Censorship Board banned the film last June, its French producers were contractually bound to refund the fee, he said.
They had so far refused to do so, despite a Paris court ruling in favour of Filmways, Mr Josem said.
In June 1985, a 2433-meter (88:56) censored 35mm print of EMMANUELLE 4 was passed with an R-rating.
The reason given for the R-rating was sex, which was described as:
This was nearly twelve minutes shorter than the version that was banned in 1984. Presumably, at this point Filmways had disowned the film, as the French producer, Alain Siritzky, was responsible for submitting it for classification.
We guess that this went on to play theatrically, but are unsure if it was ever released on video in Australia.
In July 2009, Madman Entertainment released EMMANUELLE 4 on DVD.
In June 2010, they re-released it as part of a box set, also containing EMMANUELLE, EMMANUELLE 2, and EMMANUELLE 3.
Review by Joe
The Madman DVD of EMMANUELLE IV runs 88:16 (not including the 20s Studio Canal intro). This is nowhere near the time of the 100m version that was banned by the Aussie censors in 1984. The sex is typical softcore, and is easily R-rated on 2010. It is pointless speculating what the problem scenes were as the running times are so different.
I would only guess in 1984 they would not have liked the scene as 55:30 where Miguel punishes Maria by lifting up her skirt and thrusting a riding crop between her legs.
It looks like there may be several different versions, and re-cuts available around the world. Movie-Censorship has a description of a hardcore version of EMMANUELLE 4 that was released on tape in Canada.
The Madman DVD has French and English soundtracks, and English subtitles. Listening to the English soundtrack, with the subtitles on shows that a large amount of French dialogue was not translated for the dubbed version. In fairness, it is mostly Emmanuelle talking flowery nonsense.
We have one report of the U.S. Synapse DVD of ENTRAILS OF A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN being confiscated in 2005.
The reasons given were:
One (1) DVD "Entrails of a Beautiful Women" depicting Non Consensual
the dvd was confiscated under the following provision "under subsection 203B(2), being goods suspected on reasonable grounds to be special forfeited goods"
In November 1973, a 1726.23-meter (62:55) 'reconstructed version' of ERIKA’S HOT SUMMER was passed with an R-rating.
Regent Trading Enterprises was the applicant.
In the early 1980s, it was released on tape by K&C Video.
Review by Simon
56:34 (PAL) K&C Video [au]
64:19 (NTSC) Something Weird Video [us]
The K&C Video release of ERIKA’S HOT SUMMER is missing a five-minute sequence. This runs from 08:53 to 14:01 in the Something Weird Video release.
Before: The naked girl is shown in the forest as the photographer shoots her.
Censored at 08:53 – The photographer leans over and kisses the girl. They return to his studio where she looks at some of his pictures. She then strips, and he takes some nude shots before they have sex.
After: Flashing lights, and people dancing in a club.
This would appear to be a different version than the one passed with an R-rating in 1973. I do not know why this scene was missing from the K&C Video release. Only a very small part of it shows them having sex, and that is very tame when compared to what remains.
Daybill image courtesy of moviemem.com
In June 1981, a 2193.20-meter (79:57) print of EROTIC ADVENTURES OF CANDY
was banned because of sex, which was said to be:
It was refused for a second time in November 1981, in a 2042.60-meter (74:27) 'reconstructed version'. Despite over five minutes of cuts, the level of sex was still described as being the same as the initial submission.
A 'second reconstructed version' running 1951.65-meter (71:08) lost a
further 07.00-meter (00:15) before being awarded an R-rating in May 1982.
The censored sex was said to be:
…while the R-rated version was:
In all cases, Cinerama Films was the applicant.
In December 1985, a heavily censored 63-minute tape of EROTIC ADVENTURES OF CANDY was passed with an R-rating. The level of sex was the same as the May 1982 submission.
The applicant, Communications and Entertainment, released it on their Playaround Video label as part of a double-bill with NIGHTDREAMS (1981).
In July 1977, a 2811.70-meter (102:29) print of THE EROTIC ADVENTURES OF FELICIA was banned because of 'indecency'.
Roadshow Distributors was the applicant.
In February 1974, a 2883.4 meter (105:06) print of THE EROTIC ADVENTURES OF ZORRO was censored by 206.55 meters (07:31) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove 'indecency'.
Regent Trading Enterprises was the applicant.
In 1974, the Queensland Government set up their own Films Board of Review. An article in a 1976 issue of Cinema Papers magazine covered the workings of this overly repressive group. It includes the following quote from Errol Heath, the managing director of Regent Trading.
"The Erotic Adventures of Zorro was banned after having been screened for a period of six weeks and one day"
The exact date of the Queensland Prohibition Order was 14th September 1974.
Brendan on the uncut original
THE EROTIC ADVENTURES OF ZORRO screened here (Melbourne) uncut for 6 weeks. I saw it initially and was surprised by the explicitness. After 6 weeks the theatre was "closed until further notice". I read in the paper that the cinema had screened an uncut print of the film.
The censor had removed most of each sex scene for its R rated release. The theatre shut for a week or more after which the approved version played. The VHS release was of this cut version. Something like 12 minutes were cut out.
Film off at ACT cinema
canberratimes.com.au, October 12, 1974
The film 'The Erotic Adventures of Zorro' has been withdrawn from cinemas in Sydney and Canberra after action by the Film Censorship Board.
The Chief Commonwealth Film Censor, Mr R. J. Prowse. said tonight that the board had revoked the film's certificate of registration after complaints from members of the public.
He said that some months ago a print of the film had been submitted lo the board which had declined to register it unless cuts were made. After cuts a "reconstructed version" had been passed with an "R" rating.
Later the board had learnt that other versions which had not been submitted had been imported and were being shown. The board had then revoked the registration.
A spokesman for Civic Theatres said yesterday that the film had been shown in Canberra for four weeks. 'The Sting' is now being screened instead.
Call to ban film
canberratimes.com.au, December 1, 1975
The Festival of Light has asked the NSW Premier, Mr Lewis, and the Minister, for Police, Mr Waddy, to ban R-rated movies with explicit sexual content from drive-in theatres.
In particular, the group has complained of current I screenings of "The Erotic Adventures of Zorro", which a spokesman described as "one of the most explicit pornographic films in Australia".
The public-relations officer for the group, Mr Ken Harrison, said that at Caringbah, where he lived, young people and children were able to view this and other explicit films through the wire fence surrounding the drive-in.
His group had received complaints that at a country drive-in theatre, children had watched 'Zorro' from a hillside, and listened to a taped soundtrack given to them by a spectator who had previously recorded it inside the theatre.
Film Censorship can STILL be heavy
By Antony I. Ginnane
Cinema Papers issue 4, December 1974
Film censorship as controversy is not much of an issue in Australia 1974 with only hard-core offerings like DEVIL IN MISS JONES and DEEP THROAT still on the total banned lists, and standards generally as to soft and medium-core material, provided the right ‘reconstruction’ is agreed on by the importer, becoming more liberal day by day. But every now and then something happens which points out to us rather sharply that the basic machinery of censorship can still be as repressive as ever.
Some eight column inches in the Melbourne Sun of October 12 announced what proved to be an event without precedent for at least the last 20 years. THE EROTIC ADVENTURES OF ZORRO a German-American soft ‘X’ sexploiter produced by nudie operator David Friedman, passed with an ‘R’ and cuts by the Film Censorship Board and in release at the Melbourne Chelsea and Sydney Gala some five weeks, had had its certificate of registration revoked and had been taken off the screen.
Confusion reigned as to what had happened. Somehow or other the second, third and fourth prints of the film imported into Australia by Regent Trading Enterprises head Errol Heath had emerged from the censor’s bond store uncut and the prints that had been screening in Melbourne and Brisbane were completely contrary to the Film Censorship Board’s Certificate’s cutting requirements. This is not the first time this has happened and this writer knows personally of at least one and possibly two other movies released in Melbourne where this has happened, but ZORRO was the first to be caught out. Deputy Chief Censor Mrs Strickland advised that the Board had acted as a result of numerous complaints from the public as to the film’s content, but refused to say whether the number of complaints received were more or less than normal for sexploitation films.
Importer, Errol Heath, who is an old-timer as far as independent distribution goes and has had his run-ins with the Censors back in the bad old days, blames inefficiency within the Attorneys-General’s Department for the brouhaha (and it is well known that the inhabitants of the Imperial Arcade basement are not noted for either their efficiency or their consistency), but other informed sources suggested that this might be the work of the establishment getting back at Heath for his handling of the controversial SEX AIDS & HOW TO USE THEM and for his blasts at the kangaroo-court Queensland Film Board of Review, both publicly at the recent Annual Exhibitor’s Convention and in the pages of the trade paper Australasian Cinema.
This offshoot of Bjelke Petersen’s banana republic is headed by a self-opinionated Brisbane solicitor named Draydon. It was instrumental in banning ZORRO in Queensland on Friday, September 13. The Queensland Board meets in total secrecy; gives no reasons for its decisions and gazettes its decisions within hours giving distributor and exhibitor little time to attempt alternate programming. The only options open to an aggrieved distributor is an expensive appeal to the Queensland Supreme Court or a mutually agreeable reconstruction (i.e., cutting) of the film which may produce a version quite different to that screenable elsewhere in Australia (How’s that for freedom of trade between the states: Senator Murphy, attention please).
Late on Monday, October 14 the matter appeared to be resolved. The uncut prints of ZORRO had been cut and the Melbourne Chelsea was screening it once more. I have yet to see the cut print, but I saw the uncut print and found it far from being anything in the way of a notable censorship breakthrough. Strange to say on the Friday prior to the announcement of the ZORRO ban I had viewed the Morrissey [FLESH FOR] FRANKENSTEIN which has been passed uncut and which contains some of the most revolting scenes of sadomasochism ever seen on the screen. Does the Board now stoop to intellectual snobbery in that a Morrissey film is somehow immune from the rigours of life that a piece of ‘Z’ grade porn like ZORRO must face. Haven’t Prowse and Co. heard of precedents?
Whether Queensland will now reconsider its ban in the face of the federal cutting remains to be seen. Purists may argue that not many tears should be spilt over the fate of a film like ZORRO, but it is the principle that is important. The total arbitrariness of the Queensland Board is obvious. The Federal Board in its action of pulling off a film at a moment’s notice is just as arbitrary.
Moreover the powers of the Federal Board of Review have not been spotlighted sufficiently of late. This group composed inter alia of public servants, TV commentator and academics hears evidence for a reconsideration of the decision of the Board at first instance; then makes its decision after private discussion. It gives no reasons for its decision, (like most Australian quasi-judicial tribunals, unlike in England where detailed reasons must be given) and its decision (save for the little used appeal to the Attorneys-General) is final. One major area of censorship reform long overdue must be for both the Board and the Board of Review to have to give detailed reasons for their decisions.
Finally Deputy Chief Censor Strickland made the interesting point that had either the exhibitor or distributor in the ZORRO case refused to take off the movie, Commonwealth Customs action for prohibited imports would not lie (despite the delegation of censorial powers by the State’s Attorneys-General to the Commonwealth) but that the individual State Attorneys-General would have to take their own actions under the Summary Offences Act of each state and related legislation.
The time may soon come when a distributor or exhibitor may well feel that a County Court jury would be more qualified to express an opinion on the offensiveness or otherwise of a movie than a gaggle of Machiavellian ciphers trading under infallibility from a Sydney basement.
In the early 80s, K&C Video released an 89:25 (PAL) version of THE EROTIC ADVENTURES OF ZORRO on tape. It was issued again in the late 80s on the Xtasy label. Thanks to Stephen F. for the K&C cover scan.
THE EROTIC ADVENTURES OF ZORRO was finally passed uncut (102:31) in November 2004 with an R18+ (Sexual violence, High level sex scenes) rating.
It was released to DVD in February 2005 by Siren Visual Entertainment. The only extra was a nearly 7m trailer, which contains more graphic sex than the film itself.
Image courtesy of moviemem.com
In December 1976, a 2340.00-meter (85:17) print of EROTIC COUPLES (EROTIKA ZEUGARIA) was censored by 40.80-meters (01:30) for an R-rating. The reason for the cuts was 'indecency'.
Apollon Films was the applicant.
In September 1974, a censored 2343.00-meter (85:24) print of EROTIC DIARY OF A HAPPY HOOKER was passed with an R-rating. An unsuccessful appeal was made to the Films Board of Review to prevent it being cut.
Studio Films was the applicant.
It was noted in the December 1976 edition of the Film Censorship Bulletin that:
Note: Title of film notified as EROTIC DIARY OF A HAPPY HOOKER in Film Censorship Bulletin No. 9/74 has been altered to FLESHPOTS ON 42ND ST
The official title for this film is FLESHPOT ON 42ND ST.
Review by Matt
Something Weird Video [us]
The IMDb states that: "The film was originally available for theatrical distribution in two different cuts by William Mishkin Motion Pictures, the original XXX hardcore version, under the title "Fleshpot on 42nd Street" which ran the full 84 minutes and the X softcore version titled 'The Girls of 42nd Street' which was cut down to 81 minutes. The version widely available on tape is the R-Rated version entitled 'Girls of 42nd Street.' "
Something Weird’s release is very choppy, and all of the sex scenes are shortened. Although it is missing the title, this is presumably the softcore THE GIRLS OF 42ND STREET version. However, it still runs over 6-minutes shorter than the 81-minutes claimed by the IMDb. In 2014, Vinegar Syndrome began offering a free 720p mp4 file of the film. I have not seen it, but it goes under THE GIRLS OF 42ND STREET and claims to run 78-minutes.
It would be interesting to see what was in the Australian print, as a running time of 85:24 suggests that the hardcore version was originally submitted, before it was cut for an R-rating.
In November 1977, a 2523.00-meter (91:58) print of THE EROTIC DIARY OF A LUMBERJACK was censored by 105.70-meters (03.51) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove 'indecency'
Filmways Australasia was the applicant.
In February 1980, a 2005.12-meter (73.05) print of THE EROTIC EXPERIENCES OF FRANKENSTEIN was censored by 31.20-meters (01:08) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove 'excessive violence'.
The reason for the R-rating was sex, which was described as being
…and violence, which was described as being
Natan Scheinwald Productions was the applicant
Review by Simon
The shorter running time of THE EROTIC EXPERIENCES OF FRANKENSTEIN indicates that Australia got the unclothed/hot print of the film. Movie-censorship has a detailed comparison of this against the longer Spanish 'clothed' version known as LA MALDICIÓN DE FRANKENSTEIN. The 'unclothed' version released on tape by Go Video (UK) and VML (Holland) are both listed as running 70:32 (25fps). This compares to 73:05 (24fps) for the original version submitted to our censor.
I would assume that the 01:08 of footage that was removed from the Australian print would have come from the scene that begins at approximately 37m in the 'unclothed' version. The male and female servants are shown naked and tied back to back. Frankenstein's monster whips them both, until finally the male servant collapses and is impaled on spikes.
In August 1992, Universal Entertainment had a 215m triple-bill VHS rated X (Contains sexually explicit material). As well as THE EROTIC FILMS OF PETER DE ROME, the tape also contained ON THE LOOK OUT and SHE-MALE SHOWGIRLS.
In March 2008, THE EROTIC FILMS OF PETER DE ROME was refused film festival exemption for screening at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival.
News from the Melbourne Queer Film Festival
The films they didn't want you to see!
The Melbourne Queer Film Festival special presentation of The Erotic Films of Peter de Rome has been denied exemption from classification by the Office of Film & Literature Classification and is unable to be screened at this year's Festival. Instead the session will be replaced with the Australian premiere screening of Whirlwind, directed by Richard Le May.
Festival Director, Lisa Daniel says, ‘The MQFF is terribly disappointed not to be able to show Melbourne audiences the Peter De Rome shorts compilation. It provided a fascinating contrast with contemporary gay erotic cinema, and De Rome’s art-house influence was obvious and inspiring. It’s a shame a film festival which only screens such sessions to adults must submit to the censorship of Government’.
Melbourne Queer Film Festival
THE EROTIC FILMS OF PETER DE ROME
There are no sessions available for your selected film.
Dir: Peter De Rome, USA, 1969–1974, video, 95min
The session entitled The Erotic Films of Peter De Rome has been denied Classification Exemption by the Office of Film & Literature Classification Board, accordingly the MQFF is legally unable to screen the films.
Tickets for the Peter De Rome session can be used to see the replacement film Whirlwind, or a refund can be organised through the MQFF box office at ACMI Cinemas from March 6.
While access to pornography today is as easy as accessing a website, it hasn’t always been so. In earlier decades, film houses provided one of the only accessible forms of pornography in the moving image, and director Peter De Rome was a legendary pioneering figure in the industry in the 1960s and 70s. He’s perhaps best known for his full-length features Adam and Yves (1974) and The Destroying Angel (1976), but this rarely seen collection features eight short films shot between 1969 and 1974, and includes titles such as The Second Coming, Hot Pants and Double Exposure. De Rome’s shorts collection is a brilliant example of the intersection of artistry and eroticism in early gay pornography, and illustrates his interest in art-house films such as Jean Genet’s Un Chant D’Amour. By his own account, De Rome is just as interested in the full experience of intimacy (the desire, the chase, the passion), than just the sex act itself.
The MQFF is proud to present De Rome’s collection of shorts, and we thank Chicago’s Bijou Video for helping to make it happen.
MQFF films banned
mcv.e-p.net.au, March 5, 2008
Festival Director Lisa Daniel
“The decision was probably made on the basis on the erotic nature of the films; the OFLC have pretty stringent guidelines about what can be shown Ms Daniels later explained to MCV. “I have to say I haven’t got a problem with the OFLC overall; it’s to do with the structure of governing. It’s just a shame the government has to be involved in what is essentially an R-rated festival.”
A spokesperson from the OFLC told MCV she did not have specific information on why De Rome’s films had been denied exemption.
Is it just us, or are the Classification Board just trying to make a very lame excuse with this following statement?
Classification Board Annual Report 2007-08
Exemptions to show unclassified films
It was reported in some media that the Director also refused to grant an exemption for The Films of Peter De Rome to be screened at The Melbourne Queer Film Festival. The Director did not refuse to grant an exemption for this film. The festival removed the film from its application on advice from the Department that previous versions had been classified RC and X18+, and as such, the film would be unlikely to be granted an exemption.
In March 1974, a 2408.00-meter (87:26) print of EROTIC LOVE GAMES was banned because of 'indecency'. A 2013-meter (73:22) 'reconstructed version' lost a further 89.91-meter (03:16) of 'indecency' before being awarded an R-rating in June 1974.
In both cases, MGM/BEF Film Distributors were the applicant.
In January 1978, an 1838.70-meter (67:01) print of ERUPTION was banned because of 'indecency'. The running time indicates that it had been pre-cut prior to submission.
A 1686.18-meter (61:27) 'reconstructed version' was passed with an R-rating in March 1978.
Lestrig Trading was the applicant.
In the early 1980s, ERUPTION was released in Australia on the Mature Video Movies label. This label existed during the early days of the video revolution, and released hardcore titles at a time when they were not yet regulated.
In October 1981, a 78m tape was banned because of sex, which was said to
Videolink was the applicant.
A 581.41-meter (52:59) 16mm 'pre-censor cut version' of ERUPTION was
passed with an R-rating in April 1982. It was awarded for sex, which was
said to be:
14th Mandolin was the applicant. It was released on their King of Video label.
Tabu Video released ERUPTION on tape around 1983. The cover claims that it ran 85m, and was X-rated. We doubt that it was ever rated by the Censorship Board.
The X-rating was introduced in February 1984. That month, 14th Mandolin had a 78m tape passed with the new classification.
This was followed in June 1985 by a heavily censored R-rated version,
which was awarded for sex, which was said to be:
The film was submitted by 14th Mandolin under the new title BIG JOHN IS HERE. It was released on their Pink Video label as "BIG" JOHN HOLMES IS HERE.
In July 1987, a 74m tape of ERUPTION was passed with an R-rating. It was
awarded for sex, which was said to be:
The applicant was Supreme Entertainment.
This was followed in May 1991 by an 83m tape which was passed with an X (Contains sexually explicit material) rating.
Dusk Delta Pty Ltd was the applicant.