The case of the MARIO SPERRY: VALE TUDO SERIES 1 videos was heard in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal on September 11, 2003.
The applicant had previously had martial arts videos confiscated by customs, so he decided to apply for permission to import this series of six Vale Tudo Brazilian Jiu Jitsu DVDs.
This usually does not happen. Indeed during the appeal, the Director of the OFLC, Des Clarke:
"....estimated that there would have been approximately ten such applications this year"
"....they are usually made by an organisation such as a research or cultural organisation rather than an individual"
The applicant had sent a copy of an advertisement to the Director of the OFLC. It was from this ad that he denied permission to import the DVDs because:
"....it is likely that the goods would be used to instruct in matters of violence"
However he goes on to say that:
"...refusal of permission to import goods does not automatically make them prohibited goods."
This meant that the applicant could still arrange to import the DVDs, but ran the risk of having them confiscated. If this did indeed happen, then he would still be able to challenge the seizure.
The conclusion of the hearing was that Director of the OFLC was correct in refusing permission to import the DVDs.
The above quotes are taken from the full case that can be found here.
Huseyin and Director of the Classification Board  AATA 889
Applicant: Esin Huseyin
Respondent: Director of the Classification Board
Administrative Appeals Tribunal
In August 1972, a 2702.00-meter (98:29) print of MARK OF DEVIL was banned because of 'excessive violence'.
Filmways Australasia submitted a censored 2622.00-meter (95:34) version in December 1972. Despite the three minutes of cuts, it was still banned because of 'excessive violence'. An unsuccessful appeal was made to the Film Board of Review in January 1973.
In July 1973, a 2702.53-meter (98:30) print was censored by 24.99-meters (00:55) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove 'excessive violence'. This version ran the same length as the original August 1972 submission. It is unclear why only 00:55 of cuts could achieve an R-rating, when in December 1972, 02:55 still resulted in a ban.
Thanks to Brendan for the following information regarding the original theatrical release.
MARK OF THE DEVIL got a drive-in release but had all the horror cut. All torture scenes ended before they started. Victims would be threatened with horror and before anything happened there would be an obvious jump cut associated with a sound shattering soundtrack jolt before being taken to another "talking heads" scene.
In April 1974, the Chief Censor, Richard Prowse, was asked when he thought an uncut version could be passed in Australia.
An Interview with the Chief Censor, Mr Prowse: The Censor Speaks
Cinema Papers issue 2, April 1974
CP: But it would still be a long way off before we see anything like DEEP THROAT or a really violent film like MARK OF THE DEVIL.
PROWSE: Well, whilst everyone might agree with the philosophy expressed in the various Governments’ policy on censorship, the administration of it is a bug-bear. How do you allow this material in for those who want it and how do you keep it away from those that don’t? It is a real problem and that is the problem which I think would hold up implementation of this purely classification system.
MARK OF THE DEVIL 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 the mid-90s, Siren planned to release MARK OF THE DEVIL on video in Australia. This was abandoned after their agreement with Redemption in the UK fell through.
Image courtesy of moviemem.com
Note: We believe this may be MASSAGE GIRLS IN BANGKOK (1979)In November 1980, a 1924.90-meter (70:10) print of MASSAGE GIRLS was censored by after 74.9-meters (02:44) for an R-rating. The deletions were made to remove scenes of 'animal cruelty'.
The R-rating was awarded for sex and violence, which were described as being:
Comfort Film Enterprises was the applicant.
It needs to be confirmed if this IMDb link is the same film.
In September 1981, a 493.65-meter (44:59) 16mm 'pre-censor cut version'
of THE MASSAGE PARLOR was passed with an R-rating. It was awarded for sex,
which was said to be:
14th Mandolin was the applicant. They went on to release it on their King of Video label.
In July 1975, Regent Trading Enterprises had a 2249.00-meter (81:58) 35mm print of MASSAGE PARLOR WIFE banned by the Censorship Board.
In October 1976, it was cut down to 2023.60-meters (73.45), but was once again refused. In both cases, the reasons for the bans were listed as ‘indecency’.
It was finally passed with an R-rating in January 1979, in a heavily censored 1810.38-meter (65:59) version. The cuts had reduced the running time by sixteen minutes. In this case, 14th Mandolin was the applicant.
In May 1981, K&C Video had an 81m videotape banned by the Censorship Board.
The reason given for the ban was sex, which was described as being:
During the early 80s, 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.
K&C Video had a 73m censored version of MASSAGE PARLOR WIFE passed in September 1983 with such a warning.
In the early 80s, 14th Mandolin’s King of Video label released MASSAGE PARLOR WIFE on videotape. We suspect this would be have been the same as the version passed in January 1979. Thanks to Stephen F. for the cover scan.
Review by Chris
My old Something Weird Video tape of MASSAGE PARLOR WIFE runs 80:44 (NTSC) which is a minute or so shorter than the 82:12 that you quote.
It doesn’t actually show actual hardcore scenes, so I’m not sure if it was shot as such. Maybe Harry Novak just cut it down for distribution. A couple of erections would have definitely been a target of the Aussie censors.
At 12m when Melanie pulls the towel back to reveal a brief shot of Mr. Edward’s erection.
In addition, at 74m Tom stands naked with an erection and shouts, "Tom is here, Tom is ready".
In July 1984, 14th Mandolin had a 78-minute film called EVERY INCH COUNTS passed with an X-rating. This was followed in April of 1985 by a censored 66-minute version being awarded an R-rating.
This YouTube video shows Harry Novak in 1992 giving Something Weird's Mike Vraney a tour of Boxoffice International Pictures. At the 14-minute point, when talking about how his movies are sold all over the world, he pulls out the Pink Video tape of EVERY INCH COUNTS and confesses he has no idea which of his movies it is a retitling of. Next, he shows the King of Video release of MASSAGE PARLOR WIFE and Starbase Video's WHAM BAM THANK YOU SPACEMAN (1975).
The Classification Board's entry lists B. Spinello as the Director of EVERY INCH COUNTS. This is obviously Barry J. Spinello, the Director of MASSAGE PARLOR WIFE. Novak claims EVERY INCH COUNTS is his movie, and Spinello only did one movie for him.
This all indicates that EVERY INCH COUNTS is MASSAGE PARLOR WIFE, however can someone with a copy of the Pink Video release confirm this?
In May 1972, an 8450-foot (93:53) print of THE MATCHLESS CONQUEROR was banned because of 'excessive violence'.
The following month, a censored 8160-feet (90:40) version was passed with an NRC (Not Recommended for Children) rating.
Joe Siu International Film Co was the applicant.
Review by Simon
The print that I viewed ran 85:06, and was Chinese language, with Chinese and English subtitles.
This is a typical early 70s swordplay film. As is usually the case, the violent action does not stop, which makes it is hard to identify any one scene that caused the censor to ban it. However, the climactic battle (68m to 83m), contains enough brutality for me confidently say that it would have been censored.
In February 1976, a 2359.00-meter (85:59) print of MATINEE WIVES was banned because of 'indecency'.
A 2017.20-meter (73:31) 'reconstructed version' lost a further 159.80-meters (05:49) of indecency before being awarded an R-rating in July 1977. This submission was made under the alternative title of MATINEE HOOKERS.
In both cases, Roadshow Distributors were the applicant.
In May 1982, Blake Films had a 2245.70-meter (81:51) print passed with an
R-rating. It was awarded for sex, which was found to be:
The submission was made under the MATINEE WIVES title.
In February 1984, it was twice passed on video as MATINEE HOOKERS. The first was an 82m tape from Blake Films, which was rated for the same reasons as their May 1982 submission. The second tape ran 88m, and came from Pakenham Video Library.
Roadshow released a tape of MATINEE HOOKERS on their Vibrant Video label.
In July 1973, a 3198.00-meter (116:34) print of MECHANICAL BANANAS was banned because of 'indecency'. The following month, Roadshow Film Distributors failed in their appeal to the Films Board of Review.
A censored 2271.70-meter (82:48) version was finally passed with an R-rating in April 1975.
In March 1984, Syme Home Video had an 86m tape passed with an R-rating.
It was awarded for sex, which was described as being:
The film was submitted under the title BANANES MECANIQUES.
Image courtesy of moviemem.com
In September 1975, a 1631.80-meter (59:28) print of MEET SWEET MYRA was banned because of 'indecency'.
The film was resubmitted in April 1978 in a slightly longer 1645.92-meter (59:59) print. It was passed with an R-rating following cuts to remove 97.3-meters (03:33) of 'indecency'.
In both cases, the applicant was 14th Mandolin. They went on to release the film theatrically, and in the early 80s, issued it on their King of Video label.
In August 1985, a 53m tape was Refused Classification because of 'gratuitous sexual violence'.
This was followed in August 1986, by a 49m 'edited version', which was passed with an
R-rating. It was awarded for sex, which was described as being:
In both cases, the film had been retitled to PLEASURE IS MY BUSINESS, and was submitted by 14th Mandolin. The R-rated version was released on their Pink Video label. Reportedly, they also issued an uncut X-rated version, however we can find no record of it being rated.
Daybill image courtesy of Robert Hoskin.
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.
In June 2007, the Classification Board awarded MEIKING PART 1 (Episodes 1 and 2) an R18+ (High level animated sex scenes) rating.
MEIKING PART 2 (Episodes 3 and 4) was rated R18+ (High level animated sex scenes, Animated violence) in July 2007.
Both were part of Siren's Hentai Collection, and were released in September and October 2007.
Geoff W reviewed both discs, and found that they may have been pre-cut before submission.
I previously wrote to you regarding the censorship of Siren's releases of the BONDAGE MANSION hentai. I've now had a chance to view the four episodes of MEIKING and have come to the conclusion that these are also censored.
Disc 1 contains Episode 1 and 2.
Episode 1 runs 36:43 and looks to be complete.
There is only one sex scene around the 26m point.
Episode 2 runs 35:13 and looks cut.
A slave auction is shown with a girl chained up by her legs and arms. It runs from 5:32 when the auctioneer removes the girls top, to 6:26 when the Lord shouts "Stop this!" to the auctioneer. Each episode contains a recap of scenes from the preceding feature. Between 30:32 and 30:36 we are shown a scene that should have been present in the above slave auction sequence. A close-up is shown of the girl's vagina with a 2sec shot of the guard pushing his fingers in and out. This is followed by another 2sec shot of the girl's distressed face.
Disc 2 contains Episode 3 and 4.
Episode 3 runs 30.00 and looks cut.
Between 9:31 and 9:56 the scene plays out as follows. A girl has been captured and is being interrogated and tortured. The Guard says to the prisoner "I've never seen anyone withstand such pain, even a man, I'm impressed". He then decapitates the torturer. He then says "leader, I'm sorry". The girl is then shown chained and naked with her rear to the camera. The scene ends with a close-up of the female gang leader's face. Like the others Episode 3 ends with a recap of the highlights. Between 25:55 and 26:11 we are shown shots of the prisoner being raped from behind. These look like they should have appeared in or around the above mentioned scene.
Episode 4 runs 31:50, and looks to be complete.
So there you have it, the "slave auction" scene from Episode 2, and the "prisoner interrogation" scene from Episode 3 look to have been censored. No doubt Siren chose to remove these because they feared an RC rating for sexual violence. They probably left them in the credits because they hoped the lack of context would allow them to slip by. Plus it would have been incredibly difficult to remove them from the end credits without disturbing the closing music. Neither disc has any extras or trailers.
Note: The only credit we have for this title is the production company, Othellos Films Cyprus. We are unaware of any film with the title MELITA. However, this IMDb link has a 1972 Othellos Films Cyprus title with a lead character called Melita.
In October 1980, a 2400.00-meter (87:29) print of MELITA was censored by
37.80-meters (01:22) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove sex,
which was said to be:
In the censored R-rated version it was:
Lyra Films was the applicant.
This film has never had problems with the Australian censors. It is included because the distributor chose to censor it to achieve a more commercial rating
In June 1997, a 98m 35mm print of MEN IN BLACK was passed with an M (Low level violence) rating.
Columbia Tristar Films were unhappy with the decision, and unsuccessfully appealed to the Review Board. In July 1997, they confirmed the M-rating. Only the consumer advice was changed from 'Low level violence' to 'Low level violence, Low level coarse language'.
Classification Review Board Report
July 18th 1997
"5 Findings on material questions of fact
5.1 Men in Black is a science fiction adventure comedy which follows the efforts of K and J, two employees of a secret government agency charged with keeping the peace between aliens roaming the earth in human form. K and J pursue an alien bug which has murdered humans and several aliens from another galaxy, and has stolen a minute galaxy. The earth is threatened with destruction unless the stolen galaxy is recovered.
Themes and Scenes of Violence
5.2 The Review Board considered the themes and scenes cited by the Classification Board. These included five sequences at 12, 14, 25, 42 and 43 minutes which the Classification Board found had more detail, impact and conceptual strength than is appropriate in a 'PG' classification.
The Review Board found that these depictions of violence, as well as a number of other depictions throughout the film, had more detail, impact and conceptual strength than is appropriate in a 'PG' classification, notwithstanding that many of the depictions involved aliens who were clearly fantasy figures.
The 'other depictions' included scenes at approximately
8 minutes: an 'illegal immigrant' is taken into the bush, slit open with a knife to reveal an alien, and his head held up on a stick in a scene containing a considerable sense of threat and menace;
44 minutes: a baby alien sprays mucus over the Man in Black in a manner which is neither mild in impact nor stylised;
72 minutes: victims are held by the throat and menaced with guns (not mild in impact);
84 minutes: a bug emerges from a space ship, pulls its own head off, swallows one man and hits another (not mild in impact).
There is, additionally, frequent and threatening resort to use of guns, e.g. at 20 minutes, 27 minutes, 63 minutes, 72 minutes and 78 minutes.
The Review Board found that the violent depictions were likely to be disturbing to some children under the age of 15 and as such could not be accommodated within the 'PG' classification.
The Review Board found that there was frequent use of coarse language (principally the stem words 'shit' and 'arse' ). Despite their use as a New York street argot, the Review Board considered that these were not 'mild and infrequent' as required in the 'PG' classification.
6 Reasons for Decision
6.1 The Review Board based its decision to confirm the Classification Board's decision to classify the film Men in Black 'M15' and to vary the consumer advice from 'Low Level Violence' to 'Low Level Violence, Low Level Course Language' on the film's content and language as described in 5.2 above.
6.2 The applicant argued that
> the 'PG' classification had been interpreted [by the Classification Board] as being intended to identify films for very young children; and
> the 'PG' classification guidelines for violence had been interpreted too rigorously in this instance; and
> the 'M15' classification assigned by the Classification Board is inconsistent with other decisions of the Board to classify some major releases 'PG'.
It argued, further that he incidents cited by the Classification Board were discreet, stylised, lacked impact and/or were presented in a humorous way. The film was claimed to fit into a general 'fantasy' category with an appeal to a ten year plus audience.
6.3 The Review Board rejects the applicant's argument that fantasy violence within a humorous context should be treated in a manner fundamentally different from violence within a realistic context. The Review Board found, as in 5.2 above, that the film contained several incidents in which violence was not discreetly implied or mild in impact or lacking in detail within the meaning of the 'PG' classification guidelines, and therefore the film could not be accommodated within that classification. In the Boards opinion that the film failed to meet the requirement that 'PG' films not be disturbing or harmful to children under the age of 15.
6.4 As well the Review Board found, as cited in 5.2 above, that the film's use of coarse language was too frequent and emphatic to be accommodated in a 'PG' classification.
6.5 The Classification Board of Review concluded that Men in Black cannot be recommended for viewing for those under 15 years within the meaning of Para.5 of the National Classification Code for Films. The Board accordingly decided to confirm the 'M15+' classification assigned to the film by the Classification Board and, for reasons stated above, to vary the consumer advice from 'Low Level Violence' to Low Level Violence, Low Level Coarse Language'.
7.1 The Review Board's decision is to confirm the decision of the Classification Board to classify the film Men in Black 'M15+' and to assign to its advertising the consumer advice 'Low Level Violence, Low Level Coarse Language'.
The decision was taken after full consideration of the applicant's submission, and after assessing the film as a whole against legislative criteria, including those contained in the Code, and in the current Classification Guidelines for Films and Videotapes determined under Section 12 of the Act. 18 July 1997 "
With the Review Board appeal unsuccessful, Columbia Tristar censored MEN IN BLACK. They were awarded a PG (Medium level violence, Medium level coarse language) rating in September 1997.
Both PG cut version, and the M-rated uncut version are listed with running times of 98m.
According to the IMDb, the cuts were as follows.
Columbia Tristar released the censored PG version on videotape.
In May 2000, Sony Picture Home Entertainment had a DVD of MEN IN BLACK rated M (Low level violence).
Unfortunately, the British version was used which changed two lines of dialogue. This explains why the Classification Review Board's 1997 recommendation for a consumer warning of 'Low level coarse language' was disregarded. Movie-censorship has a report that documents what was altered.
In June 2008, Sony Picture Home Entertainment had a Blu-Ray disc rated M (Frequent action violence).
The disc was released in June 2008, and according to DVD Compare, it was the same censored British version that was released on DVD.
This may explain why the consumer advice on the cover was still listed as 'low level violence'.
In August 1981, a 2219.00-meter (80:53) print of THE MERMAID received an R-rating after the removal of 11-00-meters (00:22) of 'sexual violence'.
The R-rating was awarded for sex, which was said to be:
…and for violence, which was:
Cinerama Films was the applicant.
The one sheet poster lists GLFD as the distributor.
In June 1985, a 76-minute tape of THE MERMAID was passed with an R-rating under the title DEEP DOWN.
It was awarded for sex, which was said to be:
14th Mandolin released the video on their Blue Angel label.
Image courtesy of moviemem.com
This film has never had problems with the Australian censors. It is included because the distributor released a censored print
In August 2005, MEZZO FORTE (OVA) VOL 1: PARTS 1 and 2 was rated MA15+ (Strong animated violence, Sexual references).
Thanks to James C for sending in this detailed look at this release.
This two part OVA was released in two different versions. In Japan, and later the U.S., both uncut and cut versions were released. In Australia, Madman chose to release only the cut version. The total length of the DVD is 56:29, with Ep1 running 28:39, and Ep2 27:29. Although I've never viewed the uncut version, I can hazard a guess to where the scenes are missing from. Note that a search for "mezzo forte" in Google Images (making sure SafeSearch is off), will bring up pictures of what is missing.
The first scene looks like it should appear at the end of Ep1, 25:11 in the Madman DVD. Here Mikura dreams of Kenichi Kurokawa being in her room. He comes over to the bed, tells her he loves her, then says "Then let's get hot and heavy tonight baby". Mikura then wakes up. It looks like it should go on to show them, as well as Tomohisa Harada, having sex.
The second scene should appear towards the end of Ep2, around 47:18 in the DVD. Momomi tells the two thugs that they can have Mikura for four hours. They then proceed to rape her.
Note that the sex scenes are fully hardcore, and nothing is left to the imagination. Mikura's rape by the two thugs includes them double-penetrating her. Really it is no surprise that Madman went with the cut version. The violence would have meant that the hardcore couldn't be rated X18+, and the hardcore meant that the violence couldn't be rated MA15+ or R18+.
You may be interested to read Madman's take on it all. These comments originally appeared on their message boards in response to queries about the uncut status of MEZZO FORTE and KITE.
"We will be releasing an edited version of both movies as they would be refused classification if they were to be submitted uncut."
"...just the sex scenes were removed. It was a pretty random scene that happened at the end of the 2nd OVA anyway and does not add or take away anything from the story."
When questioned on the possibility of uncut versions being released in the future, this was posted.
"As I've said it probably would not get past the OFLC so why take the risk?"
In October 1978, an 1810.38-meter (65:59) print of MIDNITE PLOWBOY was passed with an R-rating. This version had been pre-censored by 14th Mandolin before classification.
In July 1981, K&C Video had a 'reduced version' 68m tape passed with an R-rating.
It was awarded for sex, which was described as being.
This version was released on Starbase Video, K&C’s subsidiary label. Thanks to Stephen F. for the cover scan.
Something Weird’s US DVD of MIDNITE PLOWBOY is uncut and runs 70:23 (NTSC).
In March 1977, a 2331.00-meter (84:58) print of MILANO: IL CLAN DEI CALABRESI was censored by 3.2-meters (00:08) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove 'excessive violence'. Cinema Italia was the applicant.
In November 1985, A M Alessi Film and Video Service had an 88m Italian
import tape passed with an R-rating. It was awarded for violence, which was
described as being:
Presumably, the footage previously censored in 1977 was now okay for an R-rating.
MILANO: IL CLAN DEI CALABRESI was released on video in Italy by both Universal Video Imports (UVI), and Cinehollywood. It is unclear which label's tape was submitted to the Censorship Board.
Thanks to Matt for this information.
The Italian DVD on the Surf Video label runs 91:36.
I believe the 8s of 'excessive violence' that was censored from THE LAST DESPERATE HOURS in 1977 comes from the scene where Paolo attacks the Doctor after he learns he is being double-crossed.
At 48:00, Paolo brings a bone-saw down onto his throat. Blood spurts, and the Doctor’s bloody wound is shown. The violence ends at 48:10, just over the length of the footage that the censor removed.
In 1993, 21st Century Pictures censored a videotape of MIND & BODY & SOUL from 93 to 91m. This received an MA15+ (Medium level violence, Nudity) rating in May 1993
The tape that was eventually released by Freedom Distribution / 21st Century Pictures ran 92:44, and had an M (Medium level violence and Sex scenes) rating on the cover. The running time would seem to indicate that it was uncut, and the rating a fake.
Note that in the UK, a 92:44 print was censored down to 90:18 before an 18-rating was awarded.
The problematic scene for the Australian censors would have to have been the rape of Brenda (Ginger Lynn) by the prison guard. In the M-rated tape this starts at the around the 13m point and appears to be uncut.
An Australian DVD was released in 2005 on the Payless Entertainment label. We currently have no further details as to what version this disc contains.
In December 1975, a 2518.20-meter (91:47) print of THE MISS LAYED GENII was banned because of 'indecency'. A 1761.82-meter (64:13) 'reconstructed version' was passed with an R-rating in March 1976.
Roadshow Distributors were the applicant.
In May 1982, Blake Films had a 2537.00-meter (92:28) version banned because
of sex, which was described as being:
The X-rating commenced in Australia in February 1984, the same month that
Blake Films had a 90m tape of THE MISS LAYED GENII passed. The X-rating was
awarded for sex, which was found to be:
The tape was released on the short-lived Palace X Video label.
Daybill image courtesy of moviemem.com