Film Censorship: S #2


 

 

 

 

Sensitive New-Age Killer

Directed by Mark Savage / 2000 / Australia / IMDb

In 2000, Hitman Productions had an 88m 35mm print of SENSITIVE NEW-AGE KILLER passed with an R-rating.

In 2001, it was censored down to 87m and passed with an MA15+ rating. It was this version that was released theatrically.

20th Century Fox, also released the censored 83:42 MA15+ version on DVD.

 

 

SNAK: MA15+ vs. R18+

The Director, Mark Savage, provided us with the following information about the problems with the OFLC.

The R handed down to SNAK originally came with 3 pages (!) of problematic areas. I simply cut one scene and that changed the rating. After the lead throws a grenade at the guy he is shooting it out with in the train carriage, he leaps from the train as the carriage (and the guy in it, supposedly) explodes. We then cut to the lead (Paul) running back to his car and being joined by his double-crossing partner.

In the R version, Paul goes back into the train to assess the damage and finds the guy he was shooting it out with still alive with half his face blown off. The guy is quivering like a petrified leaf. Paul sits down opposite him and asks him quite seriously how it feels to be dying. The guy, seeing that Paul is still holding his gun, reaches out for the gun and directs it to his own heart. He then implores Paul to kill him. Paul hesitates, then he kills him. This scene showed a curious, empathetic side to Paul. Clearly the OFLC didn't agree. It's a shame we had to cut this. The scene occurred at 21:41.

 

Sensitive New-Age Killer (2000) - Twentieth Century Fox [au] DVD


 

 

 

 

Sensual Encounters of Every Kind

Directed by Richard Kanter / 1978 / USA / IMDb

In April 1980, a 2112.40-meter (77:00) print of SENSUAL ENCOUNTERS OF EVERY KIND was banned because of sex, which was found to be:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

A 1944.70-meter (70:53) 'reconstructed version' was refused for the same reason in October 1980.

A 'second reconstructed version' was finally passed with an R-rating in April 1981. The sex in this 1478.06-meter (53:52) print was now found to be:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

In all cases, Filmways Australasia Distributors were the applicant.

Image courtesy of moviemem.com

 

Sensual Encounters of Every Kind (1978) - Filmways Australasia Distributors [au] Daybill


 

 

 

 

Separate Vacations

aka Seperate Vacations (Classification Board title)

Directed by Unknown / 1970 / USA / IMDb

The Classification Board provides no information other than the title. Therefore, we can only assume the IMDb link refers to the same film.

In November 1981, a 416.86-meter (37:59) 16mm 'pre-censor cut version' of SEPARATE VACATIONS was censored by a further 1.00-meter (00:05) before being awarded an R-rating.

The cuts were made to reduce the sex from being:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

…to Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

14th Mandolin was the applicant. It was reportedly released on their King of Video label.


 

 

 

 

The Servants

Directed by Philip Chan and Ronny Yu / 1979 / Hong Kong / IMDb

In November 1979, a 2406.15-meter (87:42) print of THE SERVANTS was censored by 3.7-meters (00:08) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove 'excessive violence'.

The applicant was Eupo Film Company.

 

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.

In July 1983, Grand Film Corp Pty Ltd had a 90m tape of THE SERVANTS passed with such a warning.

 

 

Review by Matt
Film City Distribution VCD (hk) - 84:13 (PAL)

The 8-seconds of ‘excessive violence’ removed from THE SERVANTS would have to have from one of these scenes.

At 04:30, a prisoner is stabbed in the head. Blood sprays, and he slumps down dead at his desk. This is the most violent scene in the movie, although it only really lasts for 3 seconds. It is possible that extra cuts were made in the build-up, and aftermath of this scene.

At 40:45 a gangster is shot in the stomach, and at 71:00 another is shot in the leg. Both scenes are bloody, but it is unlikely that the censor would have removed them.


 

 

 

 

Seven Women for Satan  

Directed by Michel Lemoine / 1976 / France / IMDb

In May 1977, a 2484.00-meter (90:32) print of SEVEN WOMEN FOR SATAN was censored by 78.50-meters (02:52) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove 'indecency and indecent violence'.

Pan American Productions was the applicant.

 

 

Censored Australian VHS: The missing footage

Thanks to Matt for this comparison

Mondo Macabro DVD – 85:11
KV Video VHS – 74:15

The times refer to the DVD, and describes the footage removed from the VHS.

Missing at the beginning, is the 'Denise Petit Didier presente' credit, and a few seconds of the dog.

 

11m approx – The scene where Stephanie lies down to rest is censored. It removes Boris biting her breast, and kicking her as she runs away.

14:45 approx – A few seconds have been removed where Boris runs Stephanie over with his car.

42m approx – The scene of the naked Joelle on the bed with a feather boa has been shortened.

46:00 approx – The scene of Boris’s dog attacking a naked Joelle has been shortened.

 

59:00 to 67:00 approx. – An entire eight-minute sequence is missing from the KV Video VHS. This consists of:

Before: Muriel comes up from the dungeon and attempts to convince Francis and Boris that she saw a body.

Censored at 59m approx: Boris, Karl, Muriel and Francis go down to the torture dungeon. The couple voluntarily allow themselves to be tied to a torture device. Boris and Karl leave, and the couple are crushed to death under a spiked slab. The scene continues with Boris getting up the next morning and leaving the chateau.

After: Karl watches from the balcony as Boris drives away.

 

 

SEVEN WOMEN FOR SATAN: Footage missing from the Mondo Macabro DVD

The 2003 US DVD from Mondo Macabro is missing approximately 02:40 from two scenes. The footage can be found in the Australian KV Video release.

 

Mondo Macabro DVD – 85:11
KV Video VHS – 74:15

The times refer to the point in the DVD where the footage should appear.

 

Before - A knife is picked up and cuts the rope that is binding the Stephanie’s arm.

Cut at 07:46 – The scene continues for another 01:53. Boris and Stephanie are shown having sex on a rug in front of a fire.

After – Stephanie wakes up on the bed.

 

Before - The black man stands behind the blonde girl and holds her breasts.

Cut at 68:52 – The scene continues for 00:47. Boris runs his hands over a naked woman, and eventually stabs her.

After – Boris is shown at his office desk holding his hands to his head in shock. He sees blood on the table and smears it around.

 

The music continues on in the KV Video VHS, but ends in the Mondo Macabro DVD as soon as the credits are complete.

 

Seven Women for Satan (1976) - KV Video [au] VHS


 

 

 

 

Sex Aids and How to Use Them

aka Sexuality Part One - Sex Aids and How to Use Them

Directed by George and Charis Schwarz / 1974 / Australia / IMDb link required

In April 1974, a 312.10-meter (28:26) 16mm print of SEX AIDS AND HOW TO USE THEM was banned because of 'indecency'.

This was overturned in June 1974 when the Films Board of Review awarded it an uncut R-rating. This was:

Subject to special conditions as under:

(i) Addition of written and spoken introduction incorporating expert medical advice.

(ii) The words 'This is a sex education film' to be used in all advertising.

(iii) All advertising to be submitted to the Chief censor for approval.

The applicant was Norbert, Lipton and Co.

 

In late 1974, Regent Trading's THE EROTIC ADVENTURES OF ZORRO (1972) had its rating revoked after uncut prints were screened in Melbourne and Brisbane after they were accidently released from censor’s bond store. Antony I. Ginnane noted speculation that this could have been payback for them handling SEX AIDS & HOW TO USE THEM earlier in the year.

Film Censorship can STILL be heavy
By Antony I. Ginnane
Cinema Papers issue 4, December 1974

Importer, Errol Heath [Regent Trading Enterprises], 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 [the Censor's HQ] 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.

 

Gamma Rays and Sex Aids
Cinema Papers issue 5, March 1975

Melbourne has acquired two new in-dependent cinemas in the last month bringing the number in the greater urban area to 41. This is at least nine more than its northern neighbor Sydney, where restrictive licensing regulations have, until recently, kept a closed door on the market. Melbourne's high cinema standards have contributed to the increasing popularity of local movie going. For com-fort and modernity, Melbourne cinemas are world standard, unlike Sydney where old barns still stand tall.

The other new entry — also 16mm —is at the opposite end of the scale. An 83-seat shopfront operation run by Sydney entrepreneur Dave Gondall, the Barrel! Theatre will screen essentially sexploitation products. Their opening attraction is the controversial Australian sex education movie SEX AIDS AND HOW TO USE THEM, directed by George Schwarz —which by dint of its education tag includes some of the most objectively hardcore material ever seen on a cinema screen in this country.

Although the Barrell had early teething troubles with the Health Department it now seems to have settled comfortably into the daily grind. Management's intention is not to attempt any form of 'club' structure but operate within Commonwealth censor controlled limits. This may of course mean that subsequent attractions will be less 'hot' than SEX AIDS.

 

 

The mystery video release

SEX AIDS AND HOW TO USE THEM was listed in an early 1980s Video Classics catalogue as being issued as part of their Movies at Midnight range. However, we have yet to see proof that it was actually released.

 

In April 1986, the Victorian Police had a 28-miniute tape titled SEXUALITY PART ONE – SEX AIDS AND HOW TO USE THEM passed with an R-rating. The reason for the decision was ‘sex education’.

 

Background

Gretel Pinniger, aka 'Madame Lash Madam Lash: Gretel Pinniger's Scandalous Life of Sex, Art and Bondage
by Sam Everingham
Allen & Unwin, 2010

Charis and George Schwartz were struck by Gretel's openness to anything—including playing roles in their porn movies. One was a lesbian flick called THE DREAM. 'It was all illegal, but we had friends,' says Charis. George would soon take on the task of directing the most explicit porn film yet made in Australia—a thirty-five-minute colour feature showing breasts being dipped in wine, pubic hair being shaved and dozens of sex aids. Its producer had given it the educational-sounding title SEX AIDS AND HOW TO USE THEM to get around the censors, but it had still been slapped with an R rating. It quickly became the biggest grossing short film on the Australian market, screening first at the Film Makers Co-op before moving to the Salvation Army Hall in Sydney and later the Barrel Theatre in Melbourne.

 

The producer, David R. Duncan is credited as the author of AN ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO SEX AIDS AND HOW TO USE THEM.

George and Charis Schwarz also directed WELL, MY DEAR! (1974). This was banned by the Censorship Board in 1975.

 

Sex Aids and How to Use Them (1974) - Video Classics [au] Catalog


 

 

 

 

Sex and the French Schoolgirl

Directed by Pierre Unia / 1974 / France / IMDb

In August 1976, a 2743.00-meter (99:59) print of SEX AND THE FRENCH SCHOOLGIRL was censored by 8.20-meters (00:18) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove 'indecency'.

Roadshow Distributors were the applicant.


 

 

 

 

Sex and the Lonely Woman Part 2

Directed by Ted Leversuch / 1971 / Canada / IMDb

In February 1977, a 2278.70-meter (83:03) print of SEX AND THE LONELY WOMAN PART 2 was banned because of 'indecency'.

Regent Trading Enterprises was the applicant.


 

 

 

 

Sex and the Office Girl

 Directed by Ron Clark / 1972 / USA / IMDb

In April 1974, a 2071.73-meter (75:31) print of SEX AND THE OFFICE GIRL was banned because of 'indecency'.

House of Dare waited until October 1977 before submitting a 1742.60-meter (63:31) 'reconstructed version'. Unfortunately, this too was Refused Registration because of 'indecency'. An unsuccessful appeal was made to the Films Board of Review in December 1977.

In April 1982, K&C Video had a 66m version of SEX AND THE OFFICE GIRL passed with an R-rating. It was awarded for sex, which was described as being:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

K&C released the film on their Go Video sub-label.

 

Sex and the Office Girl (1972) - Go Video [au] VHS


 

 

 

 

Sex and Zen 2

Directed by Man Kei Chin / 1996 / Hong Kong / IMDb

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

 

In November 1996, a 88m 35mm print of SEX AND ZEN 2 was awarded an R18+ (High Level Sex Scenes, Medium Level Violence) rating by the OFLC. Yu Enterprises Film Distributors went on to release it theatrically to Chinese Language cinemas.

 

 

Nearly banned!

In their Annual Report, the OFLC described how a minority of the panel wanted to ban the film.

Sex and Zen 2, a Chinese-language, historical sex farce from Hong Kong was debated on the R/RC border, and given an R classification by majority decision. The majority noted that 'the sex is linked through the narrative to implications of sexual violence, or sexualised violence (in some scenes)' ... but that these scenes 'were not gratuitous and had justification within the narrative ... lacked detail, occurred within an overall stylised and unrealistic treatment and were not offensive to the extent that they exceeded the R guidelines.'

The minority view was that 'the treatment of the scenes described was exploitative and constituted gratuitous sexual violence to the extent that the film should be classified RC.'

 

 

SEX AND ZEN 2 on VHS and DVD

Soon after the theatrical run was complete, Siren Entertainment released a subtitled VHS on their Chinatown label.

In 2004, Force Video released SEX AND ZEN 2 on DVD in a horrible English dubbed version, that ran 85:57. Movie-censorship did a comparison, and found that this disc actually ran 01:43 longer than the Hong Kong Category 3 DVD.

It is unclear if this censored print was the same as the Australian theatrical version, and Chinatown Video VHS.

 

Sex and Zen 2 (1996) - Siren Entertainment [au] Chinatown Video [au] VHSSex and Zen 2 (1996) - Force Video [au] DVD


 

 

 

 

Sexcapade in Mexico 

Directed by William DeDiego / 1973 / USA / IMDb

In June 1978, a 2333.80-meter (85:04) print of SEXCAPADE IN MEXICO was banned because of 'indecency'.

14th Mandolin was the applicant.


 

 

 

 

Sex Express

Directed by Derek Ford / 1976 / UK / IMDb

In January 1976, a 2439.90-meter (88:56) print of SEX EXPRESS was banned because of 'excessive and indecent violence'.

A 1947-meter (70:58) 'reconstructed version' was passed with an R-rating in March 1976. Roadshow Distributors released it theatrically.

The original running time indicates that this was the hard 'export version' which was known as DIVERSIONS in some countries.

 

In July 1986, an 84m tape of SEX EXPRESS was banned because of ‘gratuitous sexual violence’.

The Victorian Police were the applicant.

 

 

SEX EXPRESS uncut: GEFANGENEN-EXPRESS vs. DIVERSIONS

Thanks to Simon for this review of SEX EXPRESS.

SEX EXPRESS is something of a rarity, a 1970s British sex film that actually contains hardcore. With this in mind, it is easy to see how 18m managed to be removed by the Australian Censor. Still, this is better than how it was treated in the UK, where a version missing 37m was released with a BBFC X-rating.

The film consists of five stories, linked by a wraparound of a female prisoner being transported by train.

The first story (9m-13m) has a couple having sex in barn, the third (37m-50m) has a man answering an ad for a flat rental that leads to sex with the owner, and the fifth (73m-85m) is set in Victorian times and has a photographer having sex with two women. All contain hardcore footage, so would have been censored to some extent.

The second story (15m-36m) is the most crazy and infamous. It begins with a couple having sex on a sofa. The woman begins to fantasise about being gang raped by soldiers. This is eventually intercut with her again having sex on the sofa where she proceeds to stab the man in the back before masturbating with the bloody knife. She then climbs on top of his corpse, and in sexual ecstasy, cuts off his penis, rubs it over her body, and finally puts it in her mouth and sucks it. After disposing of the body, she picks up a second victim who she fails to kill as he turns out to be a vampire.

The fourth story (52m-72m) is also quite notorious. Communist soldiers hold a woman captive, force her to fellate the barrel of a gun and urinate in her face. She is then tied up and threatened with a knife by the female commander. A lengthy lesbian sex scene follows, and the story ends in a threesome when one of the male soldiers joins in.

The combination of hardcore sex, bloody violence, and rape fantasy mean these two stories would have received the most cuts from our censor.

In the US, the film was released as DIVERSIONS. It was under this title that Alpha Blue Archives issued the film. This 89:06 (NTSC) print is scratched and choppy, and is missing the simulated golden shower scene at 54:20.

The film was released as GEFANGENEN-EXPRESS in Germany on the Mike Hunter label. I have not viewed this version, but it is reportedly in better condition than the Alpha Blue print, and also includes the golden shower scene. Unfortunately, it is missing footage from story two where the girl stabs the man in the back, castrates him, and sucks his severed penis.

Currently, there does not appear to be a full version of SEX EXPRESS. The best option would be to take the German print, dub it with the Alpha Blue soundtrack, and splice in the missing footage from story two.


 

 

 

 

The Sex Extortionist

Produced by AM Films International / 197? / Sweden / IMDb link required

Note: The Classification Board lists this as a Swedish film, while the poster credits indicate it could be Danish.

The US one sheet poster lists the following credits.
Preben Ottesen Leni Killander = IMDb as Leni Kjellander
Hans Borrensen = No IMDb listing
Brent Weidich = IMDB as Bent Warburg
Preben Ottsen
Brent Warburlt = IMDb as Bent Weidich
Dean Ritchie = No IMDb listing

 

In January 1981, a 778.90-meter (70:59) 16mm print of THE SEX EXTORTIONIST was banned because of sex, which was described as being:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

14th Mandolin was the applicant.

 

The Sex Extortionist (197?) - Eros World Film Group [us] One sheet


 

 

 

 

Sex in Denmark

Produced by K. Balm / 197? / West Germany / IMDb link required

Note: This may be FACTS: KOPENHAGEN-SEX-REPORT, a 1973 West German sex report film

 

In March 1978, a 2466.00-meter (89:53) print of SEX IN DENMARK was censored by 41.80-meters (01:31) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove 'indecency'.

Roadshow Distributors were the applicant, however, Blake Films were listed as the distributor on the poster.

Image courtesy of moviemem.com

 

Sex in Denmark (197?) - Blake Films [au] Daybill


 

 

 

 

Sex in the Wards

aka Tender Loving Care

Directed by Don Edmonds / 1973 / USA / IMDb

In August 1975, a 2468.00-meter (89:57) print of SEX IN THE WARDS was censored by 88.90-meters (03:14) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove 'indecency'.

Roadshow Distributors were the applicant.

 

In the early 80s, SEX IN THE WARDS was documented in a Video Classics catalogue. It was listed under its original title TENDER LOVING CARE, and as being issued as part of their Movies at Midnight range. However, we have yet to see proof that it was actually released.

 

Don Edmond's WILD HONEY (1972) and ILSA, SHE WOLF OF THE SS (1975) also had Australian censorship problems.

 

Sex in the Wards (1973) - Video Classics [au] Catalog


 

 

 

 

Sex Is….

Directed by Marc Huestis / 1993 / USA / IMDb

In 1994, Potential Films had to censor this gay documentary down from 83m to 80m to achieve an R-rating.

Here is what the OFLC had to say about the film in their 1993 to 1994 Annual Report.

"Sex Is..., a lifestyle documentary about homosexuality, was refused registration, despite its bona fide intent and safe sex message, as it included frequent and explicit depictions of sexual activities which constitute indecency under the Customs (Cinematographic Films) Regulations"

 

In 1996, a 79m version was passed with an X-rating. We are unsure if this tape was ever released.


 

 

 

 

Sex is Beautiful

Directed by Alain Lavalle / 1973 / France / IMDb

In May 1974, a 2682.24-meter (97:46) print of SEX IS BEAUTIFUL was censored by 47.24-meters (01:43) for an R-rating. The reason for the cuts was 'indecency'.

MGM BEF Film Distributors was the applicant.


 

 

 

 

Sex Machine

Directed by Pasquale Festa Campanile / 1975 / Italy / IMDb

In December 1976, a 2880.00-meter (104:59) 'full length English dubbed version' of SEX MACHINE was passed with an R-rating.

Originally, the Censorship Board demanded cuts; however, an appeal to the Films Board of Review was a success. Their decision was recorded as being:

Register 'R' uncut

Image courtesy of moviemem.com

 

Sex Machine (1975) - Daybill


 

 

 

 

Sextet

Produced by Gemini Films Inc. / 197? / USA / IMDb link required

In August 1979, a 1701.17-meter (62:00) print of SEXTET was censored by 50.04-meters (01:50) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove 'indecency'.

Blake Films was the applicant.

 

 

SEXTET: Nudie Cutie vs. X-rated

There appears to be two films under this title, the information for which seems to have been mixed.

First, there is a version of SEXTET that Something Weird released as a DVD-R. It runs 53:22 (NTSC), and has no credits, although International Pictures Inc. is noted in the trailer. This is a nudie cutie, which would seem to match the generally listed 1964 release date. As it the case with much of the genre, it is very dull, and exists mainly to show topless women. Nothing would have caused the film to be banned, or even released, in late-70s Australia.

The second version lists Gemini Films Inc. as the producer, Bud Irwin as Director and Bunny Yeager as the Director of Photography. Emovieposter.com has a US press book, which shows the artwork matches the Blake Films daybill. The Classification Board also lists Gemini Films Inc., which confirms this is the version of SEXTET that was released in Australia. The U.S. X-rating, plot, and stills all confirm that this is a different film to Something Weird's nudie-cutie SEXTET.

Either Bud Irwin remade SEXTET, or the IMDb credits are incorrect.

Image courtesy of moviemem.com

 

Sextet (197?) - Blake Films [au] Daybill


 

 

 

 

Sexual Customs in Scandinavia

aka Sex Customs in Scandinavia

Directed by Sidney Knight / 1972 / USA / IMDb

In December 1974, a 2163.47-meter (78:51) print of SEX CUSTOMS IN SCANDINAVIA was banned because of 'indecency'. An unsuccessful appeal was made to the Films Board of Review in February 1975.

In May 1975, a 'second reconstructed version' running 1592.10-meter (58:02) was censored by a further 134.40-meter (04:53) before receiving an R-rating. This submission was under the SEXUAL CUSTOMS IN SCANDINAVIA title.

Blake Films was the applicant.


 

 

 

 

Sexual Freedom in Denmark

Directed by John Lamb / 1970 / USA / IMDb

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

 

In June 1974, a 2166.00-meter (79:10) print of SEXUAL FREEDOM IN DENMARK was passed with an R-rating. The Censorship Board awarded the classification with the following condition attached. Columbia Pictures was the applicant.

Film passed subject to the special condition that all advertising carries the words 'This is a Sex Education Film'.

SEXUAL FREEDOM IN DENMARK is an interesting example of Australian classification standards. The Censorship Board were prepared to allow scenes of actual hardcore penetration, as long as they were in the context of a sex education film.

 

 

SEXUAL FREEDOM IN DENMARK: Review

Thanks to Matt for this review.

After Hours Cinema DVD [us] – 75:44

SEXUAL FREEDOM IN DENMARK plays like three films in one. The first 45m covers the lifting of censorship restrictions in Denmark in the late 60s, and compares it with the current state of play in the US. We get interviews with porn actors, and a look inside a Danish adult store. This leads to an interview with a woman who talks about the sex education book used in Danish schools.

At the 45m mark we go to a full on sex education film. This really has nothing to do with the first part of the film. It is shot seriously, and I am sure it was genuinely educational to a large number of people.

The sex education film covers contraception, birth of a baby footage, STDs, and finally sexual positions. A couple are shown having hardcore sex in a variety of ways. A second couple is also shown having sex, only this time the woman is pregnant.

SEXUAL FREEDOM IN DENMARK is an interesting curiosity from the time where filmmakers tried anyway they could to get hardcore onto the screens. It is interesting to see that the Australian censor would pass it a full ten years before the X18+ rating was introduced. Personally, I would have preferred more of the earlier censorship and sexual liberation content, and less of the sex education.

Image courtesy of moviemem.com

 

Sexual Freedom in Denmark (1970) - Columbia Pictures [au] Daybill


 

 

 

 

Sexual Freedom USA

aka Red, White and Blue

Directed by Beverly Sebastian - Ferd Sebastian / 1971 / USA / IMDb

In March 1975, a 2621.58-meter (95:33) print of SEXUAL FREEDOM USA was censored by 189.20-meters (06:53) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove 'indecency'.

Australian Film Hire was the applicant.

 

In September 1982, 14th Mandolin re-submitted the film under its original title of RED WHITE AND BLUE This 2249.26-meter (81:59) 'pre-censor cut version' was passed with an R-rating. It was awarded for sex and language, which were stated as being:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Justified

 

K&C Video released the film on tape in the early 80s as SEXUAL FREEDOM USA.

 

 

RED, WHITE AND BLUE (1971): Something Weird VHS review

Review by Matt
Something Weird Video [us] 80:14

SEXUAL FREEDOM USA is an engaging watch for anyone interested in censorship. It has the tagline "An in-depth study of censorship, obscenity and pornography in America". There are similarities to SEXUAL LIBERTY NOW (1971), as it also covers the 1967 Presidential Commission on Obscenity and Pornography, and looks at how sexual morals changed during the late 60s and early 70s.

There are numerous explicit and hardcore shots throughout, which would have undoubtedly been included in the nearly seven minutes of footage removed be the censor. Interestingly, the RED, WHITE, AND BLUE version released by Something Weird Video runs around 15-minutes shorter than the one submitted to the Australian censor.

The retitling to SEXUAL FREEDOM USA appears to have only been done in Australia. This was possibly to cash in on the success of SEXUAL FREEDOM IN DENMARK (1970) which was passed uncut the previous year.

Daybill image courtesy of moviemem.com

 

Sexual Freedom USA (1971) - Australian Film Hire [au] Daybill     Sexual Freedom USA (1971) - K&C Video [au] VHS


 

 

 

 

Sexuality USA

Directed by Eddy Karek-Las / 1975 / USA / IMDb

In November 1974, a 2297.72-meter (83:45) of SEXUALITY USA was banned because of 'indecency'. This was confirmed by the Films Board of Review in December 1974.

United American Pictures was the applicant.


 

 

 

 

Sexual Liberty Now

Directed by John Lamb (as M.C. Von Hellen) / 1971 / USA / IMDb

In December 1974, a 2075:00-meter (75:50) print of SEXUAL LIBERTY NOW was banned because of ‘indecency’. Columbia Pictures were the applicant.

 

 

SEXUAL LIBERTY NOW - Review

Thanks to Matt for this review.

After Hours Cinema DVD [us] – 64:08

SEXUAL LIBERTY NOW is John Lamb’s follow up to SEXUAL FREEDOM IN DENMARK (1970). The original 'white coated' its hardcore footage as a sex education film. SEXUAL LIBERTY NOW does no such thing, and shows its true colours in the pre-credit sequence, with an ultra close-up penetration shot. From then on, the blowjobs, cumshots, and fucking do not let up.

Instead of a sex education film, it attempts to tell the story of the 1967 Presidential Commission on Obscenity and Pornography. There findings, in 1970, gave birth to American hardcore cinema. There is a brief nod to Lamb’s previous film, with a look at how the legalisation of hardcore in late-60s Denmark failed to cause the destruction of society.

The numerous hardcore sequences are there to illustrate what can now be shown, and ask what all the fuss was. This includes a pool sex scene starring John Holmes, which the IMDb says is taken from John Lamb’s ZODIAC RAPIST (1971).

From 39m to 51m, we are shown fourteen minutes of vintage (looks like 1920s to 1940s) stag films, including an early fisting scene. This demonstrates that porn has always been part of filmmaking. Following this comes 5m of edited highlights from the German sex cartoon SCHNEEFLITTCHEN HINTER DEN SIEBEN BERGEN 1.TEIL. Online reviews list this as a 1975 production, but the fact that it appears here shows that it is a few years older. Following the animation, it is back to the hardcore until the the end.

As with the first film, I would have preferred more on the history of adult film censorship in the USA, and less of the sex. The interviews with morals campaigners Charles Keating, and Father Morton Hill show that some things never change.

Columbia Pictures were obviously encouraged by getting SEXUAL FREEDOM IN DENMARK (1971) passed with an R-rating. Unfortunately, six moths later, they had SEXUAL LIBERTY NOW banned. I can see no way that the censor could have done anything else, as it would be extremely difficult to remove so much hardcore. It also lacks the sex-education cover of the first film. Interestingly, the After Hours Cinema DVD runs only 64:08 (NTSC). This compares with 75:50 for the 1974-banned version.


 

 

 

 

Sexual Practices in Sweden

Directed by Karl Hansen / 1970 / USA / IMDb

In May 1977, a 2085.00-meter (76:00) print of SEXUAL PRACTICES IN SWEDEN was censored by 66.50-meters (02:25) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove 'indecency'.

Seven Keys were the applicant.

Image courtesy of moviemem.com

 

Sexual Practices in Sweden (1970) - Seven Keys [au] Daybill


 

 

 

 

Sex Wish

Directed by Zebedy Colt - Victor Milt / 1976 / USA / IMDb

In April 1978, a 2107.90-meters (76:50) print of SEX WISH was banned because of 'indecency'. A 1994.6-meter (72:42) 'reconstructed version' was refused for the same reason in January 1979.

GH Photography was the applicant.

 

 

MUFF 8 Program Notes

This was due to be shown at the 8th Melbourne Underground Film Festival in 2007.

Melbourne Underground Film Festival 8
Program Notes
Zebedy Colt Double feature: Sex Wish and The Farmer’s Daughter

Two short features (absolute 70s erotica classics) from Zebedy Colt aka Edward Earle Marsh. Sex Wish features a cool electronic soundtrack as Zebedy plays a rapist who breaks into women’s homes with a bag of unusual tricks. Zebedy’s performance is truly bizarre… Then comes The Farmer’s Daughter - clocking in at one hour in length, it’s sort of an erotic version of Last House on the Left. Look out for cheap and nasty sex scenes about home invasion, incest and violation. There’s also an early appearance from comedian and political commentator Spalding Gray getting up to no good… This is true Psychopathology, raw 70s style!
9pm Sat 29 Sept
LOOP

 

 

The OFLC prevent MUFF from screening SEX WISH

The SEX WISH screening was scrapped after the OFLC's Amy Wooding refused to grant film festival exemptions to it, and six other features. This is not the first time that MUFF had run into problems with the censors. In 2004, the OFLC demanded that THE TOOLBOX MURDERS (1978), WIFE TO BE SACRIFICED (1974), GUINEA PIG: DEVILS EXPERIMENT (1985) and GUINEA PIG: FLOWERS OF FLESH AND BLOOD (1985) be pulled from the festival.

The Melbourne Underground Film Festival issued the following press release.

 

MUFF 8 films banned!
September 20th 2007

The Following films have been banned from the OFLC:

70k
Schulmädchen-Report: Was Eltern nicht für möglich halten (aka The Schoolgirl Report)
Sex Wish
The Farmer's Daughter
Ashley & Kisha: Finding the Right Fit
Whore
60 Second Relief

We will replacing them with other films from the MUFF program.

This Sunday 70k will be replaced with a second screening of Streetsweeper… a good MUFF Neu that we can play. Whore and 60 Second Relief are withdrawn and nothing will fill their place. The Other films will be replaced. More details on Monday.

Will the media even cover this? Do people care about censorship in this country?

Letter to OFLC

Here is a copy of a letter sent to our OFLC contact Amy Wooding. Any response we will share with our MUFF audience:

 

Hi Amy, I thought I'd write to you about this year's decision.

So the films I cannot play at MUFF 8 are the following:

70k, Schulmädchen-Report: Was Eltern nicht für möglich halten (aka The Schoolgirl Report), Sex Wish, The Farmer's Daughter, Ashley & Kisha: Finding the Right Fit, Whore and 60 Second Relief

Is this correct?

I will comply and withdraw them from screenings and replace them with films you have granted permission for me to play (like Moonlight and Magic, Left Ear, etc).

A few small questions, you might be able to answer or maybe the OFLC director can answer them (If you have his email I'll cc this to him):

Why is pornography of the most gross and offensive nature (like shitting and pissing films) available for sale in most Adult bookshops in Victoria?

Also: Are not X rated films only supposed to be available in Canberra but for sale in 90% of Adult shops in Vic and NSW and in other states?

Why is MUFF referred to the justice department for wishing to screen a couple of classy or forgotten pieces of erotica with artistic merit to an audience over 18 (who are keen to see them) and nothing done about the illegal X rated sale of videos and DVD's in sex shops that is rampant?

Is there not a hint of corruption or hypocrisy and definitely absurdity here?

Why are X rated films banned at all! It begs the question given the ready availability of it in on the Internet? Available on any PC, anywhere.

A MUFF screening is a minor problem compared to the flaunting of your rules every day of every year by the Adult Sex Industry.

Why are films like Shortbus and 9 Songs passed though they clearly contravene some of your guidelines?

Why is MIFF allowed to play a film like Exterminating Angles in a section that focussed on perversity and erotica though that too contravenes your guideline? And we cannot do it? We will comply with your absurd ruling out of fear of prosecution to our small festival but register our complaint also that this is neither fair or just. We believe strongly it represents a violation of the basic human rights of Australian citizens to freedom of speech, assembly and expression.

Enabling a festival like MUFF or MIFF to play whatever they choose from the classy end of the sex industry will lift both festivals standing in the International community and not reveal a backward 1950's attitude to sex and censorship in Australia. Your own guidelines date from over 50 years ago. Surely a review is in order?

I am cc-ing this email to the MIFF Festival Director Richard Moore for his interest. His comments and feelings on the matter I would be interested to hear.

Any answers to these questions or our complaint will be greatly appreciated from the OFLC.

This letter is not written in disrespect but in a wish for better clarification of the important issues it contains.

Best Regards Richard Wolstencroft

PS. Why is 70k banned it has no sex or violence at all does it?

MUFF opens tonight at Toff in Town come down and support a festival that believes in fighting censorship!


 

 

 

 

Sex World

Directed by Anthony Spinelli / 1978 / USA / IMDb

In June 1978, a 2410.80-meter (87:52) print of SEX WORLD was banned because of 'indecency'.

Regent Trading Enterprises were the applicant.

 

A 2299.21-meter (83:48) 'reconstructed version' lost a further 14.50-meter (00:23) before being awarded an R-rating in April 1980. The cuts were made to reduce sex, which was found to be:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

The sex in the R-rated print was said to be:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

Again, the applicant was Regent Trading Enterprises. This version was released theatrically.

 

In the early 1980s, an uncut version of SEX WORLD was released in Australia on the Mature Video Movies label. This tape was never classified as it was issued pre-February 1984, before the X-rating was introduced.

AussieRoadshow comments.
There were heaps of releases on the MVM label aside from SEX WORLD and I only own eight of them. THE ANALYST (1975), FANTASY (1979) BALLING FOR DOLLARS (1980), CHINA DE SADE (1977), THE DEVIL IN MISS JONES (1973), LITTLE GIRLS BLUE (1978), and  STAR VIRGIN (1979) Most are boots of VCX titles and include the opening logo of that as well as some trailers. SEX WORLD definitely looks uncut to me. In fact all of them are.

There is another release of SEX WORLD on the VDS Home Video. This label appears to be similar to Mature Video Movies (MVM).

A further release appeared on the Select Video label.

 

 

In May 1982, a 77m tape of SEX WORLD was passed with an R-rating. It was awarded for sex and violence, which were described as being:
Sex
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

Violence
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

This tape was released by Roadshow Home Video.

At the same time, an 89m tape was banned because the sex was found to be:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

In both cases, Blake Films were the applicant.

 

February 1984 again saw a 77m tape passed with an R-rating. This time there was no mention of violence, while the sex was still found to be:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

Again, the applicant was Blake Films.

Video (MVM) image courtesy of AussieRoadshow

 

Sex World (1978) - Mature Video Movies [au] VHSSex World (1978) - Select Video [au] VHSSex World (1978) - Roadshow Home Video [au] VHS


 

 

 

 

The Sexy Dozen

Directed by Norbert Terry / 1968 / France-Switzerland / IMDb

In March 1972, a 9628-feet (107:16) print of THE SEXY DOZEN was banned because of 'indecency'.

The ban was overturned in May 1972, and an R-rating awarded following an appeal to the Film Board of Review. The 2934.61-meter (107:16) print was confirmed with an R-rating in July 1972. Blake Films went on to release it theatrically.

 

In August 1980, a 2677.25-meter (97:35) print of THE SEXY DOZEN was passed with an R-rating. The sex was found to be:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

14th Mandolin was the applicant.

 

THE SEXY DOZEN may have been released on tape in the early 80s by either Video Budget or King of Video. 14th Mandolin were behind both labels.

Image courtesy of moviemem.com

 

The Sexy Dozen (1968) - Blake Films [au] Daybill


 

 

 

 

Sexy Jeans

Directed by Rene Daalder / 1976 / Italy-USA / IMDb

SEXT JEANS is actually the film MASSACRE AT CENTRAL HIGH, only with hardcore inserts shot by the Italian distributor. Movie-Censorship has a comparison between the two versions.

MASSACRE AT CENTRAL HIGH was passed with an R-rating in 1977, and was released on tape by Merlin Video.

 

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.

In July 1983, Domovideo Pty Ltd had an 86m tape of SEXY JEANS passed with such a warning. During the 80s and 90s, SEXY JEANS was available for rent in Australia in many Italian video stores.

 

A tape of SEXY JEANS was confiscated by customs in the early 2000s.


 

 

 

 

Sexy Lovers

Directed Eddy Matalon / 1975 / France / IMDb

In December 1975, a 2418.84-meter (88:10) print of SEXY LOVERS was censored by 146.90-meters (05:21) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove 'indecency'.

Seven Keys Films were the applicant.


 

 

 

 

Sexy Spirit

Directed by Unknown / 198? / Japan / IMDb link required

In August 1987, a Yu Enterprises had a 55m 35mm print of SEXY SPIRIT banned.

In 1986 to 1987, Yu Enterprises had similar problems with LECHEROUS LOVER (198?), SADISTIC WHORE (198?), MADAM X (198?) and VAMP (198?). All were Japanese films that Raymond Yu planned to screen at his Australia Cinema in Sydney. We require more information about all of these titles.


 

 

 

 

The Shadowers

Prod Monica Tichacek / 2004 / Australia

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

 

THE SHADOWERS was a piece of video art by Monica Tichacek that was first shown in 2004 at the Australian Culture Now Festival in Melbourne.

It was exhibited in Sydney between April and May 2005 at Artspace. During this time, the gallery received a call from the OFLC stating that the work should be classified. The exhibition was eventually allowed to continue for the remaining two days after the OFLC granted a one off exemption.

The whole episode was seen by the arts community as the start of a push to bring galleries under OFLC control. This would mean that artists would need to pay a fee for the privilege of having their work classified.

 

 

Artspace reaction

Tania Doropoulos from Artspace in Sydney.

 

Video art caught in censor's web
smh.com.au, June 23, 2005

"I was contacted by the board [office] stating they were aware we were screening the work and that we needed to apply for classification,"

"We left it for a while and they recontacted me and said according to Australian law all forms of video art practice fall into this heading of 'film'. You now need to make an application, get an exemption or make an application for classification."

"Since that happened, I've spoken to other gallery curators and directors. No one was really aware of this and it's really shocking,"

"For one particular type of contemporary art practice to be classified is absurd."

The money [to classify] would probably more than likely come out of the artist's own pocket which is really quite unfair because video work is usually made on such a low budget.

 

 

Shernan Galleries reaction

In June 2005, Sherman Galleries in Sydney also exhibited THE SHADOWERS. Taking the warnings from the OFLC, they decided to play it safe by only showing still images from the work.

 

Lisa Corsi from Sherman Galleries.

"I had been in conversation with Tania [Doropolous] and was well aware of what she'd been going through,"

"We decided it would have been better to show the Sydney audience a different aspect of Monika's practice and at the same time avoided issues with the OFLCB."

"I think people need to reconsider what the meaning of art is,"

"Are no shocks allowed? If you start imposing on artists to spend money on classifying their works, in the end, artists will be like, 'Bugger that, I can't afford it', and you end up sterilising creativity.

"Art is not meant to be something that just goes with the colour of your couch."

 

 

The OFLC responds

In 2005, the OFLC fees were $770 for the first fifteen minutes of footage, which would be a huge amount for any artist.

Des Clark from the OFLC attempted to justify his stance.

 

Video art under scrutiny from Office of Film, Literature Classification
abc.net.au, June 14, 2005

"There is a requirement that all film should be classified or should have an exemption and that fits very much with video that's shown in art galleries."

"I think artists have tried to keep away from the OFLC and art galleries and museums as well, but because there's so much dependence on film now to show all nature of product, that these requirements are beginning to kick in."

"Technically speaking, as soon as you have moving images for public exhibition which is not advertising, you are required to have it classified unless you can get exemptions for a festival,"

"As soon as you have an artist whose work is more controversial and you are potentially showing that to children or school groups, you have to have regard to whether the content is it suitable to be seen."

 

 

Anne Landa award

In November 2006, the work won the Anne Landa Award for video and new media arts from the Art Gallery of NSW.

 

Dark work put back in spotlight
smh.com.au, November 17, 2006

The director of the gallery, Edmund Capon...

...described the violence in Tichacek's 35-minute film as more stylised than graphic.

The Shadowers will be shown at the gallery in a darkened room shielded by a velvet curtain. A sign will warn visitors the work is not suitable for children.

In an interview last year Tichacek said the Office of Film and Literature Classification had told her the video required classification before it could be screened in public.

The office's director, Des Clark, said all galleries were required to apply for either classification or an exemption for any moving image. "I expect that an appropriate application will be made [by the Art Gallery of NSW]. It is up to them to understand the law."

But Mr Capon said the gallery had made no application, even though the work would be part of an exhibition that opens today.

 

 

Art Gallery of NSW screening

THE SHADOWERS ran from November 2006, until February 2007.

www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au

Anne Landa Award
17 November 2006 - 11 February 2007 Rudy Komon gallery, Upper Level

Philip Brophy • Daniel Crooks • James Lynch • Tony Schwensen • Grant Stevens • Monika Tichacek • Daniel von Sturmer

The Anne Landa Award is the first award exhibition in Australia dedicated to moving image and new media arts. It was initiated by Sophie Landa and Edmund Capon in 2004 to honour Sophie's mother Anne Landa, a long serving trustee of the Art Gallery and enthusiastic supporter of the arts. The award includes the presentation of recent work and the commissioning of new projects

The individual approaches demonstrate some of the methodologies artists are employing in relation to the moving image, including endurance performances, hand-painted animations and images warped or entitely produced by digital applications. From a focus on the body, to text, dream pictures and objects in space, this year's Anne Landa Award presents an array of diverse and challenging work.

 

At the Art Gallery of NSW, the 35:15 work screened with the following warning at the entrance.

Please Note
This work contains stylised violence and is not suitable for people under 15. under 15s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.


 

 

 

 

She Knew No Other Way

Directed by Omiros Efstratiadis / 1973 / Greece / IMDb 

In December 1974, a 2237.00-meter (81:32) print of SHE KNEW NO OTHER WAY was passed with an M-rating. It was submitted under the title TA PAIDIA TON LOULOUDION. The running time indicates that it was pre-cut prior to classification.

Lyra Films was the applicant.

 

In April 1979, it was resubmitted in a 3279.40-meter (119:32) version by Dynasty Film Distributors. Despite being described as a 'pre-censor cut version’, it was still banned because of 'indecency'.

A 3228.90-meter (117:41) 'reconstructed version' was trimmed by a further 37.40-meter (01:22) before being awarded an R-rating in July 1979. The extra cuts were made to remove 'indecency'.

 

In August 1987, an 87-minute tape of SHE KNEW NO OTHER WAY was passed with an R-rating.

The applicant was Variety Video. Presumably, this was for distribution in Greek video stores.


 

 

 

 

Shocking

Directed by Claude Mulot / 1976 / France / IMDb

In September 1978, a 1945.70-meter (70:55) print of SHOCKING was banned because of 'indecency'.

Blake Films were the applicant.


 

 

 

 

Sigmund Freud's Dora

Directed by Anthony McCall - Claire Pajaczkowska - Andrew Tyndall - Jane Weinstock / 1979 / USA / IMDb link required

In September 1981, a 383.00-meter (34:54) 16mm print of SIGMUND FREUD'S DORA was banned because of sex, which was said to be:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

The same month saw a 372.00-meter (33:54) 'reconstructed version' passed with an R-rating. The sex was now:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

Glenys Rowe Film Distribution was the applicant.

Cinema Papers
January-February 1982
Another interesting decision was the banning of SIGMUND FREUD'S DORA which had been shown uncut at the 1981 Sydney and Melbourne film festivals. Distributor Glenys Rowe then cut the film by 11m (23sec) to gain an "R" rating. No appeal was made over the original decision.

 

In January 1983, it was banned for a second time. The 385.00-meter (35:05) 16mm print, submitted by the National Library of Australia, was refused for the same reason as September 1981.

An appeal was made to the Films Board of Review, and in March 1983 a 384.00-meter, (34:59) print was 'Registered without eliminations' with a 'special condition'.

The finding was:
Decision Reviewed; Refusal to register by the Film Censorship Board Decision of the Board:
Register subject to the special condition that the film not be exhibited in public cinemas and be made available only to specialist groups and individuals engaged in formal tertiary level study and research concerned with the representation of women, the politicisation of Freudian thinking, Feminist movements and film/media studies.

 

 

SIGMUND FREUD'S DORA (1979) review

Review by Matt
The copy of SIGMUND FREUD’S DORA that is available at lux.org.uk runs 35:01. It may be short, but it's boring as hell! Fortunately the problem sex scenes are easy to spot.

The film is divided into four sections, with a single sex act shown in each. These are:

THE KISS - 04:35 to 04:37 - A woman performing oral sex on a man.

THE EXCHANGE - 10:12 to 10:24 - Two woman kissing as one rubs her hand inside the others underwear.

THE FIRST DREAM - 14:46 to 14:56 - A woman lying down and masturbating.

THE END - 20:07 to 20:20 - A bondage scene with a man on his knees while a woman ties his hands behind his back.

This is followed by a sequence from 24:58 to 26:32 where a woman reads from the back of various postcards, the front of which shows an image from each of the previously shown sex scenes.

The blow job sequence and associated postcard images would have definitely been removed from the R-rated print as it appears to be straight out of a hardcore porn film. The female masturbation sequence in THE FIRST DREAM may have also been trimmed. The bondage and lesbian sequences are not particularly explicit, so I presume they would have remained untouched.


 

 

 

 

The Silence of the Lambs

Directed by Jonathon Demme / 1991 / USA / IMDb

In January 1991, THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS was passed with an R-rating. The distributor appealed to the Review Board, and was awarded an M (Occasional graphic violence, Disturbing concepts) rating. At the time, there was no MA15+ available.

The decision would prove pivotal in the move to have a rating between M and R. This finally took place in May 1993, with the introduction of the MA15+ rating.

 

 

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS: R-rated to M-rated

Here is the Review Board report into the dropping of the rating from R to M.

Film and Literature Board of Review
Title: The Silence of the Lambs
Applicant: Village Roadshow Corporation Limited
Decision Reviewed: Classify 'R' by the Film Censorship Board

Decision: In The Silence of the Lambs, based on a novel by Thomas Harris, a serial killer is tracked down by a female FBI recruit played by Jodie Foster. During her investigation she wins the confidence of an even more dangerous serial killer, a mad psychiatrist held in a high security prison, who provides her with a valuable "psychological profile" of the murderer and information which enables her to identify him. Meanwhile the psychiatrist (Anthony Hopkins) escapes from prison after brutally murdering two guards, and apparently goes free. The other killer is finally caught, but not before he has kidnapped the daughter of a US senator and subjected her to a terrifying ordeal.

The activities of both murderers are peculiarly bloodthirsty, and audiences are spared none of the details of their atrocities. At no time, however, are the killers seen committing their serial crimes; the violence is depicted post hoc, being shown in photographs, or described verbally, or (most graphically) revealed during an autopsy, when the body of one victim is examined. The murder of the guards is also shown graphically, although much of the violence is out of shot. The film, directed by Jonathon Demme, is undeniably frightening and skilfully made. A majority of the Film Censorship Board considered its violent elements sufficiently disturbing to warrant a Restricted classification. They were concerned also by two uses of offensive language. The Board of Review, while acknowledging that the language was strong, considered it contextually justified; we were more concerned with the film's violence, with the general implications of its theme, and its power to disturb young audiences.

The applicants contended that the individual elements of the film were neither excessive nor gratuitous; that the language was not assaultive; and that although the film dealt with powerful and bizarre ideas, it was unlikely to be harmful to young people of 15 or older. With all of this it was possible to agree, although members of the Board of Review had misgivings about the film. Some of us were troubled by the killing of the guards, others by the girl's ordeal in the pit, where the killer keeps her prisoner, and where there was a tendency to linger with relish on the extremes of her suffering. In these moments the film went close to meriting an 'R' classification, but shopped just short, in our opinion, of doing so. The violence, being largely implied, was of the kind we considered in the police thriller Cop, the subject of an appeal in 1988, in which the consequences of serial killings themselves were shown in clinical detail, although the killings themselves were not seen. On that occasion we determined that an 'M' classification was appropriate, and in all the circumstances we concluded that The Silence of the Lambs should be treated similarly.

This is an instance of the dilemmas that may be raised in the minds of censorship bodies by films or artistic and technical merit. The Silence of the Lambs is a more than usually literate and intelligent film with an element of compassion. The temptation to treat such films more leniently for purposes of censorship classification is notoriously strong; and all of us felt bound to ask ourselves whether we were justified in doing so. Are the qualities that make a "good" film more likely to ameliorate or to intensify the impact of its subject-matter? Will a "good" film be more disturbing than a rubbishy one with a similar theme? Very likely the answer is yes. But equally likely, the rewards of seeing it will be greater, and the responses set up in the minds of audiences will be more complex and subtle. There will, one hopes, be a compensating enlargement of the viewer's experience. In this instance the Board of Review felt justified in admitting such considerations. We thought it unlikely that the film's audiences would see it purely as a spectacle of gratuitous horror; the feelings of pity and terror evoked by the film may well stimulate deeper reflections. In our view the film fell just within the limits of an 'M' classification, though some of us also felt that it highlighted the need for an additional classification between 'M' and 'R', in which material of this kind could be readily accommodated. With these concerns in mind, we directed that The Silence of the Lambs be classified 'M' with consumer advice: "Occasional graphic violence and disturbing concepts".
25 January 1991

 

 

Comments from the Review Board

Film and Literature Board of Review
Report on Activities 1990-1991
Introduction

This was the first full year of activity for the Film and Literature Board of Review since its establishment on 1 February 1990, The Board in 1990-91 heard a total of seven appeals, of which four were upheld and three dismissed, The total included one relating to printed matter - the first since the new Board assumed the responsibilities of the former Publications Review Board.

Although the Board heard fewer appeals this year, one proved highly contentious, On 25 January 1991 the Board determined that the 'R' classification (for Restricted Exhibition) accorded by a majority of the Film Censorship Board to the Jonathon Demme film The Silence of the Lambs should more appropriately be 'M', The film, which was generally well received by critics, achieved some notoriety because of its bold treatment of themes of serial killing and abnormal psychology. The reasons for the Board of Review's decision are set out in this report; despite a number of objections from members of the public, we remain of the view that our decision was consistent with' M' guidelines allowing strong depictions of violence provided it is contextually justified.

In recording our decision we argued that a separate classification was needed for violent films at the upper end of the 'M' scale. This suggestion was taken up during public discussions of the censorship issues raised by The Silence of the Lambs, and as this report was being written there were indications that censorship authorities in some States were attracted to the notion of an 'MV' classification for exceptionally violent films within the 'M' range.

 

 

Complaints to the OFLC

Office of Film and Literature Classification- Report on Activities 1991-92

Complaints

Two hundred and forty-one written and fifty-five oral complaints were received during the year.
...The Silence of the Lambs (24 Letters).
Most of those relating to The Silence of the Lambs concerned the 'M' classification assigned by the Film and Literature Board of Review.

 

 

MA15+ at last!

When put before the Classification Board in May 2001, the M (Occasional graphic violence, Disturbing concepts) rating from 1991 was increased to MA15+ (High level violence, Medium level coarse language).

In January 2005, a MGM Home Entertainment Group had a Special Edition DVD rated MA15+ (High level violence; Medium level coarse language).

In March 2007, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment had the two-disc collectors DVD rated MA15+ (Strong Violence, Strong Coarse Language).

 

 

HANNIBAL (2001) MA15+ to R18+, and back again

In 2001, the sequel HANNIBAL (2001) also had classification problems in Australia. Although it was originally passed with an MA15+ rating, it was increased to R18+ following complaints from the Christian morality police. This has since been dropped back down to MA15+.

 

The Silence of the Lambs - MGM Entertainment [au] DVD 1The Silence of the Lambs - MGM Entertainment [au] DVD 2The Silence of the Lambs - 20th Century Fox [au] DVD


 

 

 

 

Sinderella

Directed by David Hamilton Grant - Marcus Parker-Rhodes / 1972 / UK / IMDb

In April 1974, a 157.00-meter (05:43) print of SINDERELLA was censored by 4.57-meters (00:11) for an R-rating. The reason for the cuts was 'indecency'.

MGM.BEF Film Distributors was the applicant.

At the same time, David Hamilton Grant's SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN PERVERTS (1973) was also censored for an R-rating.


 

 

 

 

The Sinful Dwarf

Directed by Vidal Raski / 1973 / Denmark / IMDb

In July 1974, a 2530-meter (92:28) 35mm print of THE SINFUL DWARF was Refused Registration because of 'indecency'.

It was passed with an R-rating in November 1974 following the removal of 255-meters (09:18) of footage.

 

Tony Ginnane and Scott Murray interview Robert Ward from Dendy Filmways.

Bob Ward Interview
Cinema Papers issue 4, December 1974

CP: Have Filmways got any other films that they consider sufficiently artistic to be unsuitable for the Star or the Albany, but which are encountering censorship problems?

WARD: No. We do have NOTORIOUS CLEOPATRA, COUNTRY CUZZINS and THE SINFUL DWARF from Harry Novak banned. They are probably a little bit above the Star, probably Roma material.

CP: Is Filmways fighting these decisions?

WARD: Not really, what can you do to fight? LANGUAGE OF LOVE was an intelligent medical film that you can fight on appeal constructively, but these?

 

 

THE SINFUL DWARF review

Thanks to Matt G for this review of the film.

Where to start with this one! It's easy to see why the Aussie version ended up with over 9 minutes of footage missing. This is a sleazy little film, but also very entertaining in a way that only 70s cinema can be. The version that I viewed ran 92:15, and looks uncut. There are numerous shots of gratuitous nudity, and general sleaze throughout the film. The basic plot concerns a mother and her dwarf son who keep girls drugged and captive in their attic where they prostitute them out. Some of the more problematic scenes that would have been prime candidates for the censors scissors include:

A combination of these scenes would have definitely made up the bulk of the missing 9 minutes.

 

 

Hardcore version

In 2009, Severin Films in the U.S. released a 96m hardcore version on DVD. They also released a 92m International version, which we presume was the same as the one banned in Australia in 1974.


 

 

 

 

Sinner's Blood

Directed by Neil Douglas / 1969 / USA / IMDb

In February 1984, Filmways had a 76m videotape of SINNER'S BLOOD passed with an R-rating. The running time indicates that this version was censored.

The reason for the rating was:
Sex
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

Violence
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

We are unsure if this was tape ever released.

 

Two banned tapes

In January 1985, Ubat Video had an 80m videotape banned because of violence, which was described as being:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

Finally, in February 1990, Video Excellence had an 81m videotape of SINNER’S BLOOD banned by the Censorship Board.

 

 

SINNER'S BLOOD review

Thanks to Simon for this review and screencaps.

Saturn Productions - USA VHS
Running time 80:56 (NTSC)

One scene would have definitely caused the SINNER’S BLOOD ban. No rape is shown, but it does show a topless woman being threatened with a knife.

70:00 to 72:45 - Gentry’s gay lover threatens Penelope with a knife. He blames her for Gentry’s death, and advances towards her mumbling "women are dirty". He holds the knife against her face and she pleads for him to stop. Part of this scene also make up the first 22 seconds of the film.

78:45 to 80:00 – The scene with Penelope continues. Gentry’s lover now cuts open her bra. She screams as he cuts her breasts.

One other scene may have caused a problem. It runs from 45:00 to 47:45. Aubrey attempts to rape Patricia. She screams “no”, and eventually talks him out of it. It ends with Aubrey crying.

 

Sinner's Blood - Censored Scene 01Sinner's Blood - Censored Scene 02


 

 

 

 

Sip the Wine

Directed by Dan Caldwell / 1976 / USA / IMDb

In October 1976, a 2322.87-meter (84:40) print of SIP THE WINE was banned because of 'indecency'.

Garron International was the applicant.

 

In February 1979, a 2282.00-meter (83:11) print was censored by 66.40-meters (02:25) and awarded an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove 'indecency'. We do not know which company submitted it for classification.

The censor noted:

Originally rejected by the Film Censorship Board. Registered "R" with eliminations by direction of the Films Board of Review.


 

 

 

 

Slaughter

Directed by Jack Starrett/ 1972 / Mexico-USA / IMDb

In February 1973, a 2503.00-meter (91:14) print of SLAUGHTER was censored by 26.21-meters (00:57) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove 'excessive violence'.

Roadshow Distributors released it theatrically.

 

In May 1985, a double-bill videotape of SLAUGHTER and FOXY BROWN (1974) was passed with an R-rating. It was awarded for:
Violence
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

…as well as for:
Sex and Language
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

Communications and Entertainment released the tape on their Playaround Video label. The 92m was presumably uncut.

Daybill image courtesy of moviemem.com

 

Slaughter (1972) - Roadshow Distributors [au] Daybill     Slaughter (1972) - Playaround Video [au] VHS


 

 

 

 

Slaughtered Vomit Dolls

Directed by Lucifer Valentine / 2006 / Canada-USA / IMDb

We have one report of customs confiscating a DVD of SLAUGHTERED VOMIT DOLLS in 2006.

The reason given was:

"Material of this nature is deemed to fall within the scope of Regulation 4-A(1-A)(a) of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 ....."

"This DVD portrays scenes of 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 imported"


 

 

 

 

Slaves in Cages

aka Slaves in Cages: 'Slaver i bure'

Directed by Lee Frost / 1972 / USA / IMDb

In August 1981, a 1906.40-meter (69:29) print of SLAVES IN CAGES was banned because of 'sexual violence'.

A 1645.80-meter (59:59) 'reconstructed version' was passed with an R-rating in December 1981. It was awarded for sex, which was described as being:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

In both cases, Cinerama Films was the applicant.

 

 

SLAVES IN CAGES - Review

Review by Matt
A playboy kidnaps, cages, rapes and humiliates women until they are willing to perform in live sex shows for an audience. Unfortunately, this ultra-sleazy film from Lee Frost (credited here as Carl Borch) is almost dialog free, and large parts are simply made up of extended scenes of the sex shows.

The print that I viewed ran exactly 69:29, so I can consider it the same as the one initially submitted for Australian classification. Sexual violence is scattered throughout the film, so is it hard to pinpoint exactly where the censor would have snipped ten minutes.

A long sequence from 41m to 55m would have suffered the bulk of the cuts. It shows the Captor breaking Nancy’s spirit by first raping her, and then subjecting her to an extended slow-motion whipping.

The month before the censor cut SLAVES IN CAGES, they also removed over eight minutes from Frost’s THE CAPTIVES (1970). This too had been picked up for Australian distribution by Cinerama Films.

Although shot in the US, both films were made to look like Danish imports. At the time, anything from Denmark was considered more extreme than a US film. This explains why 'SLAVER I BURE' was tacked onto the title of SLAVES IN CAGES, and VI FANGNI added to THE CAPTIVES.

It would be great to see what happed to Cinerama Films print of THE CAPTIVES (1970), as currently it is unavailable anywhere.


 

 

 

 

Slaves of Love

Directed by Charles Nizet / 1969 / USA / IMDb

In June 1972, a 6926-feet (76:57) print of SLAVES OF LOVE was Refused Registration because of 'indecency'. An appeal by Roadshow Distributors to the Films Board of Review failed in January 1973.

A 1655-meter (60:19) 'reconstructed version' was finally passed with an R-rating in August 1973.

 

In July 1979, a 2007.94-meter (73:11) 'reduced version' was passed with an R-rating.

Blake Films was the applicant.

 

Review by Matt
If it were not for the inclusion of some very tame soft-core scenes, SLAVES OF LOVE would almost play like a nudie-cutie film. I cannot believe the censor found sixteen minutes to remove in 1972. Even less clear is how we still had a censored version in 1979!

The VHS dub that I viewed ran only 72:47, but did not appear cut.

 

Charles Nizet's THE RAVAGER (1970) was also banned and then censored in Australia.

Image courtesy of moviemem.com

 

Slaves of Love (1969) - Blake Films [au] Daybill


 

 

 

 

Slaves of Pleasure

Directed by Shaun Costello / 1978 / USA / IMDb

In February 1981, a 1310.74-meter (47:46) 'pre-censor cut' of SLAVES OF PLEASURE was passed with an R-rating. The sex was described as being:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

This print appears to have lost nearly half its running time, as the IMDb lists 83-minutes for the uncut version.

AZ Associated Theatres was the applicant.

Image courtesy of moviemem.com

 

Slaves of Pleasure (1978) - AZ Associated Theatres [au] One sheet


 

 

 

 

Slaves to Passion

Produced by Shiyuuta Biwajima and Chikara Niki / 2001 / Japan

In January 2008, Siren Visual had a DVD of SLAVES TO PASSION banned by the Classification Board.

A censored version was passed R18+ (High level animated sex scenes) in February 2008.

SLAVES TO PASSION was released in May 2008 as part of Siren's Hentai Collection.

It was re-released by Siren in August 2009, as part of a box set titled THE BONDAGE COLLECTION. It also included BONDAGE MANSION and MY BROTHERS WIFE. All three features were censored.

 

 

Banned because of incest

Here is what the Classification Board had to say about SLAVES TO PASSION in their 2007 to 2008 Annual Report.

The anime film Slaves to Passion was classified RC for offensive and gratuitous depictions of incest. A modified version of the film was subsequently classified R 18+ with the consumer advice 'High level animated sex scenes'.

 

 

SLAVES TO PASSION: The censored footage

Thanks to Geoff for this review of the censored Siren Visual DVD.

Episode 1 runs 29:24 to the end of the Japanese credits and did not look obviously censored. The disc then continues to run until 30:24 with a blank screen. I can only assume that this is where the English credits should run. The end-credits reprise of the episode does not seem to contain any missing footage.

Episode 2 runs 25:55 to the end of the Japanese credits and is definitely censored. This time the English credits are shown and the episode ends at 26:54. Using the end credits reprise as a guide I spotted the following scenes that were missing from episode 2.

 

Ayamto and Karen

Karen is trying to seduce Ayamoto. He says "there is no way I would do the same with a trashy whore like you" Karen is then shown lying naked on the bed and the scene ends at 06:01. There is no footage of them having sex. Two shots in the end credits between 23:56 to 24:10 show the following.

Shot 1: Ayamoto whipping Karen
Shot 2: A naked Karen with Ayamoto behind her.

The disc extras contain a slide show that has several shot of the missing Ayamoto and Karen sex scene. It includes a picture in which she appears to be urinating whilst tied up.

 

Kayuki and the Master

At 09:50 Kayuki tell Miss Reika " Master was really my biological father"

I'm guessing there is missing footage after this as the end credits between 24:31 to 24:41 show the following three shots.

Shot 1: Kayuki holding a penis
Shot 2: Close up of Kayuki's face screaming and protesting
Shot 3: The naked Master laying on top of Kayuki. Blood is shown on the floor between her legs.

The missing footage must be of the Master raping Kayuki which sets up the motivation for the next shot.

The Siren disc continues with Kayuki saying "I couldn't bare the fact that the only family I had in this world was a monster". This takes place over footage of him dying of the poison she had given him. Again the disc slide show includes a couple of shots from this missing sequence.

This would have definitely been the incest scene that the Classification Board used as justification to ban the disc.

 

Ayamoto, Karen, and Miss Reika

I do not remember the fact that Karen and Miss Reika are sisters being made clear in either of the two episodes. However, the deleted scenes extra contain a clip from episode 1 where Karen is having sex with the two guys. She says "don't talk to me about my sister, I hater her, but I bet in the next episode I'm gonna fuck her anyway"

The sex scene between the three of them takes place between 13:50 to 18:10 in the Siren disc. Karen and Miss Reika are not shown having sex together, but are instead shown being whipped by Ayamoto. The scene ends with Miss Reika saying "I wonder what it'll taste like if I eat this" Karen replies "I want to taste it too" although the subtitles have her saying "I want to eat the cock". Finally Ayamoto looks on shocked and says "but that's". I'm guessing a scene of anulingus may have been removed.

Although Karen and Miss Reika are not shown having sex in the episodes, the extra slide show does definitely show this. Again, this could have been the incest theme that caused an RC-rating.

 

Extras include trailers for ANYTHING YOU CAN DO, CAMPUS, and MAPLE COLORS, a slide show (01:47), and deleted scenes (00:34)

I believe both episodes are probably censored more than I have mentioned above, but without viewing the uncut version I cannot confirm this.

 

Slaves to Passion - Siren Visual [au] DVD 1Slaves to Passion - Siren Visual [au] DVD 2


 

 

 

 

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