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Thundercrack Marion Eaton Thundercrack! is a 1975 USA adult comedy horror by Curt McDowell.
With Marion Eaton, Melinda McDowell and George Kuchar. IMDb US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

  • 2015 Synapse Films 40th Anniversary Edition R0 Blu-ray at US Amazon released on 8th December 2015
  • 2015 Synapse Films 40th Anniversary Edition R0 DVD at US Amazon released on 8th December 2015

Versions and UK Censorship History

This 160 minute version is the full length uncut versions. There is also a version Theatrical Version cut by 30 minutes.

Notably not released in the UK outside of the cinema club circuit. The film will languish on the self censored banned list due to British censorship law. The market is art house yet the explicit sex limits the film to R18 sex shops, where too few film fans choose to frequent.

Promotional Material

Years in the making! The highly-anticipated restoration of the underground film classic Thundercrack! Will finally be unleashed to the public!
Witness if you dare… THUNDERCRACK!… the world’s only underground kinky art horror film. With the initial setup of an atmospheric gothic tale, a dark and stormy night breakdown featuring a creepy old house on the hill, it quickly turns eerie and different. A tour de force of underground filmmaking with a plot beyond description, this film fully exposes itself with amazing dialogue and trash-noir lighting through which to peer at the pickles, the puke and the polymorphs.

In 1975, Curt McDowell and writer/actor George Kuchar created the utterly brilliant THUNDERCRACK!, a film not recommended for those with tender sensibilities. A true cult classic that has shocked, excited and amazed audiences worldwide for 40 years, this presentation is the first ever official North American video release!

Special Features:

  • Rare archival interview segments with director Curt McDowell presented as audio commentary
  • Chapter Selections
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no boundaries logo Natalia Kaliada, director of the Belarus Free Theatre, moved to the UK in 2011 after fleeing a state where freedom of expression is severely restricted, activists can be arbitrarily detained and opposition journalists are routinely harassed.

But now she notes that Britain is not entirely free of state censorship either. Speaking at an arts symposium called No Boundaries she said her company was:

Highly sensitive to any form of control because of its experience in Belarus. I paid the price, and my family paid the price, for speaking our minds freely while living under a dictatorship.

Now, living in a democracy, I start to develop a fear of speaking freely in our shows in case we will lose our funding. Creative conformism is blooming in democratic countries, and so you have to ask whether the only way to secure funding today is to create safe art.

She questioned why there was so much fear in the UK about standing up for provocative artistic work :

We understand that censorship under a dictatorship is imposed by the external ruling regime. Censorship from within a democracy is often self-imposed by the individual.

Nadia Latif, director of the play, called Homegrown , told the Symposium:

We jump to support artists struggling to make work in the regimes of the East, but here in our haven of Western liberal democracy we hesitate to stand behind those pushing against a more insidious authoritarianism.

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offence open oxford No Offence, founded by student Jacob Williams and Oxford local Lulie Tanett, is a magazine recently set up to promote debate and publicise ideas people are afraid to express .The intention was to hand out copies at Oxford University Student Union (OUSU) fresher events. However OUSU took offence at the political incorrectness of the satirical content and banned distribution of the magazine.

The censors sited the OUSU rules about being able to ban anything offensive but in an age where everything is offensive to someone somewhere, this rather gives organisers carte blanche to censors anything that they personally do not like, in this case a little mockery of feminism.

The parts of the publication that OUSU found to be offensive included a satirical feature Letters to the Editor . In one of the fake letters, an author under the name Les B Anne criticized men by saying that all of the assaults are done by them [the men], all of the rapes, all of the murders , and in another A Wyatt Man referred to the liberal media from stopping us from asking all the hard questions about the muzzies .

A separate submission entitled Dickly Living , a satire of the Facebook discussion group Cuntry Living, was also deemed to be offensive for use of ‘ableist’ language and reference to organizing a mass rape swagger .

Williams commented that:

There is nothing offensive about healthy debate. To ban us from promoting it on the grounds that people might be offended proves everything the free speech movement has been saying. No offence OUSU, but you just shot yourself in the foot.

Tanett added:

We’re not inciting violence, as many people do with impunity. We’re not revealing national security secrets, as many people would applaud. We’re not even campaigning for any particular view to be listened to. All we’re doing is campaigning for events and magazines like ours to not be shut down. For the free exchange of ideas.

Offsite Comment: Oxford: where free speech goes to die

1st October 2015. See  article from by Eleanor Sharman

Spiked logo A student magazine called No Offence has been banned for being offensive.

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Poster Goosebumps 2015 Rob Letterman Goosebumps is a 2015 USA comedy horror adventure by Rob Letterman.
Starring Jack Black, Halston Sage and Odeya Rush. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb UK:  2D and 3D versions were passed PG for frequent scary scenes after BBFC advised pre-cuts for:

  • 2015 cinema release

The BBFC commented:

  • This film was originally seen for advice. The company was told it was likely to be classified 12A, but that their preferred PG could be achieved by making reductions to one scary scene. When the film was submitted for formal classification, this sequence had been acceptably reduced and the film was passed PG.

US: The film was also cut for an MPAA PG RatingProducer Neal Moritz told the Collider :

We had some issues with the poodle which I thought wouldn’t be an issue, but the poodle kind of scared people a little too far so we had to pull that back a little but not that much.

It is not clear if the UK censors came to the same conclusions as the US censors, or else the British censors further cuts to the version cut for the US censors.

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jumpers for goalposts Ed Sheeran Jumpers for Goalposts is a 2015 UK music film by Paul Dugdale.
Starring Win Butler, Régine Chassagne and Arcade Fire. BBFC link IMDb UK: Passed 12A for infrequent strong language after 8:13s of BBFC category cuts for:

  • 2015 cinema release

The BBFC commented:

  • Distributor chose to reduce the number of uses of strong language (‘f**k’) to achieve a 12A rating. An uncut 15 rating was available.
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Karma Police DVD Region NTSC British spies have snooped on people’s visits to online porn websites, according to documents leaked by CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden .The files appear to detail a top secret programme – creepily codenamed Karma Police – which has been storing and analysing the browsing habits of every visible user on the internet for seven years.

They revelations were published by The Intercept, who say they obtained the information from Snowden.

The Karma Police system collected and stored records of visits to Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Reddit – as well as porn website YouPorn. GCHQ have been correlating logs of websites visited with associated cookie information to identify the viewers.

The Snowden files give some idea of how they mine this data on an unprecedented scale, with the aim of detecting suspicious behaviour by anyone in the world.

The system also allowed spooks to track people who had listened to particular online radio stations, which they say were used to spread radical islamic ideas.

A report included in the leak showed how they selected one listener, from Egypt, and revealed they had also looked at porn site Redtube, Facebook, Yahoo, Flickr, Google, and a website about Islam. The report does not say whether the user was suspected of a crime or had links to terrorism beyond listening to a radio station.

The Karma Police system shares its name with a Radiohead song, the chorus of which goes: This is what you’ll get if you mess with us.

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bbfc on music video ratings Today the BBFC published research into public attitudes toward online age rating labels for music videos. The research evaluates a government-backed pilot, launched in October 2014 by the UK recorded music industry, the BBFC and digital service providers Vevo and YouTube, to test how age ratings can be applied to music videos released online in the UK, so that family audiences can make more informed viewing decisions. The research shows:

  • 70% of parents of under 12s are concerned about their children being exposed to inappropriate content in music videos
  • up to 60% of children say they have seen content in online music videos of which their parents would disapprove
  • 78% of parents value age ratings for online music videos
  • given the choice, 86% of parents would encourage/ensure their children watch online channels with clear age ratings
  • 75% of parents would like online channels to link music video age ratings to parental controls

The online music video age rating pilot saw the three major UK record companies (Sony Music UK, Universal Music UK and Warner Music UK) submit to the BBFC for age rating, any music videos for release online in the UK for which they would expect to be given at least a 12-rating (videos deemed not to contain content that would attract at least a 12 rating are not submitted*). On 18 August 2015, Government announced that the measures trialled will be made permanent for videos produced in the UK by artists who are represented by major labels. A new pilot for independent UK music labels to submit online music videos for classification is also underway.

David Austin, Assistant Director, BBFC said: “The research shows parents perceive age ratings for online music videos to be almost as important as ratings for film and DVD/Blu-rays. Parents want more nuanced guidance about the content of the music videos their children are accessing online, with BBFC age rating symbols alongside BBFCinsight content advice being the preferred form of labelling. “Parents would like to calibrate parental controls to filter out inappropriate music video content for their children and we look forward to working with the Digital Service Providers to incorporate these findings into the way age ratings and BBFCinsight is presented on their platforms. Non-UK label artists wanting to submit music videos for an age rating and further digital service providers wishing to display them are also welcome to help broaden the coverage of age ratings for online music video content in the UK.”

Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI and BRIT Awards, said: “We understand the concerns that many parents have about children viewing age-inappropriate content, we have coordinated an industry response and good progress is being made. Record labels are working closely with the BBFC, YouTube and Vevo to ensure that music videos produced here in the UK display recommended age ratings when broadcast online so that families can make more informed viewing decisions. The next step will be for the digital platforms to look more closely at the introduction of parental control filters, so that parents can use the ratings to screen out content they consider unsuitable.” Nic Jones, EVP International at Vevo, said: “At Vevo we support artists and their creativity, however, we understand the importance and value that age ratings provide to parents and music fans to help inform their viewing. Clearly from the research published today, there is a desire from our audiences to see content rated which enables them to make choices about what music videos they watch. Vevo have been part of the scheme since inception, and will continue to work with the BBFC and label partners to ensure that our audiences get the best experience when on our platform. ”

bbfc candate format for music video rating

  Just in passing, why is the BBFC so keen on the word ‘moderate’?

It is a very loaded word that implies euphemism, eg ‘moderate’ muslim or saying ‘moderate’ when you really means censor. In horse racing terms, nags that are the slowest of the slow are politely described as ‘moderate’.

The BBFC use comes across as some sort of jargonistic censor speak that is far removed from natual language

he research showed the preferred format for displaying age ratings for online music videos to be the age rating plus BBFCinsight:

54% of adults selected this format as the most likely to be noticed and most helpful to see online, while 53% selected it as the easiest label to understand.

The BBFC issues either a 12, 15 or 18 rating to online music videos, in line with BBFC Classification Guidelines. The BBFC also includes bespoke content advice, called BBFC insight, which explains in more detail why an age rating has been given: for example, that scenes include sexual imagery, violence or other content deemed inappropriate for younger viewers.@ Once given an age rating, the labels pass on the rating and guidance when releasing their videos to the two digital service providers — Vevo and YouTube, who, in turn, display it when the videos are broadcast online.

* It is estimated that around 20% of music videos released within the pilot were subject to a rating — the large majority of music videos are unlikely to contain content that would be rated 12 or greater. @This estimate is based on a previous video catalogue audit of one of the companies taking part in the pilot.