Archive for the ‘BBFC Unbanned’ Category

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Deadbeat at Dawn Blu-ray Deadbeat at Dawn is a 1988 USA action crime film by Jim Van Bebber.
Starring Paul Harper, Jim Van Bebber and Megan Murphy. BBFC link IMDb

Banned by the BBFC for 1998 VHS. Uncut and 18 rated UK Blu-ray release in 2018. Uncut and MPAA Unrated in the US.See further details at Melon Farmers Film Cuts: Deadbeat at Dawn

UK: Passed 18 uncut for strong violence, gore for:

  • 2018 Arrow Special Edition RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon on 22nd October 2018

Banned in 1998

The video was submitted by Dave Gregory from the Exploited VHS label in 1998 and he made it absolutely clear that Whittam Smith was personally responsible for the ban. The story goes like this:

I submitted Deadbeat at Dawn back in July hoping to release it alongside Vigilante . The BBFC sent me a not entirely unexpected cuts list for Deadbeat totalling two minutes of footage. I made around fifty cuts to remove all sight of chain sticks and throwing stars exactly as they requested. Most of the gore in the film passed unnoticed. I resubmitted the film and started sending out preview copies, printed the sleeves, and ran a couple of ads, under the foolish assumption that because I had cut what they asked the film would be approved. Not so. Ferman watched it and through his secretary informed me that there was a problem with the violence in the film. A discussion was to be staged on the matter two days after the original release date: Oct. 26th. According to Ferman, opinions were split among the examiners.

Then Whittam Smith entered the room, overruled all discussion and declared that the film was to be rejected. Democratic discussion! Anyway, Ferman said they didn’t want to issue another cuts list and that I could submit a toned down version if I wanted to. He had this impression of the film reaching a massive audience of impressionable. I told him that he ought to consider, in future, the actual market for a film of this type. 1500 units max! Not a huge blockbuster by any account, but a healthy specialist market.

Promotional Material

Jim VanBebber s notorious, blood-drenched cult classic Deadbeat at Dawn rises again on the advent of its 30th anniversary, newly restored for the first time on Blu-ray. Locked and loaded with a raft of new extras, see Deadbeat as you ve never seen it before in all its head-busting, bone-crushing glory!

Written by, directed by and starring VanBebber, Deadbeat follows the story of Goose a gang leader whose girlfriend is brutally slaughtered when he attempts to leave the thug life behind. Pulled back into the gang, who ve now formed an uneasy alliance with the thugs that butchered his girl, Goose sees an opportunity to exact his brutal, deadly revenge.

The very definition of DIY, independent filmmaking (VanBebber quit film school after his first year and used his student loan to fund the movie), Deadbeat at Dawn surpasses its low-budget origins to create a revenge movie that delivers more thrills and bloody spills than all of Chuck Norris films combined.


  • Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements by Arrow Films, supervised and approved by writer-director Jim VanBebber
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original uncompressed PCM mono audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Brand new free-wheeling audio commentary with Jim VanBebber ( Goose , The Ravens Gang Leader), actor Paul Harper ( Danny Carmodi , The Spyders Gang Leader) and guest Cody Lee Hardin, moderated by filmmaker Victor Bonacore ( Diary of a Deadbeat: The Story of Jim VanBebber )
  • Jim VanBebber, Deadbeat Forever! a brand new retrospective documentary on VanBebber and the Deadbeat legacy by Filmmaker Victor Bonacore, featuring first-time interviews, super-rare footage, VanBebber s college films and much, much more!
  • Archival 1986 behind-the-scenes documentary Nate Pennington s VHS documentary on a failed Deadbeat shoot
  • Outtakes, newly transferred in HD
  • Four newly-restored VanBebber short films Into the Black (1983, 34 mins), My Sweet Satan (1993, 19 mins), Roadkill: The Last Days of John Martin (1994, 14 mins) and Gator Green (2013, 16 mins)
  • Jim VanBebber Music Video Collection, featuring never-before-seen Director s Cuts
  • Chunkblower promotional trailer for an unfinished Gary Blair Smith-produced gore-soaked feature film
  • Extensive Image Gallery Never-Before-Seen Stills!
  • Reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by Peter Strain
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Scott Gabbey and Graham Rae
Read more News: Latest Cuts at

Title Jorg Buttgereit Nekromantik is a 1987 West Germany horror by Jörg Buttgereit.
With Bernd Daktari Lorenz, Beatrice Manowski and Harald Lundt. YouTube icon IMDb The film has not been released in the UK for fear of censorship from 1987-2014. A few clues as to why are provided by the promotional blurb:

A German motorway cleaner takes rotting bodies home to a lover who has a necrophilia fetish. This involves the skinning of a rabbit, use of a metal pipe in conjunction with a condom, nudity, and graphic sexual scenes with dead bodies.

Now film distributors Arrow are well chuffed as they write:

Arrow Video is extremely proud to unveil not one but TWO as yet-unannounced forthcoming titles! SUBMITTED FOR YOUR APPROVAL: from the master Italian schlock, Ovidio G. Assonitis, the barmy 1979 sci-fi horror mash-up THE VISITOR and — for the hardened cult movie freaks amongst you — the infamous 1987 underground German shocker NEKROMANTIK!!!

Indeed it has already been passed FULLY UNCUT by the BBFC. Pigs are flying as we speak!

Update: Uncut BBFC rating confirmed

4th June 2014. See article from

UK: Passed 18 uncut for strong sex, bloody violence, sexual violence, necrophilia for:

  • 2014 Arrow Film video
Read more BBFC News at

visions of ecstasyVisions of Ecstasy is a 1989 UK erotic short by Nigel Wingrove. With Louise Downie, Elisha Scott and Dan Fox. See IMDb

It was originally banned by the BBFC for a 1989 Axel VHS. It was the only film banned in the UK solely on grounds of blasphemy.

The BBFC decision was subsequently appealed to the Video Appeals Committee, who upheld the ban. Then director Nigel Wingrove then took his case to the European Court of Human Rights, but again lost his case.

In 2008, section 79 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act abolished the common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel. And now the film has been passed 18 uncut for a 2012 4Digital home video release.

But don’t expect too much. Director Nigel Wingrove was a bit defensive when talking to the BBFC:

If I made the film now I would make it very differently, I was exploring areas of dark eroticism, but I had worked chiefly in prints, not films.

People say I should put it out, but on a personal level I have reservations. If I did release it, I would need to put it into context and perhaps release a documentary to accompany it.

The BBFC have explained their decision to unban the film in a press release:

Visions of Ecstasy is a 19 minute short film, featuring a sequence in which a figure representing St Teresa of Avila interacts sexually with a figure representing the crucified Christ. When the film was originally submitted to the BBFC in 1989, for video classification only, the Board refused to issue a classification certificate. This decision was taken on the grounds that the publication of the film, which the issue of a BBFC certificate would permit, might constitute an offence under the common law test of blasphemous libel.

The Board is required, as part of the terms of its designation under the Video Recordings Act 1984, to seek to avoid classifying any work that might infringe the criminal law. Therefore, the Board had no alternative at the time but to refuse a classification. The Board’s decision to refuse a classification to the film was subsequently upheld by the independent Video Appeals Committee.

In 2008, section 79 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act abolished the common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel. This means that the BBFC is no longer entitled to consider whether the publication of the film might comprise a blasphemous libel.

The BBFC has carefully considered Visions of Ecstasy in terms of its current classification Guidelines. These reflect both the requirements of UK law and the wishes of the UK public, as expressed through regular large scale consultation exercises. With the abolition of the offence of blasphemy, the Board does not consider that the film is in breach of any other UK law that is currently in force. Nor does the Board regard the film as likely to cause harm to viewers in the terms envisioned by the Video Recordings Act.

The Board recognises that the content of the film may be deeply offensive to some viewers. However, the Board’s Guidelines reflect the clear view of the public that adults should have the right to choose their own viewing, provided that the material in question is neither illegal nor harmful. In the absence of any breach of UK law and the lack of any credible risk of harm, as opposed to mere offensiveness, the Board has no sustainable grounds on which to refuse a classification to Visions of Ecstasy in 2012. Therefore the film has been classified for video release at 18 without cuts.

Read more UK News at

See tickets and film details

frightfest-allnighter advertFrightfest Allnighter
Vue Cinema, Leicester Square, London
Saturday 29th October 2011

For the first time Film4 FrightFest is bringing its critically acclaimed Halloween event to the Vue West End.

Six world, European, UK and London premieres over one intense 12 hour period on Saturday October 29th.

With all the must-see chiller movies of the moment:

  • and an amazing Surprise Movie.

Tickets for all six films is £50.

Update: Human Centipede Part II

8th October 2011. See article from

human centipede 2Well it seems that the amazing Surprise Movie, mentioned in the programme above is none other than Human Centipede Part II (Full Sequence)

The film will see its UK premiere at Film4 FrightFest’s Halloween all-nighter at Leicester Square’s Vue on 29 October. Present will be director Tom Six and producer Ilona Six, to be accompanied by some of the cast.

Ian Sadler, sales director for Eureka Entertainment said:

Eureka Entertainment, and Bounty Films (Australia), are extremely excited to be able to present The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) at FrightFest. Fans of the first film are in for a fun-filled, stomach-churning, seat-squirming treat of the most nauseous. Tom Six has delivered us a villain who in years to come will be revered alongside Freddie and Jason.

Presumably the film will be shown in the cut version approved by the BBFC.

Read more BBFC News at

Press release from Eureka Entertainment

human centipede 2Eureka Entertainment is pleased to announce the forthcoming release of the controversial horror film The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence).

Ian Sadler, Sales Director for Eureka Entertainment, Bounty Films’ UK distributor said:

We are really pleased that after nearly 4 months of detailed discussion and debate, we have been able to reach an agreement with the BBFC and to produce a very viable cut of the film which will both excite and challenge its fans. Naturally we have a slight disappointment that we have had to make cuts, but we feel that the storyline has not been compromised and the level of horror has been sustained.

Further details of our plans for the UK theatrical and DVD release will be announced early next week.

The BBFC has awarded an 18 classification to a cut version of The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) after 32 cuts

From press release from

BBFC logoThe DVD of The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) has been passed with an 18 classification following 32 cuts made across 8 separate sequences. The cuts total 2 minutes 37 seconds and address all the concerns raised when the Board refused a classification on 6 June 2011, including those relating to sexual violence, graphic gore and the possibility of breach of the law relating to obscenity.

The President, Sir Quentin Thomas, said

When we first examined this work earlier this year we judged that, as submitted, it was unsuitable for classification; and, as we explained to the company, we could not ourselves see how cuts could produce a viable and classifiable work. That remains the view of one of our Vice Presidents, Gerard Lemos, who is therefore abstaining from the Board’s collective decision.

The company lodged an appeal against our decision to refuse classification. In the course of preparations for that appeal, the company proposed a number of cuts which it was right for us to consider. In response, after further examination, we proposed a more extensive series of cuts. These cuts produce a work which many will find difficult but which I believe can properly be classified at the adult level. The company has now accepted these cuts, withdrawn its appeal and the work has been classified, as cut, at 18.

In its original letter of 6 June refusing classification, the Board made clear that it was open to the distributor to attempt cuts. The cuts which have now been made are, in the Board’s judgement, necessary if the film is to be classified.

Read more Latest UK Cuts at

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See more details at Melon Farmers Video Hits: Texas Chainsaw Massacre
UK 2009 Second Sight RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon
UK 2008 Second Sight R2 DVD at UK Amazon

Texas Chainsaw Massacre DVDThe Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a 1974 US horror film by Tobe Hooper. See IMDb

Famously banned by the BBFC for a UK 1975 cinema releaseTobe Hooper’s seminal horror film was first seen informally by the BBFC’s Secretary, Stephen Murphy, on 27 February 1975. Murphy regarded it as a good, well-made film but felt strongly that the level of terrorisation, particularly towards the end of the film, and the film’s focus on abnormal psychology was unsuitable for a BBFC X certificate to be issued. The distributor reacted to this advice by making some minor reductions in the final scenes of terrorisation, formally submitting a slightly truncated version on 12 March 1975.

A pre-cut version was passed X by the GLC for a London 1975 cinema release. The film was shown in some others towns with a local authority certificate overruling the BBFC ban but the BBFC ban was enforced in others

The Pre-cert VHS was released uncut on the Wizard label in 1981

At around this time, the BBFC was once again asked to consider cuts for a legitimate video release but failed to see how an acceptable version could be produced. The film therefore fell into limbo and was removed from the shelves following the introduction of the Video Recordings Act.

After a long time in limbo it was passed 18 uncut by Camden Council in London for a Camden 1998 cinema release. It was given a late night screening at the 1998 London Film Festival and then ran successfully in Camden at the beginning of 1999.

The BBFC finally relented on their ban in 1999 when they passed the cinema release and subsequent video/DVD versions 18 uncut. The BBFC commented:

The notoriety of the film may owe a lot to its original rejection by the BBFC in 1975. It was passed for viewing in Europe, the USA, Australia and other countries. It received a GLC licence in the 1970s and was most recently shown in central London in 1998 under a licence from Camden Council. There is, so far as the Board is aware, no evidence that harm has ever arisen as a consequence of viewing the film. For modern young adults, accustomed to the macabre shocks of horror films through the 1980s and 1990s, THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE is unlikely to be  particularly challenging. Unlike more recent examples of the genre, violence in THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE is throughout implied rather than explicit. By today’s standards, its visual effects may seem relatively unconvincing.

Possibly the most notorious feature is the relentless pursuit of the ‘Final Girl’ throughout the last half hour or so of the film. The heroine in peril is a staple of the cinema since the earliest days. It is nonetheless legitimate to question the unusual emphasis THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE places on the pursuit of a defenceless and screaming female  over such an extended period. The Board’s conclusion, after careful consideration, was that any possible harm that might arise in terms of the effect upon a modern audience would be more than sufficiently countered by the unrealistic, even absurd, nature of the action itself. It is worth emphasising that there is no explicit sexual element in the film, and relatively little visible violence.

Since then the film has been released uncut several times for:

  • UK 2009 Second Sight RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon
  • UK 2008 Second Sight R2 DVD at UK Amazon
  • UK 2002 Universal R2 DVD
  • UK 1999 Blue Dolphin video
  • UK 1999 Warner video
  • UK 1999 cinema release
Read more Latest UK Cuts at

UK 2001 Argent/Shameless R2 DVD at UK Amazon

See trailer from

See more details at Melon Farmers Video Hits: The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh

Strange Vice Mrs Wardh DVDThe Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh is a 1971 Italy/Spain giallo by Sergio Martino. See IMDb

Passed 18 uncut for:

Previously banned by the BBFC for:

  • UK 1971 cinema release

Review from US Amazon: Well-Craftedinus

A solid, well-crafted giallo that delivers the goods without achieving classic status. Despite the title – and the opening quote from Freud – the film has minimal interest in character psychology. In fact, Mrs Wardh’s vice is little more than a plot device, though the weirdly-scored slow-motion flashbacks are certainly memorable.

The characters are interesting without being in any way sympathetic. The men are manipulative predators and the women play dangerous games. In the last act, the sado-masochistic undercurrents make way for a series of plot twists. While these are not too predictable, the final solution is unremarkable.

Sergio Martino stages some impressive set-pieces, aided by editor Eugenio Alabiso. While Martino lacks the artistry of Bava or Argento, he certainly knows how to make a movie.