On a recent shoot in Australia I picked up a copy of Cannibal Holocaust (Siren Visual). I'm a bit of a completist where this film is concerned, so it made sense to pick up a version from my mother country. In the past, it was impossible to acquire a legit, uncut DVD or VHS of the film because it was banned in Australia until 2009.
The cover art, which takes a more subtle route than the American DVD, impressed me. I like the graphic treatment of the inner sleeve art, too.
Thankfully, it's now available uncut.
The passing of the film uncut represents a positive shift in film censorship in Australia (they call it "classification", but they're in denial), and leaves one troubling area of confusion for the censorship gestapo. That area is hardcore pornography and violence. Although hardcore is available for sale and rental in the ACT (Australian Capital Territory), where, ironically, Australia's lawmakers are based, it is still not legally available in any of the States. That's one issue.
But the most pressing issue is the confusion in current law arising from strict censorship guidelines which dictate that graphic depictions of sexuality are not to appear in filmed or videotaped works also depicting violence of any sort. This silly law, which is often interpreted literally, prohibits the showing of a film that features a hardcore sex scene and, for example, a scene in which a man or woman is stabbed. The stabbing need not be part of the sex scene itself.
The original intent of the law -- ushered in by cultural poofters who fear their own shadows -- was to ban films featuring graphic sexual violence, but the lazy, loose wording of the legislation has created more problems than solutions.
The recent banning of LA Zombie in Australia (see previous blog) is a typical example of this confusion. The inconsistency of its application is demonstrated by the censors' tacit approval of Lars Von Trier's AntiChrist, a film featuring hardcore sex and -- yes, you guessed it! -- VIOLENCE
Cultural Poofterism will suck the cock of Lars (a straight man), but it will not give LA Zombie's Bruce La Bruce (a gay man) a DECENT reach-around. That's very confusing. And not at all charitable.
Shocking Asia I and II (Stomp) are also old favorites of mine. When I worked as a VHS dubber in the mid-80's, I dubbed thousands of copies of both films for K-Tel Video, the Australian distributor.
Also available in the US from Synergy, the source for these releases seems to be the same old 1" masters that I threaded up onto massive Ampex tape machines.
Watching the film/s again, I discovered that I still like Shocking Asia I quite a bit and find the music just as memorable and catchy as ever.