There are some movies so shocking that the censors don’t want you to see them. Lucky for you, World Movies is the only channel in Australia permitted to play R18+ on television, so we’re bringing you five films you can’t see anywhere else.
Uncensored, unapologetic, and uncut over one controversial week, World Movies Uncut will air at 9.30pm over five nights from Monday 23 March. Tune in for Stanley Kubrick’s dystopian classic A Clockwork Orange, the brutal horror Martyrs, the Aussie exploitation romp Alvin Purple, the provocative thriller Oldboy and the grim drama Shame.
In the meantime we’re taking a look back at some movies that you might not realised were banned at some stage during their release (some may surprise you!):
Cannibal Holocaust (Italy, 1980)
Banned: Australia , United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia, Norway, Finland, Ireland, Iceland, New Zealand, Germany, Italy, Malaysia
A classic, in its own special, disturbed way. Directed by Italian filmmaker Ruggero Deodato, Cannibal Holocaust follows a documentary crew who go to the Amazon to film cannibal tribes. The documentary style of the film and the real indigenous actors led some to believe it was genuine snuff film. As a result, it was confiscated just 10 days after its premiere in Milan and Deodato was arrested for murder as the courts believed the impalement scene in the film was real. Although Deodato was able to prove his innocence of murder, the film was banned in over 50 countries due to its graphic gore and sexual violence, as well as genuine animal torture. Although the film remains highly controversial to this day, it has been praised for being a serious and well-made social commentary on the modern world.
A Clockwork Orange (United Kingdom, 1971)
Banned: Ireland, United Kingdom, Singapore, Malaysia, Spain, South Korea
Although Stanley Kubrick’s dystopian crime film original made in past the censors to be released in British cinemas, authorities considered the sexual violence in the film to be extreme. In response to death threats to his family and alleged copycat violence, Kubrick himself asked Warner Brothers to withdraw the film from British distribution. As a result, it was difficult to see the film in the United Kingdom for 27 years. It was only after Kurbick’s death in 1999 that the film reappeared. Although it is still banned in some countries, we’re airing in completely uncut at 9.30pm EDT on Monday 23 March.
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (USA, 1999)
Banned: Thailand, Vatican City, Vietnam, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka
If you’ve ever watched South Park, you know that cartoons can be just as offensive as real people on screen. In Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s feature length comedy South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut no topic is off limits during the film’s exploration of freedom of speech and censorship. The film was received positively by the critics; however it was banned in various countries in Asia and the Middle East. One of the most controversial storylines involved Saddam Hussein being portrayed as Satan’s gay lover.
A Serbian Film (Serbia, 2010)
Banned: Spain, Finland, Portugal, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Norway
This Serbian thriller tells the story of a financially struggling porn star who agrees to participate in an ‚Äòart film’, only to discover that he has been drafted into a snuff movie involving child abuse, necrophilia, sodomy, incest, murder, suicide, physical abuse and hallucinogenic drugs. Outright banned in almost a dozen countries and released with major edits in others, A Serbian Film has achieved an unsettling cult status amongst horror fans. Film critic Scott Weinberg said of the movie ‚ÄúI think the film is tragic, sickening, disturbing, twisted, absurd, infuriated, and actually quite intelligent. I admire and detest it at the same time. And I will never watch it again. Ever.”
Last Tango in Paris (France, 1972)
Banned: UK, Chile, South Korea, Portugal, Australia, Italy, Canada, Singapore
Bernardo Bertolucci’s spicy erotic drama incurred the wrath of censors worldwide due to its graphic portrayal of sexual violence. The film portrays a recent American widower (Marlon Brando) who begins an anonymous sexual relationship with a young betrothed Parisian woman (Maria Schneider). Bertolucci drew from his sexual fantasies to develop the film and narrowly avoided a jail sentence for obscenity. Brando and Schneider have since complained of feeling like sexual puppets at the hands of Bertolucci. Schneider went as far as to say she felt ‚Äòa little raped’ in the movie and that it ‚Äòruined’ her life. Brando told Bertolucci that he too felt ‚Äòraped and manipulated’ by the film. A massive hit around the globe, Last Tango in Paris was furiously debated and scandalised many cinema goers. Over time, the film became less controversial and is now available in most countries.
Monty Python’s Life of Brian (United Kingdom, 1979)
Banned: Norway, Ireland
Terry Jones’ religious satire tells the story of regular Jew who is born on the original Christmas and spends his life being mistaken for the Messiah. Some countries, including Ireland and Norway, banned the film showing in cinemas altogether. The filmmakers used this to their benefit in their marketing campaign, with posters in Sweden reading ‘So funny, it was banned in Norway!’. Many town councils across the United Kingdom also banned the film, with the ban in some towns remaining until the 21st century. The town of Aberystwyth only lifted their ban on the film in 2009, making it a 30 year ban in total – crazy, right?
World Movies Uncut kicks off on Monday 23 March at 9.30pm. Click HERE for more info on the films.