Actor, filmmaker, choreographer and martial artist. Lau was best known for the films he made in the 1970s and 1980s for the Shaw Brothers Studio. Zombie Hamsters looks back at the films from Shaw Brothers
Behind the Candelabra is a 2013 USA biography drama by Steven Soderbergh.
With Matt Damon, Michael Douglas, Rob Lowe.
The Australian film censorship board has announced that the rating for Behind the Candelabra has been reduced from MA15+ to M on appeal. MA15+ is an age restricted rating as per the UK 15 rating. M is an advisory 15 rating which would be a PG-15 in US
A three-member panel of the Australian Classification Review Board has determined that the film Behind the Candelabra is classified M (Mature) with the consumer advice Drug use, coarse language and sex scenes .
In the Classification Review Board's opinion Behind the Candelabra warrants an M classification because the themes in the film are moderate in impact and justified by context.
The lack of explicit visual detail contributed to the Review Board's decision that the themes could be accommodated at the M level.
The overall impact of the classifiable elements in the film was no higher than moderate.
For comparison the UK BBFC rated the film was passed 15 uncut for strong language, sex, sex references and drug use.
As it is a TV movie the US note the rating at TV-MA which means: specifically designed to be viewed by adults and therefore may be unsuitable for children under 17 [corrected].
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a 2012 USA/New Zealand fantasy adventure by Peter Jackson.
With Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage.
The Extended Version was rated PG-13 For extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, frightening images and fleeting nudity.
Note that the 'fleeting nudity' is new for the extended version. The Theatrical Version was rated PG-13 For extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence and frightening images.
Director Peter Jackson previously confirmed that the extended edition will be released and will feature 20 to 25 additional minutes. This leads up to a final running time of roughly 189 or 194 minutes for the first film.
Going to the cinema in the UAE can sometimes be a confusing experience.
Audiences for the British romcom I Give It a Year emerged from screenings somewhat earlier than they might have expected, and with unanswered questions about what they had just seen.
About 12 minutes had been removed from the film to ensure that it conformed to the UAE's repressive 'cultural values'. As a result, several scenes had clearly been abruptly terminated and a major plot development excised completely.
But when such cuts are necessary, would it be better not to screen such films in the first place and save audiences the Dh35 price of a ticket?
Simon El Khoury, of Gulf Film distributors explained:
When we receive the movie from the studio, we receive the original film. We show it to the National Media Council and they decide whether the movie needs cutting and [what] scenes should be cut from the film.
We have to cut them, we don't have any other choice. Of course we have to send [the list of cuts] to the studio to show them that these are the scenes that should be cut.
So would a distributor ever decide to voluntarily pull a film from the market rather than make the cuts and risk compromising the integrity of the film? We have never had this situation, El Khoury claims:
This never happens. It's usually a maximum of five minutes that we cut, it depends on the movie itself.
Usually when we cut something from a movie we don't cut conversations, we just cut a scene; for example when there is nudity. That's the only thing when some people notice there has been a cut.
UAE law requires the removal of any scenes involving moral turpitude, or violating religious morals or values on which state and society are based .
Another film to be shown despite lengthy cuts was the 2009 Watchmen , based on the graphic novel of the same name. The heavy editing became a talking point among fans on the internet, when several scenes involving the main character - a
blue-skinned physicist with super powers - were cut because he appeared nude.
Other films that reportedly received heavy editing, compromising the film's integrity, include Angelina Jolie's In the Land of Blood and Honey , Love in the Time of Cholera , Killer Joe , The Reader and Harold & Kumar
Escape from Guantamo Bay .
Vietnam's latest action movie about gang fights in Ho Chi Minh City's Chinatown has been officially banned after the censors
disapproved, even after cuts.
Charlie Nguyen, director of Bui doi Cho Lon ( Life on Chinatown Streets ) confirmed that the film has been banned.
The movie was supposed to premier on April 19, but a censorship committee with the National Cinema Department objected that it was too violent, so the movie was resubmitted without 15 minutes of major fight scenes.
But a source from the censorship committee said the film was not changed as comprehensively as requested.
Four of the eight film censors had said that the film should be banned, while others felt it should be cut to better suit Eastern values and be more realistic. They criticized it for promoting violence and depicting a bad image of the
society, with no police intervening in the knife and machete fights between gangs.
Nguyen said the request is impossible to follow, as they would have to film many more scenes and it would cost a lot more money:
We've cut almost all violent and action scenes, and we've added several scenes with police officers, enough to make sure the storyline is not changed.
Religious insensibilities are again trumping artistic expression in India, as the Central Board of Film
Certification (CBFC) has banned new film that supposedly offends Christianity.
The film, Pithavinum Puthranum (In the name of The Father and The Son), is directed by T Deepesh.
According to the filmmakers, it is set in a Christian convent and discusses a human story without getting judgmental on faith,. They maintain that the ban is an assault on creative liberties and the board has succumbed to pressure from groups that
don't want the film released.
Film censor, T Madhukumar, a CBFC additional regional censor in Thiruvananthapuram, claimed to the Deccan Herald that the question was not on content policing or giving in to pressure:
The board is an independent body that works under statutory stipulations. The film violates some of the guidelines that we follow during certification. We felt that people from a particular religion would find the film's theme and certain visuals
The official, along with four other members, watched the film last week. The board, instead of suggesting cuts, straightaway banned the film saying mere cuts couldn't have diluted the guideline violations.
Madhukumar said the board had been receiving complaints from Christian groups and individuals even when the film was being shot. He called the protests natural considering that the title referred to the Holy Trinity.
Madhukumar said the filmmakers now have the option of sending the film to a 10-member revising or appeal committee.
Apparently when Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg submitted This Is the End to the ratings board of the Motion Picture
Association of America, the co-directors expected to get an adults only NC-17 rating.
In addition to scores of profanities and liberal drug use, This Is the End includes several sex scenes, including one between a demonic beast and a human, and a well endowed satanic creature.
Rogen and Goldberg seemingly loaded the film with a few sexually explicit frames that they felt certain would shock the movie ratings panel and result in an NC-17 mark. The plan was to then trim a little from the superfluously graphic shots, resubmit a
slightly cleaner version to the MPAA and then get the R rating they always wanted.
But even with the additional material, This Is the End got an R rating for crude and sexual content throughout, brief graphic nudity, pervasive language, drug use and some violence.
They let us get away with a bunch of erections. As long as it's a demon, you can have an erection.
Franck Khalfoun's Maniac (2013) was released in Japan on June 1st. I went to the theater on opening day with much
expectation. Yeah, the film was awesome but this is not what I want to talk about.
In the opening scene, a girl is chased by the killer (Elijah Wood) and killed by him at her apartment. What I saw on screen was... all of a sudden, the girl's head was blurred. I couldn't see what was happening. She must have been scalped brutally.
That's what I imagined. Yes, I imagined - I had to imagine it. There was no other way of seeing what actually happened.
I thought, OMG! Blurred!? Is this really what Franck Khalfoun and Alexandre Aja originally created/intended? No way!
Only God Forgives is a 2013 France/Thailand/USA/Sweden crime drama
thriller by Nicolas Winding Refn.
With Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, Yayaying Rhatha Phongam.
Julian, a drug-smuggler thriving in Bangkok's criminal underworld, sees his life get even more complicated when his mother compels him to find and kill whoever is responsible for his brother's recent death.
International ratings so far from IMDb (not sure these are confirmed though):
USA: R (17A)
UK: 18 for strong bloody violence
Re-classification of Nicolas Winding Refn's Only God Forgives from 16 to 12 has prompted controversy in France.
The decision has sparked a public spat between former presidential candidate Ségolene Royal and Culture Minister Aurélie Filippetti.
Originally rated a certificate 16, the film's classification was softened to a certificate 12 ahead of its May 22 release, following an appeal by co-distributors Wild Side Films and Le Pacte. Under the French film classification system, the Minister of
Culture grants certificates on the advice of a 28-person commission.
The distributors spoke of their saying:
In our appeal letter we pointed out to the minister that Only God Forgives was no more violent than Django Unchained or Rambo 4 which were both given certificate 12s.
If the film had been forbidden to under-16s, a number of theatres would have refused to show the film, especially within the mainstream circuits. It's our job to make the film available to as big an audience as possible.
Royal said in an interview with current affairs TV show over the weekend that she believed Filippetti had bowed to pressure from the producers when she signed off on the modification:
I regret that Aurélie Filippetti de-classified an ultra-violent film which was originally forbidden for under 16-year-olds. We can't contaminate youngsters with scenes of extreme violence.
France reserves its 18 rating for hardcore porn. The 16 rating is usually used for the most violent mainstream films, (and for softcore porn). Most less extreme films, rated 18 in the UK, will qualify for a 12 rating in France. And the French censors
certainly don't waste everybody's time worrying about strong language.
Researchers at Dartmouth-Hitchcock's Norris Cotton Cancer Center say MPAA film ratings should take
depictions of alcohol use into consideration.
In fact, their newly published study suggests that movies showing alcohol use in contexts that could increase curiosity or acceptability of unsafe drinking should be rated R.
Elaina Bergamini is the lead author of the study, Trends in Tobacco and Alcohol Brand Placements in Popular U.S. Movies, 1996 through 2009, published last week in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.
The study looked at the top 100 movies in each of those 14 years, counting how many times alcohol and tobacco brands were depicted in all 1,400 movies. Bergamini and her fellow researchers found that while depictions of tobacco brands dropped during that
period, depictions of alcohol brands in movies rated G, PG, or PG-13 went up markedly. In 1998, she explained, tobacco companies signed the so-called Master Settlement Agreement. As part of that agreement, the companies agreed to end product placements
of their brands in film and TV.
However brand placement for alcohol is still self-regulated. And the study found that alcohol brand placement has increased significantly in movies rated acceptable for youth audiences, a trend that could have implications for teen drinking. The
number of alcohol brand appearances in youth-rated movies increased from about 80 per year at the beginning of the study period to 145 per year at the end. About two-thirds of those top-100 movies in the study were rated G, PG or PG-13. And it turned out
that 63% of all alcohol brand appearances were in youth-rated films.
She contends alcohol companies are intentionally inserting their brands into movies that youngsters will see. She claims:
They're trying to generate brand loyalty in a subset of the population that can't drink yet. So when they go to drink that first time, they know what to ask for.
The details of Lars von Trier's upcoming two-part sex epic Nymphomaniac are being tightly guarded. So far, Zentropa has put out just three photos of the film -- two stills and a porn-inspired cast photo -- along with the official poster showing an
erotically charged design evocative of female genitalia.
But a few details of the hotly anticipated project have slipped out. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter in Cannes, Nymphomaniac producer Louise Vesth provided a sneak peek into what we can expect. Vesth confirmed that the doubled-barreled feature will
include graphic sex scenes between the members of the all-star cast, including Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Shia LaBeouf and Uma Thurman.
For the truly hard-core elements of the film, von Trier used body doubles for the stars. But, Vesth revealed, the Danish director will use digital technology to combine the actors' non-explicit displays with the pornographic performance of the doubles.
V esth explained:
We shot the actors pretending to have sex and then had the body doubles, who really did have sex, and in post we will digital-impose the two. So above the waist it will be the star and the below the waist it will be the doubles.
When we brought Frankenhooker to the MPAA the head of the board at the time called up our company and the guy said to the secretary, Congratulations, you're the first film rated S. And she said S? For sex? And they said No, S for Shit.
And this is the ratings board!
When we premiered Bad Biology  in London I had dinner the night before with a bunch of people and one was a member of the BBFC. I said to him, 'I'd love to know your opinion after the film, unofficially of course.' I said, 'How much trouble are we
in?' And he said, 'Oh Frank, you're not in any trouble at all, this is hilarious and harmless.' Then he said, 'But if this was 20 years ago we would have had you arrested.'
Iron Man 3 is a 2013 USA/China action sci-fi thriller by Shane Black.
With Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce.
It was billed as a joint venture between two cinematic superpowers, a collaboration between east and west. But the comic-book blockbuster Iron Man 3 has now been split into two distinct entities. The version playing to audiences in China will
contain Chinese characters and Chinese sequences. The official international version, by and large, will not.
The change has not gone unobserved by some film fans in China, with a handful of bloggers crying foul over locally-shot scenes that failed to find their way into the version released to the rest of the world.
Chinese superstar Wang Xueqi told the Hollywood Reporter that he had accepted the role on the understanding that Dr Wu would be a major figure in the drama:
I said to this person contacting me: 'It wouldn't do if it was a character who's finished off after a few fights,'. I was then assured that, 'No, you're going to be the man who saves his [Iron Man's] life.
But the international version of Iron Man 3 reportedly restricts Wang's appearance to a 10-second sequence in the opening scene, plus a fleeting glimpse towards the end of the film where his face is obscured by a mask.
Zhang Pimin, deputy chief of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television recently criticised what he described as fake co-productions that did not contain enough bespoke Chinese content.
Bloggers appear united in their consternation of the deliberate product placement that sees new a character named Dr. Wu (played by mainland Chinese actor Wang Xueqi) consume a carton of a local drink product named Gu Li Duo.
Not that audiences outside mainland China will get a glimpse of this, though: This scene is part of the film's China release, a version which is four minutes longer than the normal cut seen everywhere else in the world.
All of these additional sequences revolve around Chinese characters. There's Dr. Wu having a telephone conversation -- from his office in Beijing, in Chinese -- with the television behind him showing a news bulletin of Iron Man cheered by schoolchildren
in one of the Chinese capital's landmarks.
And towards the end of the film, Dr. Wu is shown operating on Stark -- and then having a short conversation with his unnamed assistant about the task, which has been interpreted as suggesting that Chinese medicine is still the best! .
One of the most violent and disturbing movies I have seen in years. Morgue Street is an edgy, polished and extremely disturbing horror short that crosses just about every line you can imagine in its 11 minute running time.
Greg Rucka, who's written Superman and Batman comics, says that Warner Bros.' and Legendary's re-imagining of the classic American tale may lose the character's heart by going too gritty. He explains:
Superman is precisely what we should be teaching our children. Superman inspires us to our best. I haven't seen Man of Steel, haven't read the script, and I've assiduously avoided spoilers. I genuinely don't know if this reality will be present or
not. I want it to be brilliant. I want it to be glorious. I want it to be inspiring. I am keeping the faith.
But that PG-13 on Man of Steel is making me nervous. I don't know what it means. I don't know if it's a warning that there's another k-shiv coming for the kidneys, or if it's just the cost-of-doing-business, or even if it's an MPAA-bias against all
superhero violence. I don't know if this is a genuine caution to parents, or a marketing decision aimed at a demographic too-cool for Superman's brand of hope and idealism, yet embracing of Batman's self-loathing rough justice, to assure them their
ticket will be money well-spent. I don't know if that PG-13 is there out of sincerity or cynicism or politics.
I just know that if you make a Superman movie you can't take kids to, you've done something wrong.
Perhaps Greg Rucka hasn't noticed that all action movies are now at least PG-13 rated (or higher). Movies need a PG-13 to get a little street cred, even from kids. The PG is now used only for Disney style children's films and as such it has become the
mark of a children's only film. Certainly not what the marketeers want for a movie that is being sold to a wider audience.
The Attack is a 2012 Lebanon/France/Qatar/Belgium drama by Ziad Doueiri.
With Ali Suliman, Evgenia Dodena, Reymond Amsalem.
Lebanese censors have banned the award-winning movie The Attack from being shown in the country because its Lebanese director shot part of the movie in Israel and used Israeli actors.
Director Ziad Doueiri explained the ban on his Facebook page:
I regret to inform you that the interior minister of Lebanon, Minister Charbel, has decided to punish us and the film by banning it. The reason for the rejection is that I, Ziad Doueiri, had spent time in Israel filming.
The Ministry [of Culture said it had nothing against the film, but that it wasn't 'Lebanese enough.' They also said they could not have a film with Israeli actors represent Lebanon at the Oscars. I knew from the start it was a lost cause.
All this does in the end is portray Lebanon in a negative light, and tell us, filmmakers, that we if think outside of the box, we 'll be considered pariahs and outlaws.
The film is about an Arab surgeon in a Tel Aviv hospital who finds out that his wife died in a suicide bombing. The film won the Special Jury Award at the 2012 San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain and the Golden Star at Morocco's Marrakesh Film Festival.
Abruptly pulled from cinemas on its original opening day April 11, Quentin Tarantino's Django
Unchained is poised to return to Chinese screens with its nudity scenes expunged, according to local newspapers and microblogs.
Local media is now claiming a May 7 release after full-frontal nudity was cut. The film's distributor, Sony, has not confirmed the date though.
A post on the TNABO microblog, one of the more authoritative sources of film industry news and statistics in China, said Django Unchained will be returning to the big screens on May 7 after undergoing another round of censorship.
Fahtum pandinsoong (Boundary) is a 2013 Thailand/Cambodia/France documentary by Nontawat Numbenchapol.
Thailand's film censors have banned a documentary about the country's long-running border dispute with neighboring Cambodia.
Boundary tells the story of the Thai-Cambodia conflict through accounts of an ex-soldier who lives near the border, as well as villagers from the two countries. The film also shows scenes from the 2011 political protests in Bangkok that left more
than 90 people dead.
Director Nontawat Numbenchapol said that the Culture Ministry's film screening office informed him that they believe the movie's content is a threat to national security and international relations.
The border dispute is currently being considered in international court at the Hague.
The Thai government film censor has lifted its ban on a documentary film on Thai-Cambodia border conflicts. The
reversal marks the first time a ban on a film in Thailand has been lifted.
Directed by Nontawat Numbenchapol, Fah Tam Pan Din Soon , or Boundary , was banned by the sub-committee of the National Film and Video Board on grounds that it was misleading and a threat to national security.
The censor board, however, has asked the filmmaker to cut a portion of background sound from the film. Nontawat agreed to their request to make a slight alteration by muting a few seconds of ambient soundtrack. The scene in question takes place at the
New Year celebration at Ratchaprasong intersection. An announcer on stage can be heard saying: Let's count down to celebrate His Majesty the King's 84th anniversary.
The film has now received an age 18-plus rating.
The chief censor Pradit Posew said the sub-committee, which had previously banned the film, acted beyond its jurisdiction. He explained that only the main committee can decide on an outright ban. He also said that protocol should have permitted the
director to defend his case in advance of a ban ruling by the committee. Nontawat was given no such opportunity.
Unrated Version of Texas Chainsaw to appear first on digital download
25th April 2013
Thanks to Andrew
The UK is being as equally shafted as the U.S. with the home video release of Texas
Chainsaw Both sides of the pond are receiving the R rated cut of the film, with no sign of the extended / Unrated cut anytime soon.
HOWEVER, the movie's
official Facebook page reveals that the UNRATED version of TEXAS CHAINSAW will be released on Digital Download early April 30th. (TEXAS CHAINSAW available on DVD and 3D Blu-ray May 14th).
Whether this will be available to UK (Non U.S.) viewers remains to be seen.
So it looks like there now will be a new pecking order of formats. Digital downloads are the new top dog, with the earliest releases and the best versions.
Large-breasted strippers, zombies, nudity, excessive gore... and it's in 3D.
Best Horror DVD and Best Grindhouse Throwback
With a sly twist on the serial killer/slasher genre (he targets fathers, rather than the typical teenage girl), a kickass synthy soundtrack, just the right amount of film grain, sexy women, and genuine horror
Best Box Set/Combo Pack
Midnight Movies Vol 1: Horror Triple Feature
Two of the films in this set were directed by Lamberto Bava and one was directed by his dad, Mario.
A Baled in the Dark
Best Sexy Arthouse Flick
Lars Von Trier's clinical depression/end of the world fantasia is an incredibly thoughtful, spectacularly acted film.
Best Mainstream Genre Flick
The Cabin in the Woods
If you've already seen this Joss Whedon-scripted, brilliant twist on the horror genre, you already know how delightfully clever it is.
Best Movie Where People Do Sex Stuff for Real! and Sickest Flick
The Bunny Game
Gritty, grimy and so intense it'll crawl under your skin
Best "Thank God It's Back In-Print
Stuart Gordon's classic and transgressive take on H.P. Lovecraft is deliriously insane and insanely gross.
The TLA Cult Super Awesome Culty Award - Best Overall and Best Mindfuck
Where the Dead Go to Die
This ultra-disturbing cartoon as playing out like ...the nightmares of psychopathic child on steroids and mescaline... only more disturbing than that.
Morgue Street is a 2012 Italy short horror thriller by Alberto Viavattene.
With Mario Cellini, Désirée Giorgetti, Roberto Nali.
Morgue Street was slated for screening at the A Night Of Horror Film Festival in Sidney, but the Australian Classification Board banned it with a 'Refused Classification' rating, two days before the screening, claiming
its material that is considered to offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults.
Morgue Street is based upon the story The Murders in The Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe. It tells the story of two prostitutes, mother and daughter, struggling against a mysterious creature that breaks into their home.
Brian Yuzna called it An original artistic horror while cult author Jack Ketchum blessed it as impressive and perverse .
By the way of a hint about the reasons for the ban, as well as horror film festivals, it was also screened at the Berlin Porn Film Festival.
Noted Chinese Film Director Feng Xiaogang brought up a taboo subject in a speech when he accepted the honor of director of year
from the China Film Directors Guild. A video of the event recorded his speech:
In the past 20 years, every China director faced a great torment and that torment is [beep].
The censored word, as anyone reading Feng's lips can surmise, is censorship. Feng choked up with emotion before he spoke about censorship, and as soon as he did, the attendees in the ball room let out a collective whoa, breaking into
applause. Feng continued:
A lot of times when you receive the order [from the censors], it's so ridiculous that you don't know whether to laugh or cry, especially when you know something is good and you are forced to change it into something bad. Are Hollywood directors tormented
the same way? ... To get approval, I have to cut my films in a way that makes them bad. How did we all persist through it all? I think there is only one reason -- that this bunch of fools like us love filmmaking -- are entranced by filmmaking -- too
The video of Feng's acceptance speech has gone viral on China's social media. One post containing the video was retweeted more than 10,000 times on Twitter-like Sina Weibo.
Django Unchained will play in China with the same running time as elsewhere. However Chinese film censors have asked Tarantino to turn
down the blood.
Zhang Miao, the director of Sony Pictures' office in China, has announced that Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained has been approved for release in China by the national rating and censorship board, the State Administration of Radio, Film and
In order to get approval for the Chinese release, Tarantino agreed to modify the film's dramatic violence, muting the color of the blood in some sequences and making the spray of the gore less intense.
Zhang said in an interview:
What we call bloodshed and violence is just a means of serving the purpose of the film, and these slight adjustments will not affect the basic quality of the film -- such as tuning the blood to a darker color, or lowering the height of the splatter of
Django Unchained was abruptly pulled from theaters in China on Thursday, its opening day, a
surprising move that underscored the fragility of Hollywood's evolving relationship with the Chinese movie industry. No reason was given for the decision to suspend the release .
Chinese media and film blogs were filled with speculation that the movie had been withdrawn because state censors somehow missed a brief scene with nudity. That explanation seemed unlikely, however, given the careful vetting the film is said to have
undergone before it was approved for release.
Whatever the reason, the last-minute nature of the decision was surprising. Potential problems with Chinese censors are usually identified and addressed long before the film's opening.
Tarantino's representatives and financial backers in Los Angeles and New York on Thursday were still scrambling to learn what had gone wrong, and looking for a way to reopen their movie. Sony have indicated that Django Unchained may be rescheduled
suggesting that problems could yet be rectified.
Executives at the Hollywood studio, Paramount have been worrying about a minor plot point in the $175 million zombie film, World
War Z , which stars Brad Pitt.
In the 'offending scene', characters debate the geographic origin of an outbreak that caused a zombie apocalypse and point to China, a Paramount executive told TheWrap.
The fast-rising prominence of the Chinese market, state censorship and the tight quotas for U.S. releases, the studio advised the movie producers to drop the reference to China and cite a different country as a possible source of the pandemic, an
executive with knowledge of the film told TheWrap.
The change was made in recent days in the hopes of landing a deal for one of Paramount's biggest summer movies to play in China.
The box office returns for the weekend are in. While many expected G.I. Joe to hold firm in the top position but
Fede Alvarez's reboot of Sam Raimi's beloved 1981 classic, Evil Dead chopped through the competition over the weekend.
Evil Dead , which was reportedly shot on a $17 million budget, pulled down $26 million domestically, to clear the top slot by a clean $5 million.
Alvarez's thrilling rendition pretty much disregards the comedy that Raimi's original infused, instead leaning on a very dark mood. The film moves at a terrific pace, offers outstanding loads of gore and, in the end, proves to be a completely unforgiving
picture. In short, it's the horror film we've all hoped for.
Jesus Jess Franco was a Spanish film director, writer, cinematographer and actor. He
died aged 82, a few days after suffering a stroke.
His career took off in 1961 with his cult classic The Awful Dr. Orloff , which received wide distribution in the United States and the UK. Though he had some American box office success with Necronomicon (1967), Ninety-Nine Women (1968) and his two Christopher Lee films,
The Bloody Judge and Count Dracula , he never achieved wide commercial success.
Franco moved from Spain to France in 1970 so that he could make more violent and sexual film. He turned to low-budget filmmaking with a heavier accent on adult films. He produced a number of well-received, low budget horror films in the early 70's ( Dracula vs Frankenstein, Vampyros Lesbos, A Virgin Among the Living Dead
) and a huge number of X-rated adult films.
UK film maker, Nigel Wingrove, has penned a great obituary revealing exactly how his his work was held in utter abhorrence by the BBFC:
These are two quotes from the BBFC to my solicitors which show just how close to having criminal proceedings issued against Redemption we were for trying to champion Jess Franco:
... it is grossly unsuitable for viewing in the home. Few, if any, of the sex scenes are consenting,... women that persistently refuse to succumb to the sadistic prison regime are systematically tortured, humiliated or degraded, often for the purpose
of arousing the impotent male governor and through him the male viewer of the video work. ... There is no doubt in our minds that the erotic presentation of such scenes would be found depraving and corrupting by a British jury .
... The Board has never granted a BBFC certificate to any film or video which seeks to encourage sexual sadism, and this film is clearly sadistic in that it seems to have no purpose or justification other than to reinforce or sell the idea that it
can be highly pleasurable to inflict injury, pain or humiliation (often in a sexual context) on others.
...The work of this particular film maker has often fallen well outside the parameters of BBFC standards because of the manner in which it presents scenes of vicious sexual violence or of violence to women in a sexually arousing context, offering
little pleasure to the viewer other than a conscious vicarious gratification of misogyny. Where such emotions focus on the harming of others, the Board must always consider drawing a line, as we have in refusing a video certificate to DEMONIAC .