New Zealand film censors ban horror film rated 15 in Australia after the distributor refuses to implement cuts
From Censorship in Australia's Facebook Page
article from classificationoffice.govt.nz
Australian release via US Amazon
Cat Sick Blues is a 2015 Australia horror by Dave Jackson.
Starring Matthew C Vaughan, Shian Denovan and Noah Moon.
When Ted's beloved cat dies, the trauma triggers a
terrible mental breakdown. His broken brain prompts him to bring his feline friend back - all he needs is nine human lives. Ted dons vicious deadly cat claw gloves and a creepy cat mask, and goes on a murderous rampage. As the butchery escalates, a
twisted romance blossoms between Ted and Claire, a young woman who has also recently lost her cat in a horrifying incident.
This Australian censorship board classified the film MA 15+ for strong horror violence and coarse language.
However the New Zealand film censors at the OFLC banned the film as objectionable , with the explanation:
The publication is a low-budget horror film from Australia about a demented serial killer who
chooses a rape victim as his next target.
Two excisions were required to remove part of a scene (and related content in a behind-the-scenes component) that causes the DVD to tend to promote and support the use of violence to
compel a person to submit to sexual conduct, and the infliction of extreme violence and extreme cruelty under s3(2)(b) and s3(2)(f) of the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993.
If the excisions had been made,
the DVD would have been classified R18 due to the high extent and degree of gruesome horror, the infliction of serious physical harm and cruelty, and sexual violence.
The distributor declined to make the excisions, so the DVD is
classified as objectionable.
New Zealand film censor publishes its 2016 Annual Report
20th November 2016
See New Zealand censor's Annual Report 2016
[pdf] from classificationoffice.govt.nz
New Zealand's film censor, the Office of Film & literature Classification, has published its 2016 Annual Report.
It spends a fair few pages glorying in what a good and important job it is doing. However it also highlights some of its key
decisions during the year:
Perfect Sisters re-rated from Australian M to 16
A member of the public emailed the Classification Office outlining concerns about the classification of the DVD Perfect Sisters.
The DVD was cross-rated by the New Zealand Film and Video Labelling Body from its Australian rating of M [PG-15], with a note for sex scenes and offensive language. The complainant was surprised at the unrestricted M rating as they observed that the film
contained strong suicide references; sex scenes including attempted coercion; and violence, including attempted drowning of a parent in a bath. The complainant also noted that the film (under the title Deadly Sisters) is classified 18 in the United
Kingdom, with an advisory about strong violence, suicide references .
The Chief Censor called in the DVD for classification and subsequently gave it a R16 rating. noting that younger teens and children will not be able to
place this material in a meaningful context and would likely be greatly shocked and disturbed.
Unfortunately, Perfect Sisters illustrates a growing divergence between Australia and New Zealand in the tolerance of material that
depicts violence and sexual violence.
Maken-Ki! Two banned
OFLC received a set of two Blu-ray discs showing season two of the Japanese anime series Maken-Ki from distributor Madman Entertainment for classification prior to commercial release in New Zealand. The series was classified as objectionable (i.e.
The series relates to a group of gifted or magical students who attend a specialised high school named Tenbi Academy. A select group of them form the leadership committee which resolves crises, using their powers and
weapons (Maken-Ki), which enhance their powers. The majority of the publication is dubbed in English or is in Japanese with English subtitles. The series tends to promote or support the exploitation of young persons for sexual purposes through the
unrelenting sexualisation and fetishisation of the young female characters. The characters are all in high school. Their youth is evidenced by their being dressed in school uniforms, the high school setting, and the fact that they engage in high school
activities such as classes and homework. The oldest of the high school characters describes herself as a senior (aged 17), while a number of the characters are described as juniors or freshmen.
This sexual focus is relentless.
Every episode features extreme close ups of bare breasts and nipples, and every episode features the characters willingly, or having been coerced, fondling each other's breasts and genital areas. The main purpose of this publication and its
hyper-sexualisation of the young female characters is the titillation and arousal of the viewer. It is therefore likely to attract viewers with a prurient interest in young persons. It is likely to reinforce such an interest in young persons and
contribute to the problem of young persons being sexually exploited in real life.
Senran Kagura Estival Versus (Console Game) rated R18
Senran Kagura Estival Versus is a video game developed for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita by Japanese studio Tamsoft. For this Western release it is presented in Japanese with English subtitles. In this continuation of the Senran Kagura
series, girls from rival shinobi academies find themselves magically transported to the sunny beaches of a mysterious island. Tasked with a series of challenges, the girls battle it out for victory.
The constant sexualisation and
sexual themes of the publication are of particular concern. With an exclusively female roster, the game uses a damage mechanic based on the character's clothing. As enemies or allies lose health, their clothing is ripped and torn away with the camera
leering at breasts and buttocks as the material disappears.
The characters are shown to be embarrassed and with teary eyes during these sequences. During the fights, the player can also instigate a shinobi transformation ,
which has several variations. With a swirling background the character is stripped nude, although lens flare effects obscure any genital or nipple nudity. A ninja scroll is then extracted from between their breasts or thighs and held up in a hero pose.
The camera focuses on their breasts and buttocks during this, and again as their transformation clothing appears. There is little reason for this beyond titillation.
The dominant effect of Senran Kagura Estival Versus is of a 3D
combat game with an inordinate focus on the sexualisation of its female characters. This constant objectification is degrading and demeaning to women, and presents them as sexually available and compliant. This is likely to negatively influence the
developing attitudes of younger audiences, including teenagers, by normalising and encouraging such conduct. Moreover, there is extensive sexual innuendo as well as references to adult sexual practices. Consequently, the game earned itself an R18
Hitman (Computer Game) rated R18
The game Hitman (2015) was classified R18 in New Zealand. Through the use of firearms and explosives, players are able to kill a multitude of innocent people. Opening fire at a Parisian fashion show causes immediate panic, with civilians screaming in
terror. Some are huddled on the ground with their hands over their heads, while others flee the room. Security guards and police will attempt to kill the player. If caught in the open the player will quickly die, but through the use of cover combat may
be drawn out. With some elusive play and the acquisition of a new suit, the player can escape arrest relatively easily. Although, the blood and gore is not rendered at a high level of resolution, the effect of gunning down a screaming civilian crowd
remains high impact. While the killing of civilians is not overly encouraged by the routine gameplay in Hitman, the Classification Office is aware that players routinely post video game footage of these sorts of massacres online where they attract a
level of appreciation and acknowledgement from likeminded players.
The Classification Office must conclude that the purpose and intended audience of these posts is likely to be supportive of this high level of violence and
cruelty. Through an unfortunate coincidence, Hitman was commercially released soon after the terrorist attacks in Paris where civilians were brutally killed in a real life display of the types of tactics and behaviours demonstrated in the game.
Inside Amy Schumer rated R18
Amy Schumer is an American comedian who is known for her clever deconstruction of what life is like for young, single women whose urban heterosexual lifestyles are a minefield of uncomfortable pressures. Schumer satirises a culture that degrades and
demeans women in numerous skits and jokes that are aimed at women's self-obsessions including body-sculpting, the fitness industry, sexual selfies , quick-fix methods of weight control and plastic surgery aimed at vaginal rejuvenation .
Schumer constantly exposes the difficulties of meeting male expectations.
Some of the material deals quite candidly with the pornification of American culture. For example, a gang-bang skit, relies on the over-used
but still relevant feminist trope of women as sex objects. The disc has strong sexual content, particularly a skit that lampoons scat porn (faeces used in a sexual context) and segments where golden showers (urine used in a sexual context)
are mentioned among other sexual proclivities of interviewees.
Schumer does not shy away from presenting material dealing with anal sex, ejaculation on women's faces, or frank discussions of sexual parts, male and female. Extreme
sexual practices, such as those commonly portrayed in porn, are discussed frankly and explicitly.
The sexual content is clearly likely to cause harm if the DVD is available to children or young teenagers. However, injury is also
likely if young people in their mid-teenage years access the material. The DVD confronts its viewers with strong sexual content that includes unusual sexual practices. Adults are presumed to have the ability to critically assess difficult content, but
the bulk of 16 or 17 yearolds will not have the sophistication required to fully understand the irony and satire that is a feature of the comedy. Some young people are likely to be disturbed or intimidated by the material and it could place expectations
and pressure, particularly on young women, who might then feel that they should be more fully engaged in a sexualised world.
New Zealand's OFLC celebrates 100 years of cutting and banning films
|4th November 2016
See article from scoop.co.nz
See event details from ngataonga.org.nz
One hundred years ago, film censorship was introduced to New Zealand, making it illegal to show any film without it first being passed by the Censor. The 1916 Cinematograph Film Censorship Act was the government's first attempt to restrict what New
Zealanders could watch and hear in audiovisual media.
From 16 to 26 November, Nga Taonga Sound & Vision will mark the centenary with the event CENSORED -- 100 Years of Film Censorship in NZ. A two week programme of films banned in New
Zealand including: Mad Max, The Wild One, All Quiet on the Western Front and Battleship Potemkin .
There will also be public panel discussion with the Chief Censor Andrew Jack on censorship in a digital age. He will outline in plans
to keep censoring films for a few more years yet, saying:
Important changes are coming and public debate is essential if we're going to ensure a system that is workable, fair, and helps protect our young people from
access to potentially harmful content.
House on the Edge of the Park
|2nd December 2014
See OFLC Annual Report 2014 [pdf] from
House on the Edge of the Park is a 1980 Italian horror thriller by Ruggero Deodato
With David Hess and Annie Belle.
The New Zealand film censor has reported the ban of a proposed re-release in its 2014 Annual Report:
This film is deemed objectionable because it tends to promote and support violence and coercion to compel
women to submit to sexual conduct.
The film is dominated by numerous scenes of sexual violence. It opens on a graphic scene of rape that is not supported by context. The narrative then follows two men as they terrorise a group of
people, particularly the female members of the group, who they repeatedly subject to sexual violence. Gratuitous lingering shots of nudity and other cinematic effects such as romantic music and lighting during the scenes of assault and rape support this
purpose. The sexual violence is not contextualized or explored beyond the superficial presentation of the conduct. The victims appear aroused by, unaffected by and thus collusive in the violence perpetrated against them; this feeds into the intrinsic
rape myth dialogue of the publication. Viewers are relentlessly exposed to titillating images that eroticise sexual humiliation and violence.
All of these factors invite viewers to become complicit in events and to take vicarious
pleasure in the men's misogyny and the victims' humiliation and dehumanisation. Further, due to the publication's proliferation of rape myths and relentless eroticized presentation of sexual violence, people who have been subjected to any form of sexual
abuse will be re-traumatized by the film's depictions of violence and sexual violence. The legitimization of these rape myths also irredeemably serves to validate viewers' misconceptions of sexual violence and thus their real world response to sexual
The Classification Office is aware that cut versions of the feature have been released in the United Kingdom and has considered whether a different classification might be possible if excisions were made. However the
distributor has notified the Classification Office that any excisions will not be made, so in this instance they have not been recommended.
For comparison in the UK, the film was once banned, but is now cut
the BBFC for 1981 cinema release. Banned as a video nasty in 1983. Unbanned after 12 minutes of cuts in 2002. Cuts reduced to 43s in 2011.
And of course in the US the film is uncut and MPAA Unrated for
High School DxD
|1st December 2014
See OFLC Annual Report 2014 [pdf] from
High School DxD is a Japan action anime comedy
Starring Jamie Marchi, Terri Doty and Kyle Phillips.
The story follows Issei Hyodo, a dim-witted, lecherous second-year high school student who is killed by a girl on his first date ever. Issei is reincarnated as a devil, and from that day forward, he serves as an
underling of Riasu, a high-level devil who is also the prettiest girl on Issei's campus.
The New Zealand film censor has reported the ban in its 2014 Annual Report:
The DVD is classified
objectionable. The publication is the first set of episodes of a Japanese anime series set in high school about a sex-obsessed schoolboy who becomes part of the supernatural world. The DVD tends to promote and support the sexual exploitation of young
persons. All of the young female characters are highly sexualised and fetishised. They are relentlessly depicted as nude or in limited sexualised clothing. Focus is made on their breasts and youthful bodies in such a way as to titillate and arouse the
viewer. Their youthfulness is emphasised by the high school setting, their school uniforms and their engagement in high school activities. Episodes are separated by photo stills of the female characters sexually posing, reminiscent of adult pornographic
material. The credits feature these characters performing strip tease. The scenes are constructed wholly for the sexual benefit of the viewer. The main purpose of this treatment is to reinforce the notion that young persons are sexually desirable and
available. It encourages and legitimises the pursuit of young persons as viable adult sexual partners.
By way of a comparison, the BBFC passed the DVD 15 uncut for strong sex references, nudity, strong language, violence, sexual