British film body cuts revenge movie remake

'I Spit On Your Grave' to chop rape scene by 43 seconds

LONDON - The remake of the 1978 rape and revenge movie “I Spit On Your Grave” has repeated the sins of its predecessor and will be cut to get an '18' certificate for movie theaters.

The British Board of Film Classification said the remake - more than 30 years after the original was initially banned here - will have 43 seconds chopped from a rape sequence for breaches to the Board's sexual violence policy.

The Stephen R. Monroe directed remake stars Sarah Butler as a young woman who is gang raped and subsequently takes her revenge on the perpetrators.

The BBFC made the cuts noting that while the rape sequence in the modern version “places slightly less emphasis on the nudity of the victim than the original, there is more emphasis on threat and humiliation.” The censor body also noted that “the modern version also has higher production values.”

The film is scheduled to take its U.K. premiere bow at this weekend's FrightFest film festival in London with distributor Anchor Bay unspooling the freshly cut version before rolling it out across selected cinemas.

BBFC director David Cooke said the cuts “remove elements that tend to eroticize sexual assault” as well as other elements that “tend to endorse sexual assault.”

Said Cooke: “With these cuts made, the film's scenes of very strong terrorization and sexual violence remain potentially shocking, distressing or offensive to some adult viewers, but are also likely to be found essentially repugnant and aversive. The Board takes the view that, with these cuts, they are not credibly likely to encourage imitation.”

The original 1978 version remains - for many people of a certain age - an infamous title having been banned because the BBFC used to have a policy not to classify any movie that had been the subject of a successful criminal prosecution.

Following the Video Recordings Act in 1984, introduced to regulate potentially obscene videos and protect children from accessing such material, the BBFC revisited the original movie. After insisting on a similar number of cuts the 1978 version made off with a similar classification to its updated outing.

The BBFC also said Thursday it required cuts to the DVD submission of “A Serbian Film” before granting an '18' rating.

The Serbian language film with subtitles is about a former Serbian porn star, who is lured out of early retirement by an offer of money to participate in an 'artistic' porn film for the 'foreign market'.  When he is forced to participate in abusive activities he tries to pull out but is drugged and is forced to continue with the filming.

The filmmakers insisted their film is intended as an allegory about Serbia itself.
The BBFC said it recognizes that the images are intended to shock, but the sexual and sexualized violence goes beyond what is acceptable under current BBFC guidelines at '18'.
The BBFC has taken the scissors to it, cutting approximately three minutes 48 seconds including footage of the juxtaposition of images of children with sexual and sexually violent material.

Cooke said at the highest adult category of '18' it is policy to allow concerns to override the principle that adults should be free to choose their own entertainment.
“However, there [two films] are cases where the Board will intervene, even at '18', where material or treatment appears to the BBFC to pose a credible potential harm risk to individuals or, through their behavior, to society, and in particular where portrayals of sexual or sexualized violence might eroticize or endorse sexual assault or where children are portrayed in a sexualized context,” Cooke said.
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