Banned from Britain

BBFC slashes vid's U.K. release

The British Board of Film Classification has clamped an all-out ban on the DVD release of writer-director Nick Palumbo's "Murder Set Pieces" in the U.K.

It is only in rare cases that the BBFC outright rejects a proposed release and classification, but Palumbo's tale of the activities of a psychopathic sexual serial killer was deemed un-releasable by the British body.

The rejection means "Murder" cannot be legally supplied anywhere in the U.K.

The decision was made by BBFC director David Cooke and president Quentin Thomas ,among others.

A BBFC spokesperson said that the DVD release label, Philadelphia-based TLA Releasing, has 42 days to appeal the decision. "But even if there is an appeal, there are serious issues of other British laws this film is in potential conflict with."

The film contains scenes throughout of a serial killer raping, torturing and murdering his victims. Young children are among those terrorized and killed, and their inclusion in this context is an added concern, the BBFC said.

Cooke said that the board considered trying to cut the film to allow it a release here.

"However, given the unacceptable content featured throughout, and that what remains is essentially preparatory and set-up material for the unacceptable scenes, cutting the work is not a viable option in this case and the work is therefore refused a classification," Cooke said.

"It is the Board's carefully considered view that to issue a certificate to 'Murder Set Pieces,' even if statutorily confined to adults, would involve risk of harm within the terms of the Video Recordings Act ... and would be unacceptable to the public," he added.

"Murder Set Pieces" also raises potential legal questions, according to the BBFC, including contraventions of the Protection of Children Act 1978, and possible breaches of other legislation such as obscenity laws here.

The last movie banned outright for DVD release in the U.K. was "Struggle in Bondage," a pornographic film.