“I Spit on Your Grave”

It’s not quite a return to the days of the Committee on Evil Literature, but the recently [2008] rebranded Irish Film Classification Office (IFCO) has blocked the re-release in Ireland of the controversial 1978 horror movie “I Spit on Your Grave”.  The re-release of the original was timed to coincide with the release of a 2010 remake.

Despite appearing at the time on a list of 72 films, drawn up by the UK Director of Public Prosecutions, which could have caused retailers to be prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act – a list which included Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead and Abel Ferrara’s The Driller Killer – the re-released version is available in the UK. 

The BBC report quotes the director of the original, Meir Zarchi

However, Mr Zarchi said the ban will just give the movie more publicity.

“Since the birth of the internet all censor boards around the world have instantly become irrelevant, IFCO included,” he added.

“Anyone, anywhere in the universe can simply push a button on any video website store and order a disc of ‘I Spit On Your Grave’.

“There are no iron curtains in the skies that can stop it from landing at his or her door.

“Are we going through the “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” syndrome all over again?

“The bottom line – thank you IFCO for promoting the film in Ireland.”

The IFCO website claims

Our approach to classifying cinema films and video/DVDs is guided by three main principles: 

  •  We believe that adults (i.e. persons over 18) should be free, within the law, to choose what they wish to view
  • We have a duty to protect children and young persons from harm
  • We strongly encourage and promote the exercise of parental responsibility

And according to the Press Association report

The IFCO confirmed the movie was prohibited on September 14 for depicting acts of gross violence and cruelty, including mutilation and torture, towards humans.

Have they seen any of the Saw/Hostel movies?

Interestingly, the Irish Times notes

The new version, which features a substantial amount of extra footage, is not the same package that was put before the British DPP 30 years ago.

The decision comes a little less than a year after John Kelleher, seen as a liberalising force, retired as the director of classification. Ger Connolly, the current acting director, was formerly an accountant in the advertising and manufacturing industries. [added emphasis]

Hmm…