Unseen Obscene

By | June 13, 2008

What happens to all the bits of film (or these days fragments of digital video) that are removed from films? The censor insists on cuts to allow a film to be released with this or that certificate. Even when certified at R18 there are things which, quite rightly, should not be allowed into a movie.

However, over time the goal posts move. Now it’s quite common to see and hear bad language and reasonably violent images in films certified for 13-15 year olds in the UK. Many movies will get a 15 certificate with a bit of careful camera work and a few sacrificial scenes. Perhaps added to allow the censor something to cut out while leaving the main body of the work intact? Surely not. LOL

Either way, when you look at Alien Vs Predator, or Resident Evil, they are films that when I was a teenager would have been classed as 18 certificate.

It makes me wonder what quaint little snippets were excised from adult films of the past by the censor. I’d love to see a compilation of the flash of nipple or, heaven forbid, pubic hair that must have been hacked out of some of the titillating tales of the 1960s and 1970s.

I suspect it would look a like a tame version of some of our late night game shows. When Bill Oddie can narrate Spring Watch and turn it into what some people regard as soft core porn, you have to agree things have moved on. His playful double entendres and straight forward descriptions of the courtship and copulation of insects has raised a few eyebrows, but a couple of decades ago would have lost him his job.

Though it doesn’t quite rank alongside the remark that got Kenny Everett the sack:

“When England was a kingdom, we had a king. When we were an empire, we had an emperor. Now we’re a country … and we have Margaret Thatcher.”

Tags: censorship, film certification, film censorship, BBFC, Alien Vs Predator, Resident Evil, Bill Oddie, Kate Humble, Spring Watch, Kenny Everett