The BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) has never been shy about censoring material that they deem inappropriate. In recent years, we've read about THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II getting chopped by them (after initially being banned altogether), as well as the torture-porn THE BUNNY GAME. Today they've released the results from a study that, they claim, will help them adjust their concerns about depictions of rape, sexual assault and other sadistic violence in films and videos.
Which means they will not stop the snipping anytime soon.
From the BBFC's official site:
Research carried out on behalf of the BBFC in 2002 and again in 2012 demonstrates that members of the film viewing public find unacceptable certain depictions of sexual and sadistic violence which, in their view, have the potential to cause harm.
Although the research reaffirms views that adults should be able to choose what they see, provided it remains within the law and is not potentially harmful. They are concerned about young men with little experience, and more vulnerable viewers, accessing sadistic and sexually violent content, which could serve to normalise rape and other forms of violence and offer a distorted view of women.
Film viewing members of the public support intervention at the adult category, by the BBFC, to remove certain depictions of violence on the grounds that they consider them to be potentially harmful.
The BBFC had 35 participants screen a handful of violent thrillers and horror films and subsequently asked them to express their views on the possible harm in viewing films with sexual and sadistic violence content. Evidently, the reactions were in line with the BBFC's, which will now take an even harder stance on on-screen violence than they previously have.
So what films were shown? WOLF CREEK, THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II, MARTYRS, ANTICHRIST, I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (remake), THE KILLER INSIDE ME, GROTESQUE, THE BUNNY GAME and, of course, A SERBIAN FILM. In addition, the participants were asked to watch specific scenes from various hard-edged movies, including HOSTEL II, EDEN LAKE, SEED, MURDER SET PIECES, as well as old-school flicks THE NEW YORK RIPPER and HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK.
There's much more to consider here, and you should check out the entire BBFC press release (which will also take you to the specific results of their research) to fully digest what this means for the future of cinematic violence in Britain.