There was a time in the early 1980s when virtually any hard core horror film was seen fit to be banned during the notorious era of the ‘Video Nasty’ – which seems odd in hindsight considering that most of the film’s then withheld from public view are now available in their full, unexpurgated form for anyone to watch on YouTube and DVD. As a result of this – some might say – softening of the rules concerning what is deemed acceptable to watch, if and when something is now banned outright by the BBFC it often makes headline news. Such was the case when they announced this week that they have banned the new shocker Hate Crime, a film set to be the first release by the new banner Nerdly Presents, a VOD venture by geek blog Nerdly.co.uk and TheHorrorShow.TV. This dubious accolade makes the film one of only four horror movies to be declined a certificate in the UK since 2009 – the others being Grotesque, The Bunny Game and Human Centipede 2 (though this was later released with major cuts). Considering Hate Crime’s content however, it may not seem so surprising that the BBFC have taken such a firm stance against it. Telling the story of a night of terror suffered by a Jewish family – who’s home is invaded by a gang of neo-Nazi’s thugs out of their heads on crystal-meths, whilst the family are celebrating the birthday of their young son – one might ask whether this is really a suitable subject for entertainment, particularly considering the state of anti-Semitism in some areas of the world today.
The BBFC said in a statement that, after careful consideration, the film did not meet with their criteria to allow for a film to be passed, and hence they were not able to grant it a certificate. Nerdly.co.uk’s spokesman Phil Wheat admitted that they weren’t surprised by the decision, but part of Nerdly Present’s remit was to uncover great underground films and that Hate Crime fitted perfectly into this. The film’s director James Cullen Bressack took an even more liberal view stating, “I am honoured to know that my mind is officially too twisted for the UK. So it goes … I find it unbelievable that a film that shows little to no on screen violence and no nudity, was actually banned. It just shows the power of what is implied and peoples imagination; and is a testament to the fact that the same crimes that happen in the world are truly horrifying.”
Hate Crime has already been released in other countries winning a clutch of awards at international film festivals, so one suspects that it will only be a matter of time before the film is available, in some form or other, to watch in Britain. Whether this will be good or bad is likely remain open to conjecture.