James Cullen Bressack's (director of "To Jennifer", "Blood Lake") harrowing home invasion film "Hate Crime" has just been banned from distribution in the UK by the BBFC.
I actually had the pleasure (if that's the right word) of reviewing the film for its US release last year, you can read my review "HERE".
The film basically tells the story of a Jewish family, who are recording their youngest son’s birthday celebrations on video, when their home is suddenly invaded by a bunch of crystal-meth-crazed neo-Nazi lunatics, who proceed to beat and humiliate them.
Echoing the home invasion scene from "Henry : Portrait of a Serial Killer", it seems the BBFC took a dim view of the prolonged scenes of physical, sexual and racially verbal abuse and promptly rejected it for a classification, meaning the film is effectively banned from being legally distributed in the UK.
The film was to have been the first release from a new joint VOD venture between geek blog Nerdly.co.uk and TheHorrorShow.TV.
The full official statement from the BBFC is as follows...
“HATE CRIME focuses on the terrorisation, mutilation, physical and sexual abuse and murder of the members of a Jewish family by the Neo Nazi thugs who invade their home. The physical and sexual abuse and violence are accompanied by constant strong verbal racist abuse. Little context is provided for the violence beyond an on screen statement at the end of the film that the two attackers who escaped were subsequently apprehended and that the one surviving family member was released from captivity. We have considered the attempt at the end to position the film as against hate-crime, but find it so unconvincing that it only makes matters worse.
“The BBFC’s Guidelines on violence state that ‘Any depiction of sadistic or sexual violence which is likely to pose a harm risk will be subject to intervention through classification, cuts or even, as a last resort, refusal to classify. We may refuse to classify content which makes sexual or sadistic violence look appealing or acceptable […] or invites viewer complicity in sexual violence or other harmful violent activities. We are also unlikely to classify content which is so demeaning or degrading to human dignity (for example, it consists of strong abuse, torture or death without any significant mitigating factors) that it may pose a harm risk.’
“It is the Board’s carefully considered conclusion that the unremitting manner in which HATE CRIME focuses on physical and sexual abuse, aggravated by racist invective, means that to issue a classification to this work, even if confined to adults, would be inconsistent with the Board’s Guidelines, would risk potential harm, and would be unacceptable to broad public opinion.”
“Of course, the Board will always seek to deal with such concerns by means of cuts or other modifications when this is a feasible option. However, under the heading of ‘Refusal to classify’ our Guidelines state that ‘As a last resort, the BBFC may refuse to classify a work, in line with the objective of preventing non-trivial harm risks to potential viewers and, through their behaviour, to society. We may do so, for example, where a central concept of the work is unacceptable, such as a sustained focus on sexual or sadistic violence. Before refusing classification we will consider whether the problems could be adequately addressed through intervention such as cuts.’ The Board considered whether its concerns could be dealt with through cuts. However, given that the fact that unacceptable content runs throughout the work, cuts are not a viable option in this case and the work is therefore refused a classification.”
If you want to get your hands on it, the US DVD is available from the US branch of Amazon.com
Follow director James Cullen Bressack on Twitter