With its extreme scenes of shantytown torture, as well as its ambiguous focus on an amoral anti-hero, Sergio Corbucci’s film was a cult controversy long before the recent Tarantino remake. Here, Austin Fisher considers the film’s controversial reputation in light of its changing national and international reputation, while acting legend Franco Nero offers his own observations on why the cult of Django never dies.
The Last House On The Left (1972/2009)
Wes Craven’s taboo busting 1972 debut shocked audiences worldwide with its visceral depiction of a middle class family who enact the ultimate revenge against the criminal gang responsible for the murder of their daughter. Paradoxically, the 2009 remake of The Last House on the Left was passed uncut by the British censor, despite being more brutal than the original film. Here, Claire Henry considers both versions of the film in light of redemptive and moral themes across the series, while actor Marc Sheffler reflects on both his role in Wes Craven’s original film and Henry’s analysis.
Faces of Death (1978)
By combining apparent scenes of real life atrocity with sensational narrative and marketing strategies, the Faces of Death series became one of the most notorious examples of the mondo tradition of documentary, which resulted in official censure in many territories. Here, Nicolò Gallio considers online fan approaches to the series as a way of exploring wider social attitudes towards the taboo of death, while director John A. Schwartz exposes the making and myths behind the cult cycle.
House On The Edge Of The Park (1980)
No stranger to the BBFC cutting room, Italian director Ruggero Deodato followed up his 1979 controversy Cannibal Holocaust with this notorious home invasion epic that was banned in many territories. Here, Professor Martin Barker revisits one of the most infamous of the ‘video nasties’ of the 1980s in light of the recent audience studies project into sexually violent imagery that he convened, while Deodato and lead actor Giovanni Lombardo Radice responds directly to the audience project’s findings.
Between 2001 and 2008, iconic British distributor Tartan Films promoted a new range of shocking titles that became known as ‘Asia Extreme’. As well as inspiring new modes of fandom and even Hollywood remakes, this brutal brand also raised unsettling issues of sexual violence and even fears of copycat killings. Here, Emma Pett explores the changing cult reputation and status of Asia Extreme through a recent audience studies project she convened, while former Tartan PR agent Paul Smith reflects on the label’s marketing strategies in light of Pett’s analysis.
The Human Centipede (2009/2011)
To defenders of his startling catalogue, Tom Six’s The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009) and The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) (2011) can be seen as representing a distinct evolution of horror cinema that unites gothic themes with contemporary body phobias. However, to their detractors, the films convey debased images of suffering and torture that provoked condemnation in many quarters. In particular, the second film in the series (which features an obsessive fan of the original film attempting perverse new modes of surgery in a London garage) was initially banned by the BBFC, only being subsequently released in an edited version. Here, Steve Jones explores the controversy and creativity behind Tom Six’s work, as well as linking his unsettling output to longer standing horror film traditions.
The Bunny Game (2010)
One of the few recent films to be banned outright by the BBFC, The Bunny Game presents a shocking battle of wills between an ill-fated street girl and the sadistic client who picks her up in his truck before subjecting her to an extreme campaign of torture. Although the BBFC outlawed the film on the basis of its violent objectification of female victims, Jenny Barrett here offers a re-reading of the film’s S/M imagery and arthouse stylistics, while lead actress and co-creator Rodleen Getsic offers a passionate defense of her film in light of wider social and sexual politics contained within The Bunny Game.
An Official Afterword: The BBFC Responds To The Launch Issue Of The Cine-Excess eJournal
An Official afterword, the BBFC responds exclusively to the contents of the launch issue of the Cine-Excess ejournal in light of its current policy guidelines.
Review: Hammer Has Risen From The Grave
A review on the 2012 conference and festival that showcased the past and present output of one of Britain’s most influential horror production houses.
Review: The Cultural Mythology Of The Snuff Movie
A special report on an academic conference devoted to one of the most controversial and yet influential cycles of cult cinema.
Review: Stiges Film Festival 2012
A special festival report from one of Europe’s largest fantasy film events, which headlines many new and emergent trends within the cult arena.