Category Archives: BBFC

Horrific Murder – Horror Film Blamed, Again!

Tied to a tree and set alight – from the film Severance

Petrol death of student Simon Everitt was so horrific that killers’ own families turned them in – Times Online

Two men and a woman face life in jail for tying a teenager to a tree, pouring petrol down his throat and setting him alight in a gruesome re-creation of a scene from a horror film.

Yet another sick murder and yet another poor prosecutor who tries to blame a horror movie as the cause of the sick crime.

Love triangle

I’m still not sure I understand fully what happened here, but it appears that the victim – Simon Everitt began seeing the girlfriend, or former girlfriend, of Jonathan Clarke. Rather than blaming his girlfriend for her infidelity, or himself for being inadequate Clarke decided that Everitt was to blame and set about planning his murder.

Again I blame that lack of discipline and accountability that children grow up with in modern Britain, there are no boundaries for them, so is it really surprising that they believe that they can do whatever they want, to whomever they wish?

Society has many problems, most of which are caused by years of mollycoddling children throughout their childhood, as if they were really little adults and not the same immature and misbehaving lot we were when we were children. From what I remember from my childhood, I’d do anything that I thought I could get away with and frequently push the boundaries to see just how far I could go, frequently resulting in good hidings.

the cane

Assuming children are the same as they were when I was at school, surely common sense shows that letting them decide for themselves what is wrong, never disciplining or punishing them other than laboriously explaining how they may have behaved inappropriately, is going end up with them running havoc?

Sure, hard discipline doesn’t work in all cases. There were boys (and it was always boys back then – yet today 25% of violent assaults are committed by women!) who either just didn’t seem to learn, or just didn’t care. Many times I remember flinching at their outbursts or actions, shaking my head thinking about the results and the forthcoming pain they’ll receive,  and asking myself, ‘why are they so stupid?’

Perhaps violence or harsh discipline doesn’t work with these kinds, but it sure works with 95% of people, especially girls. I am trying to rack my brains and think of a time where a girl blatantly misbehaved. They did still misbehave back then of course, but rarely, if ever, within earshot or sight of teachers or any adult.

Today you’re just as likely to get verbally or physically abused by a young girl as a young boy at a bus stop or in town, and there is nothing anyone can do to stop them, and they know it. These young kids turn into violent, aggressive and spoilt young adults, who still believe no one can touch them and with frequently fatal results.

video nasties

Horror films have been getting the blame for violent acts for as long as I can remember, and not just horror films, also martial arts movies and more recently, video games. Most people in Britain have heard the term Video Nasties, used for the huge amount of films banned or severely cut by the BBFC in the 1980s, but blaming movies for violent acts of criminals began long before that.

For example the 1971 film, A Clockwork Orange was blamed in 1972 for the manslaughter of a schoolboy by his classmate; a lawyer in the case stating:

“the link between this crime and sensational literature, particularly A Clockwork Orange, is established beyond reasonable doubt”

Clearly getting confused about the term, reasonable doubt; the defendant never actually saw the film, something which is not unusual in these blame cases, he only heard about it from friends. But the blame was attributed and the damage done.

The film was also blamed for a rape and so A Clockwork Orange, was withdrawn or banned, depending on how you wish to view it. But the film, like many of the other video nasties that were once banned, such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Exorcist, The Toolbox Murders, I Spit on Your Grave, The Burning etc, are considered by modern audiences to be quite tame and often over rated. Although being banned has turned out to be quite a good selling point for awful films.

This shocking scene inspired a man to attempt to kill his wife and young son at an out of season hotel built on Indian land

In 1991, the film Child’s Play 3 was all over the press and blamed for having inspired the horrific murder of Jamie Bulger. Some papers claiming that the boys had viewed the film only days prior to their sick attack.

Other papers even went so far as to compare events in the film to the torture of Jamie Bulger and drawing conclusions as to which bits inspired which particular acts of sadistic torture. In reality neither of the two boys who murdered Jamie had seen the film, which displays the particularly depraved minds of some reporters, and despite Inspector Ray Simpson stating:

“[we] looked at all the videos in their houses and checked their lists of rentals from the shop. We did not find Child’s Play 3, nor did we find anything in the list that could have encouraged them to do what they did. If you are going to link this murder to a film, you might as well link it to The Railway Children”.

The film is still linked to the Jamie Bulger murder to this day, with many people ‘certain’ it was the cause. In reality the two depraved young boys were the only cause, two boys who are now walking around as free young men, with new identities and being carefully looked after by the taxpayer.

Severance

In this murder the movie Severance was blamed, a nothing special comedy horror, whose DVD sales will no doubt rocket after this case has ended. I have seen the film but I had to really think to remember the tied-to-a-tree scene, it was nothing special and something seen many times before in films.

Although gory, the film was not particularly sick or shocking; and it certainly didn’t make me want to re-enact any of the scenes shown, well maybe just the one.

One memorable scene from the movie Severance.

Although I am not sure that those uniforms are strictly NHS issue.

Frankly, these days, I am sure that most kids witness far more real-life violence, threats and aggression in schools and on the streets than they ever do in films or video games.

Yet people like this prosecutor will continue to blame violent films for violent acts rather than realise that it is society’s inability to deal with everyday violence that is causing such crimes.

enough is enough

There was however a small ray of hope in this case. So shocked were the families of those involved that they actually testified against their own family members. Indeed they would never have been caught had not the mother of one of them turned him in.

Stewart’s mother contacted officers when he confessed to her and they learnt the location of the burial site when Clarke’s brother and sister came forward.

Such actions make a refreshing change to the sniggering relatives that jeer the families of the deceased. It is one thing to not support a relative accused of such crimes, entirely another to turn them in and testify against them.

It shows that the values such as honour and integrity; values that Britain was once famous for; are is still there, just below the surface.

Susan Lewis, 46, of Great Yarmouth, told of her devastation at having to turn in her own son to the police.
Mrs Lewis said: “I was devastated that I had to call but there was no way that I wasn’t going to. He told me exactly what happened and it had to be reported.”

She did the right thing but I don’t believe for one minute that it was an easy thing, nor could it have been easy for the others testifying against their own brother.

I only hope that they go away for a long, long time.

Manhunt 2 – Put down

It looks like the game Manhunt 2 has been well and truly sunk. Despite the chairman of Take Two entertainment saying it was “a fine piece of art” and:

“The Rockstar team has come up with a game that fits squarely within the horror genre and was intended to do so,”

In what appears to be a futile attempt to save it, the game seems to have been dealt a death blow by Sony and Nintendo. Both of whom have said the the game won’t be released on their platforms, despite the game having being specifically developed for them. So unless they make a PC or Xbox version, the game is dead in the water, whether it has been banned or not.

This means lost money for Rockstar games and Take Two, which means they won’t take such risks in future games, which means safe, boring games are likely to their next releases. All thanks to the hysterical media.

Bruce Lee Vs the BBFC

If there is one thing that infuriates me it is censorship. The very fact that one group of people have the job of deciding what another group of people see, or don’t see, is bizarre, and sometimes completely bewildering. I think the main reason for my deep hatred of all kinds of censorship is something that happened to me as a child.

I grew up in the days when Kung Fu was cool, where you couldn’t move for Kung Fu films on the TV (Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee, The Karate Kid, Monkey etc) and my all time hero was of course Bruce Lee. It was also the age of video, a time where you could actually own your favourite films and watch them whenever you wished to. No waiting for them to be on TV, no more waiting for special screenings at the cinemas. Kung Fu night could be any and every night.

So naturally as soon as I had my own money I bought all five Bruce Lee films, The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, Way of the Dragon, Enter the Dragon and Game of Death. By the time I was old enough to buy them Kung Fu had gone out of fashion and the only one of the Bruce Lee films ever on TV was Enter the Dragon, albeit in a very cut version, but that is TV. At the time Nunchaku were banned, not just for sale, they were not allowed to be shown in any movies either, so I was expecting those scenes to be cut but as I sat down to watch my favourite films, films that I hadn’t seen for years I was struck almost dumb.

They were not the films that I remembered, in fact in one case in particular you couldn’t accurately use the word film at all. As soon as I noticed it on the first film I ejected it and tried a second, then a third until I had been through all five. Virtually all scenes of combat in the films were cut! I was beside myself with rage, I honestly believe that if a member of the BBFC had been right beside me at that time, I would have choked the life right out of him. Enter the Dragon was the only complete film (minus the Nunchaka scenes), all the others were massively cut, Fist of Fury not too bad, Game of Death had several fights missing, making it a two level Pagoda, The end of The Big Boss, didn’t make any sense at all as the knife fights were cut. The worst though was Way of the Dragon. Every scene involving knifes, Nunchaku and other weapons were cut. At one point in the film Bruce is in the restaurant talking, next frame he is outside standing over four fallen adversaries, then within a few seconds he is back inside and the bad guys are all fleeing. All Bruce actually did in those ten seconds was take off his jacket. The film was a joke and didn’t even make any sense. Yet they’d butchered it so that it was incomprehensible and authorised it for sale, rated 15.

I was devastated, unable to get my head around why someone would do that to such great films, and yet still consider them OK to be sold. I couldn’t understand how they had not only decided that those scenes needed to be cut, but then went on to say “yep that still works,” and let the film be released in that form. What angered me the most was that some idiot had given them the power to decide what was right and not right for me to watch.

I almost took the films back, but realised that I couldn’t exchange them and technically there was nothing wrong. Instead they stayed on my shelf, unwatched.

Years later the laws were relaxed and the films were re-released in their entirety, nunchaku and all, on DVD, but even years later with the full versions sitting on my shelf, that anger and frustration hasn’t left me, it is still there bubbling away beneath the surface.

Which brings me to my point (yes I did have one, it just took a while to get there), the BBFC have struck again, banning a video game for the first time in ten years.

BBC NEWS | England | Leicestershire | Censors ban ‘brutal’ video game

The video game Manhunt 2 was rejected for its “unrelenting focus on stalking and brutal slaying”, the British Board of Film Classification said.

To be fair to the BBFC they have been a lot more laid back in recent years, I think that they have had to be though, as anger at some of their decisions has prompted others to ask “Just what gives them the right to decide what I watch?”

But I hate censorship in any form and I can see no reason to ban a computer game. The idea that children may watch it and decide to copy it is absurd. Children are far better than at differentiating between the world of games and the real world than we are, afterall my generation grew up thinking that Golden Axe had the most realistic graphics of any game ever, compared to that even the most basic game appears to have photo realistic graphics these days. But to children it is all still pixels on a screen, and not very realistic at all.

This action by the BBFC stems from the cries of hysterical parents, and unable to do anything about the initial game, and being heavily criticised about it at the time, the BBFC have decided to take it out on the new one. Because one boys parents claimed that the game inspired their son’s killer to murder, the media jump on the bandwagon and all of a sudden film, video games and the other usual suspects are causing all of the worlds ills.

Although I sympathise with the parents of the boy killed, and I understand that it must have been difficult trying to get their heads around the fact that someone did that to their boy, pointing the finger at the most convenient thing helps no one. Particularly as their son’s killer didn’t actually even own the game and as the police said:

“robbery was the motive behind the attack on Stefan in Stokes Wood Park on 26 February 2004 – and not the video game blamed by Stefan’s parents.”

Now what may well have been an enjoyable game (I have no idea I didn’t even play the original), has been taken away from people in Britain, so we’ll most likely never know. What worries me is where will it stop, afterall I am a big fan of the Hitman games, whose very premise is to murder people, will that be the next game to fall foul of the BBFC?