Horror Film Morgue Street BANNED By Ratings Board

Herner Klenthur

Morgue Street has not been on my radar but whenever I hear a movie has been banned for offensive content it catches my eye if only to ask, why?

“Morgue Street” was slated for screening at the A Night Of Horror Film Festival in Sydney, but the Australian Classification Board rejected it with a RC rating, two days before the screening, thus prohibiting any exhibit on Australian soil, due to and I quote;

“its material that is considered to offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults”.

Some would look at this and cry foul and scream about the injustice but frankly I am pretty sure that the Australian Classification Board is doing their job correctly and the filmmakers behind Morgue Street are tickled pink to be banned. Or at least they should be this is marketing gold for them.

All press is good press and the easiest way to generate a ton of buzz on the blogs is to get your movie banned by the ratings board. Granted this wont help with their sales in Australia but it will be a great marketing gimmick to promote the film across Europe, Asia and North America.

Not to mention they now have some of the leading horror blogs including ours writing about their movie bringing their film exposure to literally hundreds of thousands of die hard genre fans. Every film needs that special something to get it attention with the literally thousands of shorts being made each year and a good old fashioned banning definitely is a start.

Worth noting the Australian Ratings Board has banned many films over the years some of which have gone on to be genre favorites. The list includes;

  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre banned in 1974 for its ‘high impact and explicit violence’
  • SALO banned in 1976 for offensive content, exploitive content and sexual violence
  • Caligula in 1980 for explicit scenes of violence and sex
  • Cannibal Holocause in 1984 for extreme gore
  • I Spit on Your Grave in 1995 for Sexual Violence
  • A Serbian Film for extreme sexual violence, bestiality, necrophilia and pedophilia. The pedophilia reason is also why I have not seen the movie and frankly a damn good reason to ban a movie.
  • Human Centipede 2 for offensive display of vioeence and high impact cruelty

I have no idea if Morgue street is a good film or a bad film and I am not judging the material until we are given a review copy but it is definitely safe to say that the fact they are now able to plaster ‘Banned in Australia For Obscene Content’ or ‘To Terrifying to Be Shown in Australia’ ( my words not theirs ) will peak peoples interests the same as the online buzz around A Serbian Film got people watching it.

As far as the banning goes I for one believe that film should not be censored in the form of banning as a general rule but rather should carry the rating that suits it. I am pretty sure that the ratings board got it right with Morgue Street and that we dont want a 13 year old watching it but where I think they go to far is I should have the choice as an adult to watch whatever movie I want so long as its not a real life snuff film or otherwise depicting real exploitation and violence. This is after all fiction.

Worth noting that before people dismiss this whole thing as a marketing gimmick for a movie that is nothing more then ‘torture porn’ two genre heavyweights have seen the short and weighed in on it. The filmmakers tell us that Brian Yuzna (director of “Society” and “Bride of the Reanimator”) called it “An original artistic horror” while cult author Jack Ketchum blessed it as “impressive and perverse”.

If Jack Ketchum find’s a film impressive that is definitely a film to keep in mind since he is a true master of horror. What do you think of the banning? What do you think of the practice of banning films in general? Sound off in the comments. You can checkout the Morgue Street trailer below.


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      1. Ryan D April 18, 2013 at 11:40 pm

        We are adults and can choose what we do and do not want to watch; making a film restricted to 18 years and older means for adults…there is no reason to make a film more then Restricted, whether RC or NC-17 (in the US). Making a film Rated R means it’s for adults. I mean you have to be a certain age to drink alcohol; if an alchohol has a higher percentage of alcohol then others, you don’t have to be any older or have a special rating to buy it…so why do this to movies….and it better not be because movies causes all this recent violence as we all know that’s not true…that’s just the States not wanted to take blame for loving weapons and war, so let’s blame horror movies. ADULTS CAN MAKE ADULT DECISIONS!!!

      2. endo April 19, 2013 at 2:22 am

        The pedophilia part of A Serbian Film is laughable, to say the least. It’s obviously a doll from the beginning of the scene. My wife doesn’t even like horror movies very much and she laughed at it.
        The whole movie was crap in my opinion.
        Guess I’ll have to try to hunt down a bootleg of this one to see if it’s actually disturbing. I’ve tried them all, and short of Traces of Death, no, not Faces of Death, nothing does it.
        Human Centipede 1 and 2 were crap too, as far as disturbing content. Oh my, she stepped on a rubber doll and acted like it was a baby. Pffft.

        • Herner Klenthur April 19, 2013 at 3:24 am

          Simulated pedophilia doesnt make it ok in my books. Perhaps I am alone but that for me is disgusting and not for me.

      3. Greg April 19, 2013 at 3:34 am

        They ban a lot of games

        • K Hutch (@72nivek) April 19, 2013 at 7:18 am

          Games were banned as there wasnt an “R” rated category for them, so anything rated above the “MA+” category had to be banned, this wasnt the decision by the ARB, it was law. This has now changed and an “R” games category will be brought in.

      4. Chuva April 19, 2013 at 7:15 am

        Well, the “baby scene” in Serbian Film is implied (which I found funny, on an absurd level), but the end of the movie surely isn’t. Not going to spoil, but if you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about.

        I agree with Ryan tho. R is high enough. If you’re not adult enough to make a decision on your own, then you shouldn’t go anywhere without mommy present.

      5. K Hutch (@72nivek) April 19, 2013 at 7:35 am

        Australia has one of the worlds highest rates of illegal downloaders and this is a film that will definitely be downloaded here.

        Personally I think the ARB does a decent job and films banned are done so with good reason. The list above has movies on it that have some graphic and disgusting images.

        Yes adults can make their own decisions, but there is a classification system for a reason. Do we then allow films with beastiality, with pedaphilia, with real death etc to be shown telling people to make up their own minds, or do we allow this body to continue to fairly judge the outer edge of Australias moral compas?

        BTW (and being pedantic) Herner, its Sydney, not Sidney.

        • Herner Klenthur April 19, 2013 at 11:34 pm

          OI I know that damn sloppy typing.. lol. Thanks for pointing out my typo. :)