Murder Set Pieces Gets Banned


TLA Releasing’s United Kingdom division has learned that the uncut version of 2004 Nick Palumbo film, MURDER SET PIECES has been rejected by the BBFC for classification. The fictional horror film about a fashion photographer who begins murdering Las Vegas prostitutes was scheduled for DVD release on March 31, 2008 through the company’s  DANGER AFTER DARK label, which is dedicated to horror, fantasy and action genres.

“We are surprised by the BBFC’s decision to reject the film, which is obviously a work of fiction,” says Lewis Tice, National Press Liaison from TLA Releasing.  “We question how this will affect independent films in general, which have always been a safe haven for filmmakers to present stories outside of mainstream entertainment.”

The BBFC’s decision arrived after Prime Minster Gordon Brown and conservative cross-party groups have recently begun public discussions about the social impact of violent films and videogames. Rejection by the BBFC means that MURDER SET PIECES can not be legally supplied anywhere in the United Kingdom but the uncut version has been released in Scandinavia, Spain and the Netherlands. The last DVD rejected by the BBFC was the pornographic film Struggle in Bondage in 2006 for scenes of naked women tied-up and gagged.

A press release outlined the primary concerns: “MURDER SET PIECES is a feature with a single-minded focus on the activities of a psychopathic sexual serial killer, who, throughout the film, is seen raping, torturing and murdering his victims. Young children are among those terrorized and killed, and their inclusion in this abusive context is an added concern. In relation to the adult victims, there is a clear focus on sex or sexual behavior accompanied by non-consensual pain, injury and humiliation.”

David Cooke, BBFC director was also quoted in saying that “given the unacceptable content featured throughout, and that what remains is essentially preparatory and set-up material for the unacceptable scenes, cutting the work is not a viable option in this case and the work is therefore refused a classification.”

Philadelphia-based TLA Releasing has 42 days to appeal the decision. But the BBFC states that overturning the decision is unlikely, suggesting that the film “also raises potential legal questions, for instance in relation to the Protection of Children Act 1978, as well as possible breaches of other legislation such as that on obscenity.”  TLA is currently in discussions about the pending release of MURDER SET PIECES in the United Kingdom and an update will be announced soon.

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