I Spit On Your Grave 2 Effectively Rejected By The BBFC, Cut For The UK Release

I spit on your grave 2

I've been hearing rumblings about cuts to I Spit On Your Grave 2 for some time now. I first reported on it here on Bleeding Cool when it was announced that a "Festival Cut" would be screening at FrightFest in August, when I also mentioned that the first film had been cut for the UK release in 2010.

It wasn't exactly clear what 'Fetival Cut' meant but it seemed likely that it meant that the film had been trimmed for a smoother journey through the BBFC. And that's it exactly what it did mean. It played FrightFest in a cut form and I therefore decided to skip it.

It's been cut for its home entertainment release too. Presumably this is the same cut as the aforementioned 'Festival Cut'. The BBFC have now published details of the classification of the film in the UK on their site and in the section marked "Precuts Information" they note the following,

This film was originally seen for advice in an incomplete version. The company was informed that 27 cuts would be required across six scenes to remove various elements of sexual and sexualised violence. Without these cuts the work would have been refused a classification. When the completed version of the film was submitted for formal classification, all the requested cuts had been made, and the film was classified 18.

Now, this means that the film was not technically rejected by the BBFC – a rejection effectively bans the film from being released in the UK – it was cut by the distributor in order to get an 18 certificate. But without the cuts that were suggested by the BBFC the film would have been refused a certificate, meaning the distributors would have been unable to release the film at all.

When The Human Centipede 2 was refused a certificate by the BBFC they issued a press release and it made headlines in national newspapers. The distributors were stuck with a film that cost them money but that they couldn't release and so went back to the BBFC and tried to find some way to compromise and get the film released.

They then cut the film based on recommendations made by the BBFC, the BBFC passed it and it got a UK release. The high profile story about the rejection and the subsequent cuts most likely resulted in less money for the distributor, though, as people imported the film from other countries where other distributors held the rights or, sadly, went for illegal alternatives to get the uncut film.

So, if you were a distributor and you thought you might be heading for a similar situation what would you do? The most obvious course of action would be to go to the BBFC first, cut the film however they suggest, secure yourself an 18 certificate and avoid headlines about how your film has been cut.

It's a similar approach to the way in which The Hunger Games, Jack Reacher, Taken 2 and A Good Day to Die Hard were all cut prior to classification in order to get the certificate the distributors desired. The difference here though is that the film had to be cut to get a UK release at all.

I hate this. Cuts piss me off no end, regardless of the reasons. I hate the dumbed down cuts that we get of 'foreign' films – I'm looking in your direction Mr. Weinstein, although there are others who do it too – and I hate the cuts that are made to get specific certificates or to get a release at all. It's an utter nonsense.

I Spit On Your Grave 2 is coming out on Blu-ray in America on the 24th of September Unrated and without cuts suggested by a compulsory board that's sole purpose is to classify films.

Let me repeat that: their sole purpose is to classify films, but they wield this power in order to insist upon cuts.

As the film will be widely available in America I'm pretty sure that the filmmakers didn't break any laws in making it and distributing it should break no UK laws.

The BBFC often claim that they are required to suggest cuts or reject films because of "potential harm" but I am yet to see any evidence of what they actually mean when they say harm or any scientific evidence from them, or anybody else, on how a film can harm an audience.

I've really had enough of this situation. I'm never going to knowingly watch a film cut just for the UK to get a certificate. I'm going to watch the film as the filmmakers intended, for better or worse.

So, every time this situation is repeated,  I'll either just skip the film entirely or wait and import an uncut copy. I wish I didn't have to, but I currently live in a country in which works in my beloved art form are being hacked and slashed by distributors and a compulsory board that I thought was supposed to have the audience's best interests in mind.

Enjoyed this? Please share on social media!

About Craig Skinner

Comments will load 8 seconds after page. Click here to load them now.