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Friday, 6 April, 2001, 17:31 GMT 18:31 UK
Good Friday ban for The Exorcist
The Exorcist
The film is still causing controversy 25 years later
An Australian state has banned a recut version of The Exorcist from being shown on Good Friday.

Victoria has invoked a little-known law which bars adult-rated films from being screened on the religious holiday.

State premier Steve Bracks said he was happy the film would not be shown on a day commemorating Christ's death but promised he would review the law.


Honestly, it's enough to make your head spin

Reporter Ross Brundrett
He said: "This is one day in the year and I think people will be patient enough to realise one day on a very important day is not such a big issue."

The Exorcist is based on the book by William Peter Blatty which is itself said to be based on actual events in Maryland in 1949.

It was dubbed "the scariest movie ever" on its release in 1972 and caused waves of hysteria in cinema-goers.

Satanic

Consequently, it took 25 years to secure a video release in the UK.

The William Friedkin-directed film finally went on general sale in 1999 and Channel 4 aired the film in a late night slot this year.

It was also condemned in America where religious organisations protested about the satanic imagery.

Church leaders in Australia have welcomed the day-long ban, which happens to fall on Friday the 13th.

Catholic spokesman Father Christopher Prowse said: "It's a gesture of goodwill to the Christians who represent the vast majority of people here in Melbourne and the Catholic church certainly supports it."

But the ban has upset some, like Herald-Sun reporter Ross Brundrett, who wrote: "Honestly, it's enough to make your head spin."

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See also:

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10 Feb 99 | Entertainment
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