Page last updated at 13:08 GMT, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 14:08 UK

Censors reject 'sadistic' horror

David Cooke
The BBFC's decision means it will now be illegal to sell or supply the film

A Japanese horror film has been refused an 18 certificate by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) because of its graphic torture scenes.

According to BBFC director David Cooke, Grotesque presented "little more than an unrelenting and escalating scenario of humiliation, brutality and sadism".

Its "unacceptable content", he added, meant cuts were "not a viable option".

The BBFC rarely refuses to pass films, having denied only three titles seeking an 18 rating over the last four years.

These include violent sex thriller Murder Set Pieces and Terrorists, Killers And Other Wackos, a film comprising real clips of execution and torture.

'Minimal narrative'

Two pornographic works seeking the restricted R18 rating have also been rejected in the same period.

The distributors of Grotesque had hoped to receive an 18 certificate for the film, which includes scenes involving amputation and eye-gouging.

"The chief pleasure on offer seems to be in the spectacle of sadism (including sexual sadism) for its own sake," said Mr Cooke.

Its "minimal narrative or character development," he continued, set it apart from such other "torture-themed" works as the Saw and Hostel movie series.

The BBFC drew criticism earlier this year for passing Danish horror Antichrist uncut, despite its graphic scenes of sex, violence and mutilation.

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