Belfast Telegraph

1978 horror film banned by censors

The re-release of a controversial 1978 horror movie has been banned by film censors in the Irish Republic.

Irish Film Classification Office (IFCO) has blocked the sale of the DVD I Spit On Your Grave, starring Buster Keaton's granddaughter Camille Keaton.

The IFCO confirmed the movie was prohibited on September 14 for depicting acts of gross violence and cruelty, including mutilation and torture, towards humans.

Director Meir Zarchi said he was not surprised Ireland decided to ban the film, in which an aspiring writer is repeatedly gang-raped and left for dead by four men whom she systematically hunts down for revenge.

"It has relentlessly continued to shock and offend audiences since 1978 when it was first released, and it still does to this date," he said.

"However, with the level of graphic violence and horror available these days, it's surprising that IFCO sees this 1978 film more offensive than some of the most daring and empty of content torture porn available today."

The IFCO last made a prohibition order in 2007 when watchdogs banned the video game Manhunt 2.

I Spit On Your Grave, still available in the UK, was regarded as one of the most graphic and violent films in cinema history.

Eoghan Burke, of Lace Digital Media Sales in Ireland, said he was disappointed and saddened by the IFCO decision.

"I thought we had moved on from these times. It just drives business away from bricks and mortar and into the hands of online, denying much needed revenue to traditional retail," he said.

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