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Ireland Bans Re-Release of the Original I Spit on Your Grave

Sigh. It seems that every time devotees of the horror genre begin to gain some headway in terms of freedom to choose what they watch, something like this comes along to remind us that the powers-that-be out there would rather make that decision for us. Case in point: The Irish Film Classification Office’s recent decision to ban Screen Entertainment/101 Films’ DVD and Blu-ray re-release of Meir Zarchi’s infamous I Spit on Your Grave.

From the Press Release:
The Irish Film Classification Office (IFCO) has banned the DVD re-release of the highly controversial 1978 horror film I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE starring Buster Keaton’s granddaughter, Camille Keaton, in Ireland. UK fans of the infamous cult film, originally released under the name Day of the Woman in 1978 and later re-titled to I Spit on Your Grave, will be able to purchase the ultimate collector’s edition on DVD and Blu-ray as of today. However, Irish fans of the cult “video nasty” will be prohibited from purchasing locally, forcing them to import UK versions from Internet retailers.

The decision to ban the DVD re-release of the cult classic film was due to the film depicting “acts of gross violence and cruelty (including mutilation and torture) towards humans.” I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE has gained a reputation as an extremely graphic and violent film as well as one of the most talked about film in cinema history. It tells the story of Jennifer Hills (Camille Keaton), a magazine writer from New York who retires to a secluded cabin in the woods to write her first novel. There she is brutally assaulted, raped and left for dead by four country boys.

Director Meir Zarchi commented on the ban: “It doesn’t surprise me that Ireland have decided to ban the film. It has relentlessly continued to shock and offend audiences since 1978 when it was first released, and it still does to this date. 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.”

“Since the birth of the Internet all censor boards around the world have instantly become irrelevant. IFCO included. Anyone anywhere in the universe can simply push a button on any video website store and order a disc of I Spit on Your Grave. There are no iron curtains in the skies that can stop it from landing at his or her door.”

“Are we going through the Lady Chatterley’s Lover syndrome all over again? The bottom line – thank you, IFCO, for promoting the film in Ireland.”

Eoghan Burke, Sales Director, Lace DMS Ltd (Eire), said, “Disappointed and saddened that the IFCO have taken this 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!”

Ireland Bans Re-Release of the Original I Spit on Your Grave

The Original Cult Video Nasty is available today (September 20th) on DVD and Blu-ray as an ultimate collector’s edition dual format – featuring new uncut material previously unseen in the UK as well as the following exclusive material:

DUAL FORMAT EDITION
• Format: BD + DVD
• Running Time: 200 mins approx
• Certificate: 18
• Retail Price: £19.99
• Cat Number: 101FILMS001
• Barcode: 5037899028513

Disc 1 (Blu-ray): Feature Film – new cut
Extras:
UK Exclusive video interview with Director Meir Zarchi • Trailers • TV Spots • Radio Spots • Sleeve and poster Image Gallery • Image Gallery from Director’s Personal Collection • Reviews & Articles from Around the World • In-Depth Essay – What Do People Think & Say About ISOYG • DVD Monthly Interview • Filmographies • Audio commentary by Director Meir Zarchi & Film Critic Joe Bob Briggs

Disc 2 (DVD): Feature Film – new cut
Extras:
UK Exclusive video interview with Director Meir Zarchi • Trailers • TV Spots • Radio Spots • Sleeve and poster Image Gallery • Image Gallery from Director’s Personal Collection • Reviews & Articles from Around the World • In-Depth Essay – What Do People Think & Say About ISOYG • DVD Monthly Interview • Filmographies • Audio commentary by Director Meir Zarchi & Film Critic Joe Bob Briggs

DVD EDITION
• Running Time: 200 mins approx
• Certificate: 18
• Retail Price: £15.99
• Cat Number: 101FILMS003
• Barcode: 5037899028537

Extras:
UK Exclusive video interview with Director Meir Zarchi • Trailers • TV Spots • Radio Spots • Sleeve and poster Image Gallery • Image Gallery from Director’s Personal Collection • Reviews & Articles from Around the World • In-Depth Essay – What Do People Think & Say About ISOYG • DVD Monthly Interview • Filmographies • Audio commentary by Director Meir Zarchi & Film Critic Joe Bob Briggs.


Both Zarchi and Burke make damn good points: In this day and age of Internet freedom and limitless online availability, a ban will have minimal, if any, effect. The only ones hurt will be the high street retailers. Way to go, censors!

Gareth Jones

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Gareth Jones

Horror is my jam, yo.