Horror anthology series ‘The ABCs of Death’ continues to attract controversy, as it has come to light that the recent ‘ABCs of Death 2′ will be released in a cut version in Germany.
Rather than simply cutting specific shots which have been deemed problematic as tends to be the case when films are censored the UK, the German cut of ‘The ABCs of Death 2′ will see three whole chapters from the portmanteau removed completely by distributor Capelight under pressure from Germany’s ratings board the FSK.
The offending chapters are ‘C is for Capital Punishment,’ from British director Julian Gilbey; ‘D is for Deloused,’ a stop-motion animation by another British filmmaker, Robert Morgan; and ‘T is for Torture Porn,’ by Canadian directorial duo Jen and Sylvia Soska.
The Soska Sisters (directors of 2012 cult hit ‘American Mary,’ and last year’s slasher sequel ‘See No Evil 2′) have spoken out against the cuts, telling Screenread, “We love our fans in Germany and have always received a lot of support from them. Despite the harsh censorship laws, Germans love horror and we think they deserve to choose for themselves what they find appropriate and inappropriate to watch.
“We are saddened to hear the decision of the censorship board this morning as we think they’ve overlooked the message behind our short film segment, ‘T is for Torture Porn.’ It’s a commentary about the objectification of women. It’s a shame to remove a film by two of the only women to direct a segment in the series especially as you see our anti-heroine in the segment rising up and doing the killing and maiming against her attackers.”
The Soskas also criticised the censorship of Gilbey and Morgan’s films, declaring, “they’re being punished for too realistically depicting horrific scenes. If the tone makes the viewer uncomfortable, good. We feel good art should make the viewer feel something. We love ‘ABCs of Death’ because this anthology has always given creative freedom to the directors involved.“
Julain Gilbey told Shock Till You Drop last year that ‘C is for Capital Punishment,’ which shows an innocent man decapitated by a lynch mob in rural England, was “my anti-death penalty film.”
Similar to US ratings board the MPAA, films are not required to receive FSK approval to be distributed in Germany, but not doing so results in restrictions. This is different to the UK, where films cannot legally be released at all without a BBFC certificate.
2012′s original ‘ABCs of Death’ was also released in a cut form in Germany. Both films, however, were released uncut with 18 certificates in Britain.
‘The ABCs of Death’ was recently at the centre of a notorious court case in the US, after Ohio substitute teacher Sheila Kearns was found guilty of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles after showing the film to several classes of high school children. She was sentenced to 90 days of jail time and three years probation.
Picture Credit: Magnet Releasing, WENN
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