Straight Horror Porn Good, Gay Zombie Porn Banned

The necrosis sure hasn't set in on those gorgeously ghoulish abs!

The necrosis sure hasn't set in on those gorgeously ghoulish abs!

Controversy? What is the Melbourne International Film Festival without controversy? In fact, who is Bruce LaBruce without controversy?

The profanely gay Canadian filmmaker has suffered the wrath of the Film Classification Board, which has refused classification of his latest sleaze epic LA Zombie. The Board requested a copy of the film when it became aware of “wound penetration” and “implied sex with corpses” in the film. The board members watched it, popped their monocles, then banned it to suppress the constant threat of a scourge of necrophilia.

It’s the first ban since 2003, when Larry Clark received the official finger wag for Ken Park. That film saw an attempted underground screening led by loveable silver vixen and noted anti-censorship campaigner Margaret Pomeranz, but the Morality Police shut it down.

That LaBruce has whipped off some confronting material is no surprise to anyone aware of his work. I actually got to speak to him when he visited as part of MUFF in 2003, plugging The Raspberry Reich, his hilarious and very pornographic satire of upstart revolutionary groups (see: Symbionese Liberation Army).

He told me he often has to submit two versions of his films – the explicit one and the clean one – with each release, even though the graphic sex scenes and the savagely witty storylines in his films work concurrently in context.

LaBruce said in a media release at the start of filming LA Zombie, “Not unpretentiously, I consider myself not so much a pornographer, as an artist who works in porn”, and he’s not unpretentiously correct.

This unfortunate news comes on the back of news that the Suicide Girls alt-porn franchise has released “the first reality horror movie”. It’s called Suicide Girls Must Die! (and hopefully will be as trashy and entertaining as Troma’s Surf Nazis Must Die! but we doubt it). The “reality” bit is that apparently these tattooed honeys who hate their daddies were unaware that the producers were fucking with them as they presumably disrobed and pretended to be lesbians in a remote (but sexy) cabin.

So, filming supposedly-alternative ladies with breast implants actually getting terrorised in the woods is fine with everyone. But a presumably cheeky zombie satire featuring consenting actors poking their dicks in rubber cement is a crime. I wonder if it would make a difference if the fake wounds were on women? Or if it was a giant knife repeatedly bludgeoning the wound, instead of a giant wang?

Australia, you’re standing in it (it being a quagmire of hypocrisy and puritanical censorship laced with subtle homophobia).

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Comments

  1. mellygoround says:

    Yep, I reckon it’d make a difference. Cronenberg’s Crash features scenes of wound penetration and from memory the gaping wounds were on lovely lady legs, not hairy man zombie legs. And I saw that film, at the cinema, in Australia so it was clearly given the thumbs up by the Censorship Board.

    Although it is possible he fucked that wound with his leg stump, rather than his wang. It was last millennium, I don’t really remember. The point is, watching it clearly didn’t scar me for life and it’s unlikely gay zombie porn would either. Thank you for informing my choices, OFLC.

  2. Mel Campbell says:

    Also, it’s worth asking why LA Zombie is meant to be so objectionable in a festival context when ‘torture porn’ horror cinema gets a general release.

    By ‘torture porn’ I mean films that invite gratification from the sadistic infliction of suffering. They are pornographic not just because the imagery is often sexualised but also because plot and character are subsidiary to the torture setpieces.

  3. Senator Conroy says:

    You can’t see the wound penetration in Crash, and I am guessing you can in LA Zombie – and it’s the explictness that’s set them off, right? So that seems like a moot comparison.

  4. Nic Holas says:

    Oddly enough, La Bruce’s last Zombie film, Otto (Or, Up With Dead People), was screened at a previous MIFF. It contains the same kind of explicit content, namely real erect penises being inserted into fake flesh wounds. That film was given the appropriate exemption and then classified, and is now available at your local video store. Assuming you you live near an art-house video store (I can’t imagine it was ever the “Blockbuster guarantee”). So the hypocrisy of the straight-girl horror porn is made worse by the fact that the OFLC passed positive judgement on the same kind of material only a few years ago.

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