Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Thai censors uphold ban on Saw VI
The movies in the Saw splatter-horror movie franchise involve characters being trapped in elaborate devices where they must make painful decisions, usually cutting off a limb or killing another person, in order to free themselves.
Thai censors aren't comfortable with these scenarios, and so a ban on Saw VI has been upheld by Thailand's National Film Board.
The movie was originally scheduled to open in Thai cinemas last November 26, but it was pulled from release. Local distributor Rose Media and Entertainment recently appealed the ban on the film, but was denied.
If Saw VI were shown, rules the Ministry of Culture, it "might affect peace and order and public morals".
Tuesday's decision to uphold the ban was a rather bureaucratic move, with Culture Ministry Permanent Secretary Vira Rojpojchanarat saying that the appeal was denied because it had not been filed within the stipulated 15 days of the original decision.
It's also a meaningless move, seeing how the movie is several months old and is now available on imported DVDs at gray-market retailers, as well as other sources, such as file sharing and pirated DVDs. The ban is sure to prompt more viewers to seek the movie out.
Saw VI is Rated R in the U.S., which restricts viewers under 17, because of "sequences of grisly bloody violence and torture, and language". The movie made history in Spain as the first time the restrictive Película X rating, usually used for pornographic films, was applied for extreme violence.
Under the Film and Video Act of 2007, Thailand has a motion-picture ratings system that came into effect around August of last year. The most restrictive rating in the six-tiered system is 20-, which prohibits viewers under the age of 20 and makes I.D. checks at the theaters mandatory.
So far only two films have been commercially released with the 20- rating, the recent Thai sex comedy-drama Sin Sisters 2 and Werner Herzog's Bad Lieutenant: Port of New Orleans. An upcoming Thai film that's been rated 20- is the independent social drama Mundane History, set for release in August as part of the Director's Screen Project.
There's also the hidden seventh category for banned films, which Saw VI falls under, alongside such other Hollywood movies as Zack and Miri Make a Porno and All the Boys Love Mandy Lane.
(Sources: Thai Rath, Thai Audience Network, NangDee, and thanks to Thai101)