Frightfest Begins!

Friday August 27th 2010

The Film4 Frightfest began last night with the world premiere of Hatchet 2 and I was quite literally not there. Partly because I haven’t got a clue what Hatchet 2 actually is, partly because the Empire Leicester Square have THE LEAST COMFORTABLE SEATS ON THE PLANET EARTH, and partly because my legs still ached from running around the ICA all night on Wednesday.

As you’ve probably read elsewhere, the festival has had a few problems over the last week. Gregg Araki’s Kaboom was pulled for a variety of vague marketing reasons, and now that the BBFC have had a chance to check out some of the programme, they’ve deemed two of the titles unsuitable for public consumption.

The I Spit On Your Grave remake has been cut by 43 seconds but will still screen tomorrow evening. BBFC director David Cooke said this:

‘The cuts to this version of I Spit on Your Grave, which the Board has required, remove elements that tend to eroticise sexual assault (for example, through the use of titillation), as well as other elements that tend to endorse sexual assault (for example, by encouraging viewer complicity by the use of camcorder footage, filmed by the rapists, during the various scenes of sexual assault).’

Cuts to the festival’s controversy-jackpot A Serbian Film however, have been much more drastic. Almost four minutes have been expurgated, forcing Frightfest organisers to withdraw the film from its Sunday night UK premiere. Cooke said:

‘The cuts to A Serbian Film do not detract from the message of the film but remove the most problematic images of sexual and sexualised violence.  The section in the Board’s Guidelines which lists the possible grounds for compulsory cuts also includes material which portrays children in a sexualised or abusive context.  Whilst the Board understands that these images are intended to make a political point, that does not remove the genuine harm risks to which they give rise.’

There’s no word yet on A Serbian Film‘s replacement, or on whether the planned DVD release will also be scrapped.

If you’re at Frightfest this weekend, give me a shout on Twitter and let me know what’s worth seeing. From what I hear, Monsters is sure to be aces.