Britain's film censors on Wednesday banned the Japanese sadistic horror film "Grotesque", saying its tale of extreme torture featured unrelenting brutality and minimal narrative.
The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) rejected the DVD, meaning it is unclassified and therefore cannot be legally supplied anywhere in Britain, with anyone doing so risking a heavy fine and imprisonment.
"Grotesque" focuses on the sexual assault, humiliation and extreme torture of a male and female victim, the board said.
The protagonist inflicts serious injuries on the restrained couple, including amputation, eye gouging, castration and disembowelment.
"The torture becomes even more extreme, leading to the gory and violent death of both hostages," the BBFC said.
The board rejects films only rarely, preferring to give advice about how appropriate cuts would achieve the preferred certificate.
"Unlike other recent torture-themed horror works, such as the 'Saw' and 'Hostel' series, 'Grotesque' features minimal narrative or character development and presents the audience with little more than an unrelenting and escalating scenario of humiliation, brutality and sadism," said BBFC director David Cooke.
"The chief pleasure on offer seems to be in the spectacle of sadism (including sexual sadism) for its own sake."
The distributors, who were hoping to receive an 18-certificate for the straight-to-DVD film, can appeal against the decision.
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