Banned Films That Shocked The World

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Censorship of movies has long been a contentious issue among censors and production houses. From horror flicks to political propaganda films, many have suffered a ban for crossing the line and have been labelled everything from blasphemous to being a threat to world morality. For example, censors in Britain were seen as the most strict having once banned 39 films for obscenity in the 1980s. Other countries like Norway, Germany, Iceland, Finland, Australia and New Zealand are huge in the banning department and are clearly intolerant of any horror movies and violence, while being more liberal with sex and nudity. Here are some films that were deemed inappropriate enough to be banned.

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Battleship Potemkin

This 1925 film was banned mostly for its revolutionary view and potential to stir up communist support. Being viewed by Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda minister, and praised for being the best movie he had ever seen, gives one pause to think. Many critics would agree but it’s also one of the all-time greats in cinema.
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All Quiet On The Western Front

Here’s a film viewed by many as being one of the best anti-war films about World War 1. Released in 1930, the Nazis (who were not yet in power) would go to screenings and release stink bombs and mice in the theatre as a way to protest. After they came to power, it was banned outright in Austria until the 1980s even though it received great praise in America.
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The Evil Dead

Filmed on a shoestring budget, this film is regarded as one of greatest horror flicks of all time. It reached cult status after being banned in Britain. This ban elevated it to even greater fame making it the film most wanted by moviegoers.
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A Serbian Film

This 2010 release was so over the top in violence, it is still banned in most countries. The director injected as much obscenity as one could imagine including physical and sexual abuse of children, baby rape, sodomy, incest, suicide, murder, necrophilia, drugs and more that are too vile to mention. Somehow with sufficient cuts, the UK has allowed it to be viewed.
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Salo

Filmed as an adaptation of the Marquis de Sade’s 120 days of Sodom, this film stays faithful to the book’s libertine theme. Scenes include children that are abducted, raped, tortured, murdered and yes, the all too famous scene of them eating pooh. Replete with perversion, this film certainly gave the censors nightmares – or maybe, not.
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A Clockwork Orange

Here’s a film that is recognized as being a true classic yet was banned by director Stanley Kubrick himself. Many thought the BBFC in Britain banned it, but Kubrick did it to protect his family from death threats and also because of fears that copycat murders would ensue. This film, although receiving many accolades, remains extraordinarily brutal.
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Last House On The Left

This film sees Wes Craven’s adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s film The Mighty Spring reach a height of sadism that is saturated with distasteful scenes of gross violence by Krug and his henchmen. The gore is epic with disembowelment, chainsaw murders and the like. It has only been in recent years that censorship has eased up on this film.
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Last Tango In Paris

Italy called this film by Bernardo Bertolluci “Self serving pornography” and the director was almost jailed for obscenity. In fact, even the movie’s main stars, Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider, felt they were used as sexual puppets in the film. Both complained of feeling violated and manipulated.
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Monty Python’s Life Of Brian

Neither violence nor sexual depravity are to be found in this rather fun comedy, so why the ban? It seems the BBC and ITV were afraid of angering Christians because of the religious content, none of which was really disrespectful to Jesus. It did, as the Python crew explained, only mock the way Jesus was worshipped – yet to this day, the movie still causes controversy.
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I Spit On Your Grave

A film about rape and the victim’s revenge garnered the ire of censors around the world. Not only are the rape scenes sometimes unbearable to watch, so are the scenes where the heroin Jennifer exacts sensational retaliation by slicing, dicing and hanging her tormentors. Hard to watch, we can see why this film was an easy ban.
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The Exorcist

Probably the most scandalous film of all time, it was banned for many years in Britain and considered blasphemous in many countries. The ultra sensitive subject matter is more disturbing than it is frightening. But the scenes of a young child in a crucifix masturbation episode, vomiting and rotating her head 180 degrees is more disturbing than if done by an adult.
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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The unrelenting horror of this film is punctuated more by the terror than it is by the actual gore which is implied off-screen. We have chainsaw and mallet murders but the scenes most disturbing are where the victim Sally must endure terror-filled moments after escaping and being recaptured. This film has been released in some countries, but only after having many parts removed – surgically.
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Cannibal Holocaust

This film was so realistic in delivering killing scenes that Italian authorities ordered director Ruggero Deodato to have his actors present themselves to file proof that they were still alive. In fact, some scenes look like snuff films. Clearly this movie was too well done which placed it at the top of films banned in so many countries.
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Bigger, Longer And Uncut

This South Park film by Matt Stone and Trey Parker focuses on freedom of speech and censorship. So it is, that the movie itself was censored and banned for being offensive. One scene in particular depicts Saddam Hussein as Satan’s gay lover.
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Cannibal Ferox

This is a very sadistic and cold-blooded film with unnecessary real animal slaughter as well as agonizing-to-watch mutilation, killing and cannibalism. No wonder it was banned in 31 countries. It remains the world’s most banned film.
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