Penal colony denies zombies entry visa

The Australian Film Classification Board (AFCB) has refused to allow the new film by Bruce LaBruce to be screened at the Melbourne International Film Festival.

It seems quite inexplicable to me, given the clip below, showing Francois Sagat dressed for a trip to the Whole Foods store on Santa Monica Boulevard, but I digress. *pauses at 2.21*

The decision to refuse a festival exemption for L.A. Zombie could prevent the film from being screened across the country, though to be honest, LaBruce, a director not know for his universal appeal, could probably benefit from this; all publicity being good publicity…

Now far be it for me to question the judgements of the AFCB, the licensure of a country that has given us such cinematic greats as, err… come back to me on that one, and small screen gems such as Neighbours and Hi-5 (this is NO slight on Kylie, I heart her hugely). However, given that the country was insightful enough to kick John Howard right out of the door at its last general election, and has reached such a state that Pauline Hanson feels compelled to leave – don’t cheer too loudly, she’s coming here – I would hope that its population are suitably mature enough to make its own decision.

According to Bruce, the Zombie, which might represent a homeless schizophrenic, is a reinterpretation of the cinematic genre of sexualised horror, and also ‘ancient folk traditions of ritual and blood sacrifice’. I’m sure if he’d used Marilyn Manson and Baby Jane Hudson in a ménage a trois with Sarah Palin he could’ve created the same effect and got it through the censors.

The most concerning aspect of this decision, in my mind at least, is that it deprives festival goers the chance to see Francois Sagat and Matthew Rush, amongst other colossus’ of the acting world on a full-size screen. They will, admittedly, be dressed as full-on Zombies, but all one has to do is take a wander to Circus (or hang about outside Vauxhall Station on a Sunday morning) to see that this is a look admired by many. It’s probable that this appreciation is shared by many of our Antipodean cousins.

The organisers of the festival are also a mite peeved with the decision. In an interview with ABC News, Festival Director Richard Moore agreed that festival goers had the right to decide for themselves whether or not to view the film; people going to see a LaBruce film [are] under no illusions… they know they're not going to go and see Bambi or Fantasia." Quite, I couldn’t have put it better myself.

Words: Andrew Gonsalves

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