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Compounded Ichi the killer

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by Curry Monster, Oct 25, 2003.

  1. Curry Monster

    Curry Monster
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    Found out today that my copy of Ichi the Killer R2 uncut was seized by customs in the post (ordered from DVDZone2) as it was deem to be indecent and obscence. Yes I agree the film contains graphic violence as I have seen it in a UK cinema, but I feel hard done by this. The film is sold in the UK with 5 mins of cuts and is soon to be released in US uncut (CD wow). Is it worth contesting this with customs and lose out on the £20 I've paid for it . The fines sound quite severe if you are found of importing materials like this.

    Anyone out there had a similar situation like this, let's hear your views.
     
  2. bobbles

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    so what they have kept it?
     
  3. FoxyMulder

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    Its region 2 we're part of europe and i can't see that they have a case if u decide to appeal, id go for it and make an appeal and send a strong signal to these idiots that its almost 2004 and not 1984.
     
  4. anephric

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    i used to have this problem with laserdiscs and people used to try and contest when they imported porn that it was legal in the rest of Europe and we're part of the EU so why not here.

    If a version of a film differs to the legally BBFC certified version then it is illegal to import it and u risk having it confiscated (although it's quite rare these days), be it Ichi the Killer or Beverley Hills Cop. The same for a new film that hasn't receiveda certificate yet. Just cos you're personally importing it and not buying off the shelf of a shop doesn't make any difference: it's still a dvd and it has to be certified.

    I'd let them ship it back to Region2 dvd and see if they'll refund it:
    there are places in the UK (Enterprises dvd where I got mine from) that are selling it for only a bit more than R2dvd and they've already imported it for you, so it won't get confiscated.

    whatever, good luck

    regards,
    anephric
     
  5. FoxyMulder

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    The advice i got off the BBFC was if ur personally importing a film it doesnt matter if it has a certificate as long as the material contained in the film is not considered obscene, now i haven't seen Ichi so can't comment but what is considered obscene to one person isnt considered obscene to another, anyone saw Ichi Uncut and considered it obscene ?
     
  6. Lux

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    :eek: :eek: I didn't know that you lived in a policestate

    I have heard on numrous occasions from germany when the Zoll confiscated their DVDs.
    I didn't know that the UKcustoms were part of the same nannystate policestate alliance:(

    if you know you'll get probs with them then leave it and just let them send it to a different address different from the one you used now. chances are that they won't check it a second time.
    If not go to Luxembourg/netherlands/belgium and buy the DVD on your next trip. If you can't have it resolved by xmas I could do it as well I guess. even though that will be quite complicated.
     
  7. anephric

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    As I said before, if it isn't certified, then it's illegal: the BBFC is a legally-empowered body (even if it is more liberal than in previous times and does not exercise all of its judicial powers).

    If it is certified (like Ichi) then you can usually get away with importing an uncut one, cos even if customs open it and check the title, it'll come up as certified: they must have been pretty savvy customs guys and officious beyastardos.:(

    The cover of the Dutch dvd porbably didn't do you any favours as it trumpets the obscene nature of the film all over the shop.

    I wouldn't contest it as customs very rarely ever admit they're wrong (as it makes them liable for similar cases).

    The rules for obscenity in this country require (or at least they did, it's the same for blasphemy) a member of the public to make a complaint and for a sitting judge to decide (a la Lady Chatterly's Lover)

    regards,
    anephric
     
  8. one_jedi

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    I thought it was only illegal for shops to sell un-rated bbfc rated films etc. Didn't think it was illegal to import them as how many sites sell them and how many people get R1 dvd's, i'm sure it's not illegal to own them just for shops to sell them in this country, could be wrong tho.

    As for contesting them I wouldn't. Seeing as the DVD has been rated and cut in this country then that's quite a good back up for them to class it as obscene. If it had not been released in the UK then maybe but I wouldn't contest them.

    I agree it must have been a savy film fan who was working at customs! you got unlucky!
     
  9. jelly

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    if its illegal to sell films in the uk that havent been certified by the bbfc then how come i can go into the warner village in nottingham go to the cinema store and buy a region 1 dvd
     
  10. PoochJD

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    Hi,

    1) Jelly - Warners are risking their necks selling you R1 DVD's within the UK. That's why. It's still illegal though.

    2) Selling any uncertificated/non-BBFC approved DVD within the UK, is illegal... period!

    3) You can legally import material for your own use, providing it isn't considered obscene. Sadly, there is no legal definition that the BBFC or HM Customs uses, to define what is or is not considered obscene. Hence, it's a bit of a catch-22 situation, and where the risk is all on you, the customer.

    4) Curry Monster - you may wish to check out the following weblink...

    http://www.melonfarmers.co.uk/enseize.htm

    ... which may give you some useful advice and hints. I would certainly appeal the decision, although you are going to have a lot of trouble convincing HM Customs that it is NOT obscene. Despite this, though, you could always cite European Court Of Human Rights regulations on Freedom Of Expression. You may find telling them that just because they deemit obscene, doesn't mean it is obscene. There is a definite difference between what actually IS obscene material, and what an average member of the public considers obscene. Ask them on what grounds and regulations they are applying the law of obscenity to "Ichi". Also ask them what parts are considered "obscene", and what rules they are applying that dictates what is or is not obscene. They won't be able to tell you the rules, because there are none, so in essence, unless they can cite specifically why X scene in "Ichi" is obscene, and breaks the law of the land, then they should have to either refund all monies you paid, and/or give you your disc back!

    Demand names of contacts you speak or write to, and explain tp them how the BBFC has classified material like "A Cat In The Brain", "Salo: Or The 120 Days Of Sodom", "House Of 1000 Corpses", "Irreversible" and "Baise-Moi" as suitable for home viewing. Ask them if they would consider such material as obscene, and if they say yes, then ask them hwo they have come to that decision. If they answer "Well, because it just is obscene" or they reply "It's just sick material", question how they have come to that decision.

    Unless HM Customs can give you a exact details of why "Ichi" is obscene, I don't think they can legally confiscate it, otherwise they could confiscate anything they personally find obscene. I find R18 porno material obscene, but that doesn't make it legally obscene - which it isn't!

    Good luck, mate! :) Let us know how you go on! Remember to also quote the (in)famous quotation from that American Lawyer who helped defend Larry Flynt when publishing his pornographic magazines: "I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight for your right to say it"!

    Pooch
     
  11. Curry Monster

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    I think I don't want to contest it with HM Customs as they may want to have walk through the house and helping themselves to my Miyaziki collection and other R1 and R3 and R4 discs that I have got.

    But your right is about having a choice of what YOU want to watch. The BBFC has a grey area saying that non-classified films are 'ok' to import if it is for yourself. Jonathon Ross has openly admitted you can buy the hard core version of Deep Throat pass through customs and nothing will happen.

    The irony of it is that I own the R3 version of Ichi that I got from e-retailer in Hong Kong that got through no problem. The film itself is not obsence it is disturbing with it stark violent tones. I found watching Kill Bill last night was more gory than Ichi.

    If Ichi was made by George Lucus it would have been a different matter.

    Curry Monster
     
  12. Lux

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    probably a PG with a headbutt cut;)


    no I'm not serious.
    yes some director's get privileged treatment but you have to admit that japanese films are a hot iron for censors.
     
  13. PoochJD

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    Hi Curry Monster,

    I would still contest it, by letter only. After all, at the moment, there should be no reason why they would need to come into your home and search for other imported material. All you should do is write a polite, but rational letter (as I'm sure you would do anyway), and ask that they explain to you why they believe "Ichi The Killer" is obscene; what parts of the obscenity law it has been impounded under; what they consider to be obscene AND which parts actually break ANY law of the land, and if you can't have the disc back, if they are going to refund you your money.

    As far as I can see, if they did decide to ask for a search, wouldn't HM Customs need a warrant to do so, and some specific reason like that you were importing a lot of obscene material into the country, or that you were some kind of pirate or whatnot? If they did search your house, then they would also have to search practically every single DVD user of this forum, as I suspect all of us have at least one imported/non-BBFC-approved dis/pirated VCD or whatever in their collection. I'll even do some legal research for you, if you wish. I have some "contacts" who may be able to help you/I out, or at least offer advice on where you stand legally.

    I still believe you should write to them, or if not, I would be willing to write a letter for you, and e-mail it to you. Then you can decide if you wish to send it on to HM Customs or not. However, it really is your decision, and I don't want to be seen as being pushy. It just seems unfair for one of the Forum members to have to suffer like this, when so many others of us, have bought "Ichi" uncut, as well as numerous other R1, R3 or R4 discs, and HM Customs haven't battered an eyelid.

    I'll leave it up to you, and you can always PM or e-mail me directly if you want to discuss this off the fourm.

    Take care,

    Pooch
     
  14. Nike

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    The R3 HK dvd of Ichi has about 13 minutes of cuts, so probably has pretty much everything 'obscene' removed!
     
  15. KRRK

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    I don't think Customs need a warrant to search and sieze and could take pretty much what they like.

    They are one public body it's best not to mess with as they are a law unto themselves and answerable to no-one, the Police, yes, as they are fairly easy to fight in court, but customs and excise, no way..........but that's just me.
     
  16. FoxyMulder

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    13 minutes of cuts ? thats more than the UK version got and they still seized the disc wow, id definately complain and appeal the decision based on the fact it is more heavily censored than the UK version, notify the customs people of this fact and u might get the disc back.
     
  17. KRRK

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  18. Nike

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    The disc that was actually seized was the uncut R2 version.
     
  19. FoxyMulder

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    Oh yeh re-read it and its curry monster who has the heavily censored version which was allowed in.
     
  20. hdrees

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    its amazing they will stop that, but NOT indiana jones r1 which has material that is not rated in this country mmmmmmm maybe due to the £10 they slap on VAT
     
  21. Lux

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    yep would be rather stupid shooting them selves in the foot. How much do you think they squeezed out of those poor DVDfans that imported Indiana jones.
     
  22. PoochJD

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    Hi Again,

    I still think Curry Monster should write asking for a full and detailed explanation. He/She at least deserves that, and HM Customs & Excise shouldn't take any offence to that, should they?

    Whether he/she wishes to take things further is, I admit, a difficult decision to make, although they do seem to be a law unto themselves. Having said that, if they only need the "Writ Of Assistance" which is obtained from within their own organisation, it sounds very much like HMC&E are essentially a law unto themselves, with no regulatory body to turn to when they decide to go all bullyish on people, e.g. by raiding their properties, et al, with little to no just cause.

    Curry Monster - have you contacted the DVD e-tailer that you ordered the disc from, and see if they can help, or at least refund you for the disc you haven't received. Failing that, why not just say you've not received it, and ask them to send you another copy, but to a different address perhaps?

    After all, if the disc hasn't arrived at your house, then isn't the "Ichi" disc still the "property" of the DVD e-tailer, regardless of whether or not it's been impounded?

    As a final resort, how about contacting your local member of parliament, and asking them for help in this matter. I've used mine a couple of times, and it helped me no end in getting people to do what they should be doing, but legally!

    If HMC&E are running their service by double-standards, e.g. impounding some titles, but not others, then they are not doing their job properly, and could be held accountable by the politicians or government. After all, the film in question may be considered obscene to HMC&E, but if they don't produce a list of obscene titles available to the public (which everyone knows they don't), and won't tell you why a film is obscene (which they tend not to do, so it's like getting blood out of a stone with them), then how on earth are you supposed to stay within the law, if you don't know what the law is, and the law makers are a law unto themselves?! :eek: Sorry about the long-windedness there! :)

    Pooch
     

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