Its was effectively banned for years as the distributor refused to make the cuts required to allow an 18 certificate.
The controversy surrounded a scene where Susan George shows pleasure whilst being raped. Within the context of the film I believe it was appropriate. However the BBFC thought that if we were to see this, we would all assume that all women enjoyed rape and go out and rape at will.
As for the film, it is fairly violent Sam Peckinpah stuff. I think it is an okay film but dont buy it expecting to be blown away.
I haven't seen it either, but it does sound rather good.
I've just checked DVD Compare and it's interesting that the distributor refused to cut the movie in the UK, but yet the film was released in Finland and Spain with 6 minutes of cuts, and in Japan with 5 minutes of cuts.
it wasn't granted a certificate because the BBFC felt the scene were susan george seemed to 'enjoy' a rape inflicted by a character she once went with was unacceptable. However there was a second, much more unpleasant rape scene in the original cut.
The film has now been granted a cetificate now that the second, much more unpleasant rape scene has been included which clears up the issue of conscent although it makes the scene MUCH, MUCH more unpleasant because of its inclusion.
I would like to see it at some point, however, it's one of those films that people banged on about for years saying it's one to see. When I saw Driller Killer for the first time I just turned it off, it was junk. I have a feeling that Straw Dogs, Texas Chainsaw Massacre etc etc etc will all be as bad in one form or another, oh, and A Clockwork Orange is also on my suspicion list too.
Most of the "Banned Films" have been a disappointment to me. I suppose its because of my expectations, when I saw The Exorcist I thought it was dull. I thought The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was tame also.
I had already seen Straw Dogs so I knew what to expect.
The only film that was better than I ever imagined it would be was A Clockwork Orange. I am a Kubrick fan I admit and this is one of his best in my opinion. I would suggest to anyone considering watching it for the first time, that they should be aware that many people (including me) regard it as a comedy.