Germans target gory great for seizure
Fresh from releasing Mounir El Motassadeq, the only person convicted for involvement in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Teuton legal system now is concentrating on important matters — like banning a 40-year-old horror film.A court in Karlsruhe has declared goremeister Herschell Gordon Lewis‘ 1963 pic “Blood Feast” guilty of gewaltverherrlichung — promoting violence — and ordered its seizure. “Whoever said bureaucracy is logical?” asks Gordon Lewis, whose pic was released on homevid 18 months ago. “They’ve had 40 years! Compared with contemporary product, ‘Blood Feast’ is very mild. It was intended to be camp.” Under a section of German law known as Paragraph 131, the forces of law and order can act on a single complaint, be it from the public or even the competish. It’s then up to the company concerned to prove its innocence after the fact. “There are usually 10 to 15 seizures a year,” says Andreas Strassmann, topper of “Blood Feast” distribber cmv-Laservision. “But the trend’s getting worse. Thing is, ‘Blood Feast’ has been on the market for 18 months and it was a limited run of 1,000 copies. They’ve already sold out.” Strassmann plans to continue the video release of his 12-pic Gordon Lewis series, foreseeing no future problems. “If this had been a major studio flick,” Gordon Lewis says, “this wouldn’t have been contemplated or even done. The smaller the label, the greater the chance of censorship.” Even so, distribs and videostores should pencil in police raids for 2044 as the country is belatedly made safe from the likes of “Kill Bill,” “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “Dawn of the Dead,” “Wrong Turn” and a certain Mel Gibson movie.