Korea restricts ‘Devil’

Censors uphold harsh rating for horror pic

Korean helmer Kim Jee-woon is rushing to recut horror pic “I Saw the Devil” ahead of its Thursday release date after local censors upheld its restricted rating for extreme violence.

The Korea Media Rating Board’s decision effectively prevents “Devil” from opening in its original form.

Under a law introduced in 2002, restricted films can’t unspool in general theaters, be released on home video or advertised.

They can only be shown in specially licensed adult theaters — but, as yet, no such venues exist.

In 2008, Korea’s Constitutional Court ruled the rating was unconstitutional after a challenge from the local distributor of John Cameron Mitchell’s “Shortbus,” which was also slapped with the restricted label.

But the board is standing by the rating. In “Devil,” it objected to scenes showing a dead body being cut up and human parts being eaten by protags and a dog.

“We will modify the duration of some of the scenes to respect KMRB’s decision without losing the essence of the film,” said Kim Hyun-woo, producer and CEO of production house Peppermint.

Starring Choi Min-sik (“Old Boy”) and Lee Byung-hun (“G.I. Joe”), $5.98 million pic is a revenge thriller about a cop hunting the psychopath who killed his fiancee.

It’s distributed locally by Showbox. Finecut has presold pic to France, U.K., Turkey and Taiwan.

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