09th Mar2015

UK ‘Hate Crime’ ban – James Cullen Bressack responds

by Phil Wheat


By now many horror fans will know that Hate Crime, the second feature from director James Cullen Bressack (pictured above) was, last week, refused classification by the BBFC – which, thanks to the increased powers of the ATVOD, effectively bans the film from being released on any home formats, be it Blu-ray, DVD or VOD, here in the UK. That’s despite the film screening at Manchester’s Grimmfest in 2012, and it being freely available on DVD and on-demand across the US (directly from Bressack’s production company website in fact).

In the past week there has been many a post from sites across the web, from folks like Haddonfield Horror and Strange Things Are Happening, not only reporting on the ban but also decrying the BBFC’s actions. However there are some – like Simon Thompson at Huffington Post – who, without even seeing the film and only judging it from the BBFC’s report, “celebrated” its ban.

Well today, in response to Simon Thompson’s article and those like it, James Cullen Bressack – director of Hate Crime – has released an official statement:

As a Jewish man, and a victim of anti -Semitic hate, I made a horror film that depicts the very thing that haunts my dreams. As an artist I wanted to tell a story to remind us that we live in a dangerous world; a world where racial violence is on the rise.  

It saddens me to learn that censorship is still alive and well. As a critic and journalist, you should at least see the film you are criticizing and do your research to learn that the filmmaker is Jewish. However I have to admit that I do appreciate the press.

As a fan of Simon Thompson’s work and the Huffington Post, I’m disappointed he didn’t see my movie.

TheHorrorShow.TV‘s Jack Bowyer adds:

Like James, we are disappointed not to be able to bring Hate Crime to the UK in association with Nerdly Presents, as planned. However, we are pleased to announce that we are in the process of submitting some of James’s other films to the BBFC, so that we can bring this distinctive and important filmmaker’s voice to UK horror fans, along with other exciting titles under our partnership with Nerdly Presents.

As both someone closely involved with this proposed release AND as a movie fan, I am disappointed that a powerful film like Hate Crime has been banned in this country. Especially given the news – released the same week as the BBFC decision on James’ film – that 88 Films are releasing uncut versions of former video nasty Anthropophagus The Beast and Emmanuelle and the Last Cannibals!

Once again, the BBFC’s arbitrary decisions have, and probably always will, perplex me…

2 Responses to “UK ‘Hate Crime’ ban – James Cullen Bressack responds”

  • Jack

    As far as I’m aware, neither Anthropophagous nor Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals have been classified by the BBFC this year.

    • Phil Wheat

      88 Films have already announced their release, with the caveat that “we [88 Films] don’t anticipate BBFC problems.”