New Zealand bans Elijah Wood horror film Maniac

Elijah Wood in Maniac Maniac was released in the UK in March

Related Stories

A horror remake starring Hobbit actor Elijah Wood has been banned in New Zealand due to its "graphic violence" and "content that may disturb".

Maniac has been restricted to festival film screenings and academic viewing by government officials and will not be eligible for mainstream cinema or DVD release in the country.

The film, directed by Frank Khalfoun, stars Wood as serial killer Frank.

Neil Foley of distributor Monster Pictures said he was "flabbergasted".

The director of the Australia-based company said the ban was an "insult to the intelligence" of adults in New Zealand.

The film, which received a limited UK release in March, is due to screen at the New Zealand International Film Festival in Auckland and Wellington at the end of July.

Ant Timpson, a programmer for the festival, said the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) was concerned that the movie was "injurious to the public good".

"It's saying that the POV [point of view] nature of the film mixed with the psychopathic behaviour of actor Elijah Wood is more than disturbing, that it's potentially dangerous in the hands of the wrong person," Timpson suggested.

The original version of Maniac, by slasher director William Lustig, was a cult hit when it was first released in 1980.

The remake received mixed reviews in the UK press, with The Observer's Philipp French calling it "unwelcome".

The Hollywood Reporter's Megan Lehmann said the film was a "sadistic art-house bloodbath" when it screened at Cannes in 2012.

Monster Pictures said on its website that it would "explore every option" to have the ban revoked, though admitted "at this stage it ain't looking good".

More on This Story

Related Stories

Features & Analysis

  • Stained glass of man with swordFrance 1 England 0

    The most important battle you have probably never heard of


  • Golden retriever10 things

    Dogs get jealous, and nine more nuggets from the week's news


  • Pro-Israel demonstrators shout slogans while protesting in Berlin - 25 July 2014Holocaust guilt

    Gaza conflict leaves Germans confused over who to support


  • The emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-SabahFreedoms fear

    Growing concern for rights as Kuwait revokes citizenships


From BBC Culture

Programmes

  • Leader of Hamas Khaled MeshaalHARDtalk Watch

    BBC exclusive: Hamas leader on the eagerness to end bloodshed in Gaza

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.