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Star Trek II - The Wrath of Khan

"Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!"

The first feature film for the Star Trek franchise - Star Trek: The Motion Picture - was released in 1979. The crew of the Starship Enterprise returned three years later to go even more boldly where no man had been before in Star Trek II - The Wrath of Khan. The sequel was submitted to the BBFC in May 1982, a time when four categories were available for films - U (suitable for all), A (advisory - parents cautioned that the film might be unsuitable for young children), AA (over 14s only) or X (over 18s). The examiner report for Wrath of Khan notes that the film, with "various explosions, deaths",  was a likely A category. However a scene in which Khan tortures two of the captured Enterprise crew, by placing "lobster-like slugs" in their ears, contained two shots which were "almost X" material. Hence an AA certificate was proposed for the uncut version of the film. An A certificate would require the two shots to be cut - sight of the slugs crawling in to the ears and the shot of a slug crawling "bloodily" out of Chekhov's ear. The distributor U.I.P. opted to make the cuts and the film was passed A.

In 1987 the same theatrical cut was released on video and given a PG certificate. In 1988 CIC Video submitted a version of the film with the slug shots reinstated, and that release was given a 15. Following the 1994 introduction of the 12 certificate for video works, a 2002 DVD release of Wrath of Khan - again complete with slugs - was passed 12, and the film remains at that category for home viewing.

 

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