The BBFC has rejected the DVD Murder Set Pieces. This means that it cannot be legally supplied anywhere in the UK. The decision was taken by the Director, David Cooke and the Presidential Team of Sir Quentin Thomas, Lord Taylor of Warwick and Janet Lewis-Jones.
Murder Set Pieces is a feature with a single-minded focus on the activities of a psychopathic sexual serial killer, who, throughout the film, is seen raping, torturing and murdering his victims. Young children are among those terrorised and killed, and their inclusion in this abusive context is an added concern. In relation to the adult victims, there is a clear focus on sex or sexual behaviour accompanied by non-consensual pain, injury and humiliation.
David Cooke, Director of the BBFC said:
"It is the Board's carefully considered view that to issue a certificate to Murder Set Pieces, even if statutorily confined to adults, would involve risk of harm within the terms of the Video Recordings Act, would be inconsistent with the Board's Guidelines, and would be unacceptable to the public.
"Rejecting a work outright is a serious matter and the Board considered whether the issue could be dealt with through cuts. However, given the unacceptable content featured throughout, and that what remains is essentially preparatory and set-up material for the unacceptable scenes, cutting the work is not a viable option in this case and the work is therefore refused a classification."
Under the terms of the Video Recordings Act distributors have the right to appeal the Board's decision.
Murder Set Pieces also raises potential legal questions, for instance in relation to the Protection of Children Act 1978, as well as possible breaches of other legislation such as that on obscenity. Having concluded that the work would in any case have to be rejected on grounds of harm and unacceptability to the public, the Board did not think it necessary at this stage to reach a final view on these legal issues, but they would have to be considered in the event of any appeal.