It appears 's new film Maniac is finding it tougher to get a screening in New Zealand than Frodo found it to bring the ring to Mordor. The recent remake of 's exploitation classic finds Wood playing the titular lunatic who stalks and kills his prey; taking home trophies to add to his collection of mannequins. The film has been getting some festival buzz, but that doesn't seem to impress the New Zealand Office of Film and Literature Classification.
This censorship board has decided that Maniac may not be released theatrically in the country. According to Deadline, the film may only exhibited in tertiary media, that is to say it can only be viewed as part of a film studies course or during a festival. Evidently their big point of contention with the film is the fact that the story is told from the point-of-view of the killer. The OFLC seems to believe this is the most injurious to the public good. This ruling also means the film cannot be released on DVD in the country.
With all deference to the great nation of New Zealand, this is a steaming load of horse manure; Biff Tannen portions of horse manure. It's not simply a matter of the ruling, one which patronizingly fails to trust the people of an entire country to make their own decisions regarding what material they choose to view, but it's also their reasoning. By their logic, 's 1960 film Peeping Tom must also be banned. Hell, even the opening scene of 's Halloween would be struck down. It's so childish and it's a distinct move backward for artistic expression.
One wonders if the real reason this body is coming down so hard on Maniac is that the film effectively breaks the otherwise inextricable association people have made between Elijah Wood and Frodo. New Zealand is still banking heavily off the tourism that 's films have generated, and with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey movies in theaters, that tourism is resurgent. I see this as a move to attempt to distance themselves from Elijah Wood as anything other than Frodo. It's the most self-serving of tactics masquerading as being in the public's best interest.
What do you guys think?