Australian Sex Party convenor and Victorian Upper House candidate Fiona Patten has hit out at Victoria’s classification laws following a police raid on a festival director’s home, for showing a banned film earlier this year.
Police searched the home of Melbourne Underground Film Festival director Richard Wolstencroft last week in an attempt to uncover a copy of banned Bruce LaBruce gay zombie porn film, L.A. Zombie.
Wolstencroft screened L.A. Zombie in protest in August after the Classification Board refused to okay the film for the festival.
At the time, Wolstencroft told the Star Observer the film’s gay themes played a part in the reason the film had been banned.
“I think it has been picked on because of the gay factor — you don’t know how much this has got to do with the election. I think if this was a zombie film where a zombie rapes a woman I don’t think that it would have got the same level of attention,” he said in August.
Patten said Victoria’s classification laws need to change.
“It just goes to show how archaic Victoria’s laws are that Richard could face jail or a $240,000 fine for showing a film that’s been seen widely around the world, to adults who’ve paid to see it.”
“Despite years of campaigning, the government has refused to to act and now someone could be facing jail for showing a mainstream film to adults. It shows the classification laws desperately need a change.”
The porn-horror film follows a homeless schizophrenic who wanders the streets of Los Angeles looking for male corpses, who he returns to life by having sex with them.
Wolstencroft has argued that L.A. Zombie is no more graphic than LaBruce’s last film, Otto; Or, Up with Dead People, which screened at Melbourne International Film Festival in 2008, largely without controversy.
“It just shows how Victorian, Victoria’s laws are,” Patten said.
“I think people in this state are far more progressive than this and it’s not in-line with how the public feels.”
Wolstencroft told the ABC last week he believed the raid was “absurd” and has questioned the timing of police intervention, six weeks after the film screened.