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U.S. filmgoers know all about the MPAA, and if you’re a scholar of American horror, you understand the long, tortured history of the battles between the ratings board and that most explicit and provocative of genres. But here in Canada, our film ratings system is radically different, and varies from province to province.
Here in my home, Ontario, we have run the gamut from ultraconservative (the ’80s were a sanitized wash; try sitting through the butchered, bloodless Ontario hack-job edits of DAY OF THE DEAD or TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 for prime examples) to rather liberal today (Lars von Trier’s ANTICHRIST got an R—which in Canada means no one under 18 admitted—without any scissoring; same with Darren Aronofsky’s disturbing REQUIEM FOR A DREAM several years back). It’s unpredictable when certain taboos will be socially accepted and when they’ll be hidden from the supposedly easily corrupted public eye, and a study of what offends different countries and cultures is always a point of interest in film study.
Well, the Ontario Film Review Board (OFRB) have just moved their Toronto location, and in the process has sent around their current ratings guide. I’ve attached that chart for your enlightenment and amusement. Even if you don’t reside in Ontario, it’s fun to compare, if you dare, what shocks and scares the maple-syrup-fed censors, as specifically noted in the sixth column from the top.
Here it is…
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