When Australia’s film review board told Canadian director Bruce LaBruce he couldn’t screen his gay zombie flick LA Zombies at the Melbourne International Film Festival in July because of all its gay sex and male nudity, LaBruce reacted with glee: “Eureka! They have unconsciously handed the film loads of publicity.” As did the Australian police, which just raided the home of an underground film director who dared screen the movie.
Richard Wolstencroft, head of the Melbourne Underground Film Festival, was subjected to a police search of his home Thursday — all because, way back in September, he showed the movie for audiences at his festival. Apparently they thought they’d find him with the banned film. They did not. “Police searched for a copy of the film, but we destroyed ours after the Melbourne Underground Film Festival screening in September,” Wolstencroft said today. “We thought that police might come for the screening. But they didn’t. We don’t understand why they came after all this time.”
For him, it wasn’t necessarily about challenging authority (though I’m sure he got off on it), but for highlighting schizophrenia. After all, the film (which has no dialogue) features Francois Sagat playing a schizophrenic homeless man who believes he’s an alien on a mission to hunt down gay sex and the dead. “This is one of his most powerful movies which talks about schizophrenia,” says Wolstencroft. “This shows the problem with freedom of speech in Australia. There are laws which date back to 1954.”
Yes, but Australians also have access to a little thing called BitTorrent, so really, what’s the point.