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The Case studies

Horror film and censorship in Austria, Czechoslovakia and Germany

In Austria all the selected horror films granted permission by the censors and were shown to public in the 1930es. The lack of cuts or restrictions by the censorship of horror films in this country is remarkable. Unfortunately, the available registration cards did not mention any reasons for the decisions made by the censorship authorities.

Only four of the chosen films were examined (and screened) in Czechoslovakia until 1939: DRACULA, KING KONG, THE INVISIBLE MAN and FRANKENSTEIN. Relevant material illustrating details of the censorship procedure is rare. From the sporadic available material only one “regularity” of handling the horror genre can be deduced – all films were banned for young people.

The German censorship was much stricter than that of the neighbouring country: only FRANKENSTEIN, KING KONG and VAMPYR were approved for public screening. FRANKENSTEIN and KING KONG, however, had been prohibited at first and were initially only permitted in appeal hearings. Even in such cases of permission the films were permitted only for adults 18 years of age or older and cuts were imposed. The verdicts of the German censorship authorities – the “censorship decisions” – were recorded in written form and explained the reasons for permission or ban, for cuts or further restrictions.

by Laura Bezerra, Karin Moser and Tomáš Lachman


Introduction The Case Studies Freaks Worldwide Genre and Censorship Source Edition urrogat Production Introduction Censorship Regulations Battleship Potemkin Horror Films Conclusion Bibliography Dracula Frankenstein Freaks King Kong The Invisible Man Vampyr