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Old 02-07-2020, 04:11 PM   #1
Andrew NDB
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Default "Night of the Living Dead" is banned in Germany?

Michael, what the heck is up with Germany?
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Old 02-07-2020, 06:07 PM   #2
Michael Heide
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Way back when the laws what can and cannot be shown in movies were written, they didn't expect Romero to reinvent the wheel years down the road and invent what would be known as "Zombies". So when that film came out, they looked at the laws they had and saw what was done to "humans or human-like creatures". And they didn't like what was done to them. German youth protection agencies had a massive problem with what zombies did to humans (depictions of cannibalism in movies were outright banned at the time), and since the zombies themselves were close enough to human beings, they didn't like what humans did to the zombies neither. Laws have since been amended to make exceptions for undead creatures, but even those new laws don't allow everything.

Back then, it was even worse, a shit ton of movies were placed on a so-called index of youth-corrupting works. If your movie was on that index, you could sell it under the table, but you weren't allowed to put it on a shelf, to hang a poster for it on the wall where customers (even only adult customers) were able to see it, you couldn't even write a review for a magazine or whatever. Some distributers submitted various wildly varying edits of their movies under alternate titles in the hopes that at least one version could be sold through regular stores. Fulci's City of the Living Dead had at least five different names over here, all slight variations of a zombie (or a corpse, or a cadaver, etc) hanging from a bell rope or similar items. They tried as recently as 2001 to get any cut of the movie past the index. I think one version is now rated16 or older, and is missing nine minutes. The full uncut version even went beyond the index and must not be sold at all.
Fun fact: For a couple of years, my father worked as a janitor for the local court building, and he had to operate the VCR when they reviewed key scenes from Evil Dead out of context, to decide if that movie had to be placed on that index as well. Turns out it had to. And it has since been removed from it, you can buy the uncut version these days off the shelf.
And that's the thing: A lot of movies (and video games, which faced similar problems due to laws written when the medium didn't even exist yet) have been removed from the index in recent years. The rules have relaxed quite a bit. And to my knowledge, even the uncut version of Night of the Living Dead is rated 16 and legally available everywhere these days.
So I can't really explain why Netflix would remove the movie from their German portfolio in 2020.
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