Why New Zealand just banned Elijah Woods' freaky horror flick

Contributed by
Jul 25, 2013, 1:11 PM EDT

If you’ve missed seeing Elijah Wood on the big screen, you’re in luck — unless you live in New Zealand, apparently.

The country has banned Maniac, which stars Wood as a head-scalping killer, because the Office of Film and Literature Classification has decided it is too graphic and disturbing for public display.

So what’s so bad about the flick? It’s focused on the killer’s point of view, which the censors said would be too “injurious to the public good." Basically, they think it might make people want to be murderers after watching a film from the killer’s perspective. Riiiiight.

Here’s an excerpt from the ruling:

“The murders are depicted in first-person perspective, inviting a viewer's vicarious participation. While the feature does not actively promote or support this material, the tacit invitation to enjoy cruel and violent behavior through its first-person portrayal and packaging as entertainment is likely to lead to an erosion of empathy for some viewers."

Though the film can’t be theatrically released, or put out for home release, the censors conceded to allow screenings at film festivals and for academic study.

Wood’s career has taken some unique turns since his blockbuster performance in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. From the FX series Wilfred to this freaky horror flick, it’s been an interesting one to follow.

Do you think the censors were right to kick the film out of the county, or do you view this decision as an overreaction? 

(Via ABC News)