Alberto Viavattene’s horror short film Morgue Street was slated for Sydney’s A Night of Horror Film Festival, which runs until April 21. However, two days prior to the screening, the Australian Classification Board, the same group of morally upright citizens who rejected Travis Mathews’ (homo)sexually charged I Want Your Love earlier this year (thus irking James Franco to no end), sliced Morgue Street’s throat with an RC ("Refused Classification") rating due to "material that is considered to offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults." Left bleeding by the censors, Morgue Street cannot be screened or sold anywhere in Australia.
Morgue Street has been previously screened in several international film festivals, including Berlin’s "Avant Hard" 7. Porn, Slash, TromaDance, San Sebastian Horror and Fantasy, and Another Hole in the Head.
Morgue Street plot
Based on Edgar Allan Poe’s The Murders in the Rue Morgue, Morgue Street was directed and edited by Alberto Viavattene, from a screenplay by Viavattene and Emiliano Ranzani (who also shot the movie). The plot is a family tale of sorts, about mother and daughter, both of whom happen to be sex workers, attempting to fend off a menacing creature that has broken into their home.
In an email, Viavattene described Morgue Street as "a tale of cruelty and desperation set in a violent, ferocious microcosmos [sic] where the weak will always succumb and redemption is ungainable [not sure if this word exists, but its meaning is clear]." The film stars Désirée Giorgetti, whose previous credits are the non-PG Morituris and Ritual: A Psychomagic Story, and adult film actress Federica Tommasi (Mi Padre, Tinto Brass’ Do it! / Fallo!).
Previous movie versions of Poe’s story include Robert Florey’s Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932), starring Bela Lugosi as a mad scientist and Sidney Fox as his potential victim (plus a pre-King Kong building-climbing gorilla), and Roy Del Ruth’s Phantom of the Rue Morgue (1954), with Karl Malden and Patricia Medina.
Morgue Street: But is it art?
Now, in case you’re wondering whether Morgue Street is torture porn or art, well, the, ahem, renowned Uwe Boll calls it "harsh and sexy." And in case that doesn’t answer your question, then ask yourself if, whether Morgue Street is torture porn or art, a group of people should have the right to tell adults which movies they can and cannot watch, which songs they can or cannot listen to, which books they can or cannot read, and so on. Yes? No? Maybe?
You can check out the Morgue Street teaser trailer below.
Morgue Street photo via www.viavattene.com.