Franck Khalfoun's stylish, ultra-violent remake of the 1980 horror cult classic Maniac has drawn its share of controversy for graphic content since its premiere at Cannes last year, but we haven't heard news of the film being banned from theatrical or home video release until now.
New Zealand’s Office of Film and Literature Classification has reportedly banned public screenings of the film outside of festivals or film classes, and even in those cases it's only open to audiences over 18. They've even prohibited the film from being released on DVD. Australia-based distributor Monster Pictures, who had planned on releasing the film in New Zealand theaters, is fighting the ban, calling it “an insult to the intelligence of the adult population of New Zealand," claiming it "does little more than to serve as an open invitation to illegally pirate the film.”
Prior to a small-scale theatrical release in the US last month via IFC Midnight, Maniac was mostly limited to the festival circuit – including the New Zealand International Film Festival – but it's now currently available On Demand through online and cable TV providers.