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'Lesbian Vampire Killers' DVD Covers Censored and De-Gayed by 'Family' Retail Stores

'Lesbian Vampire Killers' DVD Covers Censored and De-Gayed by 'Family' Retail Stores

Vampires and lesbians are hot right now, especially with Evan Rachel Wood starring as one on True Blood but when the cheesy spoof horror flick Lesbian Vampire Killers landed in stores last week, some of them hit shelves missing a word from the title. In a rather bizarre case of purely silly -- and likely homophobic-- censorship, family retail chains like Borders, Walmart-owned Asda and the UK's Tesco and Sainsbury have censored the word with 'lesbian,' covering it with a sticker.

When the cheesy spoof horror flick Lesbian Vampire Killers landed in stores last week, some of them hit shelves missing a word from the title. In a rather bizarre case of purely silly -- and likely homophobic-- censorship, the DVDs' distributor seems to have decided audiences would be just fine with the idea of vampire killers, as long as they weren't killing lesbian vampires.

Apparently Momentum, the distributor of the Lesbian Vampire Killers DVD, thought it best to cover up the sexuality of the bloodsuckers in the film by slapping a warning sticker right over the first word of
the title. The sticker covering the word lesbian cautions buyers that the DVD "may display sexually suggestive cover image." Another sticker, touting that the film "contains explicitly fit bloodsucking
hotties!" was plastered over the prominent cleavage of a scantily clad woman splashed across the cover.

Momentum says the stickers -- and their specific placement -- were put on the DVD covers at the request of their store clients. "We were asked by a number of retailers to cover up certain parts of the cover,
and we complied with their requests," a spokesperson said, according to Guardian.co.uk. Borders, Asda (owned by Walmart), Tesco and Sainsbury's have all chosen to stock the DVD with the heavily
stickered covers.

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However, none of the retailers will confess to requesting the censorship of the Lesbian Vampire Killers title from the distributor.

Sainsbury's and Asda have stated they picked the censored cover when presented with a choice between it and an uncensored version. Borders says their copies came with the stickers without request. The UK
retail chain Tesco went as far as admitting they requested the cleavage on the cover be obscured, but denies asking for censorship of the DVD title. Either the retail chains are backing away full speed
from a perceived insult to the gay community or the distributor is
trying to lay the blame anywhere else but their own heads.

It's almost expected that so-called ‘family' retail outlets might frown on having the word "lesbian" screaming from their DVD section. But the real killer is covering up a woman's cleavage with a sticker
proclaiming the film's "explicitly fit bloodsucking hotties!" Why exactly is this less offensive and sexist than showing half-exposed breasts? Honestly though, if you think your customers are going to be
shocked and horrified just by seeing the word "lesbian" on your shelves, you probably shouldn't be stocking a film like Lesbian Vampire Killers in the first place. It may be good fun for folks who enjoy base sexist humor and self-deprecating horror film stereotyping
-- but a family film it is not.

For those UK exploitation film fans out there who want their cover naked and lesbian, uncensored copies of the DVD title can be found at HMV. "We've been happy to stock Lesbian Vampire Killers in its
original sleeve," a spokesman for HMV said. "We find the idea of any retailer requiring the word Lesbian to be covered up surprising to say the least, and can't see why anyone would find the word offensive."

As for American retailers of the film, we'll just have to wait and see if they engage in their own censorship of the DVD. A release date for the film in the U.S. has not yet been set.

Read more from Laura Vess.

 

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Laura Vess