Italy enforces Apocalypto ban

You would have thought Mel Gibson would have caused enough controversy by now, but apparently the Aussie helmer still has the power to annoy even the most laid back of cultures.

The Italian censorship system hasn’t altered for over 45 years, but that’s set to change – and it’s all thanks to Apocalypto’s almost relentless bloodletting.

Despite the fact that Gibbo’s flick contains such gruesome moments as severed heads being scattered over the side of a pyramid and still-warm hearts being torn from bodies, there was no age restriction implemented on its release.

But thanks to an outcry from parents and politicians alike, an Italian court has enforced a temporary ban, restricting the film to over 14s, pending a 17 January hearing.

Not that Mel’ll be particularly bothered, despite the ban, his mental Mayan movie went straight into the Italian chart at number two, beaten only by Bond.

But the ban will have a far-reaching effect. As a result of the furore surrounding the film, Italian Culture Minister Francesco Rutelli has started discussions on updating his country’s censorship system, saying, “It is clearly not suited to modern times.”

It seems that whenever Mel’s involved, it never rains blood, but it pours...