The Irish Film Classification Office (IFCO) has banned the DVD re-release of controversial 1978 horror I Spit On Your Grave.

The IFCO refused to grant a supply certificate to the film on the grounds that it “depicts acts of gross violence and cruelty towards humans”, and contravenes of Ireland’s Video Recordings Act of 1989.  

I Spit on Your Gravetells the story of an aspiring writer who is repeatedly gang-raped and then left for dead by four men whom she then hunts down and brutally murders.

Meir Zarchi, the film’s director, said: “It doesn’t surprise me that Ireland has decided to ban the film. However, with the level of graphic violence and horror available these days, it’s surprising that IFCO sees this 1978 film more offensive than some of the most daring and empty of content torture porn available today.”

Eoghan Burke, sales director of Lace DMS, which was to distribute the DVD in Ireland, said he was “disappointed and saddened” by the decision. “It just drives business away from bricks and mortar and into the hands of online, denying much needed revenue to traditional retail,” he added.

Prior to its 1978 theatrical release the thriller was banned in various countries, including Norway, Iceland and former West Germany.