Australia's Classification Review Board is to re-examine the "R18+" rating given to director Gaspar Noe's Irreversible next Monday despite the film having been on release for six weeks.

George Papadopolous, general manager of the film's distributor Accent Film Entertainment, told that the Australian Family Association had applied for a review of the original decision.

The film, which has grossed $107,000 (A$143,000) from three screens in Sydney and Melbourne, is due to open in Brisbane on April 8 with other states to follow.

The "R18+" category means the film is restricted to being seen by adults 18 years and over. If the film is given the tougher "X" classification, which applies only to sexually explicit material, it could only be made available on video in some parts of Australia. It could also be banned, although this is more politely called "refused classification".

"We are very surprised that the rating is coming under review after the film has been in release for six weeks to overwhelmingly positive critical and audience acclaim," said Papadopolous.