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Thalidomide film shocker; Gory movie starring disabled actor gets toughest rating.


DISABLED people have defended a violent new film starring a Thalidomide victim as a psychopathic martial arts killer - even though it has been banned from mainstream cinemas.

Kung Fu Flid was released last week and features the catchline 'Unarmed But Dangerous'.

The film stars Thalidomide victim Mat Fraser, who campaigns for disabled people's rights. He plays the main role as Jimmy Loveit, the Kung Fu Flid. It also features former Steps singer Faye Tozer, as Cristol, and Sunday Mercury glamour girl blogger Kitty Lee, who plays a hooker.

The trailer features graphic violence accompanied by sickening scenes drenched in blood and gore as Kung Fu Flid fights his way through the world.

It explains: "They shot his wife, they kidnapped his daughter.

This time they messed with the wrong Flid." The film has been slapped with the rare, and extremely serious ,18R rating by the British Board of Film Classification, meaning that it cannot be seen at regular high street cinemas.

But Midland Thalidomide victim Louise Medus, from Cheltenham, has given the film her backing.

The 46 year-old mum-of-two, who has seen the trailer, but not the whole film, said: "My initial reaction to seeing it was like any Bruce Lee film, in that it's quite violent.

"Mat Fraser is a professional actor and a very good one.

"I don't think that because the lead role is played by a Thalidomide actor makes any difference or makes it any more disturbing." And Steve Graby, from Birmingham, who is a member of the Disabled People's Direct Action Network, said he thinks the film demonstrates how talented Thalidomide actors can be.

"He's a well-known figure in disabled people's arts in the UK,"

he said. "He does things which are artistic and deliberately uses things which people think are shocking and subversive.

"There are some people who think he's pretentious and far removed from the struggles encountered day to day by disabled people." Mat previously starred in the controversial theatre production Thalidomide: A Musical, which featured songs including It's Hard To Hitch Down Life's Highway With No Thumbs and Talk To The Flipper.

It was billed as 'a PC-free musical with a short-armed punch' which covered the history of the 1960s Thalidomide drug scandal.

The drug was developed by an ex-Nazi party member and was later sold with minimal testing to expectant mums to beat the misery of morning sickness.

But it caused thousands of children to be born with disabilities.

A spokesman for the British Board of Film Classification said: "No themes are unacceptable in a film. It depends on how these things have been handled. The Board has given it an appropriate rating." No-one from The Film Lounge, the London based company which has distributed the movie, was available to comment.

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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Apr 12, 2009
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