Preaching To The Perverted's exploration of BDSM proved a little too spicy for Irish censors, leading to the movie being banned in the country. Preaching To The Perverted is a 1997 comedy about a young filmmaker called Peter hired by a conservative British MP to infiltrate a club specializing in sadomasochism. The repressed Peter is initially onboard with helping take down this sinful club, only to find himself drawn to Mistress Tanya Cheex - played by American Psycho screenwriter Guinevere Turner - and the lifestyle.
Preaching To The Perverted created no amount of controversy during its initial release, centered on its depiction of the S&M community. Despite some explicit scenes, the movie is intended as somewhat campy fun. The project was initially developed for the BBC who later dropped it, feeling it would never be suitable for broadcast. Subsequent movies like Secretary and Fifty Shades Of Grey have shown its possible to make a mainstream movie featuring S&M themes and sequences, but Preaching To The Perverted was a little ahead of the curve back in 1997. Professor Marston And The Wonder Women starring Luke Evans and Rebecca Hall is another recent movie that explored the topic, which also explored the surprising origins of DC superhero Wonder Woman.
Preaching To The Perverted also has the distinction of being one of the final films banned in Ireland during the 20th century. Other movies banned by the Irish censors during this period include From Dusk Till Dawn and David Cronenberg's darkly sexual Crash starring James Spader. The banning of Preaching To The Perverted in Ireland also led to a messy situation for gangster movie Donnie Brasco.
This Al Pacino (The Irishman) thriller was available for rental at the same time, which came with a trailer for Preaching To The Perverted. Irish censor Sheamus Smith stated it was illegal to rent tapes if they contained material that hadn't been classified, which Preaching To The Perverted hadn't been. Despite this, the Donnie Brasco tape was a popular rental, meaning a lot of people saw the offending preview before the tapes were taken off shelves.
In spite of its issues during release, Preaching To The Perverted has earned a loyal fanbase in the years that followed. In 2013 the filmmakers behind the movie launched a Kickstarter campaign to remaster it for Blu-ray, which successfully met its goal. Director Stuart Urban also spoke of developing a sequel during this period, though little has been heard about a potential follow-up in recent years.