"From Dusk Till Dawn" came out against the tragic backdrop of the 1996 Dunblane tragedy in Scotland and Port Arthur massacre in Australia, which had an impact on Irish censors.
"From Dusk Till Dawn," directed by Robert Rodriguez and written by Quentin Tarantino, follows a pair of American criminal brothers (George Clooney and Tarantino) who take a family as hostages in order to cross into Mexico, but ultimately find themselves trapped in a saloon frequented by vampires.
The violent and graphic nature of the movie is not uncommon in the world of film and wouldn't typically warrant a ban.
However, the film was released in January 1996. That March, a lone gunman, Thomas Hamilton, entered Dunblane Primary School in Scotland and opened fire, killing 16 children and their teacher before turning the gun on himself.
Later, in April 1996, Martin Bryant opened fire in Port Arthur, a tourist town in Australia, killing 35 people and wounding 23 others. It was the worst massacre in modern Australian history.
The tragedies sent shockwaves around the world and led to heightened sensitivity to any form of violence depicted in the media, including films.
This sensitivity, in turn, led to a more cautious approach by movie censors, including in Ireland.
In May 1996, Sheamus Smith of Ireland's Film Censors Office (later called the Irish Film Classification Office) moved to ban the film, citing its "irresponsible and totally gratuitous" depictions of violence.
Offering a rare explanation for his decision, Smith said the film worried him in the light of the massacres in Dunblane and Port Arthur.
"Somebody has to say 'stop' to this extraordinary violence on the screen," Smith said a the time, according to The Irish Times.
"I admire Harvey Keitel and Quentin Tarantino, and I'm not saying everyone in Ireland would be affected by this film.
"But even if one person were affected I wouldn't like to have it on my conscience."
The banning of "From Dusk Till Dawn" in Ireland generated significant controversy and debate. While some argued that it was a responsible move in light of the recent tragedy, others contended that it was an overreaction that infringed upon artistic freedom.
In retrospect, the decision to ban the film in Ireland can be seen as a reflection of the broader conversation surrounding media violence and its potential impact on society. It also highlighted the delicate balance that movie censors must strike between protecting the public and preserving artistic expression.
In 2004, however, John Kelleher, the Official Censor of Films, found that "From Dusk Till Dawn" was "fit for viewing" and overturned the previous ban. The movie was released on video in Ireland that year.
You can watch the trailer for "From Dusk Till Dawn" here: