From Iceland — Great Moments In Icelandic History: The Smurf Porn Incident

Great Moments In Icelandic History: The Smurf Porn Incident

Great Moments In Icelandic History: The Smurf Porn Incident

Published June 13, 2022

Valur Grettisson
Photo by
Screenshot from the Smurf Movie

It was on a cold day in January 1992 when an unsuspecting mother rented the newest Smurf Movie for her darling children. The mother found the movie in the rack, somewhere between Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ and Whoopi Goldbergs’ ‘Sister Act’. The Smurf movie had an innocent enough cover. The whole gang was there, Smurfette too, looking into the eyes of the beholder, perhaps with a slightly mischievous grin on her lips.

In the safe hands of the Smurfs? Think again

The mother returned home and the kids were overjoyed to have the tape in their hands. Not only was it a film about the wonderful adventures of these little blue creatures, it was dubbed in Icelandic by beloved comedian Laddi—in fact, he voiced every character, including Smurfette.

The mother might have had a cup of coffee, convinced that her children were in the safe hands of this silly adventure. She would have the 60 minutes to herself. Finally.

As DV newspaper tells it, the mother was minding her own business when her darling children came to her and told her that there was something strange about the Smurf movie. “There is something ugly happening,” they complained.

The mother checked the TV, and to her horror, where she expected Smurfs there was a full-blown Danish porno.

Don’t worry, The Consumer Organisation are on the case

Bewildered and distressed, the mother picked up the phone to inform the consumer organisation about the incident. They were absolutely shocked and escalated the situation to the police. Likewise, the police were not amused.

The film’s distributor in Iceland, a company called Steinar realised at this point that the duplicators they hired had, indeed, recorded the Smurfs on the VHS tapes that had previously featured Denmark’s finest pornographic exports. And once the Smurfs had successfully thwarted Gargamel’s dasdardly plot, there were still 30 minutes of run time on the adult content — and they were closing in on the money shot.

The spokesman of Steinar said they were horrified to hear this, and pleaded with all Icelandic parents to check their videotapes for obscene material. An absolute moral panic ensued. Was anyone safe?! Won’t someone think of the children!?

The big porn crackdown

The incident resulted in a widespread crackdown on the video-rental market. The police wanted surveillance within this lawless industry—which was, on top of everything else, duplicating movies illegally, according to the government body regulating the market. In short; these bastards had no shame.

Porn was illegal, and yet customers could easily access these kinds of movies through the mysterious “Folder” that could contain up to 500 pornographic, titles according to the police spokesperson at the time.

The police discovered that the porn was flowing almost unregulated in the countryside, and the video rental shops habitually offered these “folders” where customers could see the selections of porn the store had hidden away. The police added an interesting detail in the newspapers, that to avoid detection, the horndogs tried to visit the rentals early in the morning to avoid any contact with suspicious eyes.

Trunk-porn in Reykjavík

But the situation was even worse in Reykjavík. Newspapers reported that the police arrested three people—two men and a woman—only a few weeks after the Smurf incident, for selling pornographic videotapes out of the trunk of their car in downtown Reykjavík. What’s worse, they had all been duplicated illegally, so no tax was being paid for the trio’s commercial efforts. Won’t someone think of the taxman!?

Lost Innocence

Of course, Steinar was charged with exposing children to porn, but the case never found its way to the courtroom. The real victims, the children, were scarred for life, as was innocent Iceland, who abruptly discovered that porn could be everywhere. Even on a harmless Smutt—ahem, sorry—Smurf tape. The good news is that Icelanders learned their lesson—they haven’t watched porn since, as it’s still illegal in Iceland.

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