I believe this was banned in South Africa: looking at it today, I can't imagine why.
I can't either, but how about the magazine serial (1962) and the book adaptation (1964), were they banned, too?
"I demand a remake."
Reading the original comic strip upon which this film was based, or, at least, the 1st volume, while out of order, one can see what elements were taken to make this film. But, a more faithful adaptation of the original comic strip would also make a good film. There's this scene in the original comic strip, which I don't believe was in the film, for example . . .
"Faking out a guard."
Barbarella and her BFF have to re-enter Barbarella's crashed spaceship to retrieve the weapons required by the rebels, but there's a guard. So, to distract him, Barbarella undresses, and then when he gets close enough to see what is going on, they grab him, and then in a series of sexual gymnastics, they leave him naked and virtually comatose, and so physically weakened, he can't get off the ground. This scene works, but . . .
"A more callow character"
It'd work better (i.e. "Private Lessons,") be more believable (i.e. "L'Anticristo,") and more credible (i.e. "Lair of the White Worm,") if the character was far younger and far less experienced than the character seen in the original comic strip.
But, how low can you go, ere you lose your audience?
19? 18? 17? 16? 15?
The filmmakers did lower the ages of two of the characters in the original comic strip. If they are 8 in the film, then they are 18 in the original comic strip or what seems to be the international age of majority in most works of fiction.
"It's reputation precedes it."
Maybe it's France
or maybe it's the 1st half of the '60's
or for some other reason, but . . .?
I was surprised at how straight-laced the original comic strip was.
Except for some . . .
talk of spanking, which we never see,
and a hint of a "menage a trois," in the last panel of the 1st volume of the original comic strip,
there's nothing really kinky about it. Which maybe why . . .
"Much to my surprise!"
You couldn't do it in 1968 or the year of the film, but there is talk of doing it as a TV series, as of last year or 2013, it was still being written without any casting decisions being made. The only question is what network here in the U.S. would it be seen on, as it would be appropriate for most of the TV channels, since it is no more risque than "Game of Thrones" or many of the shows now on TV.
And, oh yes, the film was turned into a stage musical in 2004.