Another One Bites The Dust – FOUND Refused Classification
It with sadness in our hearts that we must announce that Scott Schirmer’s coming-of-age gore fest FOUND, was refused classification by Australia’s Classification Board yesterday, on the 21st of May. This is the 4th feature, after Hanger, The Human Centipede II and Father’s Day, to be scheduled for release in Australia by Monster Pictures that has surpassed (and brilliantly surpassed, at that) what is acceptable within Australia’s existing R18+ classification.
FOUND has played in over 40 film festivals world-wide (including Australia’s very own A Night of Horror Film Festival last year), winning 15 Best Feature and 8 Best Actor awards and has been championed by the First Lady of Horror, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, herself.
For your reading pleasure, we have included the official Board Report from the Classification Board, explaining their decision.
Found tells the story of a young boy, Marty, who comes to realise that his older brother is a sadistic, serial killer.
Reason For Decision:
In making this decision, the Classification Board has applied the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 (the Classification Act), the National Classification Code (the Code) and the Guidelines for the Classification of Films 2012 (the Guidelines).
In the Board’s view this film warrants an ‘RC’ classification in accordance with item 1(a) of the films table of the National Classification Code:
“1. Films that:
(a) depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified;” will be Refused Classification.
The Guidelines state that films will be refused classification if they contain gratuitous, exploitative or offensive depictions of violence with a very high degree of impact or which are excessively frequent, prolonged or detailed.
The film contains prolonged and detailed depictions of sexualised violence, including sexualised torture, mutilation, sexual activity with body parts and cannibalism, which result in a very high degree of impact. As such, this film exceeds what can be accommodated within the R18+ classification.
The Board notes that the film also contains depictions of nonsexual violence. These depictions of violence, which also include viscera, generous blood detail and gore, are mitigated by context and relatively unsophisticated production values to a level which can be accommodated at an R18+ classification. The scenes of sexualised violence, noted below, are more realistic and impactful, and result in a very high impact.
At approximately 41 minutes, a bloody scene of sexualised violence, including torture and cannibalism, commences when, as two young boys begin to watch a horror movie, a woman bound with her arms spread wide and bound to a frame, is tortured and murdered by her captor. Close-ups of her bloodied wrists are viewed before a sinister male wearing a skull mask and carrying a machete and a bowling ball bag is viewed walking towards her. The camera cuts from a view of the TV screen to the actual depiction as the male in the skull mask is viewed in close-up. He then grasps the screaming woman around the throat, slowly rubs the blade of the machete across her right breast, then moves the tip of the blade inside her blouse before tearing off her blouse and exposing her bare upper body. She continues to cry and beg her attacker to stop as he lines up the machete over her left breast then brings it down as the camera cuts away to the two boys watching.
The camera cuts back to a close–up of the screaming woman as the masked man suckles at, or chews on, the bloody wound on her chest as she cries and vomits; the killer is viewed in a series of extreme close-ups, close-ups and mid-shots during this part of the scene. The camera cuts away, then cuts back as the attacker delivers a series of blows below screen and thick, dark blood flows from the, now, mostly silent woman’s mouth. The attacker stands and watches the woman as she chokes and dies. At approximately 45 minutes, the attacker is viewed standing over his victim’s bloody body then, in close-up, as he implicitly hacks at it – squirting blood is featured – then holds up the severed head of his victim. The camera cuts to the two boys as they bicker briefly then, at approximately 46 minutes, back to the attacker as he places the bloodied head on the steering wheel of a truck. He takes out a spoon and, viewed in extreme close-up, uses it to scoop out the victim’s left eyeball before holding it up and eating it; the props and depiction realistic. He repeats his actions with the second eyeball, again realistic and viewed in close-up, before unzipping his jeans, lowering the severed head, and grunting loudly as he thrusts below screen implicitly having sex with the head. The thrusting and grunts increase in intensity and tempo before the camera cuts to a mid-shot of the masked male, leaning back against a wall and thrusting into the head as his sexual excitement peaks. The camera cuts to the two boys watching then back as the attacker shudders and gasps, implicitly after reaching a sexual climax then, at approximately 48 minutes, he is viewed placing the severed head inside the bowling ball bag. Generous blood detail and gore is featured throughout the scene.
At approximately 49 minutes, a second scene of sexualised violence commences with the same masked man stroking, with the blade of his machete, the body of a second gagged woman who lies bound to a plastic-covered table top. He then climbs on top of her, rips off her gag and joins in her screaming. He stands above her then raises his machete high before swinging it down into her neck. The camera cuts to an extreme close-up of the neck as it is explicitly severed and blood gushes from the open wound. He squats under the blood flow and, still wearing his skull mask, spreads the blood over his head and face, bathing in it, and licks it from his lips. The camera cuts to the killer lying between his victim’s splayed legs, his head resting in her crotch, as he holds the severed head at his groin and, thrusting repeatedly, laughs joyously. At approximately 51 minutes, an armed police officer confronts the attacker who raises the head from his, now, blood-soaked groin and attempts to attack the officer with his machete. He is shot and implicitly dies; the scene ending at approximately 51 minutes.
In the opinion of the Board, this film contains depictions of sexualised violence that are very high in impact and, therefore, exceed what can be accommodated within the R18+ classification. As such, this film is Refused Classification pursuant to item 1(a) of the films table of the Code.
A minority of the Board is of the opinion that the film contains sexualised violence, violence and horror themes which may be offensive to some sections of the adult community but which do not exceed high impact and, as such, the film can be accommodated within the R18+ classification category with consumer advice of high impact sexualised violence, violence, horror themes and blood and gore.
This film is Refused Classification in accordance with item 1(a) of the films table of the National Classification Code.
Monster Pictures will resubmit the film, with cuts, to the Classification Board next month, for a September 17th release.
For more on the history of films refused classification in Australia, check out the excellent www.refused-classification.com