Film Censorship: Found (2012)


 

 

 

 

Found

Directed by Scott Schirmer / 2012 / USA / IMDb / Official Site

The Australian Premiere of FOUND was held at Sydney's Dendy Newtown cinema on April 16 2013. It screened as part of the 7th A Night of Horror Film Festival, where it went on to pick up awards for best film and best male performance for Gavin Brown.

A Night of Horror Film Festival
Festival Program 2013
Tuesday, April 16, 7:00pm
Director: Scott Schirmer /USA / 2012 / 105mins

When a film opens with a young boy finding a severed human head, in his older brother's bowling ball bag, you know that you are in for a dark ride. This is a coming of age story that spirals into one of the most disturbing serial killer tales ever committed to celluloid, with several appreciative nods to horror films and horror fandom along the way. We all grew up watching slasher flicks, but what would have happened if our teenage brother was more brutal than the mask-wearing villains that terrified and fascinated us? The answer will resonate with you, long after the credits role on this horrific powerhouse.

 

 

Banned on DVD

In May 2014, a 103m DVD of FOUND was banned by the Classification Board because of "prolonged and detailed depictions of sexualised violence".

Monster Pictures Enterprises was the applicant.

The reason given in the Classification Board's database was:

Film 1(a) The film is classified RC in accordance with the National Classification Code, Films Table, 1. (a) as films that "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."

 

Thanks to Monster Pictures for this copy of the Classification Board's report.

 

UNCLASSIFIED

Synopsis:
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.

 

Decision:
This film is Refused Classification in accordance with item 1(a) of the films table of the National Classification Code.

 

 

Monster Pictures respond

Another One Bites The Dust – FOUND Refused Classification
monsterpictures.com.au , May 23, 2014

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.

Monster Pictures will resubmit the film, with cuts, to the Classification Board next month, for a September 17th release.

 

 

Censored and banned again

On August 13 2014, the Classification Board banned a censored 97m version of FOUND. The original submission ran 103m.

The reason given was:

Film 1(a) The film is classified RC in accordance with the National Classification Code, Films Table, 1. (a) as films that "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."

 

 

Passed with R18+ rating

On August 21 2014, FOUND was passed with an R18+ (High impact sexualised violence, violence and themes) rating.

The extended classification information describes,
High impact: themes, violence
Moderate impact: language, nudity

The original uncut submission ran 103m, compared to 97m for the banned-censored version, and 96m for this censored R18+ DVD.

 

The DVD was released on September 17 2014. Monster Pictures explained that the cuts totalled two minutes, and not the seven as previously thought. The discrepancy was due to the original 103m submission being NTSC, while the second (97m) and third (96m) were PAL.

facebook.com/monsterpictures
Rob Forrester
Anyone know if it's 2 minutes cut from the original full film or 2 minutes cut from the last rejected edit?
September 17 at 5:24pm

Monster Pictures
A total of two minutes is cut from the film, over two submissions to classification.
September 17 at 6:33pm

Monster Pictures
To all of you worried about the cuts, turned off by the censorship, we challenge you to watch the film and give us your feedback!
September 17 at 6:33pm

 

Found (2012) - Monster Pictures [au] DVD

 

 

FOUND (2012) - Australian R18+ version vs. Uncut version

Comparison by Troy C.
Uncut 102:24 (NTSC) - Time does not include: 11s of title cards for Chameleon Arts Entertainment and Coppercoil Productions

Monster Pictures [au] 95:21 (PAL) - Time does not include: 27s of Monster Pictures intro and title cards for The October People and Forbidden Films

Extras on the Monster Pictures DVD are:
Director’s commentary
Cast and crew commentary
Making of FOUND (36:35)
Trailer (02:02)
Gag reel (05:09)
Deep Dweller (06:06)
Deep Dweller with commentary (06:06)

Cuts to the Monster Pictures DVD are 03:00 (NTSC) which converts to 02:52 (PAL)

 

Note, the times are from the start of the film and do not include the intro cards. 

Scene #1: Bloody breasts

Before: David and Marty are watching “HEADLESS”. David says "Gross. That’s great". The girl in the movie then screams, followed by a back view of the killer’s head against her breast.

Cut #1 - 22s censored at 41:26 (41:53 DVD timer) in R18+ version:
The killer sucks on the girl’s breast wound as she vomits blood. The film cuts twice to David and Marty watching.

Found (2012) - Banned Scene #1Found (2012) - Banned Scene #2
Found (2012) - Banned Scene #3Found (2012) - Banned Scene #4

After: Side view of the killers face as he pulls away from her bloody breast.

 

Scene #2: Eye gouge and head job

Before: David and Marty are watching "HEADLESS" on their VCR.
David "Are you okay?"
Marty "That was gross"
David "You big pussy. Maybe you should stick to watching PG13 horror movies"
Marty "Shut up"

Cut #2 - 133s censored at 43:07 (43:34 DVD timer) in R18+ version:
The killer takes the severed head to a truck and places it on the steering wheel. Using a spoon, he removes her eyeballs and eats them.

Found (2012) - Banned Scene #5Found (2012) - Banned Scene #6
Found (2012) - Banned Scene #7Found (2012) - Banned Scene #8

The scene then cuts to the killer standing against a wall. He unzips his trousers, lowers the head, and has sex with it. The film cuts back seven times to David and Marty watching.

Found (2012) - Banned Scene #9Found (2012) - Banned Scene #10Found (2012) - Banned Scene #11

After: The killer zips up the head in a bowling bag.

 

Scene #3: Decapitated corpse and head job

Before: The killer bathes in the blood coming from the neck stump of the corpse. Close of Marty’s eyes as he closes them tight.

Cut #3 - 25s censored at 45:27 (45:54 DVD timer) in R18+ version:
The killer is shown with a severed head as he sits between the legs of the decapitated body. He moves the head up and down between his legs as a close-up of Marty’s eyes show him watching on.

Found (2012) - Banned Scene #12Found (2012) - Banned Scene #13
Found (2012) - Banned Scene #14 Found (2012) - Banned Scene #15

After: A cop bursts into the room, aims his gun, and shouts "Freeze"

 

 

FOUND (2012) - Australian R18+ version vs. BBFC 18-rated version

Comparison by Troy C.
In July 2014, FOUND was passed with an 18 (strong bloody violence, sexualised violence, gory images) rating by the BBFC. Following their problems with the Australian Classification Board, Monster Pictures submitted a pre-cut version to the UK censor.

Interestingly, this is the opposite of what Monster Pictures did in 2013 to James Bickert’s DEAR GOD NO! (2011). After that was cut by the BBFC, they submitted this as a pre-cut version in Australia, which was awarded an R18+.

In the case of FOUND, the BBFC list the time as 97:10, from which they then made a further 00:04 of cuts. I assume this time includes the 27s of introduction logos.

Movie-Censorship.com has a comparison between the BBFC and uncut versions. Using this, we can see how the Australian version differs.  

Scene #1: Bloody breasts - Cut by 22s in Australia, and 18s in the UK.

Scene #2: Eye gouge and head job - Cut by 133s in Australia and 51.5s in the UK. The UK print has the eye gouging and eating scene intact, but removes the severed head sex scene.

Scene #3: Decapitated corpse head job – Cut by 25s in Australia and the UK.  

 

As I already mentioned, the BBFC censored a further 00:04 of footage from the already pre-cut print. They explain that:

"A cut was required to remove sight of a murderer's erect penis, during a scene of sadistic sexualised violence and threat. Cut required in accordance with BBFC Guidelines, policy and the Video Recordings Act 1984"

Interestingly, this scene is intact in the Australian version and can be seen at 87:02 (87:29 DVD timer). The comparison at Movie-Censorship.com mentions that almost nothing can be seen in the uncut print. This is not strictly true, as in the Australian version, and presumably, the one censored by the BBFC, Steve’s erection is clearly shown. In the uncut version (and presumably the one Movie-Censorship.com compared), it is so dark that nothing can be seen.

What I suspect has happened is that the pre-cut version that was submitted to the BBFC was the one that was prepared for Australia following its initial ban. However, when this too was Refused Classification on August 13 2014, Monster Pictures then removed a further 4s from scene #1 and 82s from scene #2 to achieve an R18+ rating.

In conclusion, the UK version has been censored by 01:39, while the Australian version is missing 03:00 (NTSC), but contains the 00:04 of footage that was cut by the BBFC.

 

 

Following Troy's comparison, we asked Scott Schirmer if the erection scene had been deliberately altered.

Scott Schirmer - Director of FOUND
November 2014
It looks to me like the shot of Steve in the bedroom doorway wasn't intentionally darkened, but rather that the whole film is darker than intended -- at least in the screengrabs available at the link to Movie-Censorship.com.

Even during our festival run, depending on the brightness of the projected image, sometimes you would see Steve's erection and sometimes you wouldn't. I am guessing that if you watch the UK DVD on various TV screens, you'll see it better in some than others.

 

 

Monster Pictures: Their banned and censored films

This is the fourth film that Monster Pictures have had banned. Censored versions of THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2: FULL SEQUENCE (2011) and FATHER'S DAY (2011) were eventually passed, while HANGER (2009) was never resubmitted.

In 2013, the extra cost of classification resulted in them being cautious and submitting a pre-censored BBFC version of James Bickert’s DEAR GOD NO! (2011).


 

 

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