American Horror Films of the 2000s

2000s American horror movies that have been cut or banned in Australia.


Dear God No!

Directed by James Bickert / 2011 / USA / IMDb

In January 2013, a 78-minute pre-cut DVD of DEAR GOD NO! was passed with an R18+ (High impact themes, bloody violence and sexual violence) rating.

The classification matrix describes,
High impact: themes, violence,
Strong impact: drug use, nudity, sex
Moderate impact: language

The applicant was Bounty Films. Monster Pictures released the DVD on February 13.

Dear God No! (2011) - DVD cover 1
DVD – Monster Pictures

Peter F confirms that this ‘Two-disc Impaler Edition’ contains both the ‘Original cut’ and the longer ‘Grindhouse cut’ of the film. However, both are the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) approved versions.

What did the BBFC censor?

Before the Australian classification, Bounty Films had submitted it twice to the British censor and both required cuts.

October 2012
To obtain this category cuts of 1m 34s were required. Cuts were required to reduce the focus on a scene of sexual violence. Approved Running time 77m 56s.

November 2012
To obtain this category cuts of 1m 37s were required. Cuts were required to reduce the focus on a scene of sexual violence. A further cut was also required to remove explicit sight of penetration during the scene of sexual violence. Approved Running time 78m 55s.

– BBFC rating information

Movie-Censorship has a report and screencaps of what was removed. These are the same cuts as the Australian DVD.


Found

Directed by Scott Schirmer / 2012 / USA / IMDb

In April 2013, the uncut version of FOUND had its Australian premiere in Sydney at the seventh A Night of Horror Film Festival.

April 2013
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.
Festival Program 2013
Tuesday, April 16, 7:00pm, Dendy Newtown
Director: Scott Schirmer / USA / 2012 / 105mins

A Night of Horror Film Festival

Banned on DVD

A year later, FOUND had been picked up for local distribution by Monster Pictures.

In May 2014, their submission of a 103-minute (NTSC) DVD was banned by the Classification Board because of ‘prolonged and detailed depictions of sexualised violence’.

May 21, 2014
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.

– Classification Board report

The distributor responds

The refusal continued the bad run that Monster Pictures had been having with the Australian censor.

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.

– Another One Bites the Dust – FOUND Refused Classification
monsterpictures.com.au

Censored & banned again

In August 2014, the Classification Board again refused to award FOUND a rating.

August 13, 2014
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.”

– Classification Board

This was done despite Monster Pictures having modified the print from approximately 103-minutes (NTSC) to 97-minutes (PAL).

This version appears to be the one that was passed by the British Board of Film Classification before they removed a further 00:04 of footage. Full details of the cuts are listed below.

Third time lucky

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

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

Found (2012) - DVD cover 1
DVD – Monster Pictures

This version ran approximately 96-minutes (PAL) and was released on 17 September 2014.

Monster Pictures explained that the cuts totalled two-minutes and not the seven as previously thought. The discrepancy was due to the original 103-minute submission being NTSC, while the subsequent ones were PAL.

September 17, 2013
Rob Forrester
Anyone know if it’s 2 minutes cut from the original full film or 2 minutes cut from the last rejected edit?

Monster Pictures
A total of two minutes is cut from the film, over two submissions to classification.
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!

facebook.com/monsterpictures

What was censored?

Troy C. reports.
Uncut – 102:24 (NTSC).
00:11 title cards for Chameleon Arts Entertainment and Coppercoil Productions not included.

Monster Pictures [au] – 95:21 (PAL).
00:27 Monster Pictures intro and title cards for The October People and Forbidden Films not included.

Total cuts are 03:00 (NTSC) ≈ 02:52 (PAL).

Bloody breasts
Before – David and Marty are watching the movie 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.
Censored by 00:22 at 41:26 (41:53 DVD timer).
The killer sucks on the girl’s breast wound as she vomits blood.
The film cuts twice to David and Marty watching.
After – Side view of the killer’s face as he pulls away from her bloody breast.

Eye gouge and head job
Before – David and Marty are watching the movie HEADLESS on their VCR.
David, ‘Are you okay?’
Marty, ‘That was gross’
David, ‘You big pussy. Maybe you should stick to watching PG-13 horror movies’
Marty, ‘Shut up’
Censored by 02:13 at 43:07 (43:34 DVD timer).
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.
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.
After – The killer zips up the head in a bowling bag.

Decapitated corpse
Before – The killer bathes in the blood coming from the neck stump of the corpse. Close of Marty’s tightly closed eyes.
Censored by 00:25 at 45:27 (45:54 DVD timer).
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.
After – A cop bursts into the room, aims his gun and shouts ‘Freeze’.

Australian vs. British cuts

Troy C. reports
Monster Pictures also distributed FOUND in the UK. Following their problems in Australia, they decided to submit a pre-cut version to the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).

In July 2014, it was passed with an 18 (strong bloody violence, sexualised violence, gory images) rating. The BBFC list the time as 97:10, from which a further 00:04 of cuts were made. Presumably, this time includes the 00:27of introduction logos.

Movie-Censorship has a comparison between the BBFC and uncut version. From this, it is possible to see how the Australian one differs.

Bloody breasts
Censored by 00:22 in Australia and 00:18 in the UK.

Eye gouge and head job
Censored by 02:13 in Australia and 00:51.5 in the UK. The UK print has the eye-gouging and eating scene intact, but removes the severed head sex scene.

Decapitated corpse
Censored by 00:25 in Australia and the UK.

The BBFC insisted on a further 00:04 of cuts to ‘…to remove sight of a murderer’s erect penis, during a scene of sadistic sexualised violence and threat’. Steve’s erection is clearly shown in the Australian version at 87:02 (87:29 DVD timer). In the uncut version, used by Movie-Censorship, it is so dark that nothing can be seen.

It looks like the pre-cut version submitted to the BBFC was the one prepared for Australia following the first ban. However, when this too was Refused Classification, Monster Pictures removed a further 00:04 from ‘bloody breasts’ and 01:22 from ‘eye gouge and head job’ to achieve an R18+ rating.

In conclusion, the UK version has been censored by 01:39. The Australian is cut by 02:52 but does contain the 00:04 of erection footage removed by the BBFC.

Obscured erection

Scott Schirmer was able to answer why there were two versions of the erection scene available. The Australian one where it can be seen, and the one uncut one, used by Movie-Censorship, where it cannot.

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 [Australian DVD] on various TV screens, you’ll see it better in some than others.

– To: Refused-Classification.com
– From: Scott Schirmer – Director of FOUND

Five censored DVDs

The problems with FOUND continued the run of poor luck for Bounty Films/Monster Pictures.

In November 2011, they had received an R18+ for an uncut version of THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2: FULL SEQUENCE (2011). However, an appeal to the Review Board saw this changed to RC before a censored version was eventually approved. It was also cut by the BBFC.

In August 2012, Ryan Nicholson’s HANGER (2009) banned.

This was followed in October 2012 by the refusal of FATHER’S DAY (2011). After being banned for a second time, it was eventually R18+ rated.

By January 2013, when it came to James Bickert’ DEAR GOD NO!, they decided to play it safe. The BBFC had already approved a censored version, so this is what was submitted for an R18+.

Despite continuing to release challenging film, Monster Pictures have had no further classification issues.


Overlord

Directed by Julius Avery/ 2018 / USA / IMDb

On 31 October 2018, a 110-minute print of OVERLORD was passed with an R18+ (High impact violence) rating.

The classification matrix described,
High impact: violence
Strong impact: themes
Moderate impact: language

The film was due to open on November 9, however, on that day a second submission received an MA15+ (Strong horror themes and violence) rating.

The classification matrix now described,
Strong impact: themes, violence
Moderate impact: language

This censored version, with the violence reduced from ‘High impact’ to ‘Strong impact’, ran approximately 109-minutes.

The release date was pushed back until December 6 and online advertising was changed from R18+ to MA15+.

R18+ vs. MA15+

The R18+ ran 149:37 against 148:01 for the MA15+, indicating 01:36 of cuts.

The R18+ describes three violent sequences.

63:00 – The text is the same in both reports.

66:00 – The first paragraph is the same in both reports. The MA15+ deletes the second paragraph.

77:00 – Apart from two small changes to the MA15+, the text is the same in both reports. The ‘…top half of the man’s body disappears’ eliminates ‘… in a fountain of blood’, and ‘Post-action visuals’ becomes ‘Brief post-action visuals’.

The text in bold indicates removal from the MA15+ report. Paramount may have removed more footage that goes unmentioned.

October 31, 2018
Reasons for the Decision

The classifiable element is violence that is high in viewing impart.

The examples described below do not represent an exhaustive list of the content that caused the film to be classified R 18+. The times given are approximations.

VIOLENCE

The film contains violence that is high in viewing impact.

Throughout the course of the film, there are frequent scenes of violence including gunshot wounds, stabbings and execution-style killings. There are also scenes in which a captured German commander is severely beaten, and a scene of sexual violence and coercion that can be accommodated at a lower classification level. The most impactful scenes, however, involve violence inflicted on and by soldiers who have been injected with a serum that transforms them into unnaturally powerful monster-like creatures. Examples include:

At 63 minutes, Chase, an American soldier, is told to prepare Wafner, a captured German commander who has been severely beaten, for travel. Chase walks upstairs and finds Wafner hanging by his wrists in the centre of the room, a blood-stained sack over his head. Chase cuts him down, but when Wafner hits the ground, he attacks Chase, taking his pistol and shooting him twice through the chest. Blood sprays from the exit wounds on his back before Chase drops to the floor and his allies run upstairs and disarm Wafner. A top-down post-action visual shows Chase lying in a pool of blood. His shirt is also stained with blood. Ford and Chloe apply pressure to the wounds and wash the blood from his chest with a canteen of water, but Chase’s breathing becomes laboured and he soon dies.

At 66 minutes, Boyce injects Chase’s corpse with a syringe stolen from the German laboratory. As the soldiers prepare to leave, Chase suddenly sits up, apparently alive. He says he is thirsty and is handed a metal canteen, which he empties and then crushes in his hand. When he stands, he begins to transform. Veins pop along his arms and neck; bones crack, their broken outlines visible through the skin as he arches his body sharply backwards. Chase grabs Boyce by the throat and screams, “What did you do to me?” He then throws Boyce across the room and knocks another soldier to the floor. He is approaching the fallen Boyce, walking towards the centre of the screen, when Ford shoots him through the back with a machinegun, large amounts of blood spraying from multiple exit wounds in his chest.

Chase falls to the ground, apparently dead, but soon rises again, breathing heavily and covered in blood. He is walking menacingly forward when Boyce appears from the right of screen and clubs him in the side of the head with a rifle butt. Chase falls to the ground. Boyce then repeatedly implicitly smashes Chase’s head with the rifle butt. Chase’s body is off screen, but large sprays of blood rise from the bottom of the screen, splashing over Boyce’s shins. The camera then cuts to a brief top-down shot depicting the butt of the rifle smashing into and splattering Chase’s face across the floor. This is followed by a longer post-action, top-down close-up depicting the remains of Chase’s smashed and bloodied head lying in a large pool of blood.

At 77 minutes, a captured German soldier is tied to a motorcycle and sent to the gates of the German compound. His mouth is covered with tape. When German soldiers stop the motorcycle they rip off the tape, pulling out the pin of a grenade that has been inserted in his mouth. The camera then pans down to reveal the motorcycle’s sidecar is loaded with explosives before cutting to a distant angled shot as the grenade explodes and the top half of the man’s body disappears in a fountain of blood. The other explosives then detonate, resulting in a massive explosion. [MA15+ Brief] Post-action visuals show the burning bodies of German soldiers and a man whose leg has been blown off raising the bloody stump while lying screaming on the ground. A large-scale gunfight then commences between German and American troops.

In the Board’s opinion, the impact of depictions of violence is heightened by the film’s use of visceral sound effects as well as generous, realistic blood and injury effects. As such, it imparts an impact which exceeds strong and cannot be accommodated within the MA 15+ classification. A classification of R 18+ with consumer advice of high impact violence is therefore appropriate.

OTHER MATTERS CONSIDERED OR NOTED

The Board notes that the film contains themes that can be accommodated within a lower classification.

Decision

This film is classified R 18+ with consumer advice of high impact violence.

– Classification Board report

November 9, 2018
Reasons for the Decision
The Board notes that a version of this film, with a duration of 149 minutes and 37 seconds, has been previously classified R 18+ with consumer advice of high impact violence on 31 October 2018.

In the Board’s opinion, the modifications to this film, which include cuts to various scenes, resulting in a duration of 148 minutes and one second, alter the classification.

The classifiable elements are themes and violence that are strong in viewing impact.

THEMES and VIOLENCE

The film contains strong horror themes that are justified by context. The film also contains violence that is strong in impact and justified by context.

OTHER MATTERS CONSIDERED OR NOTED

The Board notes that the film contains coarse language that can be accommodated within a lower classification.

Decision

This film is classified MA 15+ with consumer advice of strong horror themes and violence.

– Classification Board report

Public backlash

In the ensuing month, negative publicity saw Paramount Pictures abandon the MA15+ and release the R18+ theatrically.

Home viewing

On February 20, 2019, a 160-minute Blu-ray was passed with an R18+ (High impact violence) rating.

The classification matrix was the same as the initial October 2018 submission.

Overlord (2018) - Blu-ray cover 1
Blu-ray – Universal Sony

The uncut Blu-ray and DVD were released by Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on March 13.


Renfield

Directed by Chris McKay / 2023 / USA / IMDb

On 27 March 2023, a 93-minute DCP of RENFIELD was rated R18+ (High impact blood and gore).

The classification matrix described,
High impact: themes, violence
Strong impact: language
Moderate impact: drug use
Very mild impact: nudity, sex

The Australian release date changed from April 13 to May 25.

On April 14, a censored version, also 93-minutes, was passed on with an MA15+ (Strong blood and gore, violence and coarse language).

The classification matrix was the same, apart from the themes and violence, which went from ‘High impact’ to ‘Strong impact’.

In both cases, the applicant was Universal Pictures International.

The censored version opened theatrically on May 25.

R18+ vs. MA15+

The R18+ describes two violent sequences.

63:00 – The line ‘ One man is viewed impaled on one of the arms which has become embedded in a wall [R18+]’ becomes ‘In a distant shot, he throws the arms, using them as projectiles and impaling a man attacking Rebecca [MA15+]’.

71:00 – The line ‘…blood gushing from his mouth and rear end [R18+]’ switches ‘blood’ to ‘dark fluid [ MA15+]’.

The text in bold indicates removal from the MA15+ report. Universal may have removed more footage that goes unmentioned.

Thanks to Simon Miraudo for the reports and help with identifying the cuts.

March 27, 2023
Reasons for Decision
The classifiable elements are themes and violence that are high in viewing impact.

The examples described below do not represent an exhaustive list of the content that caused the film to be classified R 18+. The times given are approximations.

THEMES AND VIOLENCE

Within the R 18+ classification there are virtually no restrictions on the treatment of themes. The film also contains violence that is high in viewing impact. The film contains multiple fight sequences featuring depictions of dismemberment and injury accompanied by large sprays and spurts of blood. As such, the themes and violence are, at times, inextricably linked. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

At 63 minutes, a fight sequence between Renfield, Rebecca and the forces sent on behalf of the Lobos ensues in an atrium. During the sequence, Renfield grabs a man’s arms and kicks him backwards, causing his arms to separate from his body, accompanied by large sprays of blood from the man’s body and the disembodied arms. Renfield proceeds to use the man’s arms as weapons with which to hit attackers, each arm hit spraying blood as it makes contact with the men. One man is viewed impaled on one of the arms which has become embedded in a wall. Renfield then implicitly rips the skin off a man’s face, with the man’s bloodied exposed flesh depicted in a close-up shot. Rebecca is pictured struggling with a man who is lying back with his upper body extending over a railing. Renfield jumps onto the man’s upper body from above with an explosion of textured blood bursting from the man’s body as it is implicitly severed and another large spray of blood surrounding Renfield as he lands on top of the severed body on the ground.

At 71 minutes, an extended fight sequence ensues in which Teddy and his men, who have become Dracula’s familiars, attack Renfield and Rebecca. During the fight, Rebecca shoots one of the men in the leg. The leg is depicted with a chunk missing from it and blood spurting repeatedly from the wound. Renfield then stomps on the man’s head, explicitly bursting it and producing a large explosion of textured blood. As the fight proceeds, Renfield and Teddy engage in a one-on-one fight. Teddy jumps through the air, towards Renfield. Renfield kicks Teddy as he falls towards him. In an X-ray style view, all of Teddy’s bones within his torso are pictured shattering as Renfield’s foot connects with his spine. He is then viewed in profile and in slow motion with large amounts of [MA15+ dark fluid] blood gushing from his mouth and rear end before he falls to the ground.

In the Board’s opinion, despite the comedic context of the film, the frequency of the violence accompanied by generous blood effects and depictions of injury detail in the context of extended fight sequences, exceeds strong in viewing impact, therefore warranting an R18+ classification with consumer advice of high impact blood and gore best describing the most impactful content.

OTHER MATTERS CONSIDERED OR NOTED

The Board notes that the film contains coarse language that can be accommodated within a lower classification.

Decision:

This film is classified R 18+ with consumer advice of High impact blood and gore.

– Classification Board report

April 14, 2023
Synopsis
A modified version of a previously classified film titled RENFIELD, an American action comedy horror film following Count Dracula’s familiar, Renfield, as he tries to break free from servitude.

Reasons for Decision
The classifiable elements are themes, violence and language that are strong in viewing impact.

THEMES AND VIOLENCE

The film contains strong themes in the form of blood and gore that are justified by context. The film also contains violence that is strong in impact and justified by context. The film contains multiple fight sequences featuring depictions of dismemberment and injury accompanied by large sprays and spurts of blood. As such, the themes and violence are, at times, inextricably linked.

In the Board’s opinion, the impact of the themes and violence is mitigated by the comedic tone of the film and the integration of humour throughout the fight sequences, as well as the stylised and absurd use of blood and gore effects, and therefore does not exceed strong. As such, the film warrants accommodation within the MA15+ classification with consumer advice of strong blood and gore and violence best describing the most impactful content.

OTHER MATTERS CONSIDERED OR NOTED

The Board notes that the film contains drug use that can be accommodated within a lower classification.

The Board notes that the original feature, with a duration of 93 minutes, has been previously classified R 18+ with consumer advice of high impact blood and gore on 27 March 2023.

In the Board’s opinion, the modifications to the film, which include the removal of multiple depictions of violence and blood and gore effects, mitigate the overall impact of the combat sequences so as not to exceed a strong impact. Therefore, this material warrants an MA 15+ classification with consumer advice of strong blood and gore, violence and coarse language.

Decision:

This film is classified MA 15+ with consumer advice of Strong blood and gore, violence and coarse language.

– Classification Board report

Th H reports.
I can confirm the MA15+ version removes the shot of Renfield stomping on the man’s head until it explodes (71:00).

Australia Movie & TV Censorship reports.
The edited version of RENFIELD is available (July 2023) on Microsoft Films & TV. All the cuts mentioned are accurate. I also noticed two more.

02:00 approx. – They shortened the sight of the wound when part of a man’s neck is ripped off.

63:00 approx. – When the man’s arms are ripped off, they cut a shot that shows him with his arms missing.

This is an initial viewing of the cut version, so there may be more that I have missed.

Uncut for home viewing

On May 18, Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Australia received an R18+ (High impact blood and gore) for a 241-minute DVD and Blu-ray.

Renfield (2023) - Blu-ray cover 1
Blu-ray – Universal Sony

The classification matrix was the same as the first R18+, apart from the sex, which went from ‘Very mild impact’ to ‘Mild impact’. This change is presumably due to content in the deleted scenes or behind-the-scenes featurettes.