It was recently announced that the BBFC would be banning Tom Six’s Human Centipede (First Sequence) sequel Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) due to the extremely graphic violent content and the subject matter detailing one man’s obsession with The Human Centipede which transforms into a “depraved sexual fantasy”.
Although the first movie was released uncut with an 18 certificate, the UK Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) failed to pass the board due to the “graphic images of sexual violence, forced defecation, and mutilation” which the audience is invited to witness “from the perspective of the protagonist”. This is rather than from the perspective of the victims as in the first film which they described as “undoubtedly tasteless and disgusting” but still a “relatively traditional and conventional horror film”.
David Cooke, Director of the BBFC said: “It is the Board’s carefully considered view that to issue a certificate to this work, even if confined to adults, would be inconsistent with the Board’s Guidelines, would risk potential harm within the terms of the VRA, and would be unacceptable to the public.
“The Board also seeks to avoid classifying material that may be in breach of the Obscene Publications Acts 1959 and 1964 (OPA) or any other relevant legislation. The OPA prohibits the publication of works that have a tendency to deprave or corrupt a significant proportion of those likely to see them. In order to avoid classifying potentially obscene material, the Board engages in regular discussions with the relevant enforcement agencies, including the CPS, the police, and the Ministry of Justice. It is the Board’s view that there is a genuine risk that this video work, The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence), may be considered obscene within the terms of the OPA, for the reasons given above.”
Many movies have been banned by the BBFC throughout history in the UK as Jake West’s excellent documentary Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide detailed so brilliantly. However most have since been released and some might say that with the rise of internet downloading, file sharing and film piracy the BBFC’s ruling will simply drive people to seek out the movie. This label will no doubt give similar cult status to Tom Six’s Centipede sequel as the 80’s rulings did for the video nasties.
We at Love Horror would love to hear your opinions on censorship and The Human Centipede so make sure to leave a comment below.
The BBFC’s insight
In the meantime check out the full explanation from the BBFC which makes for a fascinating insight into their opinions and the movie itself however be warned it does contain plot spoilers
“The first film dealt with a mad doctor who sews together three kidnapped people in order to produce the ‘human centipede’ of the title. Although the concept of the film was undoubtedly tasteless and disgusting it was a relatively traditional and conventional horror film and the Board concluded that it was not in breach of our Guidelines at ‘18’.
This new work, The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence), tells the story of a man who becomes sexually obsessed with a DVD recording of the first film and who imagines putting the ‘centipede’ idea into practice. Unlike the first film, the sequel presents graphic images of sexual violence, forced defecation, and mutilation, and the viewer is invited to witness events from the perspective of the protagonist. Whereas in the first film the ‘centipede’ idea is presented as a revolting medical experiment, with the focus on whether the victims will be able to escape, this sequel presents the ‘centipede’ idea as the object of the protagonist’s depraved sexual fantasy.
The principal focus of The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) is the sexual arousal of the central character at both the idea and the spectacle of the total degradation, humiliation, mutilation, torture, and murder of his naked victims. Examples of this include a scene early in the film in which he masturbates whilst he watches a DVD of the original Human Centipede film, with sandpaper wrapped around his penis, and a sequence later in the film in which he becomes aroused at the sight of the members of the ‘centipede’ being forced to defecate into one another’s mouths, culminating in sight of the man wrapping barbed wire around his penis and raping the woman at the rear of the ‘centipede’.
There is little attempt to portray any of the victims in the film as anything other than objects to be brutalised, degraded and mutilated for the amusement and arousal of the central character, as well as for the pleasure of the audience. There is a strong focus throughout on the link between sexual arousal and sexual violence and a clear association between pain, perversity and sexual pleasure. It is the Board’s conclusion that the explicit presentation of the central character’s obsessive sexually violent fantasies is in breach of its Classification Guidelines and poses a real, as opposed to a fanciful, risk that harm is likely to be caused to potential viewers.”