That Was Fast: 'Depraved' Human Centipede II Banned in UK
Human Centipede mastermind Tom Six warned us, and now at least one governing body is taking action: The British Board of Film Classification has refused to certify The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) for public distribution on DVD, citing "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." Well! That was fast. Depending on where you're at with your meals for the day, read on for the offending details -- which is to say, graphic spoilers.
You'll remember that writer-director Six said the 12-headed sequel would make the franchise's traumatizing first entry look like My Little Pony. But the specifics he declined to reveal at the time have now been elucidated by the British censors, who have more of a stomach than I ever will:
The BBFC has rejected the sexually violent, and potentially obscene DVD, The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) This means that it cannot be legally supplied anywhere in the UK. The decision was taken by the Director, David Cooke and the Presidential Team of Sir Quentin Thomas, Alison Hastings and Gerard Lemos.
The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) is a sequel to the film The Human Centipede (First Sequence), which was classified '18' uncut for cinema and DVD release by the BBFC in 2010. 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.
Dammmnnn. A "real, as opposed to a fanciful, risk that harm is likely to be caused to potential viewers." Fine. But can my cat watch it?
In any case, the decision has no bearing on the movie's distribution in the United States, which IFC Films will commence at an as-yet-undisclosed time later this year. More to follow as events warrant...