If there’s one thing that UK authorities love more than drinking tea at an appointed time, it’s banning horror movies. In the 80’s, as the genre developed into a box office force not to be trifled with, as well as appointing itself the grim king of video rentals, The United Kingdom reacted by building a list of ‘video nasties’ that wound up totaling 79 titles over the list’s lifespan. You could not buy or rent these movies in England and making them available was punishable with fines and jail time. In spite of its arbitrary nature, lives were ruined when people sold, owned or traded these tapes on the underground tape trading circuit. High profile raids were conducted as no-nonsense media gestures to show just how serious UK authorities were about enforcing this policy. It was fucked up but the era of the nasty ended. This was a component of the Thatcher years and with the passing of that era came an easing of many social restrictions. But wouldn’t you know it, they’re up to their old tricks. Hope you weren’t looking forward to the Human Centipede sequel.
The British Board of Film Censors have declared that The Human Centipede: Full Sequence is “sexually violent and potentially obscene” in a way so pervasive that it cannot even be remedied by cuts. You heard it here, folks. If you didn’t think that that misanthropic piece of ass-to-mouth torture porn couldn’t go any deeper into depravity, apparently Tom Six pulled it off to such a degree that jolly old England will have none of this product on their shores, inspiring violent ass-to-mouth fantasies in its citizenship. Here are the specifics. Be warned, there be spoilers in this bitch.
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.
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.
My review of the first Human Centipede paints a portrait of a movie that moved me to disgust. The good kind of disgust, mind you, but it implied that I was actually really horrified by the picture. In the time since then, I’ve re-evaluated my feelings on the movie and in hindsight, the whole thing rings rather silly to me. The entire premise is just absurd and the performances are a riot. In the wake of the first picture, Six promised that his sequel would bring it. So no matter how unpleasant you found the first one, I’m pretty sure that nothing will ever match the ferocity of a sequel that involves barbed wire penetration. My entire crotchal region hurts just thinking about this. Tom Six, I applaud your spirited antagonism but what the fuck, pal?
The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence is still slated for US release this year. No specific date has been released, though. Hang tight, you perverts.