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THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II is too graphic for the BBFC. Warning: Spoilers Ahead

One would think with a title like The Human Centipede, subtle wouldn’t be a word used to describe it.  Yet, in my mind, the original film that swept through the masses in America causing numerous articles and even a spoof on South Park is just that.  Going into the  film, I knew that three people were going to be stitched together in a very unpleasant way.  Yet, when it came time for the iconic surgery . . . it was gone. What?!?! Initially I was flabbergasted at the shock of not having seen the surgery in the film.  Once the film was over, I realized that the film wasn’t as exploitive or gross as I was expecting.  In fact, director Tom Six crafted a much more subtle mad scientist film that made his amazing star Dieter Laser the focus instead of the gore.  I am not saying that The Human Centipede is this amazing piece of art filled with little nuances.  Just when you hear that a film is called The Human Centipede, you fully expect the worse in terms of disgust (Troma films times ten).  Imagine my surprise when I heard that director Tom Six would be making a sequel that would make the original “look like My Little Pony.” According to the BBFC, the organization that allows films to be distributed in the UK, Six was right.  As of right now, there is no possible way that The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence will be seen in the UK.  To find out why, which includes MAJOR SPOILERS and graphic descriptions of violence, keep reading.

EMPIRE magazine got the scoop about the film.  Director Tom Six has six weeks to repeal the decision and re-submit it for a new viewing.  If he decides not to, the film can not be legally seen anywhere in the UK.  Below you can read what  the BBFC has to say about the film. Again be warned: It includes MAJOR SPOILERS and graphic descriptions of violence.

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.”


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Author: Michael Haffner View all posts by
Somewhere between growing up on a steady diet of Saturday morning trips to the local comic-book shop, collecting an unhealthy amount of action figures, and frequent viewings of Ray Harryhausen and Hammer Horror films, came forth a nerdy boy that was torn between journalism and the arts. In high school, Michael found himself writing a movie column for the school newspaper. Yet, he went on to get a BFA in Studio Art at Webster University. When not writing about films, you can still find him discussing classic horror, collecting action figures, and reading Batman. Clearly, not much has changed.