The ‘potentially obscene’ Human Centipede sequel ‘poses risk of harm to viewers,’ BBFC says.
The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has banned Tom Six’s horror The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) from DVD distribution in the UK, making it the first film to be banned outright since 2009.
The plot of the sequel, which had been kept under wraps, 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 [in which humans are attached to each other anus to mouth] into practice.
Six’s sequel to his controversial 2010 horror, was rejected by the BBFC for its “sexually violent, and potentially obscene” content, including a scene in which the film’s protagonist wraps barbed wire around his penis and then rapes a woman on the end of a ‘human centipede’ after he has become aroused by the sight of the victims defecating into each other’s mouths.
According to the BBFC’s ruling: “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”.
“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,” continued the report.
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.
“The Board considered whether its concerns could be dealt with through cuts. However, given that the unacceptable content runs throughout the work, cuts are not a viable option in this case and the work is therefore refused a classification.”
A spokesman for the film’s UK distributor Eureka Entertainment said the company was “surprised” by the ruling, especially as the film was recently released uncensored in Australia. The company is now seeking advice from various parties and has the right to appeal to the Video Appeals Committee against the decision within six weeks. The film was not submitted for UK theatrical release.
IFC Midnight’s US release of the film has been stalled after a contractual dispute.
In a recent interview director Six promised a third film in the Centipede series, which he said would make the second episode ‘look like a Disney film’.
The BBFC has only banned 11 films outright in its 99-year history, the most recent being 2009 Japanese horror Grotesque.