Tom Six’s The Human Centipede: Full Sequence Officially Banned in the UK

23 Comments

Tom Six

In a rare decision, the British Board Of Film Classification has effectively banned director Tom Six’s follow-up to his 2009 cult favorite “The Human Centipede”, which legally prevents anyone from distributing the film in the UK. Apparently the film is “sexually violent and potentially obscene”, which, to be fair, isn’t entirely surprising. However, since nothing whatsoever can be done to make the film any less offensive, it has been rejected for classification. I’m sure this will make certain individuals extremely happy, while others will surely cry censorship. As bad as this may sound, the controversy surrounding the board’s decision will surely cause the buzz to increase to deafening levels.

Here’s the official statement, complete with 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.

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.

Source: Empire

Author: Todd Rigney

Todd was raised on a steady diet of Hollywood blockbusters, late-night Cinemax programming, and USA’s “Up All Night,” which may explain why his taste in movies is more than a little questionable. When he isn’t providing news and reviews for Beyond Hollywood, he can be found lounging lazily on his couch, perched in front of his television, or dwelling in places where direct sunlight can be easily avoided. He's happily married, in his 30's, and totally badass. If you'd like to reach Todd, you can follow him on Twitter or send him email/scoops to todd (at) beyondhollywood.com.
  • Dabbld

    Censorship is ridiculous and utterly stupid.

    That explanatory statement is rather amusing to read though, I have to admit. Want to see the film asap!

  • Shazam!

    Dabbld – before you go making statements about censorship may I suggest you first ask the question, “why would someone make a movie that includes some of the things described above?”
    Just because a film is made doesn’t mean that it should be distributed – just because a book is written doesn’t mean that it should be read.

  • Shazam!

    Dabbld – before you go making statements about censorship may I suggest you first ask the question, “why would someone make a movie that includes some of the things described above?”
    Just because a film is made doesn’t mean that it should be distributed – just because a book is written doesn’t mean that it should be read.

    • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool

      Agreed! I haven’t watched the first one, but at least that was a horror film, the sequel sound s like TRUE torture porn.

    • Dabbld

      It’s pointless to ask the question “why”, even if it’s a mindless torture porn flick. Hate it or love it, but movies are art after all. And art sometimes tends to simply exist beyond reasoning.

      Banning movies doesn’t belong in a modern society and just displays a proximity to fascism.

  • Shazam!

    And yet you yourself are confused with “why” they are banning this film.

    If you don’t ask the “why” question then you never move toward educating people and all you have left are broad statements and actions that lead to fascism.

    I would also argue that just because cinema is an art-form all movies are not necessarily pieces of art. As someone who has majored in both fine art and psychology I can tell you there is a difference between expression for the purpose of sharing (art) and simple expression (wrapping yourself in wire so tight it cuts your skin and taking pictures of yourself – I’ve seen it). Somethings that get labeled as art are the surface manifestations of things deep down inside people – and they aren’t always things that should be encouraged or shared with everyday people.

    Would you call it fascism to pull a movie from circulation that showed people revelling in someone self-harming themselves?

    • Juggernaut

      In reply to the comments of @Dabbid and @Shazam!- I am toeing the line between agreeing with one or the other of you. While I agree that cinema is art, not every jackass with a camera and a budget should get to film the reckless, immoral and potentially mentally harmful content that festers in their sick and twisted minds. On the other hand I do have an affinity for the disturbing. My morbid curiosity eventually lead to my seeing the first Human Centipede film. Which, while the premise was unnerving, the film itself was quite tame in comparison to many other films within the horror annals.
      While the sequel is obviously, and maybe purposefully, going well above and beyond the originals depravity, should it be banned? One thing is for certain, The UK thinks so!
      Torture porn undoubtably has become a hot genre within the past few years. As with any trend, it will continue until the demand for such is gone. Bottom line is whether you call the decision to ban the film fascism or think it is a necessary precaution. Whether you find the film extreme exploitation or art. As long as there is demand for such there will be a supply and for every law prohibiting one movie, there are ten movies that are in some stage of production that are pushing those same envelopes. In the end, Six has gotten exactly what he wanted, people talking!.

      Oh, and for the record, I’m of the opinion that the film SHOULD NOT be banned. The simple reason being, free will! People should be able to make up their own minds. Even if those minds are terribly, terribly distraught.

      • Shazam!

        I hear what you’re saying – but I’m really uncomfortable with the “supply and demand” argument. The reality is (in my opinion) there is plenty of stuff that exists because there is a demand for it… or rather a dependence on it, and in no way does that mean those things should continue to exist.

        Is the world a better place because cocain exists to satisfy the needs of addicts? I would suggest that our world doesn’t place enough creedance to the argument that our minds can get bent out of shape just as easily as our bodies can. Torture porn may not literally destroy someones brain like an illegal narcotic can, but I would argue that it is just as damaging to our society.

        What is the difference between the governements of the world regulating what people can legally put into their bodies physically (narcotics) and a government regulating what people put into their minds through their eyes (cinema)? In both instances I see a government making a decision based on what they feel is in the best interest of their people.

        Also… I may not know the guy, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Six didn’t make this film in order to start a global discussion on sensorship!

        Great discussion!

      • Shazam!

        I hear what you’re saying – but I’m really uncomfortable with the “supply and demand” argument. The reality is (in my opinion) there is plenty of stuff that exists because there is a demand for it… or rather a dependence on it, and in no way does that mean those things should continue to exist.

        Is the world a better place because cocain exists to satisfy the needs of addicts? I would suggest that our world doesn’t place enough creedance to the argument that our minds can get bent out of shape just as easily as our bodies can. Torture porn may not literally destroy someones brain like an illegal narcotic can, but I would argue that it is just as damaging to our society.

        What is the difference between the governements of the world regulating what people can legally put into their bodies physically (narcotics) and a government regulating what people put into their minds through their eyes (cinema)? In both instances I see a government making a decision based on what they feel is in the best interest of their people.

        Also… I may not know the guy, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Six didn’t make this film in order to start a global discussion on sensorship!

        Great discussion!

        • Juggernaut

          Understood. To be clear I’m not discounting your opinion at all. I agree to an extent that the amount of disgusting and unsavory forms of entertainment do run rampant in today’s society. However, not unlike the days of the Roman Empire, the masses are clamoring for this kind of degradation. Your view on governments place when accessing the cinematic landscape in the same way they would the illegal substances is gallant if not a bit a skewed. While I can see that take on it I’m not sold on it. Much like our friend Dabbid stated there is a thin line between supervision and limitations and all out oppression. Unfortunately the fact remains that even though the content of these films may be unsavory they are not technically “harmful”. Any damage done by such materials for all intents and purposes will pass. On the other hand the known physical and mental damages from substance abuse is documented and verified. I’m not saying that you are wrong mind you, I’m just trying to be a bit more realistic.

          I also wasn’t talking about Six’s want of a discussion about censorship as much as I was referring to any film makers undoubted desire for his film to be a point of controversial conversation.

          Good discussion!

          • Shazam!

            Thanks for your reply Juggernaut.

            I think what my main point is (and I apologize for not being clearer) is that I would argue that forms of “entertainment” such as this are harmful. Again, perhaps not in the same immediate and commonly accepted ways that some illegal narcotics do, but more in the way they degrade the values of society and make violence more acceptable and commonplace.

            I once heard a speaker say that people are ready and willing to point out the dangers of things that cause physical harm but are as of yet unwilling to admit the very mental and emotional harm that we inflict upon ourselves.

            From that view point I would argue that the promotion and distribution of films such as this are akin to promoting skydiving without parachutes.

            I see your point about Six wanting people to talk about his film – my bad.

          • Juggernaut

            I do agree with that.
            Certainly, over time, values and limits of what one believes to be “going too far” have all but been erased. It isn’t a good thing by any means just a true thing. If we were living in a different world we may not even be having this discussion. Unfortunately this is our reality and as such we need to evaluate what is “looking after our best interests” and what is restricting our given freedom of expression. Obviously the two of us won’t be able to make that call for any one but ourselves. Hopefully, in the future such extremes will not be needed. However, as time has taught us, no stone shall go unturned and we will forever have people pushing boundaries to either convey their artistic thoughts or more likely to shock and appall others.

          • Shazam!

            Thanks for your reply Juggernaut.

            I think what my main point is (and I apologize for not being clearer) is that I would argue that forms of “entertainment” such as this are harmful. Again, perhaps not in the same immediate and commonly accepted ways that some illegal narcotics do, but more in the way they degrade the values of society and make violence more acceptable and commonplace.

            I once heard a speaker say that people are ready and willing to point out the dangers of things that cause physical harm but are as of yet unwilling to admit the very mental and emotional harm that we inflict upon ourselves.

            From that view point I would argue that the promotion and distribution of films such as this are akin to promoting skydiving without parachutes.

            I see your point about Six wanting people to talk about his film – my bad.

  • Shazam!

    And yet you yourself are confused with “why” they are banning this film.

    If you don’t ask the “why” question then you never move toward educating people and all you have left are broad statements and actions that lead to fascism.

    I would also argue that just because cinema is an art-form all movies are not necessarily pieces of art. As someone who has majored in both fine art and psychology I can tell you there is a difference between expression for the purpose of sharing (art) and simple expression (wrapping yourself in wire so tight it cuts your skin and taking pictures of yourself – I’ve seen it). Somethings that get labeled as art are the surface manifestations of things deep down inside people – and they aren’t always things that should be encouraged or shared with everyday people.

    Would you call it fascism to pull a movie from circulation that showed people revelling in someone self-harming themselves?

  • Brian

    The biggest problem I have with decisions like this is the extreme bias in terms of the medium. War is okay, but something like this isn’t. Like it or not, people have minds that want to gross other people out or horrify them…why shouldn’t they be given that opportunity in a film? Nobody makes anyone see a movie, they consciously choose to so I really don’t see the problem if someone wants to see it.

  • justjoe

    I guess the problem is much more the context of the movie paired with what seems to be a fair share of violence, torture and sexual depravity. While some movies come up with such content as well they´re at least try to make a point or statement (like “Men behind the sun”) or at least make you feel for the victims and therefore try to deliver some sort of emotional impact out of the showed violence (“Martyrs” comes to mind). Tim Six therefore seems to come up with such dark, demented material just for the sake of it. He shoots it because he can and wants to. I´m not a fan of this certain mind of filmmaking, pushing boundaries just for the sake of it, causing controversy, because there is nothing left to show or to tell. And the problem is that the bar gets lowered even more with every movie, trying to catch up or surpass the last flic with even more murder and multilation to lure in the gorehounds or the people who are just…curious what the hype is all about. Isn´t this kind of attitude making the majority of people numb to violence? I know it´s just movie, but what´s the difference for us as casual viewer between these murderous act on film and those you read about in your local newspaper or watch on TV? If you can´t empathize and feel for the people on screen, why and how could you feel for real people being viction of real violence? I´m normally not a fan of censorship but sometimes there need to be made a statement for a certain state of mind and this one seems to be the right choice!

  • Vineland

    By banning this film:

    1. You will have generated enough publicity that people will now want to watch “The Human Centipede II” regardless of whether it’s a good film or a terrible film.

    2. The revenue generated from the publicity of the banning of his film will contribute for Tom Six to carry on making these films.

    Something to also consider is that it’s very difficult to find the original Human Centipede film in cinemas in the UK let alone find it for rental from a video shop. The main source of watching this kind of film is on the internet. Now the newspapers and news programs have publicised “The Human Centipede II” lots of under age kids are going to download it and watch it.

    Wasn’t banning it the point of stopping that happen? Which is ironic because it only ever increases the chance of children watching this film.

    As a kid through the eighties in the UK there was a public outcry and a subsequent ban on supposed “video nasties”. The controversy made me and my friends want to watch these films, so we did. We asked around for pirate copies and bought them from behind the market stalls. If those “video nasties” had never been censored we’d have never known about them.

    The bottom line is that the act of censorship allows artists to court controversy to promote their work on a moral viewpoint instead of an artistic one. Controversy will simply elevate the status of a film regardless of its artistic quality.

    • Shazam!

      I see what you’re saying Vineland, but I’m not sure I totally agree.

      I’m not convinced that banning a film attracts more than it detracts – but let’s say for argument sake that that is the case – are you saying that that justifies not taking a stance?

      If a film maker wants to make trash “just because” then they’ve got their own issues to deal with – but that in no way excuses we as a society not taking stances against the perverse that numbs people to the actual violence happening around them as justjoe said.

      50 years ago if people saw 3 or 4 guys at a party sexually assaulting a young girl on the dance floor they would have stepped in and kicked their heads in – today people whip out their cell phones and record it. THEY RECORD IT! How can we as a society say that a film depicting that type of behaviour is acceptable entertainment and then cry foul when people do nothing when they get the live show?

      Now tell me there’s nothing wrong with the public distribution and promotion of a film that includes what is described above?

      • Vineland

        I wonder – does the villain of the film start off with a coarse sandpaper, then use a fine one to get a good finish?

        • Juggernaut

          As long as he gets TO finish. Lol.

      • Vineland

        I wonder – does the villain of the film start off with a coarse sandpaper, then use a fine one to get a good finish?

  • Ratflail

    I think the real question here is why are these films being produced at all?? What is the mind set of a society that even has the ability to dream this up?? let alone put the effort into making a movie about it!!! …and the fact people will watch it…

  • Corky123

    I totally agree with the decision to ban it. I don’t understand why anyone would enjoy watching a person sexually mutilate a woman. We know we live in a world where these crazy people actually exist, so why would you want to sit down with a bag of popcorn to watch it on a big screen? I LOVE horror films and art films, this is neither. Sounds more like a torture/sadist porn to me.