Centipede Saga Has Legs

Tuesday, June 14 2011
Centipede Saga Has Legs

Bounty Films, the UK rights-holder for The Human Centipede 2, and its UK distribution partner Eureka, have jointly announced their decision to appeal against the BBFC’s refusal to grant the film a certificate. Here’s their full, joint statement and, below that, the BBFC’s original announcement :

 

“Within the last week, the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) announced that it had rejected and was unable to classify for release on DVD, The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)

“Bounty Films, and its UK distribution partner Eureka Entertainment Ltd., are disappointed by the decision of the BBFC to deny the film a classification certificate. While both companies respect the authority of the board, we strongly disagree with their decision. 

“In support of their decision, the BBFC issued a press release that gave an unprecedented level of detail regarding certain scenes contained within the film. Whilst it appears customary for the BBFC to issue press releases in support of its decision making, the level of detail provided therein does seem inconsistent with previous releases where the statements have been more concise.  We are concerned this may be prejudicial to our forthcoming appeal.

The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) is adult entertainment for fans of horror films.  If a film of this nature does not seek to push boundaries, to challenge people and their value systems or to shock, then it is not horror. The subject matter of this film is in line with not only the genre, but other challenging entertainment choices for adult consumers.

We respect those who have different opinions about both the film and the genre, and whose opinions may differ to our own, but we hope that the opinions of the adults for whom this product is intended will also be considered. The adult consumers who would watch this film fully understand that it is fictional entertainment and nothing more.

Classifying and rating product allows the public to make an informed choice about the art and media they wish to consume. Censoring or preventing the public from obtaining material that has not been proven to be harmful or obscene, is indefensible in principle and is often counterproductive in practice. Through their chosen course of action, the BBFC have ensured that the awareness of this film is now greater than it would otherwise have been. 

Having taken advice on these matters, and in accordance with BBFC guidelines, we will be submitting our appeal to the Video Appeals Committee in due course.

And here’s the original BBFC statement (note, contains spoilers):

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 Centipedefilm, 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.

“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.”

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