Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Who needs to see "Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)" when you can just read the British Board of Film Classification's press release about it?

I missed the 2010 film "Human Centipede: First Sequence," although I certainly meant to catch it. The story of a mad surgeon who surgically grafts three people together, mouth-to-anus, really hit my sweet spot in terms of cinematic interest: It features a mad surgeon, and, um, mouth-to-anus grafting. I did catch the "South Park" parody "Human CentiPad," which was probably enough for me.

The sequel, "Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)" is to be released later this year -- but not, apparently, in England.
The Human Centipede, a 2010 horror film in which a scientist stitches kidnap victims together, was proudly touted as "the most horrific film ever made".

But its Dutch director, Tom Six, may have gone too far in the follow-up, because the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has denied The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) an 18 certificate for fears it poses a "real risk" to cinemagoers.

The BBFC refusal means it cannot be legally supplied anywhere in the UK – even on DVD or download.
First of all, if you think the idea of a secret cabal reviewing and deciding what art should be exhibited in a country is un-American, well, you're right. But this is England we're talking about and, to paraphrase Morrissey, "England is not America."

England doesn't have a First Amendment, which means, I guess, that they get to have a board that reviews movies and decides what can and can't be shown. We used to have such censorship boards here in America. Also, the movie industry itself established the Hays Commission, out of fear that federal lawmakers would come after them because of their racy content. It was as if everybody, most especially those in the film industry, forgot that America has a First Amendment.

For awhile, it was like America was England! Then, we grew out of it. Kind of.

Anyway, back to England, and HC(FS). The British Board of Film Classification put out a press release explaining why they have decided to protect the delicate stiff upper lipped sensibilities of the citizens it rules by disallowing the film to be unleashed upon that nation of rubbish bin cat ladies. Said release is both hilarious and sad, much like I imagine the "Human Centipede" sequel to be.
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.
Believe it or not, this press release from the British Board of Film Classification goes into even greater detail about the depraved doings of the protagonist of this film. I am talking nauseating detail. Hilarious detail. I-can't-believe-they-actually-put-that-stuff-in-a-press-release detail. Detail that makes you want to actually watch this movie, at least a little of it, to see if even half of what the BBFC claims is in the movie, is actually in the movie.

If you've a strong stomach and a taste for the morbid, I suggest clicking the link above and reading the dry details of the press release. I can't stress this enough: It's high-larious.

Wikipedia says that the rulings of the BBFC are nonbinding, and,
Legally, local authorities have the power to decide under what circumstances films are shown in cinemas, but they nearly always choose to follow the advice of the BBFC.
That is nice. However, back to the BBFC's press release:
David Cooke, Director of the BBFC said:
“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.
In England they have laws against publishing material with a "tendency to deprave or corrupt a significant portion of those likely to see them." Ouch! Who decides on that, and how is that decided? That's pretty broad. Some enterprising censors could argue that, over time, all horror films "deprave and corrupt" those who watch them. After all, the stuff that's in horror movies now is much more graphic than what they used to put in the films when I was a kid!

Anyway, England: Too bad. I shall think of you when I am walking past one of the thousands of theaters here in America that will inevitably screen "Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)." I will think of you, and shed a tear.

The Human Centipede 2 teaser trailer. Is this, also, banned in England?

1 comment:

A.Jaye said...

To put the BBFC into perspective:


Rule Britannia.