Human Centipede II

The rotting remains of 2012's festival
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Human Centipede II

Post by tufjid » Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:45 pm

Hi, I know this is the for all things Frightfest but thought as we all saw the first film a couple of years ago I thought I'd share what the BBFC has actioned today .....

The UK's movie ratings body has taken the unusual step of refusing outright to classify a new horror film - and warned there was a real risk of harm to viewers.

The film is a sequel to last year's stomach-churning Human Centipede about a mad scientist who grafts three kidnap victims together.

But the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has ruled no amount of cuts would allow them to give the new film - The Human Centipede II - a certificate and said the movie may fall foul of the Obscene Publications Act.

The original film was given an 18 certificate and was shown in cinemas, and film festivals, before being released on DVD.

Film distributors had applied to release the follow-up on DVD but its rejection means it cannot be legally supplied in the UK.

The BBFC concluded that the thrust of the film was 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".

It said: "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."

The BBFC said the film breached classification guidelines and "poses a real, as opposed to a fanciful, risk that harm is likely to be caused to potential viewers".

The first film caused a stir when it was released last year by Dutch director Tom Six but it was thought to be suitable for adult viewing.

The ratings body said that "although the concept of the film was undoubtedly tasteless and disgusting, it was a relatively traditional and conventional horror film".

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Re: Human Centipede II

Post by pauluspink » Mon Jun 06, 2011 4:35 pm

Ahhh here we go again!
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Human Centipede II

Post by daveroughcut » Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:17 pm

Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck' Where's the torrent? ;-p

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Re: Human Centipede II

Post by Critter Egg » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:54 pm

Arrg! I can't believe the BBFC are pulling this stunt again. I understand the need for film classification and agree that it should be in place, but as a 31 year old adult I do not believe that the BBFC should be stopping me from watching any film I choose to. If they feel the 18 rating is no longer suitable for classifying certain films they should introduce a higher ranking 'R' rating or something in the UK, so people will know what to expect from the film and can make their own informed decision on whether to watch it or not. It should not be a case of simply banning films that the BBFC determine aren't suitable for viewing.

As Frightfest is a film festival and the Empire would not be showing Human Centipede 2 as a general release can't we all sign some documentation to say we are consenting adults choosing to see the film of our own free will?! I was so excited about this film. Next thing you know we're only going to be allowed to watch teen 'horrors' like Twilight at Frightfest as everything else will be deemed too nasty for our poor little eyes ...
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Re: Human Centipede II

Post by Eddie Krueger » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:33 pm

Self appointed moral guardians, far more disturbing than any horror film.

I agree with Critter Egg that the classification they provide is needed, but it should be on a sliding scale where the extreme end is uncensored.

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Re: Human Centipede II

Post by Satans Puppy » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:35 pm

It's not their fault if the film infringes on Indecency Laws and other laws in this country though, they have to follow the law as do we all :P

Six pushed to hard on this one... far too hard and the fact that cutting it won't assist in getting the film a rating makes you wonder just how hard he pushed, even with barbed wire round his winkle :P
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Re: Human Centipede II

Post by Bearded Avenger » Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:46 am

Has anyone actually seen it? A friend, who I do not share movie tastes with, saw it and said despite all the horribleness it was actually quite boring.

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Re: Human Centipede II

Post by sherbetbizarre » Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:56 am

Your friend has seen the sequel? It's not out anywhere yet!

Austrailia have passed it though...

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Re: Human Centipede II

Post by Mr Bill » Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:04 pm

Words cannot demonstrate my indignant contempt and resentment for the BBFC.

Is there any evidence to support their flippantly dismissive arguement? Have dead amateur centipede experiments been discovered abandonned in ditches all across mainland Europe? Is there any concrete evidence at all for any violent film directly leading to violent behaviour, or any example of the BBFC exercising wise judgement for which we can all breathe a sigh of relief?

Has anybody ever thought "thank god the BBFC banned/edited/reclassified that piece of violent esoteric fiction" after other countries exposed to the film in it's intended form descended into violent anarchy?

The BBFC does not have a history of responsible regulation, but rather one of hysterical over reaction, populist indulgence and manipulative reactionary ideals. Remember the eighties Video Nasty Farce.

What exactly is the objective analytical process they go through when considering a film, how many people are involved, and how does the selection, credentials and training of those individual decision makers tie back to democratic process and balancing public safety with freedom of speech?

Why do we need a seperate system to the rest of Europe?
And why does our system actually reduce the classification of many films to maximise the audience, and expose adult films to younger audiences?

Given how much classification (and whether or not a film is released at all) affects how a film will perform financially, how do we ensure there is no corruption or agenda within the BBFC? Many adult (European 18 cert) films from big powerful studios are (very discretely) given a 15 certificate in the UK, while at the same time adult films from smaller companies get censored or even banned- Am I the only person who finds this contradictory, strange and suspicious?

Should we be afraid of our neighbours in France and Ireland because of the 'dangerous' films they've seen?

Above all, if viewing Human Centipede II makes grown adults a danger to others, what mechanisms are involved to protect us from those at the BBFC who have seen the film? Do they undergo special councelling and police checks or do they have minders to make us safe?

Why does the BBFC still exist and still weild such unquestioned power, how do they justify being paid to interfere with our art, culture, freedom and democracy?
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Re: Human Centipede II

Post by Mr Bill » Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:04 am

Have just signed the petition and urge others to do so too. I think it is time the subjective rulings of the BBFC were properly challenged.

Thanks to sherbetbizarre for the links.
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Re: Human Centipede II

Post by streetrw » Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:18 am

Mr Bill wrote:Words cannot demonstrate my indignant contempt and resentment for the BBFC.

Is there any evidence to support their flippantly dismissive arguement? Have dead amateur centipede experiments been discovered abandonned in ditches all across mainland Europe? Is there any concrete evidence at all for any violent film directly leading to violent behaviour, or any example of the BBFC exercising wise judgement for which we can all breathe a sigh of relief?

Has anybody ever thought "thank god the BBFC banned/edited/reclassified that piece of violent esoteric fiction" after other countries exposed to the film in it's intended form descended into violent anarchy?

The BBFC does not have a history of responsible regulation, but rather one of hysterical over reaction, populist indulgence and manipulative reactionary ideals. Remember the eighties Video Nasty Farce.

What exactly is the objective analytical process they go through when considering a film, how many people are involved, and how does the selection, credentials and training of those individual decision makers tie back to democratic process and balancing public safety with freedom of speech?

Why do we need a seperate system to the rest of Europe?
And why does our system actually reduce the classification of many films to maximise the audience, and expose adult films to younger audiences?

Given how much classification (and whether or not a film is released at all) affects how a film will perform financially, how do we ensure there is no corruption or agenda within the BBFC? Many adult (European 18 cert) films from big powerful studios are (very discretely) given a 15 certificate in the UK, while at the same time adult films from smaller companies get censored or even banned- Am I the only person who finds this contradictory, strange and suspicious?

Should we be afraid of our neighbours in France and Ireland because of the 'dangerous' films they've seen?

Above all, if viewing Human Centipede II makes grown adults a danger to others, what mechanisms are involved to protect us from those at the BBFC who have seen the film? Do they undergo special councelling and police checks or do they have minders to make us safe?

Why does the BBFC still exist and still weild such unquestioned power, how do they justify being paid to interfere with our art, culture, freedom and democracy?

A number of points need to be made here.

[1] Is there any evidence for "monkey see monkey do"? Well, in a way, yes. If you've bothered to read the BBFC's reasons for rejecting The Human Centipede 2, you'll know that "monkey see monkey do" is precisely the thesis of the film. Tom Six can't complain about his film being banned on those grounds if that's the whole point of his film.

[2] The BBFC had nothing to do with the video nasties. They weren't even involved in video until the Video Recordings Act put them in charge of reclassifying. They didn't bring prosecutions, they didn't ban the films. The films were found to be in breach of the Obscene Publications Act in a court of law, in an action brought by the Department Of Public Prosecutions.

[3] The BBFC, like the rest of us, are as vulnerable to the Obscene Publications Act as anyone else and they can't pass anything that would breach its terms. If they'd passed the film and it was then successfully prosecuted under the OPA, the BBFC's role would be untenable.

[4] The only way around that would be to get the OPA repealed in Parliament, and that's not on any political agenda. Partly because there's no votes in it, but mainly because Parliament have got far more important things to worry about, ranging from sorting out a buggered economy to getting into any number of unwinnable land wars. Frankly, getting the OPA struck off the statute books so you can watch The Human Centipede 2 just ain't gonna happen.

[5] Why do we need a separate system from Europe? Er, because we're not Europe. Europe doesn’t have a film classification system anyway: different countries within Europe have different systems - which one do you want to tie to? Why not the blessed MPAA? Or the Australians, who've apparently passed the film without cuts.

[6] It's certainly true that the BBFC's performance in the late 1980s - the James Ferman years - was overly restrictive and many, many films were cut and banned that didn't deserve it. Many films were cut for an 18 that are now available uncut with a 15. But once Ferman had left, they became far more open, far more transparent. All Ferman's bêtes noires - Straw Dogs, The Exorcist - were passed with no problems under the later regime.

[7] Very, very little is banned now. And very, very little is cut. Check thee BBFC's own stats if you don't believe me - look at the number of films cut. Look at the number of films rejected. Most cuts these days are for category - the distributors want a lower certificate, such as Daybreakers, Mirrors and The Expendables. Either that or they break other criminal laws such as animal cruelty (which is why ancient John Wayne Westerns still get cut for illegal methods of tripping horses).

[8] Without actual examples - titles - it's difficult to know what you mean about smaller films from independent distributors getting cut or banned while studio movies go through unscathed. I don't think, say, A Serbian Film would have been treated more lightly if it had come from Universal or Fox or one of the big corporations. Studio movies - a Pirates or a Thor - are always made with the box-office take as the primary objective and the likely ratings are always a significant part of the calculation. Arthouse and independent movies aren't always made with those things in mind.

[9] Why does the BBFC still exist? If not them, who? And what parameters would they be working to that the BBFC doesn't work to currently? After all, you're not seriously suggesting that there be no BBFC at all, are you? The absence of any regulatory system is what led to the VRA in the first place - children coming out of video shops with The Hills Have Eyes and The Evil Dead and no-one having any responsibility to say "adults only".

[10] It's worth mentioning that we haven't seen The Human Centipede 2 and are very much arguing in the dark here. The BBFC, on the other hand, have seen it so they know the specifics while we only have some vague principles. And they believe it would fall foul of the Obscene Publications Act.

[11] It's also worth pointing out that the film hasn't (yet) been submitted for a cinema certificate, just a video one. Although in the wake of the video rejection, it would be very unlikely for them to pass the film for cinema release. However, while video certificates are mandatory, a cinema certificate is not and it is not impossible for the film to be screened in places where a certificate is not required. After last year's problems with Westminster Council over A Serbian Film, they might not allow The Human Centipede 2 within their boundaries, but somewhere like the National Film Theatre could show it as they're under a different local authority. It's perhaps unlikely, but it is possible.
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Re: Human Centipede II

Post by Axe » Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:19 am

Good post, Streetrw.

Yes I think it's highly unlikely that any cinema would agree to show Human Centipde 2, especially with the possible breaches of the OPA which also applies to cinema. It would in any case be considered too much of a hot potato, even more so than Serbian Film. It would also be highly unusual for a cinema to show a BBFC rejected film.

I haven't seen Centipede 2 yet but I'm sure I will out of curiosity.

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Re: Human Centipede II

Post by zappa fan » Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:02 am

Excellent post Streetrw.

I feel that this topic will be ongoing for sometime to come. And there will be plenty of people willing to chat about it during FFXI. I wonder if Tom Six will be around during the festival, like the makers of Serbian Film were last year.
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Re: Human Centipede II

Post by brad1000 » Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:33 am

streetrw wrote:
Mr Bill wrote:Words cannot demonstrate my indignant contempt and resentment for the BBFC.

Is there any evidence to support their flippantly dismissive arguement? Have dead amateur centipede experiments been discovered abandonned in ditches all across mainland Europe? Is there any concrete evidence at all for any violent film directly leading to violent behaviour, or any example of the BBFC exercising wise judgement for which we can all breathe a sigh of relief?

Has anybody ever thought "thank god the BBFC banned/edited/reclassified that piece of violent esoteric fiction" after other countries exposed to the film in it's intended form descended into violent anarchy?

The BBFC does not have a history of responsible regulation, but rather one of hysterical over reaction, populist indulgence and manipulative reactionary ideals. Remember the eighties Video Nasty Farce.

What exactly is the objective analytical process they go through when considering a film, how many people are involved, and how does the selection, credentials and training of those individual decision makers tie back to democratic process and balancing public safety with freedom of speech?

Why do we need a seperate system to the rest of Europe?
And why does our system actually reduce the classification of many films to maximise the audience, and expose adult films to younger audiences?

Given how much classification (and whether or not a film is released at all) affects how a film will perform financially, how do we ensure there is no corruption or agenda within the BBFC? Many adult (European 18 cert) films from big powerful studios are (very discretely) given a 15 certificate in the UK, while at the same time adult films from smaller companies get censored or even banned- Am I the only person who finds this contradictory, strange and suspicious?

Should we be afraid of our neighbours in France and Ireland because of the 'dangerous' films they've seen?

Above all, if viewing Human Centipede II makes grown adults a danger to others, what mechanisms are involved to protect us from those at the BBFC who have seen the film? Do they undergo special councelling and police checks or do they have minders to make us safe?

Why does the BBFC still exist and still weild such unquestioned power, how do they justify being paid to interfere with our art, culture, freedom and democracy?

A number of points need to be made here.

[1] Is there any evidence for "monkey see monkey do"? Well, in a way, yes. If you've bothered to read the BBFC's reasons for rejecting The Human Centipede 2, you'll know that "monkey see monkey do" is precisely the thesis of the film. Tom Six can't complain about his film being banned on those grounds if that's the whole point of his film.

[2] The BBFC had nothing to do with the video nasties. They weren't even involved in video until the Video Recordings Act put them in charge of reclassifying. They didn't bring prosecutions, they didn't ban the films. The films were found to be in breach of the Obscene Publications Act in a court of law, in an action brought by the Department Of Public Prosecutions.

[3] The BBFC, like the rest of us, are as vulnerable to the Obscene Publications Act as anyone else and they can't pass anything that would breach its terms. If they'd passed the film and it was then successfully prosecuted under the OPA, the BBFC's role would be untenable.

[4] The only way around that would be to get the OPA repealed in Parliament, and that's not on any political agenda. Partly because there's no votes in it, but mainly because Parliament have got far more important things to worry about, ranging from sorting out a buggered economy to getting into any number of unwinnable land wars. Frankly, getting the OPA struck off the statute books so you can watch The Human Centipede 2 just ain't gonna happen.

[5] Why do we need a separate system from Europe? Er, because we're not Europe. Europe doesn’t have a film classification system anyway: different countries within Europe have different systems - which one do you want to tie to? Why not the blessed MPAA? Or the Australians, who've apparently passed the film without cuts.

[6] It's certainly true that the BBFC's performance in the late 1980s - the James Ferman years - was overly restrictive and many, many films were cut and banned that didn't deserve it. Many films were cut for an 18 that are now available uncut with a 15. But once Ferman had left, they became far more open, far more transparent. All Ferman's bêtes noires - Straw Dogs, The Exorcist - were passed with no problems under the later regime.

[7] Very, very little is banned now. And very, very little is cut. Check thee BBFC's own stats if you don't believe me - look at the number of films cut. Look at the number of films rejected. Most cuts these days are for category - the distributors want a lower certificate, such as Daybreakers, Mirrors and The Expendables. Either that or they break other criminal laws such as animal cruelty (which is why ancient John Wayne Westerns still get cut for illegal methods of tripping horses).

[8] Without actual examples - titles - it's difficult to know what you mean about smaller films from independent distributors getting cut or banned while studio movies go through unscathed. I don't think, say, A Serbian Film would have been treated more lightly if it had come from Universal or Fox or one of the big corporations. Studio movies - a Pirates or a Thor - are always made with the box-office take as the primary objective and the likely ratings are always a significant part of the calculation. Arthouse and independent movies aren't always made with those things in mind.

[9] Why does the BBFC still exist? If not them, who? And what parameters would they be working to that the BBFC doesn't work to currently? After all, you're not seriously suggesting that there be no BBFC at all, are you? The absence of any regulatory system is what led to the VRA in the first place - children coming out of video shops with The Hills Have Eyes and The Evil Dead and no-one having any responsibility to say "adults only".

[10] It's worth mentioning that we haven't seen The Human Centipede 2 and are very much arguing in the dark here. The BBFC, on the other hand, have seen it so they know the specifics while we only have some vague principles. And they believe it would fall foul of the Obscene Publications Act.

[11] It's also worth pointing out that the film hasn't (yet) been submitted for a cinema certificate, just a video one. Although in the wake of the video rejection, it would be very unlikely for them to pass the film for cinema release. However, while video certificates are mandatory, a cinema certificate is not and it is not impossible for the film to be screened in places where a certificate is not required. After last year's problems with Westminster Council over A Serbian Film, they might not allow The Human Centipede 2 within their boundaries, but somewhere like the National Film Theatre could show it as they're under a different local authority. It's perhaps unlikely, but it is possible.
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