Human Centipede II

The rotting remains of 2012's festival
Mr Bill
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Re: Human Centipede II

Post by Mr Bill » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:03 am

streetrw wrote:
Mr Bill wrote:... A vast amount of material ...

(6) points in reponse:
(concluding with)
... No amount of legislation and no amount of labelling will ever stop dumbasses being bad parents.
I'm not entirely sure about that... In extreme cases I have to agree, but the vast majority of parents, even the really thick ones, don't aspire to make a crap job of it, and will use advice given to make an informed decision for both their children and for themselves.

By way of throwing the BBFC a bone after being so mean about them earlier, we now enjoy more advice and specific content guidance on films than ever before, and as a result, phrases like 'strong injury detail', 'sexualised nudity', and 'mild peril' have entered our collective understanding in a meaningful and helpful way. This is all part of the BBFClassification's legitimate role to helpfully inform potential viewers putting them in a position to make up their own mind. It is also evidence of just how far we, and they, have come since the Karate Kid mishap Ian mentioned, but all this helpful consumer advice from the BBFC, that could inform and educate a nation of responsible film viewers and parents, is jeopardised if the BBFCensorship still choses to cut or censor (admittedly very few) high profile films that have allready been accepted by broader international consensus. If the BBFC cultivates an alarmist or excessively cautious reputation, then more and more people will dismiss them as "the same bunch of idiots that banned all those video nasties which never did me any harm when I was fourteen" and log straight onto the internet, where they can find ASF uncut, Human Centipede 2 and much worse besides.

Education makes things better, prohibition makes things worse- This is what the BBFC claimed to understand when they changed their name and with it supposedly their approach. If you teach people to 'drink aware' they will live longer and get in fewer fights, but if you ban alcohol again they will go blind drinking bathtub gin while organised crime profits.

People in a free society respond well to guidance, but badly to control.

I'm going to try and resist responding as fully as I would like to the rest of Richard's points, partly because I think I've taken up too much room on this thread already, and very few people enjoy reading my 2000 word posts, but also because I tend to agree and disagree with each of Richard's comments in almost equal measure. So here (mostly for streetrw's benefit) are the broad and possibly flippant strokes.

(1)Ferman's comments are interesting, but given that his oppinion and approach has not endured, no matter how technically/legally sound at the time, I'm struggling to find the relevance.
(2)As the internet and multicultural values make the world a smaller place, I think Duval's comments and the varied responses of our European neighbours are rather more relevant, they might be different cultures but not that different and I'll never be proud of being one of the more prudish nations without even being able to blame it on Catholicism.
(3)The cost of BBFC classification (I don't even need to check Richard's figures to be sure they're correct) is quite sensible, but not negligible, and although a drop in the ocean for big films, is over ten times the budget for Brit-zombie-hit Colin for example. Centipede 2 obviously won't help our national debt, but could help some associated small businesses (like mine) survive the recession, It would certainly make a difference to Tom Six and the film's distributors- I think it's unfair to ignore that.
(4)The Video Nasties Farce, was exactly that; a farce, surrounded by so much smoke and mirrors on both sides of the debate, that it is little wonder specific facts and especially figures have become a matter of myth and contention. As always, I'm sure Richard is right about almost all 72 films being ruled as obscene at one point in time, but (I think?) only 39 were still on the list by 1990, and at present all but 10 have been given a BBFC, and those 10 are more forgotten than "banned", so I stick to my "lessons from history" arguement when applying the Nasty epoch to the present.
(5)I understand the "monkey see" arguement is more one of "dangerous pervert see, dangerous pervert get aroused, dangerous pervert do" but again, I'm not a dangerous pervert (and you have no proof otherwise, assuming that superinjunction is still holding!) and if I was, I'd allready be cruising bit torrent sites looking to download Centipede 2 alongside all manner of obscene and possibly illegal porn. So what does this achieve other than lumping the responsible and irresponsible together in a way that I personally resent?

I really could debate the minutiae of this subject with Mr Street for a very long time indeed, but I sincerely feel doing so would only draw more attention to our differences in attitude and temperament, while simultaneously neglecting our mutual interest and common ground on the subject.

Besides, my inner geek just exploded all over the Wikipedia link to the full breakdown of international certification, the nerd in me will be picking that awesome multicoloured table appart for at least a week!

Thanks again streetrw.
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Re: Human Centipede II

Post by rawshark » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:00 am

Having not seen the film, it's difficult to really be able to say much, but what I do find interesting is that Human Centipede 2 is unique of recent years in that is in the English language and was filmed largely in the UK with a fair few professional UK crew.

Recent banned films such as Grotesque and Murder Set Pieces were both foreign language and although the banning of these films kicked off a small cloud of dust, there was nothing much really made of either of them. A lot of people, myself included, thought it was all a bit 'meh'. I haven't even bothered to go find and watch them myself because reading about them and their content hasn't really made me curious enough to check them out.

However, the banning of HC2 in the UK means that it's a film made in this country, that cannot be seen by anyone else in this country. I know a couple of people who worked on it - I'm not sure what that says about them - a quick check on IMDB tells me the cinematographer, David Meadows, currently shooting Strippers Vs Werewolves, also does the filming on Top Gear...

Add to that, it does seem that the film may well have a semi-point at least - providing a sheen of social commentary to it's narrative in its own set-up (does art / film influence action?). It doesn't sound like cheap 'foreign' (and I don't mean to be racist here - it's just a foreign language film does have less of an appeal to the mainstream UK audience) exploitation with little story, or some arthouse exploration of sex / religion, so therefore curiosity in it is higher.

Plus, we know at FrightFest that Tom Six seems to be a genuinely likeable, funny guy, and that in all honesty his film is probably intended to be, excuse the expression, a little tongue-in-cheek.

Just bearing those points in mind, the banning of this film in this country to my mind does have more relevance, more of an impact on the censorship debate than of any other in recent years.
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Re: Human Centipede II

Post by Axe » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:56 am

HC2 sounds a bit like Grotesque with its scenes of sexually motivated violence.

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Re: Human Centipede II

Post by The Aylmer » Thu Jun 16, 2011 4:52 pm

streetrw wrote:
Mr Bill wrote:... A vast amount of material ...
A few more points in reponse:

Allowing The Human Centipede 2 to be released on DVD will achieve nothing.
Oh, I don't know Richard. For one thing it might show me how to wrap some barbed wire around my tadger without experiencing what I would imagine would be some fairly extreme pain!

Seriously, the BBFC's website is pretty good for gathering info on just what it is/was they found in a particular movie that caused them to rate or cut it a certain way. Usually in violent movies the strongest images and sequences, the ones that make the biggest impression and stay with you after you've left the cinema, are the ones that will get mentioned on their site when it comes to justifying a certain category, cuts or, in Human Centipede II's case, a ban. For instance, yesterday I saw Mother's Day and, sure enough the moments that are highlighted on the BBFC's site in the first paragraph are the snooker ball to the hand sequence, the two girls forced to stab each other, and the use of a boiling kettle (which I found the hardest bit to watch).

it's quite easy to tell from their Extended Classification Information exactly where their main concerns lie with any movie. And in Human Centipede II's case it does seem to lay heavily with that barbed wire/rape description. Now, while I'm sure there's plenty of other stuff in there that the BBFC find unsavoury the fact they focus on this particular instance suggests that's their main bugbear. Which is kind of strange when you consider it's not the sort of thing you'd imagine too many people would be that willing to try. And even those who did fancy giving it a go would probably change their tune pretty quickly once the sharp bits started to bite! (my eyes are watering just thinking about it). Yes, there are undoubtedly individuals out there who get off on watching rape scenes in movies and might well take some inspiration from that and claim it was a reason why they went out and did it for real.

But, I'm sorry, wrapping barbed wire around ones cock would surely act as a pretty good deterrent for most of these idiots? I think the BBFC should not only pass the film but give it as low a rating as possible. Then we could watch the rape figures drop dramatically as the hospitals possibly fill up with adventurous wannabe menaces to female society who don't quite understand why they're suddenly in so much pain and bleeding profusely from their nether regions. It really isn't something I can see sickos being that brainless to try and emulate, regardless of what the character in the actual film does!

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Human Centipede II

Post by daveroughcut » Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:14 pm

You can see the water going into the guys hand during the kettle scene. I thought Mothers Day was pretty tame.

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Re: Human Centipede II

Post by The Aylmer » Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:03 pm

daveroughcut wrote:You can see the water going into the guys hand during the kettle scene. I thought Mothers Day was pretty tame.
Yeah, despite a good start I found it pretty average overall. But the kettle scene did get to me. And, ironically, so far as copycat actions go it seems far more likely (to me) that this is the kind of thing the potential 'susceptible viewers' the BBFC worry about are likely to have a go at, as it's so easy to emulate. Well, compared to barbed wire assisted rape anyway. Yet Mothers Day gets an uncut 18 rating and a nationwide multiplex release ensuring it will be seen by as many people as possible. Human Centipede II was never going to have that kind of coverage or exposure, even with the much reported banning. So which of the two films has the most opportunity to 'deprave and corrupt'? The BBFC sanctioned one naturally. They can't try and sell us the whole 'images with a potential to be a real danger to the public' idea one minute and then tell us 'boiling water poured down a lughole is ok though' the next. And I refuse to believe that they found it impossible to cut Human Centipede II down to an acceptable level (not that I want to see a cut version). That smacks of James Ferman saying the same about Texas Chainsaw Massacre during the video nasty era.

I honestly believe the BBFC need an obscure low budget movie like Human Centipede II to come along every so often just so they can be seen to enforce a ban and say to the Dail Mail readers of the land "Look, we don't just allow anything even in these days of the internet. Now please let us get on with doing/keeping our jobs and making the video shelves safe for your children and the major distributors... Mothers Day 2?... an 18 will suffice"

Moi? Cynical?

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Re: Human Centipede II

Post by Axe » Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:18 pm

Mother's Day was pretty tame from the viewpoint and classification standards the BBFC currently operate on ie there was little in terms of sexual violence. Actually just brief moments of sexualised terrorisation. HC2 according to the BBFC contains a huge amout of sexually motivated violence and graphic sexual violence which made classification extremely difficult especially taking into account the exploitative nature of the film.

Yes I'm looking forward to seeing the film as well just to see why cuts were not a viable option as the BBFC claim.

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Re: Human Centipede II

Post by streetrw » Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:23 pm

Mother's Day might have gone around the country, but not that many prints, surely - of all my local and semi-local cinemas, I think the only one that ran it, for just one week, was the 16-screener in Milton Keynes. I don't think it ran at either of Northampton's two nine-screeners and it certainly didn't play at my six-screener just down the road. Most of the screens everywhere else are booked out by the blockbusters - Hangover, Pirates, Kung Fu Panda and the X-Men all taking the bulk of the screens (more if there's a 2D and 3D version). It's not making enough impact. Now it's true that the first Centipede didn't even get that much of a theatrical release but there's no indication that HC2 was going anywhere other than DVD where that, all things being equal, was where it would have been a bigger hit than Mother's Day because of the reputation of the first film.

And Mother's Day isn't designed to arouse, which is what the BBFC clearly believe to be the problem with HC2 - depicting sexual violence as a turnon. As Axe says above, the bulk of its violence may be sadistic - hell, it IS sadistic, I've seen it - but it isn't sexual, and the sexual elements are not supposed to be titillating or erotic. The BBFC obviously feel that the sexual violence and humiliations in HC2 IS supposed to be titillating and erotic. Whether they have that effect or not is down to the individual - pornography is in the wrist of the beholder - but they clearly feel that's the intent and as such falls under the OPA and so on.

In some respects the VAC is an ideal getout for the BBFC - if they reject the appeal then the BBFC can say "we told you"; if they uphold the appeal the BBFC can pass it under protest - "we don't agree with the decision but will reluctantly abide by it". Shove the outcry onto Biddy Baxter's desk.

PS: I think the barbed wire goes on the outside.
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Re: Human Centipede II

Post by Mr Bill » Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:41 pm

I'm completely down with The Aylmer's Darwinist arguement- we don't need to protect people who are that stupid, even if they do actually exist (which I very much doubt), the human genepool could use a little chlorine.

I have to wonder if the BBFC's arguement (that adults will attempt to recreate scenes from the film) is based on their experience of watching it.
Maybe the corridors of the BBFC are littered with discarded lengths of blood stained barbed wire, maybe the handfull of people at the BBFC who have seen the film are all voluntarily wearing straight jackets and lying awake at night worried that they might spontaneously sew the kids together before the school run in the morning- but I very much doubt it.

I think it is far more likely that all the responsible adult viewers exposed to HC2 in their work at the BBFC, are demonstrably fine and represent no real risk to public safety, which can only mean one of two things:

Either their public safety arguement is willfully a load of unsubstantiated nonsense.
or
They feel they can be trusted as responsible adults not to be influenced by sexual violence in films, but the unwashed masses like you and I, cannot be trusted to react as responsibly, and the BBFC isn't going to give us the opportunity to prove that we are just as mature as they are, and therefore both equal as adult British citizens and 'innocent until proven guilty' of any suggestibility to sexual violence.

It is the latter (and more plausible) of these two possibilities that I find deeply offensive, and a personal affront to my sense of liberty and equality as a responsible, law abiding, adult citizen.

I can confidently say that no film on this earth is going to turn me into a sadomasicistic rapist, now what can I do to prove that to the BBFC, and why does the burden of proof lie with me rather than them?
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Re: Human Centipede II

Post by The Aylmer » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:32 pm

Thanks Axe, Richard and Mr Bill for the follow up comments...
streetrw wrote: And Mother's Day isn't designed to arouse, which is what the BBFC clearly believe to be the problem with HC2 - depicting sexual violence as a turnon. As Axe says above, the bulk of its violence may be sadistic - hell, it IS sadistic, I've seen it - but it isn't sexual, and the sexual elements are not supposed to be titillating or erotic. The BBFC obviously feel that the sexual violence and humiliations in HC2 IS supposed to be titillating and erotic. Whether they have that effect or not is down to the individual - pornography is in the wrist of the beholder - but they clearly feel that's the intent and as such falls under the OPA and so on.
I get what you're saying Richard. They've got to stay on the right side of the law as it currently stands whether we like it or not. But it still doesn't add up so far as previous BBFC decisions go. Mother's Day may not be designed to arouse sexually but there are certainly twisted individuals out there who revel in inflicting pain and violence and would find elements of it arousing regardless. As has been pointed out earlier in this thread the BBFC apparantly now admit they don't/can't censor movies solely on the basis there might be a small percentage of sick twisted viewers who may be easily influenced, and it's more to do with material that may pose a perceived risk of 'harm' to general audiences. So rightly or wrongly Mother's Day isn't seen as a threat due to a lack of sexual violence.

But what about films the BBFC have passed recently that do contain sexual violence? If I hadn't been told then I would never have realised last years screening of 'I Spit On Your Grave' was cut as the rape still looked extremely nasty to me. And the horrendous almost unwatchable 9 minute rape in 'Irreversible' was uncut at the cinema and on dvd. I had real trouble watching the latter as it was so realistic. Which is no doubt why the BBFC felt they could justify allowing it, because it supposedly wasn't designed to turn viewers on but rather off. But like Mother's Day there will be people out there who certainly do get off on it (the prisons are full of them) and have a completely different attitude to those fictional onscreen atrocities. And no amount of claiming 'but the film wasn't designed to have that effect' is going to change that. The unpalatable fact is some people are just predisposed to being sexually violent whether due to experiencing a traumatic childhood upbringing, having a warped imbalanced personality or whatever. You can't legislate against that effectively as there's no way of knowing (without individual psychiatric treatment) just what might turn a person like that on. It's part of their make up.

If Human Centipede II is designed to be titillating/erotic surely it's going to fail miserably overall. I mean, how on earth do you make a barbed wire rape sequence titillating for general audiences? Disturbing, upsetting, sickening, yes. But a turn on? I just can't see the normal average cinema goer getting off on that sort of thing no matter how it's dressed up, the most likely response being the same shocked sick feeling that Irreversible produced. There may well be some twisted individuals who do get off on it. But that takes us right back where we started, with the BBFC claiming they can't legislate for the unpredictable few and can only really try to protect the majority from some potential onscreen threat that almost certainly is anything but, and is only really dangerous if seen by the unpredictable few. And so it goes, round and round in circles.

If the BBFC feel Tom Six's sequel could fall foul of the OPA then they've got no choice but to cover their own backs I guess. But I'm still dubious about their claim that the film is impossible to cut, which makes me suspect they didn't really want to pass this one from the outset. I'm prepared to be proven wrong though. It may really be this is the most dangerous film released (elsewhere) in recent times, although I doubt it. I guess we'll all find out when the dvd's and downloads start finding their way onto this sacred isle.
streetrw wrote: PS: I think the barbed wire goes on the outside.
Not if you're the victim it doesn't.

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Human Centipede II

Post by daveroughcut » Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:06 pm

Interesting: BBFC have refused classification for HC2 on DVD however it may still be legally screened. Hands up who thinks Westminster Council would allow that?

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Re: Human Centipede II

Post by Mr Bill » Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:44 pm

They could,
They should,
They won't.
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Re: Human Centipede II

Post by Axe » Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:56 am

Mother's Day was the sort of film the BBFC used to cut and even ban but not anymore, as they no longer cut non sexual violence. This is what they say " when portrayals of violence are not linked to sex, the media effects evidence relating to harm is less convincing and the Boards treatment of such scenes reflects this".

In the case of the I Spit remake - they were careful to remove any eroticising elements whilst preserving the horror of the rape.
Even so I have to say I am a little surprised at the BBFC objecting to to use of the camcorder in this film saying that it might encourage complicity. They recently passed the camcorder rape in Cannibal Holocaust after previously cutting it. Strange it didn't occur to them that this scene might encourage complicity. And there have been other examples of such scenes being passed eg Henry Portrait of A Serial Killer. So I do find this a bit odd. But apart from this blip I do generally find them to be pretty consistent in regards to their cuts and rejections.

I was just reading on the Melon farmers that Human Centipede 2 was filmed in Black and White. Well this is a bit like Philosophy of a Knife, which would also stand little chance of getting passed here.

Sounds like the BBFC could have cut HC2 but it would have required very extensive cuts, probably well beyond the cuts made to Scrapbook, so it just wasn't worth it. In regards to the forthcoming appeal I really can not see VAC overturning the ban and allowing the uncut version to pass. At the very best Six would surely have to settle for cuts.

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Re: Human Centipede II

Post by sherbetbizarre » Sat Jun 18, 2011 2:22 pm


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Re: Human Centipede II

Post by simmie » Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:58 pm

Christ are we heading for a resurgence of the 'video nasties' issues that arose in the late 80's early 90's again.
I really do not understand how they come to these conclusions, when you can do many more depraved things in
video games these days!!

Im pretty sure that a very high population of frightfesters have the ability to watch a film and not wish to re-inact any of the scenes
of the films that we watch, i mean I never saw anyone stomping around the foyer with a victor crowley-esque rage, wanting to dismember fellow festival goers!!

Im sure we will get to see it, my only hope is that it is not heavily censored to the point of where we will not be able to share Tom Six's vision of gastricly (if this was a word) joined individuals!!

Anywho, rant over!!
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