After no doubt one hell of a lot of negotiating Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) is to receive a UK cinema and DVD release. But this comes at a price though. It has been passed by the BBFC with an 18 Certificate after around 3 minutes of cuts. I’ll post details of the cuts after the jump and weigh in on my views on this sort of form of “Certification”. Do the quotation marks give you a hint?
Here are the details of what was cut from the film in order to reach the 18 Certificate.
Company was required to make 32 individual cuts to scenes of sexual and sexualised violence, sadistic violence and humiliation, and a child presented in an abusive and violent context. In this case, cuts included: a man masturbating with sandpaper around his penis; graphic sight of a man’s teeth being removed with a hammer; graphic sight of lips being stapled to naked buttocks; graphic sight of forced defecation into and around other people’s mouths; a man with barbed wire wrapped around his penis raping a woman; a newborn baby being killed; graphic sight of injury as staples are torn away from individuals’ mouth and buttocks. Cuts required in accordance with BBFC Guidelines, policy and the Video Recordings Act 1984.
So my views. I’m not gonna be all angry and ranty here. I honestly think the BBFC do a good job of applying certificates to films. In general they’re fairly consistent and they’ve come a long way in the last 10 years to being more in touch with modern sensibilities. That said cutting a film for graphic depictions of sexualised violence, or any content for that matter, is a cop out. The 18 cert if there for a reason. If you’re the kind of adult who get’s mentally disturbed by the sort of imagery present in 18 certificate films you probably shouldn’t be watching them in the first place. Film, or any form of entertainment, don’t create psychos and mentally unstable people. People create those people be it through abuse or a chemical induced disorder. Those that are mentally unbalanced through genetics or some form of accident shouldn’t be viewing these sorts of films anyway and I doubt many of them would.
Yes HC2 features some messed up stuff, as do many other similar horrors. A lot of the time those films are passed with cuts. Cuts that really shouldn’t be needed. It’s the old debate of whether it should be up to the viewer what they allow themselves to see. When the BBFC start calling for edits they’re taking our choice away from us.
With all that said though Tom Six is the man responsible for creating this controversy. He knows what will pass certification in the UK and in any other region the film is due to be released in. In the US the film is also being passed with cuts despite there being an Unrated category over there. The fact the film is about someone who was inspired by the original film to commit such acts is a clear sign that Tom Six was aiming straight for the ban hammer by touching on the nerve that the BBFC flinches with. It’s a story that’s too close to the bone for them to not react to. Shame on them for falling for it I guess.
Banned films in the UK have always flourished in one form or another since the BBFC went all Video Nasty crazy in the early 80s. A war against pretty much any horror film or film that sounded like a horror film was raged by a annoying little old lady named Mary Whitehouse who had somehow wormed her way into Thatchers friends list which in turn gave her the platform to speak out against such alleged cinematic atrocities. If you ever get the chance watch the documentary Video Nasties by Jake West. It covers this entire dark period in British cinema history showing just how crazy it all was and just how deluded some of the anti video nasty campaigners were. One interviewee in particular was convinced that he was watching people really being killed on screen. We’re then shown a scene he is referring to and it’s pure fakery of the obvious order. The people making the cuts and banning the movies were out of touch old men. Human Centipede 2’s initial banning smacks of that same mentality where they just can’t grasp what they are seeing on screen.
If they’re so worried about what people have access to view then why not slap a ban notice on the internet. Everyday we read about the sick websites created by even sicker individuals. I doubt there’s many teenagers in the UK that haven’t either seen 2 girls 1 cup or at least heard about it. The BBFC needs to grow again as it did 10 years ago. It needs to understand that it cannot police what we view and that by banning a film in the UK it’ll only drive people to downloading the uncut version online when it shows up all of 24 hours after its release in another region. By banning a film they’re taking away the choice of the viewer and, to a lesser level of importance, money from stores willing to sell the films. By issuing them with cuts they are stopping art being viewed as intended and proving themselves to be out of touch.
Of course I don’t think that an anything goes attitude is right for films. I certainly don’t think real depictions of abuse, violence and death should be allowed in films outside of documentaries. Would you really want to watch a film where a child actor is submitted to real abuse just for the sake of art? Would you want to see a film where an actor is beaten to death for real? Obviously that could depend on the actor. Either way, as long as it’s fiction there’s no reason why a film maker should be made to cut his film. Even if that film maker is trying to get banned on purpose.
Quick poll for the comments. Should I review the UK release of Human Centipede 2 when it’s released here or attempt to get a copy of the Australian version?