Human Centipede 2 banned in UK

BBFC says film is "potentially obscene".

by Jennie Kermode

It's a while since there has been as much hype about a horror film as there was when The Human Centipede came out last year. Director Tom Six seemed to go all out to shock and disgust viewers with his tale of a mad surgeon who surgically joins three people together, mouth to anus. Yet this film was eventually passed by the BBFC with an 18 certificate and the hype paid off as it went on to be a big success on DVD. Now its sequel, the imaginatively titled The Human Centipede 2, has been banned from getting any kind of UK release as the BBFC say it is "potentially obscene".

"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," said a spokesperson. "This film poses a real, as opposed to a fanciful, risk that harm is likely to be caused to potential viewers." Precisely what that harm might be was not specified, but concerns were raised about the focus on humiliation and degradation of victims, the lack of character development that might make viewers care about them, and the apparent sexual arousal of the surgeon.

Campaigners for freedom of speech have strongly criticised the decision. If previous experience is anything to go by, it may well make the film into an underground hit, regardless of whether or not it is actually any good. Tom Six has stated that he is proud of his film, that it is his intention to push boundaries, and that this human centipede will be longer than the last one. The new film takes a postmodern approach to its theme, focusing on a man who is inspired by the original film to imitate the mad surgeon's work.

Production company Bounty Films and distributors Eureka Entertainment have announced their intention to appeal against the BBFC's decision.

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