Sunday, 18 September 2011

Shit Storm!

Rape, torture, sadism? Sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll? What gets a film banned in this day and age? The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) has achieved the very difficult task and been rejected a certificate by the paternalistic Godfathers of British cinema, the BBFC.

Refusing to classify a film is the closest you can get to a ban. The film cannot be shown in public cinemas or sold on DVD etc without a certificate. Will this stop the sick little puppies so desperate to watch it getting their dirty paws on it?

With the internet making it easier to obtain anything you damn well want with a few clicks of a button, and Australia releasing the film, it won’t be long before the centipede crawls onto the web for curious eyes to devour.

So what is it that’s convinced the BBFC the rest of us can’t handle such a film? How about “the spectacle of the total degradation, humiliation, mutilation, torture, rape and murder of… naked victims”?

Throw in a “strong and sustained focus throughout the work on the link between sexual arousal and sexual violence and a clear association between non-consensual pain and sexual pleasure” and you’ve got a recipe for controversy.

Couldn’t they just have cut the film and released a shorter, sanitised version? Apparently not… “The BBFC considered whether cutting the work might address the issues but concluded that as the unacceptable material featured throughout, cutting was not a viable option and the work was therefore refused a classification.”

Three questions immediately spring to my mind:
  1. Who wants to watch this shit?
  2. Who comes up with this shit?
  3. If the folks at the BBFC watched the film without becoming psychotic, raping, murdering human-centipede-making degenerates, then why can’t anyone else watch this shit?
Firstly, a surprising amount of people want to watch it. People who saw the first film and liked it; people who see anything that gets banned or causes controversy; many gorehounds, horror fans and sickos from all across the globe. Just look at the YouTube comments on the trailers or director Tom Six’s Facebook page for proof.

Secondly, Tom Six is the man responsible. See him here and see what he has to say in the teaser trailer:

Despite his claim of death threats on Facebook, go look at all the love he gets from fans on his wall! People love him and they love his movies. They argue if you don’t like it, don’t watch it!
Have they got a point? Should adults be allowed to watch whatever the hell they want (as long as no one was really harmed in its making)? It’s all make-believe after all. If the BBFC examiners managed to resist urges to harm people after watching the movie, couldn’t the rest of us?

But then there’s the argument that just sort of goes BUT WHY THE HELL WOULD ANYONE WANT TO WATCH OR MAKE THIS SHIT??????? Should people even be allowed to make a film like this? What drives a person to watch a film that features “degradation, humiliation, mutilation, torture, rape and murder"?

As a horror fan I’m slightly biased. I’ve seen some (for want of better words) f**ked up shit in films. For my dissertation I had to watch formerly banned nasties, such as I Spit on Your Grave and Last House on the Left. I’ve seen the awful 10 minute scene of brutality that caused a storm (but was passed uncut) in Irreversible. I’m afraid I’ve seen a fair few films with plenty of “degradation, humiliation, mutilation, torture, rape and murder". Please don’t think any worse of me.

For me horror is horror. The more horrific a horror film is, the more impact it has and the more satisfied you are when you leave the cinema. You go to watch horror films to feel horrified and disgusted. You go for a thrill ride; to be terrified, disturbed and to survive a grueling experience (from the safety of your seat). The films make you shake, sweat, grip the seats or the person next to you. They make you jump, scream, look away and thank the higher power that you’re not in the situation the characters are in.

The Human Centipede was horrific; the premise, the script and the film itself. It was also silly and not to be taken seriously. But the sequel sounds altogether nastier. More vicious, sick and twisted than its predecessor and containing a character so corrupted by watching the first film that he has decided to create his own human centipede.

So is this perhaps what’s got the BBFC in rejection mode; a film that features a character affected by a film? Or is it just that the film has reached new depths of depravity? The Australian trailer below even uses the controversy and banning as a unique selling point. So what do you think? ‘Has horror gone too far?’

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