Human Centipede 2 director Tom Six reacts to BBFC ban

Exclusive: "Shouldn't a good horror film be horrific?"

Yesterday, the BBFC announced that it would be banning Tom Six's Human Centipede (First Sequence) sequel Human Centipede II (Full Sequence).

We asked our cult horror expert Sam Ashurst to drop writer/ director Tom Six a line to get a reaction to the ban.

Here's Tom's statement:

“Thank you BBFC for putting spoilers of my movie on your website and thank you for banning my film in this exceptional way. Apparently I made an horrific horror film, but shouldn't a good horror film be horrific?

My dear people it is a fucking MOVIE. It is all fictional. Not real. It is all make-belief. It is art. Give people their own choice to watch it or not.

If people can't handle or don't like my movies they just don't watch them. If people like my movies they have to be able to see it any time, anywhere, also in the UK.”

We're not big fans of censorship here at Total Film - we believe that people should be able to make up their own minds about what they see.

We certainly don't think that the BBFC should be passing critical judgements about films they've previously passed. Labelling Tom's first Centipede film as 'tasteless and disgusting' while banning the follow-up seemed to be an unnecessary kick in the teeth.

It also seems odd that they're taking it so seriously. The first film was fairly tongue-in-cheek (if you'll pardon the expression) and there's no reason to believe the follow-up would be any different.

Whatever the reasoning behind the slightly strange statement, one thing’s for sure – the BBFC have sent a strong message to filmmakers.

We’ll have to wait and see what the ramifications will be for the horror industry, and the film industry in general.
 

Do you agree with the ban? Or are you a fan of freedom? Tell us below!

Comments

    • badblokebob

      Jun 7th 2011, 10:36

      I'm not in favour of censorship, but I think the BBFC made their reasons fairly clear. For one thing: "The first film was fairly tongue in cheek and there's no reason to believe the follow-up would be any different." The people at the BBFC have seen the film and, clearly, they disagree. I'm all for the motion that adults should be allowed to freely choose what they want to watch, but I think the BBFC's problem as a body partly arises in that so many parents are too willing to let their kids watch an 18. Should they be banning films to preempt these idiots, or should they be presuming people will listen? Does it even matter? Apparently my 9-year-old cousin loves the Saw films. But then, she always was a little psycho...

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    • shriggles

      Jun 7th 2011, 10:43

      The BBFC have certain guidelines and parameters that have been clearly defined, and they believe the film exceeds that. In that way, I guess their hands are tied. But Six makes a point, it's just a movie. I've always found the idea that a film could currupt someone to be completely patronising and downright ridiculous. They just need a cut-off point for a 15 certificate- anything above that should get an 18. I don't want the BBFC's approval to watch a film, but their advice is welcome.

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    • aphexbr

      Jun 7th 2011, 10:43

      Yeah, because banning films is so effective in this day and age... Expect this on every British horror fan's hard drive next to the uncut copies of A Serbian Film, Grotesque and Cannibal Holocaust as soon as it's available.

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    • Jeffbiscuits

      Jun 7th 2011, 11:13

      How about the countries where it wasn't banned? By prohibiting the film, the BBFC have gave it notoriety and a badge of awesomeness that even the Summer blockbusters can't buy through advertising. People will go and see this film now who wouldn't have until yesterday. I already wanted to see it, but now I'm that bit more interested.:)

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    • fnaph

      Jun 7th 2011, 11:17

      Anyone who's read the BBFC article and has any knowledge on their censorship standards should be able to work out why it's been banned. Pretty much the only way to get an outright ban is to be seen to be glorifying or condoning sexual violence. If the film shows sexual violence without empathising with the victims in any way as the article states then it was obviously going to be banned and the film makers will have known that. I'm personally against outright censorship like this but the fact is it exists, and you can't exactly play the innocent victim when the guidelines are plainly laid out infront of you and you knowingly break them. Infact I think it's far more likely that the director purposefully went for the one thing he knew would get a ban in order to get publicity for what is likely, if the first was anything to go by, a completely mediocre film.

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    • jmu2108

      Jun 7th 2011, 11:55

      What raving nonsense. Although I'm sure the gut reaction of everyone reading this is that censorship is not really a Good Thing, we can't expect the BBFC to uncritically wave past everything that's submitted to it. Tom Six has been crowing about how much more revolting Full Sequence is going to be than First Sequence; unfortunately for him, the censors obviously agree. As fnaph quite rightly says, if you deliberately make a film which rides roughshod over the BBFC's guidelines then you really can't expect to have it released. Intense sexual violence sans empathy evidently still does the trick. By the way, TF, where the devil do you get off on being so pious? If I may cite a few examples: "We're not big fans of censorship here at Total Film, we believe that people should be able to make up their own minds about what they see." - Profound. By inference, Empire operates a propaganda division to suppress the dangerous radicalism of lesbians and Cornish secessionists. "We certainly don't think that the BBFC should be passing critical judgements about films they've previously passed." - Why not? There's no real moral element implicit in the words 'tasteless' or 'disgusting', and it'd be hard to argue that neither applied to the last film. The need to establish context more than outweighs any inflammatory implications. "The first film was fairly tongue-in-cheek (if you'll pardon the expression) and there's no reason to believe the follow-up would be any different." - Well, they've seen it and evidently disagree. Is it not reasonable to assume that there might be some shred of logic behind this judgement? The BBFC knows perfectly well that there'll be an ill-conceived pseudo-liberal backlash when they ban something, which is at least part of why it hardly ever happens. "Do you agree with the ban? Or are you a fan of freedom?" - So those are the options, are they? Give me bloody strength. Tom Six is a deliberate troublemaker who enjoys getting people's backs up; that's fine, he deserves the flak and will charge off to make some more sensationalist drivel soon enough. You do yourselves a disservice by automatically supporting him for the sake of it.

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    • jmu2108

      Jun 7th 2011, 11:55

      What happened to my paragraph breaks?

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    • superman56

      Jun 7th 2011, 12:09

      I say let people watch what they want to watch just put a strong warning for the people who want to watch the film and have the BBFC seen the first movie I mean come on what were they expecting when tomo said its like My Little pony compared to the 2nd movie. I think this second movie would be one of the horror movies of this generation and one that would become a cult classic let us see it let us make up our own minds.

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    • Pling

      Jun 7th 2011, 12:19

      Well, they've certainly given his movie a LOT of publicity...

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    • LaurenceTuck

      Jun 7th 2011, 12:19

      They shouldn't be able to ban the film, just add a warning and let people make up their own minds.

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    • minorityreport

      Jun 7th 2011, 12:29

      They didn't ban it, they refused to give it a certificate and that's not the same thing. jmu2108, couldn't agree with you more, well said.

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    • gantux

      Jun 7th 2011, 13:08

      nice one jm2108, but the problem with not awarding a certificate is that it will make people ridiculously more intrigued. And I'm not just talking about the teenagers and the gore hounds out there. I for one almost definitely would not have watched this at the cinema, but now REALLY want to watch it. Alas, the grotesqueness of the human psyche! Fimmakers should be afforded the same freedom as other arts. Them being more accessible unfortunately demotes them to almost an area of public domain. Unfortunately as far as filmmakers (and probably other artists) are concerned, it is hard to distinguish between genuine entertainers/artists, and individuals who are a bit wrong in the head.....

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    • gantux

      Jun 7th 2011, 13:09

      nice one jm2108, but the problem with not awarding a certificate is that it will make people ridiculously more intrigued. And I'm not just talking about the teenagers and the gore hounds out there. I for one almost definitely would not have watched this at the cinema, but now REALLY want to watch it. Alas, the grotesqueness of the human psyche! Fimmakers should be afforded the same freedom as other arts. Them being more accessible unfortunately demotes them to almost an area of public domain. Unfortunately as far as filmmakers (and probably other artists) are concerned, it is hard to distinguish between genuine entertainers/artists, and individuals who are a bit wrong in the head.....

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    • tommytrubbs

      Jun 7th 2011, 13:41

      Unless you can properly control who is exposed to this kind of material, there should be restrictions on what can and can't be shown on screen. The boundaries for acceptible violence, gore and horror have been stretched far enough.

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    • writerdave87

      Jun 7th 2011, 13:50

      Dalidab bob didn't say he condoned his cousin watching the Saw films, his point was children get to see a lot of 15 and 18 rated horror movies these days so if there's something this messed up out there the censors have to take into account the liklihood that a child could see it.

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    • Caligari

      Jun 7th 2011, 13:53

      Banning 'Human Centipede 2' seems a slightly outdated move by the BBFC, it takes me back to the days of the Video Nasty (most of which should've banned for poor story telling and being badly made... not the gore). We live in an age where accessing certain materials is very easy, something that the BBFC has touched upon in statements made justifying certain decisions given on other horror films. Now that an open statement has been made banning this film people will now search the internet to see the film thereby perpetuating the pirating industry that is damaging the film industry. Catch 22!!!! Why not give it the R18 certificate (yes, I know it's mainly there for porn but it means that the film could be, to an extent controlled as to who was buying the blu-ray or DVD of the film or even give it a restricted release like 'Salo' had...). Film is blamed for many ills that run through society but what was blamed before film was invented? Surely that is why there is a rating system so that people are able to choose, responsibly what they want to see. The very nature of the rating system restricts those too young to be watching unsuitable material, if parents are allowing their children access to such material then they should be targeted rather then the majority who do act responsibly. The BBFC had gone up in my estimation since the departure of James Ferman, but this move to ban 'Human Centipede 2' seems to be a step back to the dark days when the BBFC were re-editing films for the home release and banning other works from our shores... look at 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2' and 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3', both banned but neither has the intense atmosphere that the first has and most of the effects are pretty laughable (and, yes, before anyone points out, I know the first was banned but at least in had a cinema release and video release before being banned!). The decision needs to be looked at again, as film is fantasy and as all horror film fans know, keep repeating 'It's only a movie! It's only a movie...'

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    • ChrisWootton

      Jun 7th 2011, 15:20

      jmu2108... I salute you, very well put argument and I agree. It's a shame not everyone will read your post properly... doubt you'll get comment of the week though

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    • 13fingerfx

      Jun 7th 2011, 15:49

      I have seen the film and can assure you it has it's tongue firmly in cheek. The content is bleak in places but most of the time boarders slapstick and uses the audiences acceptance of comedic violence to shock us when it does plunge into the darker moments (namely the rape scene). In American Psycho Ellis used the sexuality and possible arousal of his reader to heighten the shock and appal when he deftly switched from nigh-pornography to body-shock terror, torture and mutilation. Six has built a similar structure, a hardened horror audience giggle at the sand paper scene and cheer on the surgery but will find themselves shocked by later scenes. He's making us question our own moral boundaries. It's a valid film and the ban is ludicrous. I agree with a good ratings system, and feel it should be policed, but censorship is idiocy. Didn't they change their name to the British Board of Film Classification back in 1983? shouldn't censorship be out of their remit now?

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    • Caligari

      Jun 7th 2011, 16:54

      dalidab1982 I wasn't putting the 'Texas Chainsaw' sequels down (how can you not love Dennis Hopper going head to head with Leather Face), just making a point that these films on their release didn't get seen in this country and were only released to the domestic market after James Ferman had left the BBFC. What I was looking at is censorship and in fact know 'The Devils' caused a lot of controversy world wide as I Line Produced the CH4 documentary 'Hell on Earth - The Desecration and Resurrection of Ken Russell's The Devils. Also 'Dracula: Prince of Darkness' and 'Witchfinder General' happen to be favourites as well.

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    • titsmcgee

      Jun 7th 2011, 18:29

      Amazingly in just one article youve made me lose all respect for your magazine. do you agree with the ban or do you like freedom? What a stupid loaded question. The BBFC clearly stated why it didnt grant the film a certificate. There wont be any "ramifications" for the horror industry, because the BBFC has always stated their guidelines for granting a cetrtificate. Something which the director obviously chose to ignore. And you call it a "ban" when it isnt a ban. They have just not granted it a certificate with the option to appeal. The two things arent the same. And they said the concept of the last film was "tasteless and disgusting" not the actual contents. And if anyone is to sit in moral judgement on the content of films then it must surely be the BBFC who must adjust their measure depending on the ever changing tolerance in society. Which is why a 15 certificate today contains as much violence as an 18 certificate did in the 1980s. But then the whole issue is a complicated one, with the boundaries continually having to be reassessed as society changes and new studies are made on how depictions of violence and sexual violence effect people. Like i said it is a very very complicated issue, and i think youre oversimplified naive article undermines the hard and difficult work the BBFC have to do.

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    • titsmcgee

      Jun 7th 2011, 18:30

      in short i thought your article was f*****g rubbish

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    • titsmcgee

      Jun 7th 2011, 18:32

      "We're not big fans of censorship here at Total Film." if youre not big fans of censorship then why do you asterix me out when i say f**k? Can i say c**t? s**t? c**k? balls? f**kityf**kf**ktiscumwankballscuntyarsetiddlywink

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    • tommytornado

      Jun 7th 2011, 18:35

      Some things, once seen, can't been unseen and can be deeply affecting and disturbing long-term. As far as banning the movie goes, A Serbian Film got a certificate after just 4 minutes of editing. Could this one be much worse?

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    • dupont

      Jun 7th 2011, 22:07

      Boo F&*ken' Hoo. This director's like the kid that sits at the back of the classroom, p**ses off the teacher, gets a detention and then acts all surprised. They're doing their job. Something this 'director' might like to try to do.

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    • Monkeynuts30

      Jun 8th 2011, 2:55

      My biggest problem with all of this is the director having the gall to call something like "Human Centipede" art.

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    • MikVT

      Jun 8th 2011, 8:11

      My Region B Brothers, for those who will want this on Blu Ray, it passed uncut in Australia with an R18+ rating... http://www.classification.gov.au/www/cob/find.nsf/d853f429dd038ae1ca25759b0003557c/5de60ac33e826745ca25788b005e34c9?OpenDocument

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    • jakeyboy1000

      Jun 8th 2011, 16:14

      I also totally agree with jmu2108 and t**smcgee among others. It's somewhat surprising to read the considered responses to this article, rather than the usual bandwagon jumping vitiriol that i assumed that this article would result in. Total Film may have dropped the ball on this one but at least its readership hasn't.

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    • writerdave87

      Jun 8th 2011, 17:07

      Wtf? It passed uncut in Australia? Something weird's going on...

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    • writerdave87

      Jun 8th 2011, 20:16

      http://www.empireonline.com/news/story.asp?NID=31162 Interesting, did Six just read Empire's email out over the phone or did you just copy and paste? ;)

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    • bazman05

      Jun 13th 2011, 15:11

      Why some people feel the need to take it upon themselves to stop people seeing a particular movie does not make any sense. It doesn't help matters either that their a bunch of prude's to begin with. But with the "Human Centipede 2", I think they're doing us a favour. Not for the reasons they believe but because it's a bunch of c**p (excuse the pun). The director of the movie does not know what "art" is. He's just a fetish freak, who gets off on that sort of thing, so I'm glad they banned it.

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    • BruceShark

      Jun 13th 2011, 20:53

      Blah Blah Blah. Human f*****g Centipede. I've read at least 25 posts, 1 of them 5 bloody times and yet still no one has told @jmu2108 what has happened to his f*****g paragraph breaks. You lot are evil. Pure evil.

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    • ScottFree

      Jun 20th 2011, 13:24

      They should have banned 'I Love Dries' and not this one.... I'm sure it'll come out in the Netherlands uncut....so no problem seeing it. Personally I think that banning a movie kinda stupid. afterall it's fiction....made up stories. If they want to ban anything it should be the News...they show horrific images and that's real...! Tom Six. is a 'shock'director...he want's to get attention to his projects...being controversial for the sake of being controversial. I think he sucks big time a s a director. But no need to ban his movie. as I said before it's fiction...made up. Thank God I live in the Netherlands...we don't ban movies...

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