The R18+ rating of Tom Six’s THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II (FULL SEQUENCE) was challenged by a coalition of Christians and conservative politicians.
The Classification Review Board would go on to ban it after it had played theatrically for several weeks. A censored version, missing 30-seconds, was subsequently passed with an R18+ rating.
The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)
Directed by Tom Six / 2011 / Netherlands – UK / IMDb
In May 2011, an 87-minute uncut DVD of THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II (FULL SEQUENCE) was passed with an R18+ (High impact themes, violence and sexual violence) rating.
Bounty Films were the applicant.
The Classification Board commented that:
September 2011– Classification Board
…the film is high in impact and may be offensive to sections of the adult community. The film is therefore appropriately located within the R 18+ classification with consumer advice of ‘High impact themes, violence and sexual violence’.
– Annual Report, 2010 to 2011
Banned in the UK
In June 2011, Bounty Films submitted the same 86:50 DVD to the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). They refused to award it a rating for the following reasons.
June 6, 2011
Unlike the first HUMAN CENTIPEDE  this work presents graphic images of sexual violence, forced defecation and mutilation and the viewer is invited to experience the event from the perspective of the central character. The central focus of THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 (FULL SEQUENCE) is the sexual arousal of this character at the idea and later the spectacle of the total degradation, humiliation, mutilation, torture, rape and murder of his naked victims.
There is little attempt to portray any of the victims in the film as anything other than objects to be brutalised and degraded for the amusement and sexual arousal of the main character and for the pleasure of the viewer. There is 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.– BBFC rejection explanation
Alerting the enemy
In August, The Age and Sydney Morning Herald published an article in which Monster Pictures confessed that they were surprised that it passed uncut.
August 21, 2011
A movie banned in Britain for its graphic portrayal of sexual violence, forced defecation and mutilation will be screened in Australian cinemas after the censors gave it the tick of approval in a decision that has surprised the film’s distributor.
”I didn’t think it would be refused classification, but I was surprised that we weren’t required to cut it,” Ben Hellwig, the acquisitions manager for the film’s distributor Monster Pictures, said.
Mr Hellwig said he believed in classification but not censorship: ”I think the Classification Board has a sound grasp of the sensibilities of the general Australian population and acts accordingly.”– Censor lets Centipede crawl in
– article @ smh.com.au
The comments by Monster Pictures were a mistake that would come back to haunt them. As tempting as it is for a distributor to play-up the controversial nature of a title, it is never a good idea as you cannot be sure who is reading.
Christian and other pro-censorship groups do not appear to monitor the National Classification Database for titles to challenge. Instead, they either are informed by their overseas contacts or are alerted by stories such as this in the local media.
In this instance, The Australian Family Association was soon on the case. Their quoting of August 21 article left no doubt as to where they got their information. They appear to believe it is the eleventh part of THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE franchise.
A further blow to community standards was the classification R18+ by the Australian Classification’s Board in May of the film THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 11 [sic] (FULL SEQUENCE). Refused classification by the British Board of Film Classification in June for its graphic portrayal of sexual violence, forced defecation and mutilation the film depicts a scientist who grafts together kidnap victims’ mouth to anus. This renders it illegal to sell it in Britain. The acquisitions manager for the film’s distributor, Monster Pictures, said he was surprised they weren’t required to cut any scenes.
Write to your state Attorney-General (names and addresses below) requesting he/she ask for a review of the film THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 11 [sic] (FULL SEQUENCE) by the Australian Classification Review Board:
NSW: The Honourable Greg Smith MP– Movies referred to Classification Review Board
Vic: The Honourable Robert Clark
Queensland: The Honourable Paul Lucas
WA: The Honourable Christian Porter
Tasmania: The Honourable Brian Wightman
SA: The Honourable John Rau
ACT: The Honourable Simon Corbell
NT: The Honourable Delia Phoebe Lawrie
– Family Update, Vol. 26 No. 4
– The Australian Family Association
Also in the August 21 article, Monster Pictures mentioned they were ‘surprised’ that Mladen Djordjevic’s THE LIFE AND DEATH OF A PORNO GANG (2009) was passed uncut. This was another title that the Australian Family Association, tried, and in this case failed, to get reviewed.
Following the publication of the Fairfax article, Monster Pictures had several titles banned by the Classification Board.
Your censor is weak!
Perhaps unaware of the building campaign to have the film refused, Monster Pictures continued with the hype.
Their release of a teaser trailer ramped-up the controversy, and the fact that Australia was getting it uncut, while the UK or USA was not.
September 5, 2011– Australian Theatrical Teaser
“not suitable for classification certificate”
“tasteless and disgusting”
“harm is likely to be cause to potential viewers”
“in breach of criminal law”
“depraved sexual fantasy”
“degradation, humiliation, mutilation, torture”
“encouraging anti-social attitudes”
“pain perversity and sexual pleasure’
“objects to be brutalised’
“the work is unacceptable”
“a risk of harm”
BANNED IN BRITAIN
CUT IN THE USA
UNLEASHED IN AUSTRALIA
IN CINEMAS SPRING 2011
HAS HORROR GONE TOO FAR
Many of the quotes in the trailer come from the BBFC press release and database entry that accompanied the June 2011 ban.
Rating review rumours
The Australian Sex Party was the first to break the news of a Review Board hearing. They named the NSW Attorney-General, Greg Smith, as the person behind the application.
September 30, 2011– Australian Sex Party @aussexparty
get your copy of human centipede 2 now NSW AG has called on Review Board to reconsider R rating… or just download #auspol
October 3, 2011– Terri M. Kelleher, Media spokesperson
Now a campaign is needed for a review of two other films classified earlier this yesr [sic]– THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 11 [SIC] (FULL SEQUENCE) and THE LIFE AND DEATH OF A PORNO GANG.
Congratulations on your success.
– The Australian Family Association
NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith has requested a review of the R18+ classification of the film THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 11 [SIC] (FULL SEQUENCE). Its classification will now be reconsidered by the Classification Review Board.
This film contains the following objectionable scenes: highly graphic depiction of sexual acts; extreme violence crossing the threshold into torture; graphic and brutal rape; the killing of a baby and other sexually debasing acts.
These are the grounds on which we will put in a submission for the film and call for a Refused Classification (RC).
Write to NSW Attorney-General to thank him for asking for a review of THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 11 [SIC] (FULL SEQUENCE).– Good news on the Classifications front!
– Family Update, Vol. 26 No. 5
– The Australian Family Association
Australian Premiere at BIFF
The film was programmed to play on November 5 at the 20th Brisbane International Film Festival.
October 11, 2011
First it was gay zombie porn, now a movie deemed so offensive it was at first banned in the United Kingdom is the latest radical program choice made by Brisbane International Film Festival director Richard Moore.
It’s not the first time Moore, among the few in the country to have seen the film, has sparked controversy; while head of the Melbourne International Film Festival, his selection of Bruce laBruce’s L.A. ZOMBIE was followed by a ban, and an illegal screening.
He said the movie was not being treated as one of the showpiece films of the event.
“Am I a cheap seeker of publicity? No,” he said.
“I see it as one horror movie, inside a horror genre program and one of 135 films in the festival screened once, late night, clearly marked, where no people under the age of eighteen will be allowed in.”
“I watched it together with my 18-year-old son and it is what it is – it’s a black and white horror movie,” he said.
“Some people might say if you watch it and you enjoy it you should seriously seek medical attention but the other side of this is that I am running a film festival and there is an enormous audience for it and I’m not going to deny that demand.”
But Brisbane genre film director and cult movie expert Andrew Leavold said the inclusion of Tom Six’s movie was a worrying sign that ultra-violence had penetrated the mainstream.
Leavold, whose 2003 short film LESBO-A-GO-GO chronicled the “degradation, drug addiction, delirium and ultimately damnation” of a sexploitation filmmaker Doris Wishman, said the HUMAN CENTIPEDE films were part of a disturbing new genre trend.
“There’s a new movement in horror where it’s so far over the top it becomes abstract,” he said. “HUMAN CENTIPEDE is just an exercise in the grim, new nihilism that began with SAW and careered off into HOSTEL territory and other really out-there stuff like Irreversible.”
The collapse of “the Western capitalist system” was partly to blame for what Leavold described as the “post-modernist madness” that had encouraged a deeply dark, gallows humour which fuelled films like HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2.
But he said it was the mood’s crossover from cultural fringe to conventional society that was cause for concern.
“That rampant sex and violence has been introduced to popular culture to the point where you can include it in the BIFF line-up – when it’s not just a mail-order title or an underground release- is a sign that there’s something bigger afoot,” he said.
“You could say that Peter Jackson’s early work was in the same vein [BAD TASTE, BRAINDEAD] but at least there was a sense of humour about it.”HUMAN CENTIPEDE sequel crawls into Brisbane
article @ brisbanetimes.com.au
The distributor also confirmed that a rumoured review was underway.
October 12, 2011– Monster Pictures @MonsterPics
You may be aware that a review of the classification decision for HumanCentipede2 in Aust. is underway. What does this mean? We don’t know!
Review date set
The rating review was confirmed three weeks after the Australian Sex Party had broken the news.
October 21, 2011
The Classification Review Board has received an application to review the classification of the film, THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 (FULL SEQUENCE).
THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 (FULL SEQUENCE) was classified R 18+ with the consumer advice ‘High impact themes, violence and sexual violence’ on 9 May 2011.
The Classification review Board will meet on 4 November 2011 to consider the application. The decision and reasons will later be published on www.classification.gov.au.
If an individual or organisation wishes to apply for standing as an interested party to this review, please write to the Convenor of the Review Board.
The closing date to lodge your application as an interested party and any submission is 5.00pm on 31st October 2011. Please note that the Review Board can only consider submissions about the film, THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 (FULL SEQUENCE), itself and not any other matters relating to classification policy or issues generally.
Submissions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent to:
The Convenor, Classification Review Board, Locked Bag 3, Haymarket NSW 1240
The Classification Review Board is an independent merits review body. It makes a fresh classification decision upon receipt of an application for review. The Classification Review Board decision takes the place of the original decision made by the Classification Board.– Classification review announced for the film, THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 (FULL SEQUENCE)
– Classification Review Board
Four-days later, they announced that the date had been changed from November 4 to 28. This was done following a request from Bounty Films.
October 25, 2011
The Classification review Board, at the request of the original applicant, has rescheduled the review from 4 November 2011 to Monday 28 November 2011 to consider the application.
The closing date to lodge your application as an interested party and any submission is 5.00pm on 22nd November 2011.– Classification review announced for the film, THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 (FULL SEQUENCE)
– Classification Review Board
Christian moral police
Roslyn Phillips from Family Voice Australia (FKA The Festival of Light) claimed that the Queensland Attorney General had ignored their request for a review.
October 30, 2011
Queensland was once infamous for its movie censorship, with the state banning an average of five films a year until former premier Wayne Goss disbanded the review board in 1990.
Arts Minister Rachel Nolan is refusing to intervene, saying it’s up to federal classifiers to approve films.
“This is the new Queensland and the Government and I, as Arts Minister, are not going to be some kind of moral censor,” Ms Nolan said.
The Classification Review Board is examining the film’s R18+ rating after a request from the NSW Attorney-General. But the review will not be conducted until November 28, allowing it to premiere at a midnight screening at Brisbane’s Tribal Theatre next Saturday.
Eight complaints have been made to classifiers.
Christian lobby group Family Voice Australia is preparing a submission to the review board calling for the film to be banned in Australia.
“Films like this are really promoting a very demeaning image of women and children,” said national research officer Roslyn Phillips, urging Brisbane organisers to ditch the movie from its program.– Depraved flick THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 gets OK for Brisbane International Film Festival
– article @ couriermail.com.au
November 1, 2011
Katherine Spackman: The movie is a sequel to the first movie, HUMAN CENTIPEDE I [sic]. It’s by Dutch film maker Tom Six. From the little I’ve read about the film, it’s quite sickening, and perhaps too grotesque to talk about on radio, but what was the rating given by the government in May this year?
Ros Phillips: Well the rating given by our classification board which is appointed largely by the current Gillard government, was R18+, which means that anybody over 18 can see the film or buy a DVD. Our concern is not just about the film showing in cinemas, because I’m not sure too many cinemas would want to show this, as you say, grotesque film. It is absolutely sickening. It’s the ability of people to buy DVD’s and once the DVD is in the home, of course, children can access it. People who sadly, are eroticised by films like these will have their grotesque fantasies affirmed. And this is why the British board of film classification banned it. They said that this has the potential to do harm. It would encourage people who enjoy this kind of film, to feel that this is a good thing to do.
Katherine Spackman: So did they ban the film altogether? My understanding of some reports is that the British government deleted some scenes out of it.
Ros Phillips: Well, not initially. In June, the British board of film classification banned the film outright. And then the distributors of the film, I think they are called “Bounty films” or something like that, they came back and tried again, and this time the board said “well, we will allow you to show it if you cut 32 different scenes out of the film” which is an extraordinary number of cuts. So it is still a bad film in Britain but they’ve cut out the worst bits. If I told you the worst bits, you wouldn’t believe that the Australian Classification board could ever have passed it. So if people really want to know how bad this film is, they simply needs to Google British Board of Film Classification and the name of the film, HUMAN CENTIPEDE II, FULL SEQUENCE and realise, you know you just wonder what other films are being passed by our classification board that should be banned completely. It’s going down a very downward spiral at present.
Katherine Spackman: You’ll be making a submission. What are you calling for in the submission?
Ros Phillips: Well, we are calling for a ban. You see, our government doesn’t have the power, by law, to make any cuts to a film that’s submitted, so the board either passes the film complete, or bans the film complete, so they don’t have the power that the British board does, to make these 32 cuts, so it’s very clear to me that the review board will have to ban the film completely. But whether they will do that is another question.
Katherine Spackman: And I understand that this Brisbane International Film festival this weekend is funded by taxpayers. Has the Queensland Government said anything about this film?
Ros Phillips: Well, we asked them some months ago would they request a review of the film, because the Attorney General in any state can by law ask the Commonwealth to order a review of the Classification Review Board. We didn’t even get a reply to our letter, and the arts minister in Queensland when she was shown the Sunday mail article saying how sickening the film is she just said “Oh no, this decision has been made, we’ve got nothing to do with it” whereas they did have the power to ask for a review, and just refused. It was the New South Wales Attorney General who asked for a review.– Ros Phillips on the Political Spot
– Film classification in Australia
– Australian Christian Lobby
Uncut screenings begin
The change of review date from November 4 to 28 allowed a nationwide series of screenings featuring Laurence Harvey.
The second part of the world’s most notorious horror franchise has arrived. And it’s a story told in 12 parts.
Inspired by watching of THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE, a depraved actor decides to emulate the film and construct his own human centipede, only this time with twelve people instead of three. And… that’s about it for the plot.
Banned in Britain, given a surprisingly breezy R18+ rating in Australia, and described by director Tom Six as making the original look like MY LITTLE PONY, THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 has every intention of being the most extreme film you have ever seen. Be warned.
And, just for the record, if you have to ask what a human centipede is, this film probably isn’t for you.
Tom Six | Netherlands, UK | Fantastic Fest@BIFF | 87 mins R18+– Bigger. Longer. More mouths to feed
Screening on Sat 5 November: Guest in attendance
20th Brisbane International Film Festival
November 2, 2011
There will then be Meet Martin limited screenings, with actor Laurence Harvey in attendance, nationwide from the 16th-25th
Meet Martin. The Human Centipede 2 screening in Adelaide at @MercuryCinema on Nov 16th
Meet Martin. The Human Centipede 2 screening in Melbourne at @cinemanova on Nov 17th
Meet Martin. The Human Centipede 2 screening in Sydney at Mu Meson Archives on Nov 18-19th
Meet Martin. The Human Centipede 2 screening in Brisbane at @tribaltheatre on Nov 23rd
Meet Martin. The Human Centipede 2 screening in Perth at @lunapalace on Nov 25th– Monster Pictures @MonsterPics
In several cases, the pending ban was used for promotion.
November 14, 2011
… don’t miss out on this fantastic event + a live Q&A with the lead actor from the soon to be banned Human Centipede 2 following the film at 7PM.
November 25, 2011– The Mercury @themercuryscene
The Human Centipede 2 is up for reclassification on MONDAY. This weekend might be your only chance to see it UNCUT in Adelaide – tonight at 8:30 and tomorrow at 9:30!
November 2, 2011
HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 was rated R18+ but OFLC asked to review rating! See it Thu Nov 17 @ 9.30 B4 it gets banned or cut.
November 11, 2011
See HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 before it could be banned by OFLC! Thu 17/11, 9.30pm. Banned in UK, cut in USA, complete at Nova!
November 14, 2011
Brave enough to see HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 on Thursday at 9.30pm? What if we told you the film’s villain will intro the flick live? #BeatTheBan!
November 17, 2011
Not many tickets left for tonight’s HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 screening @ 9.30pm, to be intro’d by film’s villain! See it before it’s banned or cut!
November 21, 2011
Cult Cravings Late Shows this Friday & Saturday: Noir Australian thriller X and the final screenings of the un-cut HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2!
November 26, 2011– Cinema Nova @cinemanova
Last chance to see uncut HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 Sat 11.30pm, Sun 8.55pm
November 7, 2011
Regardless we still plan to screen The Human Centipede from Nov 23rd, kicking it off with a Q&A session with the star of the film Martin
November 23, 2011– Tribal Theatre @tribaltheatre
TONIGHT! Laurence R. Harvey joins us for a fully UNCUT screening of THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2. Q&A after…
November 25, 2011– Luna Palace Cinemas @lunapalacecinemas
HE HAS COME! Scary main actor dude Laurence R Harvey is here to discuss The Human Centipede 2 tonight, Luna Leed, 9pm!
Clips from this sell-out Perth show are available on the Monster Pictures YouTube channel.
Uncut version RC
The film was banned just over three-months after a Fairfax article had alerted evangelical Christian groups.
November 28, 2011
A three member panel of the Classification Review Board (the Review Board) has by unanimous decision determined that the film THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II (FULL SEQUENCE) is classified RC (Refused Classification).
In the Review Board’s opinion, THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II (FULL SEQUENCE) could not be accommodated within the R 18+ classification as the level of depictions of violence in the film has an impact which is very high.
In addition, the film must be refused classification because it contains gratuitous, exploitative or offensive depictions of violence with a very high degree of impact and cruelty which has a high impact.
Films classified RC cannot be sold, hired, or advertised in Australia.
The Review Board convened on Monday 28 November 2011 in response to an application from the Minister for Justice, the Hon Brendan O’Connor, to review the decision made by the Classification Board on 9 May 2011 to classify THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II (FULL SEQUENCE) R 18+ (Restricted) with the consumer advice, ‘high impact themes, violence and sexual violence’.
In reviewing the classification, the Review Board worked within the framework of the National Classification Scheme, applying the provisions of the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995, the National Classification Code and the Guidelines for the Classification of Films and Computer Games. This is the same framework used by the Classification Board.
The Review Board is an independent merits review body. Meeting in camera, it makes a fresh classification decision upon receipt of an application for review. This Review Board decision takes the place of the original decision made by the Classification Board.
The Review Board’s reasons for this decision will appear on the Classification website when finalised.– THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II (FULL SEQUENCE) classified RC upon review
– Classification Review Board
November 28, 2011
23-33 Mary Street, Surry Hills, NSW
Ms Victoria Rubensohn AM (Convenor)
Ms Ann Stark
Dr Melissa de Zwart
The Minister for Justice, The Hon. Brendan O’Connor MP
Monster Pictures Australia (a genre label of Bounty Entertainment, the original applicant for classification).
To review the Classification Board’s decision to classify the film THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II (FULL SEQUENCE) R 18+ (Restricted) with the consumer advice ‘High impact themes, violence and sexual violence’.
DECISION AND REASONS FOR DECISION
The Classification Review Board (the Review Board) by unanimous decision determined that the film, THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II (FULL SEQUENCE), should be Refused Classification.
2. Legislative provisions
The Classification (Publications, Film and Computer Games) Act 1995 (Cth) (the Classification Act) governs the classification of films and the review of classification decisions. Section 9 provides that films are to be classified in accordance with the National Classification Code (the Code) and the Guidelines for the Classification of Films and Computer Games (the Guidelines).
Section 11 of the Classification Act requires that the matters to be taken into account in making a decision on the classification of a film include:
(a) the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults; and
(b) the literary, artistic or educational merit (if any) of the film; and
(c) the general character of the film, including whether it is of a medical, legal or scientific character; and
(d) the persons or class of persons to or amongst whom it is published or is intended or likely to be published.
Three essential principles underlie the use of the Guidelines for the Classification of Films and Computer Games 2005 (the Guidelines), determined under s 12 of the Act:
– the importance of context;
– the assessment of impact; and
– the six classifiable elements – themes, violence, sex, language, drug use and nudity.
The Code also sets out various principles to which classification decisions should give effect, as far as possible.
A three member panel of the Review Board met on 28 November 2011 in response to the receipt of an application from The Minister for Justice dated 5 October 2011 and received on 7 October 2011, to review the R18+ classification of the film, which had been determined by the Classification Board. The Board had originally arranged to review the film on 4 November 2011, but the review was delayed following a request from Monster Films Australia. The three members had previously determined that the application was a valid application.
The Review Board was assured that the film, the subject of the review application, was the same film that had been classified by the Classification Board.
Three members of the Review Board viewed the film on 28 November 2011. The Review Board heard oral submissions from four representatives on behalf of Monster Pictures Australia. These oral submissions were provided in addition to written submissions.
The Review Board then considered the matter.
4. Evidence and other material taken into account
In reaching its decision the Review Board had regard to the following:
(i) The application for review;
(ii) Monster Pictures Australia’s written and oral submissions;
(iii) 24 written submissions received by the Review Board;
(iv) the film, THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II (FULL SEQUENCE);
(v) the relevant provisions in the Classification Act, the Code and the Guidelines; and
(vi) the Classification Board’s report.
THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II (FULL SEQUENCE) is a ‘body horror’ film that depicts the actions of Martin, a disturbed and challenged man who has become obsessed with and aroused by repeated viewings of the film THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE. Martin undertakes his own project to kidnap twelve people to create a ‘human centipede’, joining people together as had been depicted in THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE. Martin works as a security guard in a car park and lives with his mother, who taunts and abuses him. Martin has unspecified psychological problems, is obese and has severe asthma. It is suggested several times throughout the film that these problems are attributable to Martin having been molested by his father, who is in prison.
Martin kidnaps people from the car park and elsewhere, and takes them to a warehouse, where they are stripped, bound and gagged. He also kidnaps an actress from the original HUMAN CENTIPEDE film, after luring her to a meeting. After violently murdering his mother, Martin constructs his human centipede, by crudely stapling and taping his victims together, mouth to anus. He does this by following the instructions from the original film. In the course of this process, he tortures his victims with mutilation, bashing and shooting. Later in the film, one of his victims, a pregnant woman Martin thought he had killed, escapes the warehouse, only to give birth to her baby in a locked car, while being menaced by Martin. She then crushes and kills with the accelerator the newly born baby in her escape attempt.
Martin injects his victims with laxative, to fulfil his dream of a centipede with a continuous, functioning alimentary canal. He then wraps barbed wire around his penis and implicitly violently rapes the last body in the centipede. Finally, he shoots or slits the throats of all of the centipede victims. The final scene shows Martin again at his desk in the car park, ambiguously leaving open the question whether the narrative of the film took place in Martin’s imagination. Alternatively, this scene could suggest that, having achieved his goal of recreating the human centipede depicted in THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 1 and killing his victims, Martin returns to his previous anonymous and dull existence, unaffected by the pain and death he has inflicted upon others.
6. Findings on material questions of fact
The Review Board found that the film contains aspects or scenes of importance under various classifiable elements. As well as the six classifiable elements of themes, violence, sex, language, drug use and nudity, the Review Board took account of the provisions regarding Refused Classification (RC) both in the Code and in the Guidelines in relation to crime or violence, sex and drug use. In particular, the Review Board addressed the provision in the Guidelines that sexual activity accompanied by fetishes or practices which are offensive or abhorrent will be refused classification.
These findings will therefore deal with each of these matters in turn:
A. The Guidelines: Classifiable Elements R18+
B. The Guidelines: Refused Classification
C. The Code
A. The Guidelines: Classifiable Elements R18+
(a) Themes – The theme of the film is obsession leading to mutilation, torture, cruelty and degradation. There are virtually no restrictions on the treatment of themes at the R18+ classification, however, as discussed below, the Review Board also considered these elements in the context of the Act and the Code.
(b) Violence – The Review Board identified a large number of violent acts throughout the film, including: bashing heads with crowbars, stabbing, mutilation, cutting, stapling and shooting of victims.
The violence was detailed, prolonged and repeated frequently. The film featured close ups of such repeated violence including: smashing numerous people over the head with a crowbar, bashing in the face with a crowbar such as to dislodge teeth, the stapling of victims’ mouths to anuses, the brutal cutting of throats, and cutting and mutilation of flesh and other body parts.
Individual scenes which featured very high impact violence include the violent murder of Martin’s mother by bashing in her skull revealing massed brain gore (37.00-38.00); the cutting of a kidnap victim’s buttocks resulting in haemorrhagic blood and gore, leading to death (58.30-59.21); a man’s teeth being smashed with a hammer over the course of a minute, with gurgling and choking noises, copious amounts of blood and the broken teeth being removed violently by hand (53.50-54.50); the detailed bloody cutting and severing of ligaments in the knee without anaesthetic, depicting the victims’ reactions and terror (56.40-58.42); forcing a large feeding tube down the throat of a woman captive and then tearing out her tongue with pliers (65.47- 67.28) and the crushing to death of a newborn baby by its mother with the accelerator pedal (77.34). These scenes were filmed in close up, were detailed and their individual, as well as the cumulative, impact was very high.
The film contains a scene of sexual and sexualised violence in which Martin wraps barbed wire around his erect penis and implicitly brutally rapes the female victim who is the last link in the human centipede. Sexual violence can be accommodated in the R18+ category if it is implied and justified by context. However, this scene cannot be accommodated under the R18+ category due to it being an offensive depiction of sexual violence (see below) requiring it to be Refused Classification. The distributor claimed that the film was highly stylised. The Review Board disagrees with this representation of the film. Scenes were shot against realistic backgrounds such as a commercial indoor car park, a disused warehouse and a council flat in London. These sets were not stylised but grimly realistic. The film is shot in a realistic style and the use of black and white film fails to minimise the impact, in fact creating a sense of gritty realism.
The violence is perpetrated in a realistic, sadistic and often prolonged way with an unrelenting sense of fear, violence and despair. Martin’s victims are aware of his intentions for them and can often see and always hear what he is doing to others in the Human Centipede, thus anticipating their own agony. The graphic images, in particular the scenes depicting Martin stapling people together, are accompanied by brutal sounds, screams and cries of pain, fear and despair, adding to the sense of violence, degradation and desperation. The music is also low and menacing and serves to emphasise the sense of fear and despair. The display of blood, gore, ligaments, flesh and bodies and body part is very realistic and frequently shown in graphic detail. This very high level impact violence cannot be accommodated under the R18+ classification.
(c) Language – There is extensive high level swearing in the film. However, there are virtually no restrictions on language in the R18+ category and therefore the language can be accommodated at this level.
(d) Sex – Sexual activity may be realistically simulated in the R18+ category. The general rule is “simulation, yes – the real thing, no”. While watching the video of the violence inflicted on the victims in THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 1, Martin becomes sexually aroused and draws his penis out of his trousers, explicitly wraps sandpaper around his erect penis, and then masturbates, implicitly climaxing. However, this scene cannot be accommodated under the R18+ category as it constitutes an offensive depiction of sexual activity accompanied by fetishes or practices which are offensive or abhorrent and thus must be Refused Classification (see below).
(e) Drug Use – There is no drug use in the film.
(f) Nudity – There is extensive nudity in the film but nudity can be accommodated at the R18+ category.
As the film exceeds the R18+ classification category it must be Refused Classification.
B. The Guidelines: Refused Classification Crime or violence:
The Guidelines provide for consideration of elements, the presence of which would result in the film being Refused Classification under the category of ‘crime or violence’: Gratuitous, exploitative or offensive depictions of:
(i) Violence with a very high degree of impact or which are excessively frequent, prolonged or detailed;
(ii) Cruelty or real violence which are very detailed or which have a high impact;
(iii) Sexual violence.
Based upon these relevant provisions of the Guidelines, these elements are therefore addressed by the Review Board:
– The Board considers that the prolonged and graphically detailed scene of the victims being forced to defecate in one another’s mouths, which are stapled onto the anus of the victim in front of them, is an offensive depiction of cruelty that has a high impact. This scene goes from (70.52-72.11) and depicts the victims being injected with a very fast-acting laxative. The victims subsequently convulse and are shown with excrement flowing down their buttocks and legs and from their mouths. The excrement sprays onto the camera. This is accompanied by sounds of flatulence and groaning. Martin initially is delighted with the result but then vomits (72.34). The scene is an offensive depiction due to its degrading, demeaning and sadistic nature.
– The fatal crushing of the baby (77.20-77.34) is a gratuitous and offensive depiction of violence with a very high degree of impact because, in the Review Board’s opinion, this scene does not add to the storyline (the baby’s mother immediately disappears from the film) and the bloody detail of a newborn baby being violently crushed to death makes the depiction offensive.
– The rape by Martin of the female victim, who is the final link in the centipede, is an offensive depiction of sadistic sexual violence. Martin wraps his penis in barbed wire before commencing the forced anal intercourse. The depiction is offensive because the use of barbed wire is an overtly violent act, which exacerbates the sadistic sexual violence of the rape, and further serves to dehumanise the victim, who is not treated as a woman but as the end section in a centipede.
The Guidelines require that films which include or contain the following must be refused classification: Gratuitous, exploitative or offensive depictions of:
(i) sexual activity accompanied by fetishes or practices which are offensive or abhorrent;
(ii) incest fantasies or other fantasies which are offensive or abhorrent.
The Review Board noted the following depictions of gratuitous, exploitative or offensive depictions of sexual activity accompanied by fetishes or practices which are offensive or abhorrent:
– The film shows Martin becoming aroused while watching the violence done to victims in THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 1. He is then explicitly shown wrapping sandpaper around his penis and masturbating while watching the film. He implicitly ejaculates (27.45-28.29). The Review Board considers that this scene involves sexual activity accompanied by offensive fetishes or practices deliberately accompanied by pain. This constitutes the offensive depiction of a masochistic fetish which would require the film to be Refused Classification. This scene, when viewed in the context of the entire film, serves to confirm the sexual nature of Martin’s obsession with THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 1 and his own human centipede ‘creation’. Thus, although the scene is relatively brief, it strongly contributes to the conclusion that for Martin, the Human Centipede is a fetish, combining elements of sex, degradation, pain and violence.
A fetish is defined in the Guidelines as: ‘an object, an action or a non-sexual part of the body which gives sexual gratification’. It is further defined in The Concise Oxford Dictionary as an ‘abnormal stimulus, or object, of sexual desire’. This combination of object, sex and violence, reflecting Martin’s fetish, makes the scene unsuitable for inclusion at the R18+ category, as the Guidelines state that any film which includes ‘gratuitous, exploitative or offensive depictions of sexual activity accompanied by fetishes or practices which are offensive or abhorrent’, must be Refused Classification’. In the opinion of the Review Board, the scene of Martin masturbating with sandpaper to images of pain, degradation and torture satisfies these elements.
– The Review Board considers that, consistent with the definition of fetish above, Martin’s obsession with THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 1 and his own human centipede, and the clearly depicted arousal he displays in contemplating either, may be considered a fetish. As such, this fetish forms the thematic core of the film. The film contains a number of offensive or exploitative depictions of sexual activity accompanied by fetishes or practices that are offensive or abhorrent. These scenes include Martin’s arousal and masturbation with sandpaper when contemplating the original HUMAN CENTIPEDE film, his obsessive fantasising with the book of the original film, his satisfaction and pleasure at the brutal, degrading and bloody creation of the centipede itself and the violent barbed-wire rape of the last victim in the centipede, implicitly also the rape and humiliation of the whole centipede.
In the Review Board’s opinion, the cumulative sense of fear, degradation, horror and despair deliberately created by such scenes, renders these depictions offensive. The portrayal of extreme and prolonged human degradation for Martin’s sexual gratification and the pleasure of the viewer is both exploitative and offensive. Further, the depiction of Martin’s fetish through a number of sustained and cumulative scenes, noted above, is exploitative and offensive because Martin’s sexual gratification is dependent upon the degradation and the extreme physical and mental pain (and even death) he sadistically inflicts on his victims.
Martin deliberately dehumanises and debases his victims for his own pleasure, turning them from individuals into mere objectified segments in the centipede. The prolonged scenes of degrading torture make the portrayal of this concept exploitative and offensive, depicting human torture, debasement and dehumanisation for sexual gratification and the entertainment of others. Despite a submission from a film academic representing Monster Pictures, that the film as a whole, inter alia, has its roots in art cinema and that it “plays into a tradition of experimental cinema and visual art”, n the Review Board’s opinion the exploitative scenes noted above are lacking in artistic, moral or other values.
– At 73.25- 75.35, Martin explicitly removes his penis from his pants and wraps barbed wire around his penis. He then implicitly commences forced anal intercourse with the woman who is the final link in the ‘centipede’ he has created. The impact of this brutal rape of the ‘centipede’ is shown on both the individual female victim and on the other victims in the human centipede. The Review Board considers that this scene involves an offensive and exploitative depiction of sexual activity accompanied by fetishes or offensive practices because the use of barbed wire is an overtly violent act, which exacerbates the sadistic sexual violence of the rape and further serves to debase and dehumanise the victim, who is not treated as a woman but as the end section in a centipede. This is not just a sexual act, but an overtly violent one. In the Review Board’s view this scene is lacking in artistic, moral or other values.
The Review Board notes that the term ‘offensive’ is defined in the Guidelines as ‘material which causes outrage or extreme disgust’. The Review Board considers that the scenes discussed above would cause extreme disgust as, in the Review Board’s opinion, they contravene “the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults”.
It was submitted orally to the Review Board, but not argued at length, that the whole film could, but not necessarily should, be interpreted as a fantasy or dream sequence. In the view of the Review Board, if that argument were to be accepted, this film would constitute an offensive or exploitative depiction of a fantasy which is offensive or abhorrent for the reasons discussed above.
C. The Code:
The National Classification Code states, inter alia (in Item 1 (Refused Classification), sub-paragraph (a), (b) and (c)), that films that:
a) depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adult to the extent that they should not be classified; or
b) describe or depict in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult, a person who is, or appears to be, a child under 18 (whether the person is engaged in sexual activity or not); or
c) promote, incite or instruct in matters of crime or violence;
should be refused classification.
The Code also requires that in making its decision the Review Board must take account of community concerns about, inter alia, the portrayal of persons in a demeaning manner (National Classification Code (d) (ii)).
The Review Board considered the scenes identified above in the context of the application of the Code. The Code, at 3, 1 (a) states that films that ‘depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified’ must be classified Refused Classification. The Review Board considers that the numerous scenes of cruelty, violence, degradation and torture described above, combined with the scenes of violent rape, mutilation, forced defecation and brutally crude improvised surgery would be considered offensive in terms of the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by a reasonable adult viewer.
The Review Board considers that the extended, graphic depictions of men and women being tortured in a sadistically degrading manner, including being held naked and chained, violently beaten, crudely joined by staples and tape mouth to anus, and forced to defecate in one another’s mouths, for the sexual gratification of their captor, clearly and repeatedly portrays those men and women in a degrading and demeaning manner. In the Review Board’s opinion, this film contains depictions of sex, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting and abhorrent phenomena that are likely to offend general community standards of morality and decency such that the film should be refused classification. The pervasive sense of debasement and disgust engendered by HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 is not justified by the context of this being a ‘body horror’ film.
7. Reasons for the decision
Pursuant to the Guidelines for the Classification of Films and Computer Games, this film is Refused Classification. The film depicts, in a relentless and continuous sequence of events and graphic, detailed images, the brutal kidnapping (and eventual murder) of a large number of people, who are violently and sadistically assaulted, debased, mutilated and fashioned brutally and painfully into a degrading ‘human centipede’ for the gratification of Martin’s sadistic obsession and fetish, inspired by the film THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 1.
The distributor stated that the film is part of a genre of horror films, known as ‘body horror’, and viewers would expect to be shocked and emotionally challenged by the film. He stated that the director’s “stated intention is to use violent imagery and the conventions of the horror genre to create an emotionally and physically devastating piece of contemporary cinema”. However, the Guidelines require that any film which contains gratuitous, exploitative or offensive depictions of violence with a very high degree of impact, cruelty which has a high impact or sexual violence, must be refused classification. This is the case, even taking into account, as the Review Board is required to do, ‘the persons or class of persons to or amongst whom it is published or is intended or is likely to be published’, under the Act. The Review Board considers that some viewers of the film, particularly those familiar with HUMAN CENTIPEDE 1, may expect to be shocked and repulsed, but this does not preclude a finding that the film contains high level and frequent depictions of cruelty, violence with a very high impact or revolting or abhorrent phenomena that offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adult, which is a required consideration under the Code. Thus the film must be Refused Classification.
The Review Board also considered the requirement in the National Classification Code (d) (ii) that in making its decision the Review Board must take account of community concerns about, inter alia, the portrayal of persons in a demeaning manner. The level of humiliation and degradation, involving forced bodily functions, imposed on Martin’s victims, deprives them of all aspects of their dignity and would, in the opinion of the Review Board, be sufficient to raise community concerns about the demeaning portrayal of men and women being reduced to a brutalised animal state for the sexual gratification of another person.
In the Review Board’s opinion, THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II (FULL SEQUENCE) could not be accommodated within the R18+ classification as the level of depictions of violence had a very high impact and the depictions of cruelty had a high impact. These depictions were also gratuitous, exploitative or offensive for the reasons outlined above. Having addressed the matters prescribed by the Act, Code and Guidelines, the Review Board determined that the film must be Refused Classification on the basis of gratuitous, exploitative or offensive depictions of violence with a very high degree of impact or which are excessively frequent, prolonged or detailed; cruelty which has a high impact; sexual violence and also on the basis of gratuitous, exploitative or offensive depictions of sexual activity accompanied by fetishes or practices which are offensive or abhorrent.
The Review Board determined that the film, HUMAN CENTIPEDE II (FULL SEQUENCE) is Refused Classification.– Classification Review Board report
How to make a submission
AussieRoadshow shared with us his experience of submitting to the review. His would be one of 24 received by the Board.
October 26, 2011
Application for Standing as an Interested Party
Re: Classification Review for HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 (FULL SEQUENCE)
I wish to apply for standing as an individual interested party, for the November 4  Classification Review of the above noted film. I base this application on concerns about the freedom of choice I have a an adult in choosing to see this particular film, potentially being denied to me, should the Review Board determine the film is Refused Classification. I believe my views are relevant to the review, because it focusses on the film itself. I would like to respectfully request that the Review Board members consider my opinions about this potentiality. I am strongly opposed to such an outcome on this film, which was duly, and in my opinion appropriately, classified R18+ by the Classification Board.
I am a private adult citizen, aged 38, with a keen interest in movies, particularly with respect to the horror film genre. I have been renting and purchasing R rated horror films for 20-years. I regularly attend film festivals, and read online blogs about this genre of film-making. I also run a YouTube channel that often focusses on online video discussion about horror and exploitation films in particular. This channel is called ‘AussieRoadshow’. I have observed online comment about this film, and participated in online commenting myself, through my YouTube channel, and also on the Internet Movie Database. I understand that this film has courted controversy in recent months, which I speculate has led to this review taking place.
This film has not yet been released in Australia, but I have waited in anticipation to see this movie for some months, especially since it was granted an R18+ classification for the Board in May 2011. As such, I have not had the opportunity to see the film. However, I have keenly followed the online discussion, as noted above, and am now aware of the content and overall storyline.
I wish to make reference to the first film in this series, as I believe it is relevant to the discussion. The original HUMAN CENTIPEDE film was a Dutch film, about a disturbed German former surgeon, whose specialty was in separating conjoined twins. He decides to create a centipede of three conjoined humans. He abducts young travelling tourists and subjects them successfully to his bizarre fantasy. I found the film to be completely ludicrous and removed from reality, as many films of this nature often are. The film contained violence and themes of high impact, and was presented in full colour. It was granted an R18+ in 2010 in Australia. It was passed with appropriate classification advice. The film became a late night cult film at mainly arthouse and independent cinemas across Australia.
THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 (FULL SEQUENCE), is about a disturbed loner named Martin, who lives a dreary existence as a security guard in public housing with his mother. He escapes this existence when he becomes obsessed with the first film. He therefore sets out to create his own bizarre fantasy with more people than the original film. I have viewed the trailer of this film on YouTube, and I understand it is almost entirely in black and white. The trailer presents the film as highly unrealistic, in line with the general tone of the first film in this series. I note that a third film is due for release in 2012.
Part 2 is currently screening on the limited ‘midnight movie circuit’ to adult audiences in major cities in the United States, including Los Angeles and New York. It is therefore a film with a particular target audience in mind – those prepared to attend a late night screening of a horror genre film at their choice and discretion. I note that the film has been selected for a midnight screening at the Brisbane International Film Festival on November 5. Thus, the film’s intended audience appears to have been clearly defined.
I also respectfully note that adults in the USA have been given the opportunity to view this film if they so choose, and I am certain that other countries will approve the film for adult audiences, as had initially occurred here in Australia. Online reactions that I have read from those who have seen the film have been mixed, but mostly negative. People do not appear to have ‘warmed’ to the film at all, and many have even described it as ‘boring’, because the contentious material apparently only makes up a limited portion of the running time. People were anticipating a more ‘extreme’ film than that which has been ‘hyped’ by the media and film distributors. Much of the film is said to consist of ‘build up’, rather than actual on-screen violence. These viewer and audience reviews can be freely read online at the popular Internet Movie Database website, where the film has, at the time of writing, garnered a low user rating of 4.5 out of 10.
The first HUMAN CENTIPEDE film has a user rating of 4.8 out of 10. I believe the original R18+ decision of the Board in May 2011 is the correct one. There are adults in this country who enjoy all aspects of the horror film genre, and desire the freedom and choice to watch this particular film as they see fit. The Board clearly do not cast aspersions with respect to the appeal such a film might have to a particular target audience, and I do not expect such to occur at this review either.
I have no doubt the film contains content and themes of a high level. However, its black and white presentation and apparent limited level of actual violence had rendered its impact as no more than high. This appears to have been the considered opinion of the Classification Board. It carries more than appropriate classification advice for adult audiences in this country, and would no doubt inform the viewing public as to what the film contains. Those likely to be offended by such material might be unlikely to view such a film, given the Board’s initial ratings advice.
I understand and respect the role the Review Board have in terms of taking a fresh view of a film’s classification. But I also wish for this film to be available to adults, and that freedom to choose to see it to be considered among that review process. I do not see any valid reason as to why the original R18+ decision was one made in err, given all that I understand about the film – its intended audience, its overall tone and feel that is mitigated in impact by black and white presentation, and its apparent limited actual running time devoted to any sort of on-screen violence.
A primary principle of classification in this country is that adults have the right to see and read what they wish. This principle extends to this film. As far as I am concerned this choice is not over-ridden by the whims of particular interest groups, political or otherwise, who seek to deny my choices on what I speculate is based on morality or other issues, by seeking reviews of films that attract media controversy. This is especially the case, given the film was appropriately classified 6-months ago.
I do not believe such individuals or groups would choose to see this film in any case, and I therefore do not accept any argument of ‘perceived’ or ‘anticipatory’ offence over this film being available to myself or other adults, simply because I might choose to watch this horror film. I cannot express firmly enough my right and freedom to make my choice, and do not expect that choice to be denied to me.– To: The Convenor, Classification Review Board
– From: AussieRoadshow
Six-days before the review, there began the following exchange of emails.
November 22, 2011– To: AussieRoadshow
Good afternoon, Can you please confirm if you are requesting to make an appearance at the review as an interested party, or if you are making the below written Submission only?
– From: Kim Rawson, Project Officer, Classification Branch, Attorney General’s Department
November 22, 2011
I wish to request a personal appearance at the review as an interested party. Since submitting my written response, I have had the opportunity to see the R18+ classified version of the film at a late night preview screening.
My written submission still contains valid points for consideration. However, I believe I have further points that are now relevant to the review.
The grounds for this are as follows:
– I believe R18+ is the suitable classification for this film.
– I request the Review Board to consider my personal response to the film as a general member of the public, especially from the perspective of the film’s intended ‘target audience’.
– Finally, I wish to provide the film specific context in the horror / exploitation genre.
If a personal appearance is accepted, please provide me relevant details.– To: Kim Rawson, Project Officer, Classification Branch, Attorney General’s Department
– From: AussieRoadshow
November 23, 2011
Please be advised that members of the public do not appear before the Classification Review Board at hearings but your written submission has been forwarded to the Review Board and will be considered along with all other submissions from the public.
Thank you for your time in putting in a submission.– To: AussieRoadshow
– From: Kim Rawson, Project Officer, Classification Branch, Attorney General’s Department
November 23, 2011
Thank you for this information. I was unaware that members of the public were not permitted to attend actual meetings.
On this basis, I would instead like to submit a written addendum, to be included with my original submission. Having seen the film, I believe I am more informed than most as to the content and tone of the movie. I therefore wish to expand on these points of contention that are of relevance to the review, and therefore request that these are also forwarded to the Review Board.
These points are as follows:
R18+ is the appropriate classification for this film within the context of the horror genre, and carries appropriate classification advice
HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 does not contain scenes that are unprecedented in the horror and exploitation genre of film-making that have already been classified R18+ in Australia within the context of interpretation of the current guidelines by the Classification Board. The only point of difference with this movie is that it has attracted, what I believe is, unwarranted media attention.
The media ‘hype’ surrounding this particular movie is a separate issue, and does not impact upon the classifiable elements within the film. SALO (1975) is a noteworthy example of this fact.
Four notable examples of other films I have seen, in the horror and exploitation genre with high level and high impact content, but have not attracted media attention include the following titles:
CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (1980), classified R18+ in October 2005 with the advice “animal cruelty, High level sexual violence, High level violence” This film contained scenes of sexual violence including scenes of a woman being raped, tortured and murdered in one long shot, within a serious, non-humorous context. Also contains a scene of a man having his penis cut off.
I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (2010), classified R18+ in February 2011, with the advice “graphic violence and high impact sexual violence”. This film of high intensity contained numerous scenes of gang rape, including anal rape, within a non-humorous context.
INSIDE (2007), classified R18+ in March 2001, with the advice “high impact violence, blood and gore”. Contains a graphic scene of a heavily pregnant woman having her foetus removed while conscious, with a sharp pair of scissors, again presented within context. This film is part of a horror genre known as the French New Wave.
3D SEX AND ZEN: EXTREME ECSTASY (2011), classified R18+ in April 2011, with the advice “high impact sex scenes and sexualised violence”. Contains several rape scenes, including one of a woman being raped to death within a highly unrealistic context. These particular films contain very clear classification advice, which is more than appropriate to inform adults as to what the film contains. So does the HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2. Adults should be provided the opportunity to make that choice for themselves without interference or hindrance.
HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 has, along with the above noted films, a clearly defined target audience
In Melbourne, for example, the film is currently included as part of the ‘cult craving’ selection of films, and screens at 11:35pm on Friday and Saturday evenings. The first film in this series also screened as part of the same selection. It recently screened on the ‘midnight movie’ circuit in major cities in the United States.
I viewed the film on Friday, 18 November. I did not observe a single person at the screening walk out of the cinema. As an individual, I was well aware of the film’s content prior to seeing the film because it carries appropriate classification advice. I was not offended by the content. I believe the intended audience for this film can tolerate the high impact content it contains.
HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 contains moments of black humour, is absurd in narrative context, and is mainly black and white presentation, all of which mitigate its impact to no more than high
While personally viewing the film with a real life audience, the moments of black humour mitigated the impact of the film’s more contentious elements, to an overall level of high. Scenes I observed many audience members respond humorously to include, but were not limited to, the following:
The moment when Martin’s mother attempts to stab her son to death while he is sleeping, only to realise he is not lying in his bed at the time.
– A scene where Martin places his dead mother at a kitchen table, and eats food as if nothing is abnormal to him.
– A scene of a prostitute fellating a man in the back seat of a car, which turns out to be Martin’s physician / therapist.
– Numerous shots of brown faecal matter splashing the camera in a ridiculous and unrealistic manner.
– Martin jumping to his feet in the air in excitement when he is watching a scene from the original film.
– Martin making flatulence sounds with his mouth, to the ‘human centipede’.
The director, Tom Six, has clearly used the notion of a “monkey see, monkey do” concept, and taken it to an absurd level by overstating the level of violence to unrealistic levels. He chose a lead actor with distinct and peculiar looks. It is absurd to think that a character, presented as one with a clearly limited intellect, no spoken dialogue, and limited physical mobility, could at all be capable of executing the scenarios the film presents. The chosen victims, often conscious but restrained with gaffer tape in some instances, could have easily escaped the abandoned warehouse, but did not because the film sought to portray an unrealistic scenario.
The target audience understands these ideas to be unrealistic. This is the director’s intention. However, he also chose to present the film in black and white to mitigate impact, despite the fact that it was originally filmed in colour. This was confirmed in an interview published in The Age newspaper on 18 November 2011. Black and white photography was used effectively by Quentin Tarantino in KILL BILL VOL: 1. (2003) during the “Crazy 88” slaughter scene, and it was well known that it was done so at the time for ‘classification reasons’. The full colour sequence was released in Japan and Hong Kong, however.
The images of a penis, limbs, torsos, and of a newborn baby look clearly fake and unrealistic, all of which add to the absurd and overstated nature.
The sexual violence in the film is high impact, but is very limited in terms of overall running time and is again presented in an absurd and unrealistic context in the film overall.
For these reasons, I believe the R18+ rating is appropriate for this film, and therefore request these views to be taken into consideration at the review.– To: Kim Rawson, Project Officer, Classification Branch, Attorney General’s Department
– From: AussieRoadshow
November 29, 2011
The Classification Review Board met on Monday 28 November 2011 to review the film, THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II (FULL SEQUENCE). The Review Board came to the unanimous decision of RC (Refused Classification).
The media release is attached and will be available on the classification website at www.classification.gov.au. The reasons for the decision will also be posted on the website when they are finalised.
This means that the film cannot be sold, hired or advertised in Australia.
I hope this information assists you.– To: AussieRoadshow
– From: Kim Rawson, Project Officer, Classification Branch, Attorney General’s Department
The Classification Board police Brisbane
The day after the RC-rating, Brisbane’s Tribal Theatre had a visit from a Community Liaison Officer from the Classification Board. They were informed to stop screening the film as it was now banned.
November 29, 2011
At 10:00am this morning a woman from the board of classification came into our office and informed us to remove THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 from our schedule as its review has had its classification pulled.
We are sorry to say that we must cancel our last screenings of THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2. We at Tribal Theatre believe that every film has the right to classification, and it’s YOU that should make the decision on whether you want to see it or not. DAMN THE MAN, SAVE THE CENTIPEDE.– Tribal Theatre @tribaltheatre
Community Liaison Officer’s were introduced in the late-1990s and often monitored adult retailers looking for unclassified material.
Melinda Tankard Reist’s Collective Shout claimed credit for the ban. In mid-2011, they had been one of the groups responsible for the refusal of A SERBIAN FILM (2010).
November 29, 2011– Melinda TankardReist @MelTankardReist
Another @collectiveshout win. Classification Review Board finds Human Centipide II wrongly classified
Also gloating was Family Voice Australia.
November 29, 2011
“We congratulate the Classification Review Board for its unanimous decision to classify the “torture porn” film THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 (FULL SEQUENCE) as Refused Classification,” Ros Phillips, national research officer for FamilyVoice Australia, said today.
“Earlier this year we were shocked to learn that the uncut version of this horrific film had been passed by Australia’s Classification Board as R18+ – but had been banned by the British Board of Film Classifcation [sic] (BBFC),” Mrs Phillips said.
The BBFC commented: “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.”
FamilyVoice provided the Classification Review Board with a substantial submission, explaining in detail why Australia’s classification guidelines require scenes in HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 to be Refused Classification.
“On behalf of Australian families, we thank the Board for its unanimous agreement,” Ros Phillips said. “Pornography based on human torture has no place on Australian screens.”– HUMAN CENTIPEDE crushed
– Family Voice Australia
A month ago FamilyVoice made a submission to the board following the NSW Attorney General’s call to assess the film’s suitability for public viewing, even though it had already been released.
The verdict makes Australia the second country to ban HUMAN CENTIPEDE II. Britain was the first, although a revised version of the film was later released.
FamilyVoice Australia representatives did not watch either of THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE films but based their submission on a document from the British Board of Film Classification.
Ros Phillips from FamilyVoice describes the film as “torture porn”. “It shows a man being explicitly aroused by human torture. And it’s encouraging people in the audience to be aroused along with him in these specific scenes. It’s promoting and legitimising the most extreme form of sexual violence.”
Following the film’s ban Crikey’s Luke Buckmaster opined: “A common response to the banning of THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II was ‘I’ll just download it’. [Melinda Tankard] Reist and other pro-ban advocates may argue that fewer people will see the film in the public domain, in cinemas next to cafes, bars, schools and book shops, which is true. But no sane person would argue that fewer people will now obtain it illegally.”
But Phillips dismisses this kind of sentiment. “You could say that about any law couldn’t you – that for some people it’s a challenge to break it,” she said. “But that’s no reason not to have the law.”
“The reality is that this horrible DVD used to be sold quite blatantly in stores around Australia and used to be in front of people when they go to buy. It will no longer be.” When asked why she thought this kind of thing was released, Phillips put it down to the artworld attempting to become “even more extreme”. “Human nature sadly,” she said.– HUMAN CENTIPEDE II banned but the fight’s still on for GOOD CHRISTIAN BITCHES
In early December 2011, Rhett Bartlett interviewed Roslyn Phillips from FamilyVoice Australia. Their 18-minute conversation is available on YouTube.
Distributor hits back
This was the first time that Monster Pictures had censorship issues with one of their titles.
December 1, 2011
On Tuesday morning Monster Pictures received a phone call from a spokesperson from the Classification Review Board alerting us to the fact that THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2: FULL SEQUENCE had been refused classification in Australia. This came less than twenty-four hours after a two and a half hour Classification Review Board hearing in Sydney. The hearing was convened by Victoria Rubensohn, and was attended by Ann Stark and Melissa De Zwark representing the Classification Review Board, and Tony Romeo, Neil Foley, Jack Sargeant and Laura Crawford representing Monster Pictures Australia, the Australian distributors of the film.
Monster Pictures would like to express our disappointment at this decision.
We presented a great deal of evidence, including the submissions of two highly regarded film experts (Jack Sargeant and Laura Crawford) to support our notion that this film was produced with significant artistic credentials, and with its contentious elements justified within the context of story and genre.
Unfortunately this was rejected by the Classification Review Board, whose subjective opinion it is that the film lacks artistic merit, and must be refused classification on the grounds that it “contains gratuitous, exploitative or offensive depictions of violence with a very high degree of impact and cruelty which has a high impact”.
Monster Pictures rejects this notion outright.
Monster Pictures also rejects the notion that three middle-class women – two lawyers and a family therapist – who supposedly “broadly represent the Australian community”, have the ability or credentials to read or understand a film such as THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2: FULL SEQUENCE.
Indeed much of our discussion around this black and white film, with its casting, sound and production design steeped in the traditions of underground, horror and avant-garde cinema, was on whether or not the film was “highly stylised” or “realistic”. In the opinion of the Convenor of the Review Board, this cinematic depiction is presented to the viewer as “realistic”, which therefore escalates the violence in the film from high impact, to very high impact, therefore making it eligible for a Refusal of Classification.
To Monster Pictures and its representatives this would suggest not only a total and ludicrous misunderstanding of cinematic conventions but also a blatant refusal to accept the evidence that was presented during the hearing. It is our belief that the review hearing was little more than an expensive waste of time, and that the Classification Review Board had already made up their mind about the film prior to our submission.
Monster Pictures would also like to draw attention to the fact that two ultra conservative Christian groups, Collective Shout and Family Voice Australia, are both claiming victory for the banning on their websites. We reject the notion that fringe groups – that are amongst many other things, anti-homosexual, anti-Islamic and anti-choice – can have this level of influence over what the adult public of this country can or cannot view in a cinema or in the privacy of their own homes.
To Monster Pictures this represents a growing and alarming trend of fundamentalism pervading the public arena.
To us this is a far broader issue than just THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2: FULL SEQUENCE.
It is our opinion that every free-thinking adult in this country, whether they intend to view the film or not, should be alarmed by the increasing influence of the Christian right in such matters. Monster Pictures believe that the original R18+ Classification of THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2: FULL SEQUENCE received in May 2011 was absolutely correct, and was arrived upon by a board who read the content and context of the film in a fair, unbiased and informed manner.
We believe the current ratings system to be a system that works well to identify the contentious points within a film, and to alert people to the nature of the viewing material. Monster Pictures would also like to express our disapproval of the fact that the original assessment and subsequent rating provided by the Classification Board in May 2011 could not be used as evidence in our “hearing” to support our notion that the film contained no material that was unlawful or obscene in any way. We are outraged by the notion that two bodies working within the same system could apply the very same legislation to the very same material yet arrive at diametrically opposed conclusions – to us this would suggest a fundamental and very worrying bias by the Review Board, a bias that we believe to be highly influenced by political agenda.
In the end the fate of our investment comes down to the subjective opinions of three women – two lawyers and a family therapist – ignoring the opinions of film professionals and a Government appointed Classification Board, to reinterpret the material and to arrive at the conclusion that the film should be refused classification. In our opinion this is absolutely wrong.
Monster Pictures premiered the uncut version of the film at this year’s Brisbane International Film Festival. In addition we have just completed a national tour of the film, accompanied by Q&A sessions with the films lead actor Laurence R. Harvey. The film has screened to sell out audiences in almost every capital city in the country, and has been unanimously well received. To the best of our knowledge the film has received no complaints as a result of these screenings – to the contrary we have been inundated with emails of support from people around the country outraged at this decision.
To Monster Pictures this only serves to highlight how out of touch the Classification Review Board is with the current standards of the Australian cinema going public, and how wrong they are in their interpretation of the material.
Monster Pictures is fundamentally opposed to any form of censorship of legally produced adult material.
THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2: FULL SEQUENCE was produced in the UK with full respect to the laws of that country. These laws are also in line with those of this country. There was no one harmed in any way in the production of this film. We reject any notion that any harm can be done to adults who view this material. We believe that the film’s director Tom Six has produced one of the most significant genre films in recent history – one that deserves to be seen in its original form by interested and consenting adults in this country.
Monster Pictures intends to resubmit a modified version of the film to the Classification Board. Once rated, we intend to continue our theatrical exhibition, which will lead to a DVD release early in the New Year. We also undertake to explore every option available to have this film released in full in this country.– Neil Foley, Monster Pictures Response to the Banning
December 10, 2011– Monster Pictures @monsterpictures
Good morning Monstersiders – as some of you might know, we submitted a modified version of THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2: FULL SEQUENCE last week to the classification Board yesterday. The modifications have been done with the utmost care so as not to alter the integrity of the film – we will know by the end of next week what their verdict is. Needless to say it’s going to be a nervous wait.
The NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith was responsible for the review. His chief of staff, Damien Tudehope, had represented the Australian Family Association at the following Classification Review Board hearings.
2004 – IRREVERSIBLE (2002)
2004 – ANATOMY OF HELL (2004)
2005 – MYSTERIOUS SKIN (2004)
2005 – 9 SONGS (2004)
2007 – THE PEACEFUL PILL HANDBOOK (2006)
2008 – BONDAGE MANSION (2001)
2008 – CLASSES IN SEDUCTION (2004)
2008 – HOLY VIRGINS (2001)
2008 – T&A TEACHER (2004)
December 10, 2011
The NSW Attorney-General has dealt himself into the film censorship business. In July Greg Smith led a remarkable last-ditch attempt to prevent Australia playing, after all these years, adult video games. Now the far-right conservative Liberal has driven the banning of the Dutch horror flick HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2: (FULL SEQUENCE).
The ban was greeted by contending forces across the internet with ridicule, consternation and whoops of victory. Having pressed Smith to act in the first place, FamilyVoice Australia (aka the Festival of Light) declared in triumph: ”Pornography based on human torture has no place on Australian screens.”
Inside Smith’s office, heroic restraint appears to have been the order of the day. He assures the Herald that his chief of staff, Damien Tudehope, played no role in the banning of the horror film. Solicitor, would-be Liberal MP and fierce warrior in a string of past film censorship battles, Tudehope both guards Smith’s door and sits on the advisory board of FamilyVoice Australia.
The film’s distributor, Neil Foley of Monster Films, says: ”We played to a couple of hundred people in Brisbane over a couple of screenings; 500 or so people in Perth; something similar in Melbourne; and then in Sydney another 150 or 200.” He puts the total audience in those weeks at less than 1500.
A story on Fairfax websites alerted the film’s adversaries to its existence in late August . Monster Films was doing itself no good by reminding everyone of the scathing commentary of the British Board of Film Classification and stamping its trailer with the slogan ”Banned in Britain. Unleashed in Australia”.
Christian lobbyists following the usual game plan sought an attorney-general willing to demand the film’s review. Each of the nation’s eight attorneys-general can call for the reassessment of any film – or book, DVD and video game – by censorship’s little court of appeal, the Review Board.
”I sent a generic email requesting a review to three attorneys-general,” says Melinda Tankard Reist, a commentator, former adviser to the Tasmanian independent senator Brian Harradine and the face of a new player in this field called Collective Shout. Also lobbying was Ros Phillips of FamilyVoice Australia who accuses the film of provoking ”sexual arousal by human torture”.
Neither has seen the film. Nor have I. Nor has the NSW Attorney-General. Smith told the Herald he decided to seek its review in October ”because of the decision taken by the British Board of Film Classification to refuse classification of the movie. In addition, the synopsis of the movie depicted scenes of extreme sexual violence.”
”What these people are responding to is not the film,” Foley argues gamely. ”They are responding to our hype around the film. It is us telling the world this is the most disgusting film ever made. In actual fact it’s just another movie.”
The banning of HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2: (FULL SEQUENCE) exposes a strange rift among censors. Twice this year a horror movie has been passed by the Classification Board and then banned on appeal by the Review Board. The first was A SERBIAN FILM, sent for review by the Attorney-General of South Australia, John Rau.
The NSW Attorney-General remains open to requests from morals groups to send books, films and video games for review. His office told the Herald: ”The AG will assess each request on a case-by-case basis, but he does not support the use of gratuitous violence, especially gratuitous sexual violence.”– A centipede banned, by special request
– article @ smh.com.au
In 2014, Smith announced his retirement and was replaced by Tudehope, who was elected to his Epping seat the following year.
Anthony Tudehope, his brother, is the barrister who represented a group of Christian conservatives in their SALÒ, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM (1975) challenge. This unsuccessful Federal Court case was brought by the Australian Christian Lobby, Family Voice Australia, and two Liberal senators, Julian McGauran and Guy Barnett.
He also appeared before the Classification Review Board in 2005 on behalf of the Australian Family Association. This was part of their failed attempt to get MYSTERIOUS SKIN (2004) banned.
When they were not accusing various films of depicting child abuse, the brothers were involved in the case of Father Finian Egan.
July 8, 2012
The NSW Attorney-General, Greg Smith, is under fire for letting a senior staff member with links to Father Finian Egan block the release of government documents relating to the alleged paedophile priest.
Damien Tudehope, Mr Smith’s chief of staff, refused access to the documents despite once having worked as Father Egan’s solicitor. The priest was arrested in May and charged with multiple sex offences against boys and girls stretching back decades.
Mr Tudehope’s brother Anthony Tudehope, a barrister, attended the police station with the Catholic priest when he was charged.
Mr Smith used to attend Father Egan’s church in Carlingford and thanked him in his inaugural speech to Parliament for his ”Irish wit and pastoral devotion to his flock”.
Despite the web of links, it was Damien Tudehope who ruled that an application lodged by the NSW opposition under the Government Information (Public Access) Act was out of bounds. In his response, dated June 14, Mr Tudehope told Labor MP Adam Searle that documents relating to Father Egan existed, but would not be released.– Charged priest’s political link
– article @smh.com.au
In December 2014, Egan was sentenced to four-years in jail for abusing children.
Our man in the Vatican
Here is well-known film critic George Pell describing the ‘Old Testament feel’ of the film. Pell would be convicted of child sexual abuse in December 2018, jailed and eventually acquitted in 2020.
December 11, 2011
THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II (FULL SEQUENCE) has recently been sent back to the Film Classification Review Board after its original R18+ classification was disputed. In this case it seems that technical skill (I’m not sure acting comes into it) has not just been squandered, but misdirected into something that brings no light to anyone, only darkness.
A good film can be a source of wonder, and not just because of the special effects. When a good director and team bring the technical marvels together with the essential elements of good acting and a good script, some very special films can result. The talents of many people are needed to bring this about, as ever-lengthening lists of credits show.
Not every film can be special and the relentless demand for “product” in our consumer society inevitably effects quality. All the same, it is sometimes a cause of regret when I think of the talent that is squandered in making a mediocre film, to say nothing of a really bad one, like THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II.
The film was initially banned in Britain, a rare occurrence, but was subsequently released after cuts were made. These featured what the British Board of Film Classification described as “scenes of sexual and sexualised violence, sadistic violence and humiliation”, as well as a scene of “a child presented in an abusive and violent context”.
The description of the deleted scenes does not make easy reading. They included “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 woman being raped with barbed wire; and a newborn baby being killed.
The plot, such as it is, focuses strongly on “the link between sexual arousal and sexual violence and a clear association between pain, perversity and sexual pleasure”. Not the sort of film you’d hope your neighbour watches.
The review of its classification in Australia came after an application from the federal Minister for Justice, Brendan O’Connor. On 28 November the review board announced a unanimous decision to refuse the film classification, meaning it cannot be sold or shown in Australia.
Congratulations to the board and the minister on this outcome. Predictably, a few on the margins are bleating about “censorship”. But most Australians will see the decision as a win for common decency and common sense.– Sensible Decision
– Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney
Censored for R18+
A censored version of the film was passed R18+ rating on December 13. The consumer advice of ‘High impact themes, violence and sexual violence’ was the same as the uncut version.
The company was keen to reassure the public that very little had been removed.
December 13, 2011– Monster Pictures @monsterpictures
The close-up of the bloodied dick during the sand paper wank, the barb wire close up of the dick during the rape scene and a few mid shots during the rape scene – This is All Folks – nothing more. 30 seconds on total!!
December 14, 2011
Monster Pictures are delighted to announce that THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2: FULL SEQUENCE has been resubmitted to the Australian Government Classification Board and has again been granted an R 18 + certificate with consumer advice that warns ‘High impact themes, violence and sexual violence’.
The film has been modified by thirty seconds, these modifications were done with the utmost care so as to not damage the integrity of the film – we are absolutely confident that this is the case.
Monster Pictures feels that this decision highlights the absurdity of Classification Review Board’s decision to ban the film in the first place.
We would like to take this opportunity to applaud the Director of the Classification Board for this decision and to express how pleased we are that the film is being judged on the merit of its content rather than the hype surrounding the film.
Melbourne’s Cinema Nova will begin screening the modified version of the film beginning Boxing Day 2011.
The DVD and Blu-Ray of the film will be released late February 2012.
Kristian Connolly, General Manager at Cinema Nova offered the following comment…
“The Australian classification system, one of the few of its type in the world, has served cinemagoers well for decades. Flip-flops such as this border on satire, recalling the shrieks of Helen Lovejoy on THE SIMPSONS; “Won’t somebody please think of the children?!” Guess what? They did and that’s why it was rated R18+ in the first place.”– Monster Pictures Response to the Reclassification
December 14, 2011
Great news Monster Maniacs – THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2: FULL SEQUENCE has been cleared by the Director of the Australian Government Classification Board with an R 18 + classification with consumer advice stating ‘High impact themes, violence and sexual violence’.
This means that our little mate Martin Lomax and his nasty little pet centipede is free once again to slither his way into our depraved and corruptible little brains!!
And guess what? If you happen to be in Canberra on Friday night you can see it in all it’s barely modified glory the National Film and Sound Archive’s Arc Cinema.
This is fucking brilliant news people and we are very happy to tell you that only 30 seconds have been removed from the original cut – that is correct – 30 SECONDS – in other words FUCK ALL. Compare that to the UK where over 2 and a half minutes were removed. No wonder Martin is grinning like his centipedes shit don’t sink!
Of course all this only goes to highlight the absolute absurdity of the decision of the Classification Review Board to ban the film in the first place and how in tune the Director of the Australian Government Classification Board is with current community standards in this country.
Perhaps I am quoting someone here, I can’t really be sure? but in the words of the old Negro spiritual: “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
Enjoy.– Monster Pictures @monsterpictures
In the digital age, any attempt to ban media is futile. Bounty Films demonstrated this by making the full version of the film available as video on demand (VOD).
THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 UNCUT: the most debated film of the year, released online to the general public in UK and Australia completely uncensored and 100% uncut.
Philadelphia based Breaking Glass Pictures is proud to announce the beta launch of it’s new VOD platform Bountyfilms.com. Teaming with the Bounty Films content library, Breaking Glass will be promoting some of the best independent content in the world, starting with the highly controversial THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 (FULL SEQUENCE) UNCUT. This version is completely uncensored respecting Tom Six’s original unadulterated masterpiece.
This is the first time that the uncut and uncensored version is available anywhere in the world for rental and legal download – Exclusively from Bountyfilms.com
Available in the UK and Australia, Bountyfilms.com aims to bring the best in cutting edge cinema straight to any device you want to view it on, be that PC/MAC, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch or almost any other device. With a range of purchase options and no contracts or minimum term, and best of all no DRM so you can watch your film anywhere, at any time, on any platform of your choice.– Breaking Glass Pictures
Review of Bounty Films VOD service to download HUMAN CENTIPEDE II (FULL SEQUENCE).
Watched on hi-def., using Western Digital TV media. Blu-ray quality, and uncut with the barbed wire etc. all there. The cost was $14.99 U.S. but I do not mind as there will be no point in getting the Blu-ray release in Australia (for twice the cost).
Because it is legit, the film-makers can get dollars for their product (which makes it easier for a HUMAN CENTIPEDE 3 to get made). I am surprised other companies with ‘problematic’ titles do not get on board as well, but there you go. Maybe this is just the beginning.
This was on the download page and explains the difference in the running times.
‘Question – I had previously downloaded the Cut version, which ran for a total of 88:01 minutes (including the credits and stuff). The one I bought from this site runs only 87 minutes? I thought the fully uncut ran for 90 minutes?
Answer – The key difference here is the frame-rate at which the video is displayed. The UK Blu-ray runs at 24 frames per second so has a slightly longer run time although the film itself is actually shorter. The online version runs at 25 frames per second so the film plays slightly faster (for the record the film was shot at 25 frames a second, but this does not transfer to DVD/Blu-ray as well as 24)’
Boxing Day screening
On December 26, Melbourne’s Cinema Nova had the film back for an encore.
This time it was the modified R18+ print.
DVD & Blu-ray
On 23 February 2012, Monster Pictures released THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 (FULL SEQUENCE) on physical media.
What was censored?
The availability of the censored print allowed comparisons to be made with the uncut version.
March 21, 2012
At 28:20, a 2-second shot of Martin’s penis wrapped in sandpaper as he masturbates has been excised (though not the scene, or preliminary shots of him wrapping his penis up – just the shot of it in motion).
At 1:13:47 and 1:13:55 a total of 8 seconds has been removed (1 second, and a 7 second shot) showing Martin’s penis wrapped in barbed wire before the rape.
From 1:14:00 until 1:15:09 around 20 seconds has been removed at various points from the rape scene – I started making notes of each individual shot but lost the syncing of the two version of the film playing. From what I did note, the removed shots were mainly of Martin thrusting, with less emphasis added on the victims’ suffering.
Surprisingly, the shot of the baby being crushed under the accelerator remains completely intact – I’d expected to see that excised.
The clearly noticeable difference from the Australian cut and the uncut version is the length of the rape scene – for the record, the short shots of Martin’s barbed-wired penis don’t remove the barbed wire from the entire film – we still see him holding it and picking it up right before the act, so it’s not like removing those shots make us think this is a normal acceptable rape that’s safe for children to witness. Removing a handful of shots from the rape scene does shorten its length, but to no real avail – it’s still disturbing and the character at the rear is still clearly meant to be torn apart internally with each thrust so all it means is that her screams are silenced a little earlier than in the uncut version.– Infamovies: THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II: FULL SEQUENCE
– article @ daveandhiscriticisms.wordpress.com
Troy C. reports.
Monster Pictures (au) – DVD – 86:16 (PAL) (minus 00:12 Monster Pictures introduction and URL at the end of the credits) – censored.
bountyfilms.com – VOD – 86:50 (PAL) (minus 00:12 Monster Pictures introduction) – uncut.
Two scenes have been modified with seven individual cuts. This is relatively minor when compared to the 27 cuts,and 3:02 removed from the UK BBFC 18 version.
Before – At 27:53, a close-up is shown of Martin penis as he wraps it in sandpaper. Valerie says, ‘Why do these stupid things never work?’ Close-up shot of Martin’s face.
Cut No. 1 – 00:02 missing – Close-up of Martin’s penis as he masturbates with the sandpaper.
After – Phone rings and Karrie says, ‘Oh, Valerie’.
Barbed wire sex
Before – At 73:20 (uncut) and 73:18 (cut), Martin bends down and picks up the barbed wire. Close-up of his face as he begins to wrap it around his penis.
Cut No. 2 – 00:02 missing – Close-up of Martin’s penis as he wraps it with barbed wire.
After/Before – Shot of the final girl in the human centipede chain. Close-up of Martin’s face as he continues to wrap his penis.
Cut No. 3 – 00:06 missing – A longer and more explicit close-up of his penis. Martin is then shown standing behind the girl with his erect penis wrapped in barbed wire.
After/Before – Wide shot of the complete human centipede and Martin beginning to kneel behind before he begins to rape the final link in the chain. Followed by a close up shot of one of the girls as she looks up in terror.
Cut No. 4 – 00:03 missing – Martin continues thrusting.
After/Before – The lights flicker and the room goes dark. Wide shot of Martin at the end of the human centipede.
Cut No. 5 – 00:05 missing – Martin continues thrusting.
After/Before – Close up of the woman at the front, followed by a shot down the line of the human centipede with Martin thrusting in the distance.
Cut No. 6 – 00:07 missing – Martin continues thrusting.
After/Before – Close up of Dick’s face.
Cut No. 7 – 00:07 missing – Martin continues thrusting.
After – Wide shot of the complete human centipede, with Martin thrusting away at the rear. The end of the rape is then shown as Martin climaxes and slumps on the back of the woman.
The distributor reflects
Here is Monster Pictures looking back on their experience with the film.
The following month they would again have censorship issues, this time with the refusal of Ryan Nicholson’s HANGER (2009).
July 17, 2012
No it didn’t last long and in the end it amounted to sweet fuck all but yes it is true, in this country, in this day and age, a film made by a group of consenting adults for the entertainment of consenting adults was banned – why? Because God ordained it so! Yes that’s right, God, as represented by whacko fringe members of this countries Christian right, made a stand, he cast his gaze down upon us and declared “Get that fucking obscene rubbish from my screens now you pack of heathen cunts” and so it was, THC2 was ripped from our screens.
The truth is that THC2 was passed by the fair and well informed Australian Government Classification Board on its initial application, but we have a system in this country that if ordinary “concerned” citizens are not happy with a classification of a film they can call for that classification to be reviewed. In this case 2 groups took offense – one helmed by a hideous creature by the name of Ros Phillips from the ludicrously named Family Voice Australia (do they speak for your family?) and another by a lunatic Christian by the name of Melina Tankard Reist, called Collective Shout.
And so it was that representatives from Monster Pictures were brought before the snarling bulldogs of the Australian Classification Review Board – 3 middle-aged, middle class ladies, who are meant to represent a cross section of Australian society, and for a couple of hours, with the assistance of Jack Sargeant and Laura Crawford, we presented evidence to defend the film, evidence that in the end amounted to diddly squat – the lovely ladies of the board had made up there mind, THC2 was not fit for the consumption of the Australian Public – at least not legally, they could download it illegally if they wanted but they could not buy it legally, not on their watch – this film was smut – dangerous smut no less!
The irony of all this is that Monster Pictures were free to re-submit the offending film immediately after the hearing, so long as the film was modified in some way. Our initial response was “why, they’ll only ban it again”, but we were wrong, the film was to be assessed once again, using the very same criteria as in its initial application, by the very same Australian Government Classification Board who had passed it in the first place – with this in mind we made very token cuts – specifically a close up of a fake penis being masturbated with sandpaper, another of the same fake penis wrapped in barbed wire and a few frames of people screaming during the barbed wire rape scene – a grant total of 22 seconds in all, and guess what Monstertypes? The film was passed once again with the exact same classification that it had received in the first place.
What a pain in the arse you say? Well yes it would appear that way, but all honesty the publicity generated from the banning could not have been better – we’re a small company with not much dough to spend on advertising, we can’t pay for coverage in the mainstream media but that’s exactly what we got, and at the end of the day, the film returned with very little removed but with a lovely dose of notoriety hanging off every frame – a big thank you to Ros, Melinda and the kind ladies of the Classification Review Board.– Monster guff for rabid Monsterphiles – a recap of everything since we last spoke
Complaints – for & against
September 17, 2012
A SERBIAN FILM and THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II (FULL SEQUENCE) were two films that attracted numerous complaints during the reporting period for a range of reasons. It was not clear from some of the complaints whether the complainants had viewed the films at all, or if they had, whether they had seen them at festivals, at a cinema or on DVD.
There were 12 complaints about THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II (FULL SEQUENCE). The majority of complainants wanted the film to be refused classification.
Film Festivals– Classification Board
The other complaint was about the screening of THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II (FULL SEQUENCE) at a festival [Brisbane].
– Annual Report, 2011 to 2012
September 17, 2012– Classification Review Board
The Review Board received 15 complaints about its decisions.
… five complaints about THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II (FULL SEQUENCE).
Complainants did not think that THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II (FULL SEQUENCE) should be refused classification.
– Annual Report, 2011 to 2012
In October 2017, Monster Pictures released THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (COMPLETE SEQUENCE) on Blu-ray. Part one and three were uncut, but two was still missing 30-seconds.
The consumer advice of ‘High impact horror themes, sexual violence, sex and disturbing scenes’ was an amalgamation of the Classification Board’s warnings for each part.
The inner slick of the disc was a mock 1980s video cover, with ‘Banned in Queensland’ sticker, on the Black Neon Home Video label.
Heavily censored on Netflix
In October 2017, THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II (FULL SEQUENCE) was added to Netflix in Australia.
The opening 00:19 begins with ‘Warning: The following film contains extremely graphic violence and sex. For mature audiences only’ followed by the IFC Films logo. The actual movie then begins and runs 87:31 (NTSC).
Despite being listed with the Classification Board’s R18+ (High impact themes, violence and sexual violence) rating, this version is more heavily cut.
The IFC Films logo indicates it is the American Video-On-Demand version that, according to Movie-Censorship, is missing over three-minutes of footage. The two scenes that were only slightly trimmed in the Monster Pictures version have been entirely removed.