Pleasant Surprise: ‘Human Centipede II’ Might Actually Be Disgusting

By  · Published on June 6th, 2011

Besides the bad acting, the eye-rollingly terrible story, the logic gaps, and pointlessness, the biggest problem with Human Centipede was that it just wasn’t all that gross. With a premise like that, you’d better deliver the goods, and director Tom Six instead covered the goods in adult diapers and pantomime poop-eating.

Fortunately, its sequel has been flatly rejected by the British Board of Film Classification – citing “images of sexual violence, forced defecation, and mutilation.”

A plot synopsis of sorts has come from the decision, and it reveals that Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) will be employing a new horror trend into its bag of tricks. Of course, mild spoilers stand right ahead…

Empire got the story on the rejection, and printed the full decision:

“The first film dealt with a mad doctor who sews together three kidnapped people in order to produce the ‘human centipede’ of the title. Although the concept of the film was undoubtedly tasteless and disgusting it was a relatively traditional and conventional horror film and the Board concluded that it was not in breach of our Guidelines at ‘18’. This new work, The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence), tells the story of a man who becomes sexually obsessed with a DVD recording of the first film and who imagines putting the ‘centipede’ idea into practice. Unlike the first film, the sequel presents graphic images of sexual violence, forced defecation, and mutilation, and the viewer is invited to witness events from the perspective of the protagonist. Whereas in the first film the ‘centipede’ idea is presented as a revolting medical experiment, with the focus on whether the victims will be able to escape, this sequel presents the ‘centipede’ idea as the object of the protagonist’s depraved sexual fantasy.

The principal focus of The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) is the sexual arousal of the central character at both the idea and the spectacle of the total degradation, humiliation, mutilation, torture, and murder of his naked victims. Examples of this include a scene early in the film in which he masturbates whilst he watches a DVD of the original Human Centipede film, with sandpaper wrapped around his penis, and a sequence later in the film in which he becomes aroused at the sight of the members of the ‘centipede’ being forced to defecate into one another’s mouths, culminating in sight of the man wrapping barbed wire around his penis and raping the woman at the rear of the ‘centipede’. 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. There is a strong focus throughout on the link between sexual arousal and sexual violence and a clear association between pain, perversity and sexual pleasure. It is the Board’s conclusion that the explicit presentation of the central character’s obsessive sexually violent fantasies is in breach of its Classification Guidelines and poses a real, as opposed to a fanciful, risk that harm is likely to be caused to potential viewers.

A few things to point out:

  1. It seems clear that Six and company are using our good friend “meta” in order to make this next one. Presumably, this story takes place in a world where The Human Centipede exists as a movie (and is available on DVD). Basically, our world. It also involves a main character stroking himself while watching it – which might tell us more about Six than anything else.
  2. More gore, more of the red stuff, more anything is a good deal. The original was the direct cinematic version of a monster made entirely of zippers. All bark, no bite. It’s encouraging to see the bite.
  3. However…this description (while not an official synopsis) seems incredibly hollow. Six didn’t exactly display skills for writing, character creation or story the last go ‘round, and it sounds here like he’s created a movie that’s actual torture porn. At least one censor board felt it had no merit beyond titillation. Sorry, Britain. The US will no doubt see the release, and there’s no reason to care about the BBFC, but it’s telling that an audience was turned off because the film was an excuse to show depravity. Hopefully this won’t solely be a snuff film. Hopefully there will be something of worth in it.
  4. Is there any better advertising than being rejected like this?

What do you think?

Related Topics:

Movie stuff at VanityFair, Thrillist, IndieWire, Film School Rejects, and The Broken Projector Podcast@brokenprojector | Writing short stories at Adventitious.