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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) (trailer)

Oh, I’m sure the movie is thoroughly disgusting, inhumane, and pointless, just like The Human Centipede (First Sequence) was. But what’s sorta more disgusting is all the oneupmanship going on over the promotion of it. This trailer, from IFC Films in the U.S., delights in announcing that the film is “banned in the U.K.”:

Human Centipede II banned in the UK

An Australian trailer — which you can watch at Movieline — gleefully lures in viewers by stating that the version of the film that will be shown in the U.S. has been cut.

My buddy Scott Weinberg — who’s based in Texas and has seen the film — has a piece up over at the Guardian Film Blog about how U.K. censors saved those of us on this side of the pond from “a shockingly boring film.” That may well be the case. But censorship is far more shocking and disgusting than anything anyone could put on film (as Weinberg also notes). And as we see here, it only fuels a sort of childish triumph on the part of those selling the film, and for Tom Six, who has a distinction that puts him in company he shouldn’t be in, alongside the likes of Mark Twain and Billie Holiday: artists whose work has been banned. It gives him a cachet he does not deserve.

In a society that properly wanted to chastise Six, he would be ignored, not singled out for a scolding that holds no real shame or even meaning. Anyone who wants to see the uncut, uncensored Human Centipede II will eventually be able to, once it’s only an easy DVD shipment away. So what is achieved by bans and edits? Nothing but giving Tom Six and this film the attention it wants.

Of course, now I’m doing the same too. *sigh*

UPDATE: In a totally unsurprising turn of events, literally minutes after I posted this, it was announced that the U.K. ban on the film has been lifted. It will be released with an 18 rating (the equivalent of NC-17 in the U.S., but without the stigma), but only after many cuts. More at the Guardian.

US/Canada release date: Oct 7 2011 | UK release date: banned

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