Banning 'Human Centipede 2' Only Makes More People See It

Sasha Brown-Worsham

The Human Centipede was a depraved bit of film that came out in 2009 and horrified most everyone who saw it. That was "The First Sequence." The sequel -- said to be even worse than the first -- can't even get a rating in Britain, effectively banning it. And all this hoopla is only doing one thing: Making more people want to see it.

Look, sexual violence isn't pleasant in a film, but banning it -- stopping people from seeing something they want to see for personal reasons -- isn't going to solve the problem. And it also ups the ante for film directors because the more depraved and sick the movie, the more likely it is to get "banned" and the more likely people are to want to see it. Besides, does the British government really have nothing better to do than ban horror movies?

For those not in the know, the film is a bit of "torture porn" about a depraved doctor whose dream it is to sew three people together, mouths to anuses, to form a "human centipede." The premise is dirty and disgusting, no doubt, but in a free country, all kinds of things go on that other people don't get. That is kind of the beauty of it all.

Now, of course, the film hasn't been outright banned, but the government has refused to rate the film, effectively banning it, which is a distinction few films hold, save for A Clockwork Orange and Freaks.

Apparently, in this film, there is a depiction of sexual violence in which a man rapes the last woman in the centipede with barbed wire wrapped around his penis. Granted, that is beyond depraved and cruel. On the other hand, it's a movie

It will be released some time in the United States in 2011. Lucky us! The film was described by the BBFC:

There is little attempt to portray any of the victims in the film as anything other than objects to be brutalized, degraded, and mutilated for the amusement and arousal of the central character, as well as for the pleasure of the audience.

Yeah, that's torture porn. It's a new genre, one that most people hate, but some gore hounds and horror aficionados can't get enough of it and so what? Should that really be banned? Just because it isn't your cup of tea doesn't make it so depraved it can't be seen by anyone. And banning things only makes people want them more. The fact is, sexual violence is seen in varying degrees in many films and the bigger the deal we make of it, the more people want to see it. Banning films isn't the answer. Rating them, ignoring them, and moving on really is.

It's highly unlikely that Tom Six's bit of shock cinema will ever become much more than a bit of shock cinema, but congratulations Britain. You have just made a whole contingent of people who never would have watched want to see the movie. Anyone associated with the film is certainly thrilled right now. A ban is the best publicity possible.

Do you think this ban is ridiculous?

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