Norwegian director Tom Six’s throat-clogging horror film The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) has been slapped with a Refused Classification rating by the Australian Classification Review Board (ACRB), effectively banning it from distribution in Australia.

The film has been KBed from local screens despite being green-lit in May, when it was given an R rating. The Human Centipede II opened at select cinemas a fortnight ago, including Melbourne’s Cinema Nova, which advertised the film with a prophetic “see it before it’s banned” motto.

This marks the second instance this year of a feature film being approved and then banned in a matter of weeks. It follows in the grisly footsteps of A Serbian Film, which was OK’ed for release earlier this year but re-reviewed and banned in July. A review of The Human Centipede II was requested by NSW Attorney General, Greg Smith.

It is becoming a disconcerting habit for Australian classification boards to issue embarrassing about-faces, potentially damaging not only to distribution and exhibition companies but to the integrity of the classification system itself.

Here’s a snippet from the ACRB’s official press statement:

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.

Read my review of the film here.

When news broke, the Twitterverse exploded. Here’s a snapshot of what Twitter users had to say:

@RichOnFilm: Totally not surprised HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 was banned upon review. Our system is clearly broken. Should it have received a R in the 1st place?

@cinemanova: #HumanCentipede2 is now BANNED! NSW Attorney General doesn’t think you’re capable of understanding it’s just a movie!

@BernardKeane: I wish I could muster my free speech outrage about the banning ofHuman Centipede II but, really, I just can’t.

@dandotmoss: Human Centipede 2 refused classification for screening! Holy crapola!

@leezachariah: And now HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 has been banned in Australia. Upside: as a boy, I always thought it would be cool to live in the Middle Ages.

@MelbourneBitter: Just got an email from some Christian group who are thrilled Human Centipede 2 has been banned.

@MJCrompton1: I wonder how many people are now going to goto bit torrents to get their human centipede 2 fix as it is now banned in this country?

@aussexparty: HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 & @MonsterPics the latest victims of our broken censorship scheme. When will gov’t protect the rights of artists/adults?

@dougladbot: They refuse classification on Human Centipede II but let Jack and Jill through? Questions ASKED!

@martynpedler Picture a human centipede-friendly Hollywood at last. “I Don’t Know How She Does It”? Maybe it’s all those extra arms!

@AdemWithanE: Well done to the Australian Classification Review Board; thanks to them we’ll all just have to download The Human Centipede 2 illegally.

@MichaelByrnes: I didn’t want to see #HumanCentipede2, but it’s disgraceful that those who do won’t get to exercise that choice.

@stalepopcorn: Why is the frothy romcom antics of HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2banned and the similarly-themed THE IRON LADY is not? Disgraceful.

@LNPinsider: Trying to download a copy of The Human Centipede 2 now that it’s been banned in Australia.

@CarolineNorma: #Shame on @cinemanova for showing the Human Centipede II, which has now been banned

@var0sha: The Human Centipede II banned from Australian screens. Kinda pointless nowadays to ban stuff.

@TV-Rev: The Human Centipede 2 has been refused classification in Australia. Watch as sandpaper sales & downloads skyrocket.

@Christoph_Elena: The Human Centipede 2’s been banned yet Jack & Jill is being released this Thursday.

@ruminksi: Family First supports the banning of HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2. That’s all you need to know, really. Greens, ALP, Coalition: still silent. Family First supports the banning of HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2. That’s all you need to know, really. Greens, ALP, Coalition: still silent.

@TheJenHansen: Probably a good thing that Human Centipede 2 has been banned from future screenings in Australia. No more poopies on cinema floors!!

@RobertCettk: first A Serbian movie and now this – this country is film-censor crazy: the worst record of any democracy in film bans

@ScottFitzG: One less chick flick to see this summer


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