UK film censor to get tougher with 'torture porn' movies

Human Centipede 2

Public is worried cruel films like 'The Human Centipede II' are harming vulnerable viewers

LAST UPDATED AT 12:03 ON Tue 11 Dec 2012

THEY'RE cruel, twisted and loved by young men, in particular. Now the British film censor has decided to get tough with so-called 'torture porn' movies such as The Human Centipede II, because the public is worried about the effect they're having on "vulnerable viewers".

The Guardian reports the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) is to "tighten its policy" on films that delight in "sexual or sadistic violence" by issuing new guidelines in six weeks' time. The rethink has been triggered by new research suggesting the public believes the films are having a harmful effect on young, naive men, in particular.

The BBFC is the independent body responsible for age ratings on films, videos, DVDs and certain video games. It can demand cuts if it believes a film poses the risk of harm; for example, if a rape scene suggests the victim is enjoying the act.

The Human Centipede II, directed by Tom Six (pictured), which was one of the movies shown to focus groups by researchers working for the BBFC, had more than two-and-a-half minutes cut from it last year after censors watched the twisted tale of an obsessed horror movie fan who stitches people together for kicks.

Another ultra-violent film The Bunny Game was banned by the BBFC at the about the same time thanks to scenes in which a trucker sexually abuses a prostitute.

Most of the public believes sexual and sadistic violence can be explored in a legitimate way by film-makers, notes the BBFC, and it doesn't want a blanket ban. But there are real concerns some torture porn flicks go too far and "may be potentially harmful".

"This concern is particularly acute in relation to young men without much life experience and other vulnerable viewers accessing a diet of sadistic and sexually violent content, which could serve to normalise rape and other forms of violence and offer a distorted view of women," says the BBFC.

Its director David Cooke insisted each film would be taken on its merits and there was "no one-size rule" for assessing the impact of a violent film. · 

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