British Board of Film Classification Banned Movies: From 'Je t'aime moi non plus' to 'Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS'

by Andre Soares
Jane Birkin, Joe Dallesandro, Je t'aime moi non plus
Joe Dallesandro, Jane Birkin in Serge Gainsbourg's Je t'aime moi non plus / I Love You, No I Don't

According to the “censor watchgroup” site, Tom Six's The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) joins a number of other motion pictures banned in the last few years by the concerned folks at the British Board of Film Classification.

Among those are several porn/sexually explicit titles (gay rape porn Lost in the Hood, Rob Rotten's The Texas Vibrator Massacre), Nick Palumbo's Murder Set Pieces, and Koji Shiraishi's Grotesque.

Here are a few other titles that in decades past the BBFC board decided would harm the psyches of British denizens, young and old:

  • 99 Women (1969) - Prison drama featuring Oscar winner and The Exorcist's demon-voice provider Mercedes McCambridge as a torture-loving prison warden.
  • "The Best of the New York Erotic Film Festival” (1974) - A collection of five prize-winning short films, including Eyetoon and The Stripper.
  • Hells Angels on Wheels (1967) - Biker drama directed by future Oscar nominee Richard Rush, and starring a pre-Easy Rider Jack Nicholson.
  • Je t'aime moi non plus / I Love You, No I Don't (1976) - Serge Gainsbourg's post-Sunday, Bloody Sunday bisexual triangle featuring Joe Dallesandro, Hugues Quester and Jane Birkin.
  • Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS (1975) - Dyanne Thorne has the title role, Ilsa, warden of a Nazi death camp in which lots of naked women get tortured. Don Edmonds directed.

Other titles include Panic in Needle Park (1970), starring Al Pacino; Jens Jørgen Thorsen's Quiet Days in Clichy (1970), based on a novel by Arthur Miller; Claude Mulot's Le sexe qui parle / Pussy Talks (1975), in which Penelope Lamour discovers that her vagina has developed a(n) (audible) voice; and, inevitably, Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris (1972), Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), Pier Paolo Pasolini's Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975), and Just Jaeckin's The Story of O (1975).

Also, Sergio Martino's excellent The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh, whose classification was revised in 2001, when it was “passed 18 uncut.”

And finally, in 2002 the British Board of Film Classification ordered more than three minutes cut from Takashi Miike's Ichi the Killer, which features graphic scenes of “extreme sexual violence.” That represented the BBFC's biggest demand for an “editing job” in about a decade.

Described by its distributor, Medusa Pictures, as an “ultra-controversial piece of manga mayhem,” Ichi the Killer is based on Hideo Yamamoto's manga about a bloodthirsty hitman who meets his match in the person of Ichi, a man with razor blades in place of toes.

Ichi the Killer offers scenes of naked women being sexually mutilated, beaten, and killed, which “appear to the [BBFC] board to have no function other than the pleasure of the onlooker.” When Miike's film was screened at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival, organizers provided sick bags to the audience.

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