Following their ban on The Human Centipede 2, the British Board of Film Classification have now refused a certificate to The Very Hungry Caterpillar, due to what they describe as ‘shocking images of gluttony and explicit pupa scenes.’
According to the censors the film presents ‘a real threat to cinemagoers’ and is said to contain some of the most horrific images of full-frontal pupation ever seen.
The report by the BBFC says: ‘We found that the caterpillar presented a very bad example to children and adults alike, encouraging binge eating while suggesting that the end result would be to enter into a chrysalis stage and come out the other end a beautiful butterfly. This is entirely the wrong message to send to people, especially in the midst of an obesity epidemic.’
In the film, the caterpillar starts off by eating a leaf, an apple, two green pears, three purple plums, four strawberries and five oranges. ‘This early stage of the movie is fine,’ said BBFC Director David Cooke, ‘since it encourages a mainly fruit based diet, and conveys the government’s five-a-day message.’
However, the BBFC became increasingly concerned when the caterpillar is shown eating other foods including chocolate cake, ice-cream, and most controversially, Swiss cheese and salami. 'It is quite irresponsible to show such a dangerously high cholesterol diet,' said the board members. 'We haven’t seen anything this bad since the infamous full-fat butter scene in Last Tango in Paris.’
However, the board reserved their major criticism for the latter stages of the movie in which the caterpillar in shown in an explicit state of full-frontal pupation. ‘This was completely unacceptable,’ said Cooke. ‘Heaven forefend if people saw this film, went home and tried to enter into a chrysalis stage themselves. The consequences are too horrific to think about.’
The film’s director, Lars von Trier, said: ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a story about sin and redemption. Yes, there is gluttony, but let us not forget that the caterpillar then suffers a tummy ache and returns to the purity of the leaf. All the pupa scenes were shot tastefully and the true message of the film is that inside every one of us there is a beautiful butterfly.’
‘This simply isn’t true,’ countered Cooke. ‘None of us have a butterfly inside of us, unless we have swallowed a caterpillar, and that is just the kind of thing we are trying to avoid.’