Illustrations by Luiza Formagin

Ten Years of '2 Girls 1 Cup,' the Most Memorable Brazilian Shit on the Internet

The story of the scatological film from São Paulo, Brazil that terrorized the world and created the YouTube reaction video.

by Marie Declercq; translated by Fabricio Costa
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Jun 9 2017, 2:00pm

Illustrations by Luiza Formagin

This article originally appeared on VICE Brazil.

In 2007, if your friends didn't trick you into watching a very specific clip of two women kissing, shitting in a cup, eating their own shit, and then vomiting everything in their mouths, they probably didn't spend much time online. The ultimate viral video for anyone trying to lose their appetite has officially been around for a decade, and we're taking a look back at how it continues to influence the internet a decade later.

2 Girls 1 Cup (2G1C for our purposes) is nothing more than a one minute trailer for a longer film produced by MF Videos called Hungry Bitches. In the teaser, two performers, Karla and Latifa, act out a scatological scene to the distressing sound of "Lover's Theme" by French composer Hervé Roy (who also did soundtrack for the soft-porn film Emmanuelle in 1974).

Somewhere along the way, the domain 2girls1cup.com was purchased. It soon became the dedicated home for the video (the site is currently offline, though spinoffs like 2girls1cup.ca still exist). What really put 2 Girls 1 Cup on the map though was not the video itself, but the videos about it. 2G1C pioneered a specific kind of video genre that would come to define sites like YouTube in coming years: the reaction video.

The alleged first reaction video to 2G1C was posted in the fall of 2007.

Several clips of people watching 2 Girls 1 Cup became almost as popular as 2G1C itself. One featured a grandma, who some sadistic American guy forced to watch 2G1C. In the video, the grandmother appears shocked out of her mind.

Soon after, tons of other people copied the idea. They started filming their friends, colleagues, and family squirming in terror as they saw two grown women shitting into a cup, eating the contents of said cup, and vomiting it in the same container.

The internet reaction video had officially arrived, but it was just the beginning of the smelly 2G1C journey.

A truly Brazilian production

Although it seems like a work born straight from hell, 2G1C didn't arise from spontaneous combustion. The 100 percent Brazilian film was shot in the southeastern state of São Paulo by Marco Fiorito, a director and producer of fetish films born in the region. In the early 90s, alongside his then-wife Joelma Brito (who went by Letícia Miller), Fiorito created Dragon Films, a production company that specialized in podophilia (foot fetish), female domination, and coprophilia (defecation fetish) films.

Fiorito's career as a producer began in 1994. He got his start producing homemade podophilia films, which he and his wife both filmed and starred in. They placed ads in local newspapers to sell VHS tapes, as much of the porn industry did at the time. Interested buyers would call the phone number listed in the ad to get a tape shipped to them. Fiorito and Miller made enough money to live off producing their own fetish films, and eventually the business became so popular that they were able to hire additional performers to act in their projects.

In 1999, as the internet porn industry began to boom, a businessman named Luis Vilas Boas approached Fiorito and offered him a partnership to sell his company's films on the internet. According to Fiorito's testimony to a US District Court (more on that later), he had no idea how to work the internet, but trusted Vilas Boas because money was periodically sent to him from the sale of his films online.

In addition to Dragon Films, Fiorito also registered the name MF Videos (the acronym of his first and last names) and LM Videos (Letícia Miller) to release more titles. When his films started to garner more attention and the paychecks became fatter, he and Miller informally separated.

This telling of events is based on Fiorito's testimony in court, in which he said he considers himself a "compulsive fetishist," and admitted that he spent a large portion of his earnings feeding his sexual needs.

Through Vilas Boas, Fiorito met Danilo Croce, who started to advise him financially. The director said he didn't like Croce and that he was never made a formal part of Dragon Films or MF Videos.

The fact that Fiorito and Croce didn't see eye-to-eye was of particular interest to Maria Elvira Benítez, an anthropology professor at UFRJ (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) and the director of the anthropology collection of Papéis Selvagens, a literature and anthropology publication. Benítez followed several notable figures from the porn and fetish industries during 2011 while writing her master's thesis, which was later published as a book titled In Sex's Networks.

"Everyone who's worked with Fiorito says that he is a great employer, that he pays who he has to pay, and that he has a good reputation. [Croce] has an inverse reputation—you won't find anyone [willing to speak highly about him]. Fiorito walked away from him shortly after this all happened," Benítez said. As a joke, Fiorito even created a character for a film named "Daniel Cross," which is the American equivalent to "Danilo Croce." The "homage" made Croce furious.

The complicated relationship between Fiorito and Croce didn't stop the latter from expanding Dragon Films. Croce sold copies of the studio's films in Florida according to the same scheme Fiorito did in Brazil: Create a catalog, get customer orders, and deliver the films in the mail.

Everything seemed fine until the shit hit the fan (ha) in September 2006, when Croce was arrested on charges of obscenity, and for making the Dragon Films catalog available for download online. So what exactly does it mean to be charged with obscenity?

Fanny Hill and 2 Girls 1 Cup

Since the 19th century, the US has waged war in the name of morality against any material it considers obscene. Thanks to the intense lobbying of Anthony Comstock, a US Postal Inspector and Victorian morality purist, the Comstock Law was passed in 1873. It made it illegal to send obscene materials, contraceptive methods, sex toys, erotica, and abortion information in the mail. The law has been extensively criticized over the course of its existence because it's often seen as conflicting with the First Amendment, which ensures freedom of expression, religion, and the press.

To make matters worse, the Comstock Law also fails to provide a specific definition of "obscene," which caused serious headaches in the courtroom. What was considered to fit the definition often varied depending on the judge presiding over the case.

One of the most important trials in the history of obscenity and censorship in the US was Memoirs v. Massachusetts, a 1966 Supreme Court case that concerned whether or not Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (often referred to as Fanny Hill), an 18th century erotic novel, qualified as obscene. Defendants of the book successfully proved that while under some circumstances it could be considered obscene, it could not be concluded that it had no redeeming social value.

Around the same time, works by the likes of Henry Miller, Charles Baudelaire, William Burroughs, and more were banned. Publishers were arrested for assisting in marketing these obscenities, like Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who was prosecuted for publishing Allen Ginsberg's revolutionary poem Howl.

Now that it's clear just how prude the US can be, the trouble Dragon Films found itself in when it tried to sell its fetish films in the US will make far more sense.

In Brazil, if your films don't feature underage participants, bestiality, or homicide, you're basically free to sell them on the market. But in the US, you could very well be taken to trial and arrested, should a harsh judge find you guilty of selling "immoral" material to American citizens—which is basically what happened to Danilo Croce.

Just one year before the first 2G1C reaction video was uploaded, Croce was arrested in Orlando on charges of obscenity. His Florida-based company, Lexus Multimedia, was accused of distributing and selling Dragon Films productions in the mail.

He wasn't arrested because of 2G1C, but for a movie called Toilet Man 6, which featured several women making use of a male actor exactly how the title implies.

According to the The Smoking Gun, the tape's disturbing plot inspired Linda Walker, a US postal inspector, to draft a nine-page report detailing the studio's catalog of movies. Between 2003 to 2006, undercover mail agents acquired work produced by Dragon Films and launched a formal investigation into Croce's business.

As part of the investigation, Walker, the US postal inspector, had the unfortunate task of watching some Dragon Films productions, like Bukkake 3 and Scat Pleasures. It was because of Dragon Films that the term "bukkake" was added to the long list of topics considered obscene by the US government. A document was even written to help federal judges understand exactly what a fisting scene looks like.

Croce was facing felony charges that carried a maximum penalty of five years in prison and $150,000 in fines.

In November, Fiorito released a statement that helped save both him and Croce from further legal troubles. The producer explained the nature of his business, and claimed to have absolutely nothing to do with the commercialization of Dragon Films in the US. He also said that he could have never imagined that his work would cause problems abroad, since it's legal to distribute them in the Brazil.

Croce was eventually released after paying $98,000, and returned to Brazil in custody. The case spelled the commercial end for Dragon Films in the US, but it was just the beginning of the story for 2G1C abroad.

No such thing as bad publicity

The case against Dragon Films attracted the attention of innumerable people, likely helping to spread Hungry Bitches around the world. Millions of eyeballs would end up on 2 Girls 1 Cup, transforming the short porn trailer into a cultural sensation. By 2009, 2G1C was a certified meme, and it even had its own song.

2G1C references became so popular that in 2010 Coca-Cola ran a Dr. Pepper Facebook campaign riffing on the video (Coke distributes Dr. Pepper in Europe). The post was something to the effect of "I saw 2 Girls 1 Cup, and I was hungry afterwards." Parents were outraged when they learned what the post was referencing, and the ad agency that created the campaign was ultimately fired.

So what made 2G1C such a popular meme that even major corporations wanted in on the fun? Maybe, against all odds, people saw a part of themselves in the shocking film.

"If the movie got that kind of attention, it's because it's true. Porn is like any other genre: You have to make it for the people on the other side of the screen to believe in it, be it pleasure or pain," says Edson Strafite, one of the most respected names in the Brazilian porn industry.

The legend lives on

Despite several major hiccups in his career, Fiorito continues to produce fetish films and plays an important role in the porn industry in his home country.

"Fiorito is much more than just this film—he's a very important director in the market," emphasizes Benítez. "He avoids talking about the film [2G1C] because it seems, at least since 2011—when he commented on it—that he can't enter the US anymore because of the incident."

"In the beginning, he told me that he didn't produce the film at all and that it was [Croce] instead, and later he said that he had a part in its production. The point is that, while this story seems a little dark, he continues to make these movies and is one of the top fetish film directors in Brazil. He essentially likes feet and domination, and stays away from these more 'cute' and 'romantic' podophilia movies," says the researcher.

Today, as the head of MF Videos, Fiorito continues to make his coprophilia and podophilia films with the same passion that motivated him back in the 90s. We tried contacting both him and Miller over Facebook, but we didn't receive any response. We weren't the only ones.

"I admire his work. He's very extreme and creative," says Marcos Morais, director and producer of MM Videos, which also specializes in fetish films.

So was it real?

Many people suspected that Fiorito's scenes, like the one depicted in 2G1C, could be faked with chocolate ice cream or post-production special effects. By the time Croce was arrested, Fiorito had already admitted that he would often use chocolate to simulate actual excrement when filming.

But Jully Delarge, a director and porn actress who worked with Fiorito on approximately 20 scenes, says she doubts the director faked most of his scatology films. "I've never heard of scat scenes made with chocolate," she said.

She can't speak for the actresses in 2G1C, but Delarge indicated that Fiorito usually preferred for his scenes to be real.

The legacy

2G1C was an accidental triumph. When the video went viral in 2007, the internet was far from what it is now. Today, a meme like 2 Girls 1 Cup usually has a far shorter lifespan. Only few survive past their expected time of departure from the internet lexicon.

The 2G1C phenomenon was different because it occurred when video streaming was in its infancy. YouTubers were merely people who shared ordinary performances and facts in front of a camera, rather than professionals.

The horror of watching actual human feces being consumed by actual humans forever changed the internet, and gave us the classic reaction video genre.

2G1C was huge, even if it was a literal piece of shit.