[31 Days of Horror Part V: A New Beginning] Day 30 – The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) (2011)

Director: Tom Six

Cast: Ashlynn Yennie, Laurence R. Harvey, Maddi Black

Screenplay: Tom Six

91 mins. Not Rated.

 

It’s been a few years since I checked out a Human Centipede film. The first one was enjoyable for it’s totally campy and crazy premise. I thought it was about time to revisit this series for the sequel, and here’s the thing: it’s terrible.

Martin (Laurence R. Harvey, Frankenstein Created Bikers, Adult Babies) is addicted to the film The Human Centipede. He loves it so much that he thinks he can do it himself. He’s studied the film for a long time. Now, he has kidnapped a dozen people and plans to use them to make a better centipede…a full sequence.

So The Human Centipede II…is shit. It’s the worst kind of shit. It also contains scenes of shitting. So shit all around. An interesting idea to start quickly turned into a failure of a sequel. What I liked about the original film was that it felt very akin to a Tales from the Crypt story. The sequel is almost shockingly bad, but then again, I knew it wouldn’t be good.

Director Tom Six (The Onania Club, I Love Dries) actually attempted social commentary here with a look at rabid fandom but he drops the ball in just about every single way. He missed the point by pushing the gore past a comfortable way to a flat-out disgusting place. This comes from a guy that doesn’t mind gore and actively enjoyed gory movies. I was sickened by the film because its gore doesn’t serve a purpose in the story or the experience.

What’s worse than his failure to make an enjoyable follow-up is that Six spends a bulk of the film jerking his ego by putting the original film on a pedestal. There are lines of dialogue where characters talk as though the first film is a masterpiece. Here’s the ticket: it isn’t. Six’s one takeaway as a filmmaker is that he believes he can capably employ disgust in place of story.

There are no characters in the movie. We learn nothing about the victims. We know virtually nothing about Martin. He is a smug, disgusting monster of a man who I wouldn’t want to spend any amount of time with, let alone 90 minutes. He doesn’t grow as a character is one of the worst leads in film history. Again, at least with the first film, we have two likable, or at least not unlikable, leads. Even the doctor, who isn’t likable, is at least somewhat interesting.

Tom Six said that The Human Centipede II would make the first film look like My Little Pony. He was wrong. The sequel actually makes the first film look like Citizen Kane comparatively. This isn’t a film to be seen. It’s more like a badge you wear as a horror fan, but this badge doesn’t make you look good in front of your friends. It makes you feel bad. And maybe it should.

 

1/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

 

For my review of Tom Six’s The Human Centipede, click here.

31 Days of Horror: Day 4 – The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009)

the human centipede first sequence1

Director: Tom Six

Cast: Dieter Laser, Ashley C. Williams, Ashlynn Yennie, Akihiro Kitamura

Screenplay: Tom Six

92 mins. Rated R for disturbing sadistic horror violence, nudity and language.

 

If Monsters, Inc. occupies one end of the horror movie spectrum, then The Human Centipede (First Sequence) exists somewhere at the completely opposite end. It is the story of Dr. Heiter (Dieter Laser), a fringe experimental surgeon who decides to test the bounds of human emotional and physical pain by surgically stitching together three people from anus to mouth creating, he coins, a “human centipede.”

The Human Centipede [First Sequence] (18)

This is definitely one of the weirdest movies I have ever seen. The idea came from a conversation that director/screenwriter Tom Six had with some friends where he exclaimed that child molesters should have their mouths sewn to the ass of a fat truck driver. Now, that idea’s genesis into whatever this thing is has to be an odd metamorphosis of storytelling (Six consulted with an actual surgeon in order to get his 100% Medically Accurate tagline for the movie). The plot is at least mildly intriguing, more so than the performances, with Laser occupying the entirety of the performances. The other three actors (Ashley C. Williams, Ashlynn Yennie, and Akihiro Kitamura as the centipedes three contributors) merely do not act, but instead react in much the same way that I think anyone would, and in that way, the performances are on point. Not great or engaging, but on point.

Tom Six’s film is thought to be one of the more visually disturbing pictures of all time, when in all reality, the actual grossness of the film comes from the ideas laid out and the tremendously gruesome use of sound work. The ideas are presented, the surgery is for the most part off camera, and the resulting images are shown to the audience. This is one film where what you don’t see is much more horrific than what you do. The actual visual gore is pretty tame by comparison to most other horror films these days.

I can completely see the comparison between Heiter (first name Josef) and Dr. Josef Mengele as well, and it raises the level of horror on this movie, creating another implication. The fact that he chooses a Japanese man at the front of his centipede is interesting as it creates that language barrier.

Human Centipede still3

The movie isn’t all that well put together, but it remains a test of one’s abilities as a horror film. Worth a viewing, but little more than that.

 

2.5/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

For more 31 Days of Horror, click here.

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