If there’s one thing you can say about Tom Six and his newest body horror movie The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence, it’s that he knows how to make a crowd squirm. If having one movie about a demented German doctor sewing three people together ass to mouth wasn’t bad enough, now there’s a sequel that involves 12 people (and then some).
I feel like I’ve seen Six’s unmentionables…and then been asked to applaud them. Human Centipede 2 is so self-gratifying and over the top, that I spent as much time in appalled laughter as I did cringing and hiding my eyes. I’m not sure there’s much merit to it as an actual movie, as the plot (what there was) stretched extremely thin and the “film” went instead for one disturbing image after another.
I’ll give this to writer/director Six, he’s got an eye for scene composition that is eerily artistic, and he can build an atmosphere like it’s nobody’s business. He also has some clever elements as far as self-reference in both the first film and this squirmy sequel. However, that he uses his talent making a movie whose main purpose is to shock and cause controversy strikes me as exploitative and gratuitous (much like this movie).
Here’s the rundown as far as plot. An obsessed fan of The Human Centipede sits around in his parking garage job watching the movie on his computer and plotting his own 12-person human centipede. After all, the original film was 100% medically accurate.
He starts the movie off with a bang, literally, as he tire-irons a couple returning to their car after a night of partying. That’s only the beginning as he collects his body menagerie, which eventually includes a pregnant lady and his ultimate get, Ashlynn Yennie (the actress who starred in the original).
Marvin is short and fat with bug eyes (played with fantastic jiggly creepiness by Laurence Harvey), which is coincidental as he has a bug fetish that includes keeping a pet centipede. He also enjoys pleasuring himself with sandpaper. Yes, he has issues. Living with his emotionally abusive mother doesn’t help matters, nor does his obsession with creating a human centipede.
The plot doesn’t go beyond his slow and methodical collecting of bodies, interluded with disturbing scenes of his home life and masturbatory violence, finally culminating in the surgical wonder that connects all his victims’ gastro-intestinal tracts (aka surgically connecting all the people ass to mouth), at which time he rapes the last segment with barbed wire wrapped around his wee wee.
I can’t tell you much about this last “segment” of the movie, as I was hiding my eyes through much of it. That didn’t prevent me from appreciating the sound effects, which were almost as disturbing as the visuals. Screams, groans, squishes, the sound of pooping and other digestional goings on filled the theater in a grotesque cacophony.
As far as artistical merit, the film was in black and white and had a dirty voyeurish feel, like you might imagine one of those weird German fetish films might look and feel like. There wasn’t a soundtrack at all, with the sounds of pain and torture forming the audio environment of what is one of the most warped movies I have ever watched.
As I predicted and feared, The Human Centipede 2 felt like Six was competing with his first film as far as gross-out effects, and it came across as atrociously exploitative. Six is notably immune to critics who attack his work as torture porn and the like, and as he plans for a third Human Centipede to complete his cinematic centipede. We can only guess at how he will outdo this one.
Obviously the self-referential qualities were interesting, but the lack of any real plot and the overt graphic nature of the story leads me to believe there is little reason for The Human Centipede 2 to exist, beyond shocking people with its twisted brutality. It was so over the top and I laughed at the strangest moments. I’m not saying only weirdos and poop-eating fetishists will enjoy this movie (ok, I am), but save yourself hours of therapy and avoid this “film” at all costs.
The gratuitous and exploitative nature of the violence, coupled with very little story development and plot, made for a film without any real purpose other to shock and appall.
The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence Review [FF 2011]