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The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009)

  Tags: Akihiro Kitamura, Andreas Leupold, Ashley C. Williams, Ashlynn Yennie, Dieter Laser, experiment, mad doctor, mad scientist, Peter Blankenstein, The Human Centipede, Tom Six

Your rating: None Average: 5.6 (10 votes)
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Tom Six
90 minutes
Dieter Laser, Ashley C. Williams, Ashlynn Yennie, Akihiro Kitamura, Andreas Leupold, Peter Blankenstein

Alright, so let's mention this right off the bat.  Yes, people’s mouths are sewn onto others’ assholes.  And yes, this basically means they function as one digestive tract, causing them to eat each other's shit.  Um…fucking sick dude.  Those who become faint of heart at the thought of eating their best friend’s shit may be wise to stay far, far away.  Now the one or two of you still interested will find that, despite the vomit inducing storyline, Human Centipede showcases the potential of an up and coming genre filmmaker, as well as being far less revolting than many have made it out to be.

So stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but two dumb Americans backpacking across Europe end up in the house of a crazed, foreign guy after a pesky bout of car trouble on a dark and stormy night.  Cue the roofies and we have the makings of Hostel Part III.  But then something completely and utterly batshit happens.  The girls wake up in the operating room basement to discover that they will soon have permanent, shit eating grins sewn onto their faces!  (You see what I did there?  I know, totally genius.)  Our mad scientist here used to separate conjoined twins and now, after amassing what I can assume is a rampant hatred for human beings, decides to reverse that operation and join people together to create his own little pet.

Much like last year's Deadgirl, Human Centipede has a completely ridiculous premise that is shockingly taken very seriously by writer/director Tom Six.  What could have been a disgusting opus of Troma proportions is rather effective at moments and, if nothing else, takes an original spin on the tried and true “backpackers in a foreign country” subgenre.  Six doesn’t waste too much time on developing the characters and delves almost immediately into the task at hand, which unfortunately is the film’s biggest downfall. 

The kidnapped victims are far too quickly turned into said human centipede that there’s just not really anything left to do with the concept.  Yes, there’s a couple scenes involving attempted escapes and such, but I found myself bored more than once.  The action picks back up during the third act, creating truly tense moments, but at that point it’s just too little too late.  Watching three people sewn to each other's assholes walk around and be treated like a dog is entertaining for only so long.  Not to mention the gaping plot holes of how the hell the centipede got up and down the stairs to the basement throughout the film.

The acting from everyone in the movie is strong, despite the fact that two of the leads have butts in their faces for over half the movie.  The real stand out here is without a doubt is Dieter Laser as our resident mad doctor.  Remember in Escape From L.A. when Bruce Campbell showed up as that total freak of nature surgeon with Heidi Montag-esque plastic surgery?  Well picture that, but as a crazy German yelling for the lead human in the centipede to “feed her” when he realizes he has to shit.  German people yelling is positively frightening to begin with, let alone under these circumstances.

I’ve heard a lot of talk about how controversial some of the scenes were and how disgusted people were with what they saw on the screen, but honestly, you hardly see anything.  The centipede is completely bandaged up so never once do you actually see a mouth on an asshole.  The use of sound effects and shooting style really did make me feel completely grossed out at times so I guess it’s to Six’s credit that he was able to convince audiences that they had seen something that wasn’t there.  Don’t get me wrong, there are a couple ooze filled, blood soaked moments, but nothing we haven’t seen before.

The worst thing about The Human Centipede is not it’s “shocking” story line, but more so the fact that there’s not that much going on.  Director Tom Six has proven that he can create some effectively creepy, tension filled scenes, and the film is worth a watch for those interested in something more out of the ordinary.  Just don’t give in to all the controversy.

Posted on June 20, 2010 - 7:50pm | Johnny D