In 2010 writer/director Tom Six unveiled The Human Centipede (First Sequence), a horror film with a plot so outlandish, so vulgar that it got a lot more attention than a typical low-budget, small release horror film. Six immediately promised a sequel, divulging little detail about it except that the first film would be "My Little Pony compared with part two." The first Human Centipede, promoted as "100% medically accurate," was remarkably tame and tastefully done considering the extreme subject matter, the brunt of its cultural impact coming from the premise rather than the execution. The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) substantially ups the ante, going so far as to promoted it as "100% medically inaccurate." With the film being banned in the UK until 32 cuts were made, Six proved himself an honest filmmaker who truly delivered on his promise. What's scary is that a third film is already planned and he has said it will make this installment look like a Disney film. Discussing a film like this is not easy, because The Human Centipede is a film you enjoy the same way you enjoy a freeway car accident. There's nothing redeeming, entertaining, or significant about it, but it's hard to take your eyes off of it. These films fall into their own niche of "shock horror," horror films that don't intend to evoke fear but shock and disgust. Despite the decided lack of artistic value, I do enjoy seeing filmmakers push the limits of a genre and make something as extreme as possible. While the fact that someone not only had this idea but actually immortalized it on film may destroy any lingering faith you have in the human race, it's an admirable effort that, despite being soulless and demoralizing, accomplishes its intended goal.
Opening with the final scene of the first film, the camera pans back to reveal it being watched on a laptop in a parking garage tollbooth. The viewer is Martin (Laurence R. Harvey), a stout, bug-eyed, asthmatic British man who watches the first film obsessively at every opportunity, has a scrapbook dedicated to it, and even has a pet centipede. His extraordinarily creepy childlike appearance and demeanor coupled with this obsession make it quite clear that Martin is mentally ill. It's revealed that Martin, who never speaks a word in the film, was sexually abused by his father as a child and lives with a mother (Vivien Bridson) who blames him for getting her beloved husband sent to prison. Frequently alone in the parking garage at night, Martin uses this solitude to start attacking and kidnapping people. After gaining access to a warehouse, he begins storing those he has kidnapped with the intention of recreating the human centipede in the film he so loves...But, there's a twist. Martin wants to create a human centipede with 12 people.
This film goes into some of the dark, unheard of places and Six's decision to pull the story into the realm of reality adds an extra level of horror to the happenings. Unfolding in stark black and white (although originally shot in color), this film is cut from a different cloth than the first. The tone and atmosphere, as well as the gratuity and fearlessness, recall the films of German director Jörg Buttgereit, particularly Nekromantik and Schramm, while the black and white imagery and haunting use of silence is reminiscent of David Lynch's Eraserhead. It's easy to dismiss artistic credibility when it's utilized within the torture porn genre, as even torture porn that attempts to be artistic is still just torture porn. While some may (and have) called it artless, Six is a capable director. There are scenes that don't involve violence or gore that are both effective and eerie, but if Six's ability is ignored it's his fault for making such a no-holds barred film. Nothing is off-limits in The Human Centipede II, with even pregnant women and newborns falling victim to the horrific violence. Six is a director gleefully free of pretense and for all of the artistic intentions it appears to have, it never takes itself too seriously. Despite how staggeringly violent it becomes, it's pretty tongue-in-cheek. When Martin actually lures Ashlynn Yennie, the actress who played 1/3 of the centipede in First Sequence, to his warehouse under the guise that she's auditioning for a Quentin Tarantino movie, it's clear that that this film, as well as being horrifically violent, is self-aware. It's easy to forget that the idea of sewing people mouth-to-anus is a rather ludicrous premise and that Six has made it the horrifying premise of two films rather and kept it from being unintentionally funny is an accomplishment in and of itself.
The final 30 minutes will make you realize how conservative the first film was, with Six taking everything as far as his imagination will allow. All of the disgusting elements that were only alluded to are allowed to come to light. He holds nothing back, allowing his potent mix of the horrifying and lack of seriousness to collide when he finally allows a single color, the color brown, to enter the palette. You must recall that the procedure in the first film was performed by a surgeon, with the tools and ability to perform this procedure. Martin is no surgeon and when the time finally comes for him to make his own centipede he uses whatever tools are on hand (hammer, knife, staple gun, etc.). Needless to say, the procedure is much more crude and stomach-churning. Many scenes made me squirm and there are images that will stay with you for a long time after the film has ended; this is not a film for the faint of heart.
I regrettably confirm that this is not the most disgusting, depraved film I've ever seen, but for the average moviegoer it probably will be. How can you critique a film of this sort? It's immune to criticism as there's no way to simply point out the good and the bad. Even the most ardent fan can't ignore that this is a piece of filmmaking with no substance behind it. The Human Centipede II does not function under the façade of a metaphorical social statement in the way last year's A Serbian Film did nor does it even try to make up a reason for its existence. If you look beneath the depravity of the film you'll find only more depravity. In that sense, this is a soulless, obscene, and trashy film. Yes, the acting is solid and say what you will about the film itself, Harvey gives a chilling, effective performance. It's well-made except for some jumpy editing, sound effects that seem out of sync with what is shown onscreen (pay particularly close attention whenever Martin uses his gun on someone), and an ending that is disturbingly ambiguous but also feels like a cop out. There may not be a reason for its existence, but Six has made the film with the intention of shaking his audience. If you make a film with the sole intention of making your audience nauseous and you succeed, how can the work be dismissed solely because it offends your moral and cinematic sensibilities? Six has not made a "good film" here, but he has made a well-made one that succeeds in exactly the area it intends. Those who will be most offended by it will be those who haven't seen it and those who are forced to watch it. If you consciously embark on the journey, you know where it's going to take you.
It's rare that a film makes you feel unclean just watching it. The effects this film could have on your psychological well-being and how effectively it offends all sense of moral decency is something that can't be ignored. This film is a success when looked at in that light. This is not a movie you like or dislike; it's a movie that simply exists and it's your decision to choose how you cope with its existence, be it by watching it or ignoring it. At its most primordial level, it's effective in its desire to offend. It's certainly unforgettable. The need to assign this film a rating has pushed me into a corner, confused on how to choose something which will be looked at as indicative over whether it's a good film or a bad film. With a sigh, I give The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) a 3/5 and throw up my hands.
on January 5, 2012
"The Human Centipede II" opens with the final moments of "The Human Centipede (First Sequence)", including the closing credits. The camera pulls back, to reveal that this is playing on a laptop computer, and a man in a toll booth in a parking garage is watching the film. Martin Lomax (Laurence R. Harvey) is an asthmatic, overweight, mentally ill, middle-aged, short British man. He lives in a small flat with his emotionally abusive mother (Vivien Bridson) while working as a security guard in an underground parking garage. His neighbours play Hard Dance music at high levels all night and day, and Martin often spies on the rich individuals who use the parking garage. Dr. Sebring (Bill Hutchens) suspects that Martin was sexually abused repeatedly by his father, now in prison (a suspicion confirmed when Martin has a flashback to this abuse, in which the audience hears the father [voiced by Tom Six] raping his son).
Martin is obsessed with "The Human Centipede (First Sequence)", watching it repeatedly at home and in his toll booth. At one point, he is depicted masturbating (graphically and on-screen) to the film with sandpaper wrapped around his penis. He keeps a centipede as a pet, and maintains a scrapbook on the film. When his mother destroys the scrapbook, Martin crushes her skull and then props her dead body up at the kitchen table. Martin wordlessly decides to recreate the fictional experiment he saw portrayed in The Human Centipede (First Sequence). Medically untrained, he assembles a potpourri of kitchen gadgets, woodworking tools, and assorted household items, puts them in a suitcase, and secures a dingy, dirty, dark abandoned warehouse to recreate the film's medical experiment. But Martin intends to create not just a three-person centipede, but the "full sequence" of 12 connected people.
How do you review a film like "Human Centipede II"? It is one of the most vile, reprehensible, and ugly horror movies that I have ever seen? You want broken teeth, crushed babies, and explosive diarrhea? It's all here. This is a film that completely succeeds in what it wants to do - gross out its small but intensive audience - and will do anything in its power to achieve it. Stylish and incredibly well made with some nice artistic touches here and there - I especially liked the "dinner table" scene. Nonetheless, none of this really adds up to very much which is a shame considering that Syx is a talented director with a lot more to offer. Overall, I can't really recommend this film but I can't recommend that you don't see it either. Does that make any sense? This film exists in its own little world and there is something kind of special about that.
on February 22, 2012
Ever hear of "The Aristocrats" joke? They even made a documentary on it. It's about a family auditioning for a stage act, and it's basically an exercise in improvisation on the part of the teller to see just how offensively explicitly obscenely over the top flat out revoltingly gross that audition can be. Many have had a crack at it, some with considerable talent, and the results have been interesting for those who can appreciate that type of thing.
The sub-genre of torture porn in horror films seems to be following a trend comparable to "The Arostocrats", and if it continues, it's probably going to burn itself out in unintentional self-parody. Some would argue that this point has already been reached, and they may be right, although it's hard to say. What people find disturbing is highly subjective. If you had asked me two months ago which film I would personally classify as "most disturbing", it would have likely been "A Serbian Film". The title holder prior to that would have been "August Underground Mordum", which held that dubious honor for seven years. Now "Human Centipede 2" comes along and slams "A Serbian Film" into the sewer a mere two months later. Horror certainly has gotten edgier these days. In any case, Tom Six is a director with some talent, and I think this one's going to be talked about for awhile. It certainly helps that the movie's villain is without a doubt the CREEPIEST character I've ever seen.
Anyway, if extreme horror is your thing, go for it. To date, I think it's the best of the lot. Or worst, considering how you look at it. 99.9% would say it's fit only for burning, and it would be difficult to argue the point. Why this type of thing appeals to me, I really can't say. But it does, and this one freaked me right the &!@# out.
on June 28, 2015
Ahh... The Human Centipede [First Sequence] (2010)
Tom Six’s debut went straight for the jugular and as a result seemed to spark the level of controversy and dismissive hyperbole most commonly reserved for people mutilating small furry animals.
Three years after its initial release it seems I belong to the minority, who believed that Tom Six’s original stab at the centipede was a work of pure brilliance, as a result I was more than a little excited, not to mention anxious to see where he might take the story next.
So without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the second chapter, shall we?
Martin (Laurence R. Harvey) is an obese reclusive loner, who lives with his nagging mother (Vivien Bridson) in a ramshackle apartment building in a bleak and poverty striking London neighbourhood. He works as a night watchman at a parking garage, a job that affords him plenty of time to indulge his obsession with Tom Six’s film The Human Centipede which he watches on a continues loop on his laptop while tending to his scrapbook, filled with pictures and memorabilia from the movie, including an painstakingly detailed operation chart depicting the ass-to-mouth surgery, performed by the movies mad scientist Dr. Heiter (Dieter Laser)
Pushed to the brink of his already frail sense of sanity by noisy and intrusive neighbours and his perpetually exasperating mother, Martin hatches a plan to outdo his fictional idol by creating his own centipede. Soon a wide assortment of unwilling participants lie naked and battered on the concrete floor of a dilapidated warehouse as Martin commence with his fiendish plan.
Armed with duct tape, household tools, a staple gun, razor wire and a large supply of laxative, Martin is determent to fabricated the most majestic of beings; A twelve part centipede.
Part dux in the ongoing centipede-saga takes the Meta approach, which some reviews have sniffed at as a smug and pretentious move away from the established narrative, a matter of opinion I guess, personally I found the entire notion of breaking the fourth wall refreshing and quite bold for a genre film as sleazy and detestable as this one, when quite frankly the easiest thing to do would have been to simply continue onwards with the established and expected, given that it worked a charm the first time round. It clearly shows that there’s some sort of intellect and out of the box mentality (albeit a highly depraved of sorts) present in driving the series forward, which ultimately leaves me all the more curious as to where the planned third chapter might take us.
As is most common, the main reason people tend to tread these murky roads of discomfort seems to be that they offer the viewer a chance to test their boundaries while they emerge themselves in the pervasive exploits of utter degradation that these types of films have to offer. Well, let me tell you (if you haven’t already been brought up to speed) that The Human Centipede II [Full Sequence] fully lives up to and dare I say might even surpass the expectation of even the most hardened/tested gore-hounds out there.
The film offers up a glorious parade of atrocities including rape, mutilation, a messy delivery of a newborn and more fecal matter then even De Sade would care to be associated with (check out the sly dig at Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, no points for guessing what element have been colour corrected here)
For short it’s a s*** smeared love letter to the art-form of Grand Guignol and if you should find yourself wishing for an even more offensive and cruel piece of moviemaking, then might I suggest a little thing called psychotherapy instead?
Anecdote time: I opted to give this film a viewing on the afternoon of Christmas Eve. That’s right. In the midst of holiday carolling and a parade of plumb sugary treats, my brother-in-law (a fellow deviant) and I snug down to one of the unoccupied bedrooms in my parents abode to try and counterbalance all the” too-all-a-good-night” sentimentality with a wee dose of unbridled perversion. An hour and a half later we were positively craving the warmth and cuddly fell of yuletide ambience.
Unfortunately we weren’t the only ones affected by the visuals of Six’s film as my unsuspecting Father caught a glimpse of the atrocities while passing the window and was left utterly mortified.
Let me tell you... It’s more than a little difficult defending film as an art form when the centipede is the subject of discussion.
Technical speaking, the film represent an immaculate standard, outside A Serbian Film (Srpski Film, Srdjan Spasojevic, 2010) I can’t remember a film this extreme looking so professional.
The Cinematography is expertly done by David Meadows whose black and white imagery brings to mind the nightmarish qualities of David Lynch’s Eraserhead (1977).
Much like Dieter Laser in the first film, Laurence R. Harvey represents a real find as the blubbery, perspirering mass that is Martin, a tragic and largely pathetic creature that’s perfectly in sync with the film’s freak-show antics and while he never utters a word, his bulging eyes and childlike demeanour is never-the-less wholeheartedly effective.
Last but certainly not least, I want to mention the spectacular job done by the make-up effects team, unpleasantries seldom looked as convincing or dear I say good as this.
It’s quite clear that the filmmakers didn’t intended for the film to be taken all that seriously but this approach also renders it fairly inconsequential, which begs the question; why should the audience even get involved?
Ultimately it’s pure unbridled exploitation which means it deliberately shallow and primarily designed to titillated. Whether or not you want it as rough as this is primarily a matter of taste (or lack off).
on February 7, 2014
It's perverted and sick and it's very likely to offend a lot of people. The story is paper thin. The main character is disgusting and without any redeeming values, he's a creep that you cannot relate to. THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 is not scary by any means, it is just repulsive and sick. It doesn't pretend to be anything it isn't.
If you are into movies like this, HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 will not disappoint. Cruel and heartless we follow Martin, who is obsessed with the movie HUMAN CENTIPEDE (LOL) and wants to create one himself - only LARGER, so he knocks his victims unconscious with a tire iron and keeps them in a warehouse.
This movie contains similar disgusting scenes as in part 1 (people being stapled together mouth to anus, and when they got to go, well, they gotta go), but this time we also get a scene of self mutilation of genitals, a barbed wire rape scene. THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 is entirely in black and white but it doesn't make it any less extreme (it was banned outright in Australia and New Zealand and heavily cut in Japan and England after originally being banned there as well. Originally it was supposed to be censored in the US as well, but thankfully the distributor IFC had a change of heart - the unrated version is totally uncut).
THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 is a lot more disturbing than part 1, so beware.
I'm giving it 5 stars because it delivers what it promises: sick, shocking and disgusting "entertainment" - those who are into these kind of movies will appreciate it, those of you who aren't will hate it. It is nowhere near as disturbing as A SERBIAN FILM, though. Enjoy at your own risk!
on May 1, 2012
I'm not sure what movie the other reviewers were watching, but the one I saw is clearly the inner fantasy of a highly disturbed individual. Of course things don't logically make sense, and of course the filmmaker cuts scenes abruptly because this is how the mind works. When Martin, the protagonist, is in his white coat, we are into pure dark fantasy, because parking garage attendants don't actually wear white coats. He is copying his idol from the first movie, Dr. Heiter (where things logically could have happened.) The inner struggle of this character between hatred, rage, the desire for revenge, and guilt are what drive this movie. Can you staple and duct tape people together anus to mouth? Of course not; the staples would tear almost immediately. The building-the-centipede scenes, while overlong (which is why I knocked it down a star) are pure revenge and rage fantasy. If I'm an overweight, abused, semi-retarded individual, how would I connect people together like Dr. Heiter did in the original? Duct and staples leap to mind, since they would be all I would have at hand. What I find interesting about this movie is how it depicts Martin's struggle with his own worst enemy -- his own mind.
on October 12, 2012
Sick, depraved, creepy, perverse, disgusting......
But enough about me. Onto the movie.
Awesome! God I hope there aren't people that are actually as insane as the main character. Sadly there probably could be. A thoroughly entertaining movie that would be a psychologist's dream. Great casting for the main character as he just oozed creepiness as a warped, sweaty pervert. Not really much to the story, it is pretty much a get-what-you-pay-for script. There are some holes and obviously some unbelieveablity (hey, it could be a word), but that wasn't, nor should it have been, the focal point. The purpose of this movie is to shock, disgust and entertain the audience, which I most certainly think it does! The longer the movie progresses the more you start thinking,"he won't do that" or "that's not going to happen". And the beauty is that is DOES happen.
I'm currently writing this review midway through the month of October and Halloween certainly strikes a chord when I think of this movie. So get some equally disturbed friends and gather round the TV for some laughs, groans and other stomach churning fun.
on July 9, 2013
The reviews I read made me think my soul or sanity was at stake should I dare to behold this un-holy atrocity. I'm a sensitive guy and do care about what goes into the matrix of my consciousness, and so I do avoid the more purely pornographic offerings of degenerate culture. But having seen the first one and being in a fey mood one drinky night, I rolled the dice on my salvation and swiped my card at the local Red Box . Though I had to look away a few seconds here and there, I emerged from the experience spiritually unscathed and well entertained. Six could have gone much further with the graphic sadism than he did. The creator (obsessor?) of this deranged motif is no Desade. He actually shows some restraint in the most grotesque of those eventualities extending from the movies premise, whereas a genuinely degenerate muse would have riffed masturbationally upon certain taboos here present and at the nadir of common imagination. Really, we've seen gorier in modern zombie flicks.
The brilliance of Six's work is not in up-ing the ante of gore, but rather the uniqueness of his original idea and his sheer moxy in pursuing such a weirdly narrow idea into an even better realized tableau than his first strange effort. How on Earth did he persuade these talented and convincing actors to risk their future careers on this demented, coprophageic nightmare? That is the interview question to which I look forward.
on May 10, 2012
I am sort of a horror movie ultra fan starting way way back when I was just a kid,during the glorious 80's when slasher films ruled the genre. I have seen it all from the Japanese style frightfests to low budget horror to zombie flicks to the ultra violent torture themes that are so prevalent today. With that being said, I am not that easily shocked, probably the last time I was moved or nervous by a horror film was the first time I watched the Exorcist,(I'm dating myself),and in the last few years perhaps Cannibal Holocaust. This film is vile,disturbing,extremely disgusting,and when it is finished,if you make it all the way to the end,you will feel as if you immediately require a shower. If I am rating this movie solely on production value,easily 5 stars. The black and white method of shooting the film was pure genius,with director Six creating a dark and gritty patina that transferred effectively to the viewer. Character creation,another win. Martin was extremely convincing to the point that you actually wondered if they cast an actual mentally disturbed and violent recluse for the part. Then theres the actual story...more than halfway throught the film the whole thing kind of falls apart,in the first film of course you had a brilliant but demented surgeon,now we are treated to a twisted human mole with household tools,duct tape and a staple gun. The subject matter is what it is,watching this movie after having viewed the first installment you obviously have to expect it to be disturbing,but wow,it crosses lines that no other film in my memory has before,and I suppose the fact that during certain parts I cringed and almost turned completely away means the film delivered its desired effect. I cannot remember the last time I felt absolute revulsion while watching any film,let alone extreme horror,but this piece was a dandy. I think the point where I almost jumped off the Human Centipede train was as a previous reviewer pointed out that towards the climax a single color was allowed onto the pallette...brown. If you have seen the first movie,you will know what I'm getting at. All in all,and this is comoing from a severe horror movie buff,this one kind of left me wondering just how far is too far...watch if you dare my friends. And just for the record,the pregnant victim and what ultimately happens to the imminent newborn is just unneccesary. It didn't add or detract from the story,it just in my humble opinion was put in to shck. It delivered. In spades.
on November 1, 2011
I haven't had this much anticipation built up over a movie in along time, well the wait was finally over as I sat down to watch "The Human Centipede 2" (Full Sequence). If you saw part 1 and were disgusted by it than I don't know what to tell you except do not watch part 2! Full Sequence takes everything to thee extreme and pushes all its limits, if you want to see peoples teeth getting smashed out by a hammer no problem, knees cut open and ligaments cut got that, people stapled together mouth to anus, watch this movie.
The movies almost a hour and a half long which sucks, it had me drawn in and by the time I knew it, it was over leaving me wanting more. At no time was I bored with it, I loved every minute of it I just wish it was longer. A few things I didn't like were the baby scene which I think was kind of stupid and how towards the end when Ashlynn hit Martin in the crotch than did what she did (I don't wanna give to much away) I think was a little unbelievable. This movie was actually fun, gross, comedic and disturbing all at the same time, which is what I think Mr. Six wanted.
If you do decide to watch this just remember its not perfect but just a movie made to scare you, gross you out, make you laugh, make you feel pity but most of all its made to ENTERTAIN you which it does very well.