I looked through my blog and was surprised that I had never reviewed “The Human Centipede” - so I thought I would cover my bases and review I and II at the same time.
The Human Centipede
If you haven’t heard about The Human Centipede before - don’t worry, here is Wikipedia’s first paragraph:
Lindsay and Jenny, two American tourists in Germany, are drugged and involuntarily detained by crazed surgeon Dr. Heiter when they seek help at his house after their car breaks down. The women awake in a makeshift medical ward. When the women wake up, Heiter has secured a male captive, Japanese tourist Katsuro. The doctor explains that he is a world-renowned expert at separating conjoined twins, but dreams of making new creatures by sewing people together. He describes in detail how he will surgically connect his three victims mouth-to-anus, so that they share a single digestive system
This is all you need to know about the first Human Centipede film. The rest of the film revolves around Dr. Heiter’s freak creation as he attempts to train it and watch his creation flourish.
First thing’s first, this film is messed up. It’s not just the subject matter, but the way it’s portrayed on the screen. Every second of the film provokes confusion out of the audience: “Why is this happening??” was constantly running through my mind. “Why am I watching this?!” was another. There was something about the low-budget idea and terrible acting that made the film bearable despite all the ridiculous short comings. The Human Centipede II on the other hand…
The Human Centipede II
Everything that could go wrong in a sequel does go wrong in this film. The film opens up with a disturbed security guard watching “The Human Centipede” and being aroused and amazed by the ideas presented within the fictional film. The rest of the film centres around his absolutely insane and bewildering attempts to outdo Dr. Heiter’s 3-man centipede by obtaining and connecting 12 individuals.
I will go on record right now and say that “I get it.” I get what the director did, and know why he did it. The insane popularity of the first film and the cult-like status definitely went to his head - and for his second iteration he created a monstrosity of bad taste, bizarre film techniques and some of the most intentionally disturbing shots I have ever seen in my whole life. It’s very much the same as when Saw first came out. It pushed boundaries and re-introduced the slasher film to new audiences, creating a new genre of “gore-horror” films that are now insanely popular.
What I couldn’t stand was how consistently “in-your-face” the film was. It wanted to shock and disturb audiences so desperately that every action lacked motivation. This ranged from constant shots of the sweaty, shirtless, obese main protagonist to shots of fecal matter projected toward the audience and everything in between. In the end I just felt exhausted.
Honestly. Don’t watch The Human Centipede II. It’s not worth your time. It’s not interesting, or funny, or anything. It’s an exploitation film that preys on a viewer’s sense of self-worth and desperation for extremes.
You’ve been warned.