Last July, Tom Six’s The Human Centipede ambled into town—on all six hands and knees—and attempted to shock the populace with its tale of a mad doctor who stitches three people together—mouth-to-anus (they’ve been remonkeyed to share a digestive tract)—to form the title creature. It succeeded more in shocking the people who didn’t see it than people who did. (One of them was sufficiently riled to write a letter upbraiding me for drawing attention to the film by reviewing it.) The film itself—while unpleasant enough—was mostly a fairly restrained, often pretty dull affair built on a repellent concept.
Well, here we are with its not-really-a-sequel The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)—only this time it’s not just a disgusting concept wrapped around a relatively tepid movie. If only. No, this one delivers on its … promise. Whether that is a good thing is another matter—and if you think it is, I might think twice about being alone with you. This is perhaps the most vile, repellent, repulsive, depraved, degraded, debased and plain ugly movie I have ever seen. Of course, that is exactly the response that Mr. Six is hoping for, so by saying that I am playing right into his grubby hands. But the fact is that this is one nasty bit of goods. What it still isn’t is scary. It’s merely sick and gross—and it may just be a slap in the face of horror fans when all is said and done.
The premise here is that an obsessed fan named Martin (Laurence R. Harvey—the R is apparently so you won’t confuse him the late actor, which seems improbable at best) has decided to make his own human centipede. Now, Martin is clearly not the pinnacle of human development on any conceivable level. Indeed, I’d say the only thing he has in common with most of us is that he’s bipedal. And from the look of things, he was this way long before he saw The Human Centipede. We’re given no actual character development, but from things said by his monstrous mother (Vivien Bridson)—in scenes ripped off from early David Lynch—it can be gleaned that his father abused and/or molested him and that she blames poor Martin for dad being in prison. And just to prove that Martin can’t catch a break, he has this Walt Whitman-bearded doctor (Bill Hutchens), who is apparently also intent on molesting Martin. That’s not only ethically dubious, but shows a complete lack of taste on the doctor’s part.
But Martin has his dream, a laptop on which he endlessly watches the first Human Centipede film, and a job in a parking garage that allows him to snag victims for his experiment. He also manages to rope one of the “stars” of the real movie (Ashlynn Yennie) into being part of his creation by pretending to be Quentin Tarantino (since he never speaks, I’m unclear how this was done) and luring her to his warehouse of horror. Of course, Martin has no medical knowledge, nor proper equipment, so his attempts at a 12-person centipede are “100-percent medically inaccurate,” as opposed to the “100 percent medically accurate” claims for the first film. What this means is a lot of sloppy, gruesome, unhygienic “surgery,” hammer-and-chisel “dentistry,” and connecting these unfortunates with a staple gun. All of this is presented in loving detail, which is made no less repulsive by the film being mostly in black and white. One color is employed—brown—in the film’s big exploding diarrhea scene. Look, doesn’t that tell you all you need to know?
Apart from the possibility that Six is suggesting that horror fans are on a par with Martin—an absurd, but insulting notion—the film exists solely to dare you to see it. Whether you accept that challenge is your call, but don’t claim you weren’t warned. Not Rated, but contains every conceivable outrage against any vestige of taste in existence.