The Human Centipede *½
‘100% Medically Accurate’ so it says on the cover… 100% Medically Bullshit more like…
Lindsay and Jenny are two US tourists in Germany, their car breaks down in the countryside so they decide to walk around through the woods (off the road of course) until they come across a house where they’re drugged by a mad surgeon… This guy is THE poster-child for any awareness campaign for kids not trusting strangers. However the girls, who to be fair (for a moment or two) are hesitant, take a glass of water (drugged) and awake to hear the mad doctor explain his plans to turn them (and a Japanese tourist) into the world first ‘conjoined triplets’ or human centipede.
As a horror film it’s a bit slow, repetitive and not very horrific, especially in comparison to the recent spate of horror from the UK, Europe or Asia*. However as an exercise in eliciting disgust and revulsion it works fairly well in one or (number) two places… not hard to work out what these scenes will be even without seeing the movie. The problem is it doesn’t go far enough to gain a hard-core horror cult status but is too repellent (the trailer has it all basically) to attract the curious and/or casual DVD renter. I can see people in the store picking it up, making a few comments about it and putting it back.
It is played more for sadistic laughs than gross out gore… not necessarily a bad thing. Especially as Deiter Laser is so over the top in his portrayal as Dr. Heiter that it’s hard to take the film seriously. Why the cops don’t arrest him on sight is a mystery. It’s a 50’s B movie style of delivery that is both hilarious and annoying. The girls are annoying until their mouths are sewn onto an anus from when on they deliver the fear and emotion well and the Japanese guy is excellent in comparison to all the other performances.
The film owes a lot to David Cronenberg’s early work in its idea and aim but nothing to him in intelligence, tone or delivery. Tom Six (writer and director) is probably one to watch. If he gets better he could be an excellent addition to the horror ranks… and to be fair to him he has come up with something far more original than the usual tortured-locked-in-a-basement horror of recent years.
Not as disturbing as it promised but worth a viewing… and I’ll see the sequel. The t-shirt and cap are better than the movie.
*recent examples see: Martyrs; Inside; Mum & Dad; Eden Lake; Rec.; anything by Takashi Miike.
Is it good: 2 out of 5 stars
Is it fun: 1 out of 5 stars