Welcome horror fans! Old Man Feind has a stomach turning triple delight for you today. I was able to catch the latest installment so I thought I’d give my thoughts on the whole damn trilogy from the awesome Tom Six.
This past weekend I was able to catch the latest and last of the Human Centipede trilogy, Human Centipede III (Final Sequence). I know people who won’t even watch any of these films because they’re “too disgusting” or “that film about shitting in people’s mouths” but to those who will listen I try to put the thought of that out of their minds since that isn’t what you actually see. For those who don’t know the first film began with a “joke” that writer/director Tom Six had made for years about pedophiles saying that a fitting punishment for a pedophile would be having his mouth sewn to the ass of a fat trucker. Personally I have to agree though pedophiles should also be beaten horribly and possibly skinned alive on top of several other nasty things I can think of and hey I wrote about just that in The Demon’s Name Is Surveillance! I love all of the HC flicks and watching the third I realized other than putting the first film on my Halloween marathon suggestions I’ve never really written about them so now that the trilogy is complete I thought it’d be a good time to give you my thoughts on each one. Don’t worry I’ll keep it brief and since the third just hit theaters I’ll keep that one spoiler free, the first two have been out for awhile so you can expect some spoilers ahead… Consider yourself warned!
The first Human Centipede is the only film of the series I consider a pure horror film. This film was intended to shock, amaze, scare and disgust viewers. I had seen it in the video store (remember those?) I used to frequent but I passed it by numerous times thinking it was some terrible B movie monster flick. Then one day I saw a trailer for it on some other horror flick I had picked up and saw that I had been way off the mark. When I went back to the video store to make my returns I raced to it like anyone else was dying to pick it up before I got to it. I couldn’t wait to watch it but as we horror lovers know, you must wait until after dark to watch good horror movies. Also my roommate is no horror junkie and I knew from the preview that this one was for hardcore horror fans only. If you find Twilight scary this will not interest you so go away!
Now as for the “disgusting” factor, I can’t tell you what to find disgusting or not that’s up to your own personal taste but what I found with this first film was the most disturbing film I have possibly ever seen. Dr Josef Heiter (Dieter Laser) is a retired surgeon with an out of control god-complex. This isn’t exactly odd for surgeons but Heiter is obsessed with creating rather than repairing damage. He has become a complete recluse in his retirement making his attempts at gaining “test subjects” rather difficult, the problem is he’s just too damn creepy. Enter in two American tourists (Ashley C Williams and Ashlynn Yennie) who get lost, breakdown finally ending up at Heiter’s doorstep. Heiter finally has what he needs to make his masterpiece. He explains the procedure to his three test subjects (he had managed to capture a young Japanese man) not just to feed their terror but the audience’s as well. His goal is make one organism sharing a single digestive track. As the cover states Tom Six did consult a physician to ensure that what he did was medically accurate and it is that which, to me, makes it a real thing that someone actually could do and that is what is actually terrifying to me. I know ghosts, monsters, demons, etc don’t exist but real psychos with sick ideas? Yup, those motherfuckers are out there!
While the Human Centipede is 100% medically accurate Tom Six never states that patients would or could survive for very long, in fact that is what the film depicts. This is Heiter’s experiment to see how long subjects can survive sewn mouth to anus. What I found heightened the horror even more was Six choosing to place Katsuro (Akihiro Kitamura) as the head or first segment of the Human Centipede. Katsuro speaks no English making him unable to communicate with Lindsay and Jenny as they try to coordinate trying to escape their hell. Isolated and alone with a madman is bad enough but being a part of the sickest medical experiment ever contrived makes the experience a true hell on Earth. Kudos to Tom Six for making a film that shocked, amazed and disturbed a jaded horror fan that thought he had seen just about all there would ever be to see. The psychological terror element of Human Centipede is what I found most disturbing as Six forces you to imagine what it would be like to be the middle section and why that is the worst segment of the centipede, poor Lindsay (Ashley C Williams) learns the hard way the consequences of defiance and a failed escape attempt. For me this is possibly the best and most original horror film in easily the past decade or more.
Knowing that any shock value of Human Centipede would be gone for any sequel Tom Six goes the self parody route to disturbing perfection with this second installment. Enter in Martin (Laurence R Harvey) as a lonely, disturbed and mentally deficient (kindly, he’s a moron) man who becomes obsessed with Human Centipede the movie. He studies the film longing to create his own human centipede even bigger than the first. Martin is conveniently a parking garage attendant making “subjects” fairly easy pickings. Of course Martin has no sense of consequences as person after person disappear from the same parking garage. Also poor Martin is no surgeon making his attempts at making his own centipede crude to say the least. Martin’s improvisation is a human centipede held together with staples, duct tape (you really can use this shit on anything!) and rather than precision surgical incisions to prevent segments from being able to stand Martin does a real hack job with a knife. His real prize though is Ashley C Williams (playing herself) who Martin sees as having escaped and needs to be put back into the centipede.
What Six ends up creating with this sequel is an extremely dark comedy serving as a parody to his own film. It’s rare to find someone that self aware as to be able to pull this off proving that Six can pull off more than just sick horror. This second installment in the HC trilogy is still horrorific as a stand alone film and getting Ashley C Williams to come back as herself is the real icing on the cake. Did I enjoy this second film as much as the first? No, but they aren’t really the same type of movie and I applaud Tom Six for going in this direction rather than just trying to outdo himself which I don’t think he could have done. Aware that his shock value was pretty much used up and taking it the dark comedy route keept the story fresh while offering nod after nod to his own film in the process. I think it was just awesome!
Finally we’re to the end of the trilogy with the latest disturbing installment. The first film was possibly the most disturbing film I’ve ever seen and the second was one of the darkest comedy parodies I’ve ever seen so where would this third installment go? Well Tom Six once again goes the sick dark comedy parody route. Dieter Laser is back this time as Warden Bill Boss with the also returning Laurence R Harvey as his sidekick accountant, Dwight Butler. Warden Boss is a borderline psychotic on the verge of losing his sanity completely as well as his job. Dwight is obsessed with the first two Human Centipede films, sound familiar? The fictional prison is set somewhere in the middle of Texas and the heat is just driving everyone crazy and it appears Warden Boss already was to begin with. Eric Roberts makes an appearance as Governor Hughes, a slimey politician (aren’t they all) with eyes on the White House someday. The prison is pretty much a disgrace and a financial drain so Gov Hughes gives Boss two weeks to improve or he’s out of a job.
Dwight finally convinces his psycho boss (pun intended!) that continually putting inmates in the infirmary with his antics is too costly and doesn’t seem to be calming the prisoners down at all (in fact it does quite the opposite). Dwight finally convinces Boss that putting the prisoners into a human centipede chain would be more cost effective and serve as a future crime deterrent after Tom Six (as himself) stops by as a consultant. After all what prisoner would want to return to prison if being part of a human centipede was the punishment? Not this guy I can tell you that!
In this end to the trilogy Tom Six once again parodies his own work with one sick and twisted dark, dark comedy. Dieter Laser is absolutely unhinged as the extremely disturbed and sadistic warden playing it so over the top you’ll laugh if you aren’t busy losing your lunch into the porcelain throne. Tom Six ups the disgusting factor in this one and I know for most this trilogy started off the charts in that regard. I found this end to the trilogy highly entertaining and funny but I am kind of a sick bastard so you have to take that into account. I’ve only seen the third installment once so my initial reaction is that I like the first two films better but only time will tell if I like the third better than the second or not (the first was the best by a long shot from a horror standpoint). If you made it through the first two and liked them then you’ll definitely love the third which though it has some disgusting parts is really just a sick dark parody of what Six has done from the beginning. I was thoroughly entertained varying from laughter to surprise looks of “oh my Satan that’s just fucking gross” which, of course, makes me smile anyway. The end of the trilogy was an over the top disgusting parody and once again I fucking loved it!
When you think of different horror trilogies or series that have gone even further, it is rare to find any where at least one wasn’t a total stinker or just more of the same boring. Think about the Halloween films or Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street among others, can anyone really tell me all of the first three were great or even uniquely different from each other? No, not if we’re being honest. Yet here in the Human Centipede trilogy you have three great films and you can watch any one of the three without having seen its predecessors and not be lost as pertinent content is shown in both sequels so that having seen them isn’t relevant to enjoying that one film. That is really an achievement if you stop to think about it since I can’t think of a trilogy or series of films within horror or without that can say that (ok, the James Bond films but that’s an entirely different animal). Perhaps some with a weak stomach find these films too disgusting or whatever but I don’t thus each one left me thoroughly entertained making this one of the best trilogies in movie history (of course the original Star Wars trilogy is the best ever). So overall The Human Centipede Trilogy is…
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Feind loves watching movies of all kinds so if we watch it, we tell whether you should as well. I'll share mostly horror but I also enjoy everything from big Blockbusters to micro-budget Independent films.
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