I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU!!!
The Human Centipede: First Sequence (2009) UK
The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence (2011) US
Back when I first started this blog I was dared by a friend of mine to review this movie. Having gotten the gist of it from trailers and a parody of it on South Park I figured umm yeah, I'll just pass on this one. Well you know what they say... you can't ignore a double dog dare. And I was actually disappointed. Why? 'Cause this is not horror, it's a one line joke that makes you wait too long to see the punch line. So here we go:
The Human Centipede: First Sequence: This is a 15 minute movie that lasts 92 minutes. Because be honest - the only reason you're watching this in the first place is to see three human beings sewed together. Well, this movie takes a long time to get there. The story is a surgeon in Germany who spent his career specializing in separating conjoined twins has decided in his twisted brain that humans would be better put together - a lot. He hates humans in the first place. Nice trait in a doctor. He tried it first with Rottweilers - he loved the dogs but did it anyway and they died. Sad about that for some reason and hating humans that much more he kidnaps three 'compatible' people for what you already know is going to happen.
Now it's 45 minutes into the movie and still no surgery - one of the girls is particularly resistant and spends most of this time trying to escape. Nope. Finally the surgery - now there are a few pretty realistic cuts here, no pun intended, and the effects are good. But the audience is spared the 'real' part of the surgery - the mutilation and sewing together of the three people. The girl trying to escape is put in the middle as 'punishment' because her pain will be twice as much as the other two.
So you have three bandaged together people. We get mild to severe gross outs as the three try moving around, the stitches pull and then what the audience was probably waiting for - the eating sequence. The food doesn't 'move' fast enough for the mad doctor so he gives them laxatives and the results - I don't have to say it, even if you haven't seen it, you know what happens. And that's the problem.
After the first minute you've seen it and you're done. But the movie goes on. Is it gross? Yeah, kind of. Shocking? Eh - you knew what was going to happen so... Interesting? Like I said, maybe for a minute then it's okay, let's move on - wait, that's it?
In the end the front guy is killed, and the police come and both they and the doctor kill each other in a gunfight. Then the third 'section' dies, leaving the middle girl stuck in this lonely house, with no one coming anytime soon, a dead person attached to each end of her. That was the most chilling moment of the whole film.
The Human Centipede: Full Sequence: Was this film necessary in the slightest? Only if one wanted to see if the audience, already having seen three people sewn together would get squeamish again if MORE people were added to the chain. Now instead of being in Germany, we're in Britain. Oh and if you're surprised Britain would allow such a film, they did just barely - after over 30 cuts were made.
We have an asthmatic morbidly obese idiot who doesn't speak who obsessively watches the first HC movie over and over again. I don't know where they found this bug eyed dude but if there was anything scary about this movie, it was him. He even has a sketchbook of the whole process, including the supposed details of the 'surgery'.
He gets space in a warehouse and starts conking people on the head with a crowbar to drag them to this place to make not three people sewn together, but ten. Oooh, that'll make it better. They also filmed this in black and white. Why? Ask them. If they think this makes it more brutal looking <shrugs> nothing much could make the process of mutilating ten people any more brutal than it already is.
Not having any kind of medical acumen he manages to kill several of his subjects in the process which makes him cry (He's an idiot, remember?) but he keeps trying, with kitchen knives and common tools, a carpenter's stapler and tons and TONS of duct tape (great endorsement there).
His crowning achievement though, is the lead actress from the first HC movie who played the only survivor, Ashlynn Yennie, who has been tricked to come to Britain on the guise of auditioning for a Quentin Tarantino movie. She is now the front of the chain.
And as in the first movie we have to have the poop. Lots and lots of poop. Like in the first movie (since that's what this guy is copying in the first place) the people in the chain are shot full of laxatives and we get something that ten-year-olds would snicker at - lots and lots of diarrhea. Was this necessary? Well, if it's trying to out-gross the first one, job accomplished. Of course this being a line of human beings, they're not just going to take this kind of... stuff. One rips himself free (duct tape and staples only hold so much) and the chain is now in half.
The idiot, who had been reveling in this great thing he had made gets frustrated and starts shooting people in the second half of the chain. Meanwhile a pregnant woman, who had faked being dead jumps up and runs out and steals his car. We get a totally unnecessary sequence of her having the baby in the car and stomping on it in her hurry to drive away.
It's not real looking enough to make you puke or anything, just an unnecessary gross-out to keep people wincing I guess. Despite her escaping, no one is coming to rescue the others and he just keeps shooting. A few are left but he's out of bullets so he uses a knife. The actress in front, Ashlynn gets the guts up to knock him down, use a funnel to shove his pet centipede up his... uh yeah. He screams in pain but still manages to stab her as well although we see her still moving a bit as he leaves.
The last sequence is him back at his job as a parking attendant watching the movie again on his laptop. So did all the events really happen or have we been grossed out by something that didn't happen, except in his mind? Do we really care? Grossing people out just to gross them out without a story or a reason seems really dumb to me, and pretty juvenile. Sorry Centipede fans, this just didn't seem like a 'horror' movie to me.
Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.