Tom Six’s internationally controversial follow-up to the original cult smash, The Human Centipede: Full Sequence ups the ante with a brute force unparalleled in motion pictures today. Inspired by the fictional Dr. Heiter, disturbed loner Martin dreams of creating a 12-person centipede and sets out to realize his sick fantasy.
You know, when The Black Saint first saw The Human Centipede: First Sequence last year I came away from it having decided three things. One: Director Tom Six is one sick mutha. Two: Dieter Laser gave my favorite performance of the year in the film. His Dr. Heiter is one of the greatest “Mad Scientist” performances ever. And Three: Despite what you might have heard about how horrible it is, in actuality I found it to be something of a comedy. The blackest comedy ever I grant you, but a comedy nevertheless. If you haven’t seen it yet, try watching it with that in mind & if you have then try again looking at it as a black comedy. It changes the whole angle of the movie & makes it more….palatable.
But for “The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence” Six isn’t going for black comedy (I’m not sure if that’s what he was going for the first time out either, just my opinion). No, no…what he’s accomplished here is a horror film. A real horror film that ups the ante in every possible manner in regards to the first one. It is uniquely disturbing & unsettling. It’s a nightmare of the highest order and I mean that as a compliment. All the more so because I can see something like this actually taking place. Let me explain…
“HC2″ tells the tale of Martin (Laurence R. Harvey), a night watchman at a parking garage. Martin has issues, serious issues. He never speaks (Just grunts & the occasional scream or maniacal laughter every so often). He’s Asthmatic & he seems to be retarded but that’s never actually verified in the film. He was sexually abused by his dad when he was younger which is just f*cked up as all sexual abuse is but what makes Martin unique is his physical appearance. I can honestly say I’ve never seen a human being that looks like he does without the help of some sort of prosthetic makeup. He is a short, squat man who sweats profusely from his thinning scalp, it seems like he’s nine months pregnant with twins judging from the size of his grossly distended belly which seemingly hangs down to his knees. And his eyes…they seem to be popped out of their sockets and are sitting on top of his face. When he closes them, they look like two skin covered golf balls that don’t fit into their eye sockets. He reminded me a bit of The Gollum of “Lord Of the Rings” fame. Just a lot fatter & more disgusting to look at.
Martin is obsessed with watching “The Human Centipede”. He watches it at work on a laptop in his small office. He studies it, he leers over it constantly. replaying some of the more graphic scenes in it over & over much to his delight (He does a little jig & laughs happily when the feeding/defecation scenes come on). Martin even has a large scrapbook he keeps under his bed with stills from the film & some plans…plans to make his own centipede. How does he procure victims for his experiment? Easy! He just waits for someone to pick up their car late at night & knocks them on the head with a crowbar. Where does he keep his victims as he’s stockpiling (He wants to make his centipede 12 people long) them? He keeps them in a dilapidated warehouse that he obtains after killing it’s owner. Slowly he gets to his magic number but there’s much more to Martin’s madness. Much more indeed.
He lives with his mother, Misses Lomax (Vivien Bridson) who is quite apparently mad as well. She hates Martin for having his father sent to jail for the sexual abuse, she loathes the very sight of his (Admittedly) horrifying visage & she wants them both to die. In one scene she begs a rowdy neighbor to kill them both. And if she can’t get anyone to kill her, she’s going to try to kill Martin at the very least. His therapist has pedophilia on his mind as well. He strokes Martin’s legs slowly during their sessions in front of his mother, who doesn’t seem to care much at all (Later on we find out that the therapist wants to have sex with Martin). In fact, nobody really cares about Martin. He finds solace in watching “The Human Centipede” and nothing else. Both emotional & physical solace (He masturbates watching the film using sandpaper on his penis rather than some lotion).
In one disturbing scene, his mother sneaks into his room after dark & assuming Martin is asleep, proceeds to drive a knife into what she believes to be Martin’s sleeping body when martin suddenly appears behind her after turning on the light. He stands there in his underwear & says nothing to her, he just walks past her & lays down. Struggling to close his eyelids over his gargantuan eyes, he just lays down as if he wants her to kill him. As he tries to sleep he hears his father’s voice telling him not to scream because it only “Makes my willy harder”. Martin’s life is a train wreck & all he has is his DVD, his scrapbook & his plan. His mother finds his scrapbook & destroys it in front of him, which incites him to murder her in one of the more explicit scenes in the film & then have a meal with her corpse at the dinner table. It’s a f*cking sickening scene.
There are scenes in the film that echo other films, “Psycho” is one of those films. “Eraserhead” is another. The film is shot in black & white and it’s dingy, ugly landscapes are very effective. But the landscapes I’m speaking of are those of Martin’s physique. I cannot stress enough how important his appearance is to the success of this film. He is perpetually sweaty, dirty & foul smelling (He soils himself often). His short sausage like fingers are topped off with dirt encrusted fingernails. His constant use of his inhaler only makes him more pitiful to be around. The film would be an abject failure if not for Mr. Harvey & his appearance. I forgot to mention his pet, a centipede of course. And it’s the meanest f*cking centipede I’ve ever seen. He has the f*cking “T-Rex” of centipedes living in a tank in his house which he feeds live insects to.
The one bit of humor in the film comes from martin’s obsession with the original film. He goes so far as to contact the three stars of the film & offer them meetings with Quentin Tarantino(!) to star in his new film. Two of them can’t make it but one, Ashlyn Yennie, does! She is to be the first part of Martin’s centipede. We never hear Martin utter a word but we hear the messages from the actors agents telling him who’s available & who’s not. And Yennie does arrive in the last third of the film playing herself & telling Martin of how she insisted on full body massages everyday on the set of the first film & showers for all before they shot any of their centipede scenes because it’s nasty to have to put your mouth over somebody’s asshole while shooting a movie. Odd how she never seems to notice that Martin never speaks to her or if she does she doesn’t care. He’s just a toady to her, she wants to read for Quentin!
Eventually, he gets his 12 segments in the warehouse and although he knows what he wants to do, he realizes that he’s not qualified to perform the necessary operations. He discovers this the hard way after cutting off most of one victims ass meat with a scalpel & having them bleed to death. He loses two of his victims and then just decides to go for it. He uses a staple gun to connect asses to mouths. He uses a hammer to knock out their teeth. He uses duct tape to keep them connected. he does all of this in his filthy warehouse space with no means of disinfecting anything or anyone. The roof is leaking (It’s always raining in this movie. Much like in Fincher’s “Seven”) & the electricity is spotty at best. But eventually, Martin gets 10 of his segments connected, with Yennie in front, and he is pleased. what goes on afterwards I’ll leave for you to see. But believe me when I say that it gets much worse for all of them & for Martin as well.
“The Human Centipede II: Full sequence” succeeded in horrifying me because of it’s unique story line. It’s not just the “Return Of Dr. Heiter” when it could’ve been. But that would’ve been too easy to make & director Tom Six had a bigger fish to fry. It’s horrifying because in some perverse manner it’s possible. There just might be a f*cking wing nut out there who thinks that something like this is possible. We are all humans after all & we are all f*cked up in our own special little ways…aren’t we? That’s what made it so effective for me. It’s a big planet we live on acolytes & who’s to say what’s normal & what isn’t? Stranger things have happened. Although I think it’s safe to say that Martin isn’t very normal at all…
As I said earlier the film is in black & white. The cinematography is excellent, I could feel the grime & filth on my skin as the film got nastier. I also think that Tom Six might have been arrested if he filmed this in color, it’s that repellent to look at during certain scenes. There is also a sequence involving a pregnant woman that doesn’t end up well for her yet to be born child that WILL offend one or more of you (Just to be clear, it is NOT a scene of child molestation). It’s still f*cked up just the same….f*cked up & unique.
You will not like this movie. Of that I’m fairly sure, you’ll either hate it or marvel at it’s unique plot & it’s utter depravity. I’m a member of the latter camp myself. I think that it’s among the most unique, disgusting, depraved, unsettling & downright ugliest films ever made. It’s also a pretty bold one too. I really can’t say I enjoyed the carnage but I sure as hell did have a good time wondering how low it might go. Pretty f*cking low…it goes pretty f*cking low. The Black Saint is giving it a rating of 3 1/2 shrouds. It’s better than the first one by a country mile & your jaw WILL DROP a few times as you watch it, if you can get through it that is.
The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) is now available on Blu-ray per IFC Films
By the way, although the film is in B & W, there is one color that director Six allows to be shown. What color you ask? I can’t tell you that but I can tell you it ain’t Red. Make of that what you will…
The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence (2011)