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Home | Film Reviews | Extreme Cinema | Film Review: The Human Centipede (first sequence) (2009)

Film Review: The Human Centipede (first sequence) (2009)

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Two pretty American girls are on a road trip through Europe. In Germany they end up alone at night with a broken car in the woods. They search for help and find an isolated villa. The next day they awake to find themselves trapped in his terrifying makeshift basement hospital along with a Japanese man. An older German man identifies himself as a retired surgeon specialized in separating Siamese twins. However his three “patients” are not about to be separated, but joined together in a horrific operation. He plans to be the first person to connect people via their gastric system, in doing so bringing to life his sick lifetime fantasy “the human centipede”.


If you haven’t heard of this film by now, your probably living under a rock. With a very small concept, the idea, and the visuals to back it up is so absurd that it stands high above an onslaught of releases. Why is this? Because it’s highly original AND it is highly repulsive at the same time. “The Human Centipede” is exactly that… a term for a surgical abomination creation of one deranged ex Twin surgeon.

Directed and written by Tom Six, the film brings a breath of fresh air to an otherwise recycled stereotypical industry that constantly repeats itself. Yes, horror fans, you know the score and have seen too many to name that you and I may be suffering from derivative boredom if it weren’t for films like this. That’s my line of thinking anyways…

Now the setup is pretty familiar… 2 girls on vacation in Germany decide to head out to an out-of-the way party and get lost in the journey. The girls, Lindsay and Jenny in the process of site seeing the backwoods of Germany’s many uncharted roads also develop a flat tire along the way. Seeking help they find a isolated house in the woods. Though this house is no shack as it is owned by Dr.Heiter who has a flair for modern but sterile decor. The good doctor is played by actor Dieter Laser, who I’m willing to bet has charted his introduction into the next iconic bad man role (if not already). Even upon a forced introduction to the girls, his demeanor is odd, cold and slightly coated with a deranged persona that never seems to lighten up for a second. This is the face of a true movie villain and Laser has got my vote.

Dieter “was” a highly regarded surgeon who specialized in the separation of conjoined twins. Though in his retired days, it appears that the Dr. has gone a bit mad and is still experimenting with off the wall surgery. His first attempt ……his 3 dogs who he successfully joined per the rectum and oral cavities was just the seed he needed to begin planning his experiment on live humans. Lucky for him, when the 2 stray foreigners come knocking on his doorstep needing help. Unlucky for them though that they are about to be placed into the worst hell they could imagine. Using roofies to knock them unconscious, he keeps the girls captive in his lab while preparing to execute his prize experiment.

Yes, you got it, a living human centipede. If that isn’t bad enough, he wakes them before hand to show them per illustrations what he has planned out for them. The concept though is that 3 humans will be conjoined per the rectum to mouth, with the first in line being able to talk and eat, the middle subject joined at both ends and the last only joined per the oral cavity so that she can process the centipedes waste out her ass. I know….. a lovely sight your saying, Thanx to some practical FX and the glory of cinema, we get to see this abomination come to life.

Hats off to the actors who in the course of filming had to undergo long hours not only in the kneeling position, but rather their compromising positions that would be hard for any acting talent to undergo. In research, it was reported that the director had to audition several actors before finding the right combination of personality and endurance. My question? If this is supposed to be part of a future trilogy….then what has Six got up his sleeves for the next 2 films?? The horror here is presented both visually and mentally from the directors talent into painting the scenario firmly in our heads. So much that we strive as a viewer to constantly process resolves and potential outcomes.

Again, the idea also paints further fears from straying too far in a foreign country, though in this case the outcome of that notion is not being hung from meat hooks but the living nightmare of a surgeon gone insane. Highly recommended as a unnerving exploration in nightmarish circumstances. Perhaps one of the most visually disturbing films ever made.


Bonus Features


    • NEW The Ladies Of The Human Centipedes Featurette – New Interviews With Ashley C. Williams, Ashlynn Yennie, Maddi Black, And Kandace Caine
    • Audio Commentary With Director Tom Six
    • Behind-The-Scenes Footage
    • Deleted Scene
    • Interview With Director Tom Six
    • Casting Tapes
    • Foley Session
    • Alternate Poster Gallery
    • Theatrical Trailer

The Human Centipede (first sequence) is now available from Shout Factory in a bluray 3-set combo pack


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