Last night myself and my housemate made a probably quite daft decision to watch The Human Centipede films. I’d avoided these films like the plague because, well, what’s appealing about a film that’s premise is several people get kidnapped and sewn together mouth to arse? Nothing really.
More horrific than the film itself is the fact that writer/director Tom Six actually thought it up. But he didn’t just think it up, he also made two of the damn films. Worrying.
I love my horror films but have never been particularly drawn to torture-porn types, particularly those that involve sexual assault (until last night, apparently, when after sitting through both of these monstrosities we then watched I Spit on your Grave 1 & 2) and to be honest having 2 Girls 1 Cup shoved under my nose by a hysterical friend who thought it’d be funny back in the day when that was a thing people talked about gave me more than enough images of people shitting into another person’s mouth to last me a lifetime.
Admittedly the first film wasn’t as bad as I expected. While I had seen bits of the sequel, I had successfully managed to avoid seeing any of the original until last night so my expectations were pretty grim. Alas even the shitting-in-the-mouth scene wasn’t quite as bad as I had envisaged and although some of the up-close gore was hard to stomach I came away feeling much less violated than I thought I would. And then we put on the sequel.
The Human Centipede 2 is probably the most self indulgent film I’ve ever seen. How many fans does The Human Centipede have? Oh wait, none. Tom Six was clearly disappointed with this and felt the need to make a sequel and invent his own fan, in a film within a film type situation. A crazy superfan who wants to build his own human centipede and watches the film several times a day, usually with his hands down his pants. Nice right?
Admittedly the acting from Laurence R. Harvey who plays our nutty protagonist is pretty stellar, he doesn’t speak at all and does a fantastic job of being a creepy little nutjob. Although to be honest he’s been in pretty much nothing else so there’s no basis for comparison; that could genuinely be what he’s like in real life!
Everything about the sequel is uncomfortable. The black and white, how quiet it is….Laurence R. Harvey’s face. Even without colour the gore is intense and really fucking gross, and then there’s the laxatives. Maybe my gag reflex has got worse but I gagged so hard throughout this film my eyes watered, and my housemate had to run to the kitchen and very nearly threw up for real. The Human Centipede is one of those films where lots of people talked about it, so if you are remotely inclined to watch it you probably already have on some level (even if you did what I did the first time I tried to watch it and skipped to the bad bits, got grossed out and continued skipping until the end, that still counts) and if you aren’t inclined at all then nothing I can say will convince you, so I won’t hold back on the ‘spoilers’ although what is there to spoil? The premise speaks for itself!
Completely obsessed with the idea of creating his own centipede, Harvey’s character who’s name I can’t remember and don’t want to Google because quite frankly I just don’t want to see any images from the film ever again, decides to reenact the shit in mouth scene. He’s done a botch job of his masterpiece; with no surgical experience he fails at the whole cutting slices of skin out of lips and bum cheeks to attach his victims so he opts for stapling lips to arse cheeks instead. So the viewing experience of the result of the laxatives is much, much worse than the original film because, well, without being properly attached to one another, there’s plenty of room for spillage.
As for the baby being crushed in the car at the end, let’s not even go there. I mean…she had plenty of time to pick it up before stamping on the pedal and crushing its head to get away. Too far.
Am I glad I finally plucked up the courage to watch these films? Am I fuck. I don’t care how talked about they were or how controversial, some things just shouldn’t be made into films. I still feel a little bit sick thinking about what I saw and although, credit where it’s due there is something quite clever about the way Tom Six builds tension and suspense, particularly in the sequel, it just isn’t worth the pain of watching.