Monday, May 03, 2010

The Human Centipede (Review)

The Human Centipede (First Sequence)

The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2010)

Directed by Tom Six

I've already seen a child molester kill teens in their sleep. Been there, done that. What I've never seen is an insane surgeon surgically connect 3 human beings ass to mouth. If you had the choice....which movie would you have seen last Friday?

It was an easy choice for me. It didn't hurt that the cast of The Human Centipede would be in appearance at the IFC Center in NYC to do a Q&A after the film (Tom Six, the director and actors Dieter Laser, Ashley Williams, Ashlynn Yennie and Akihiro Kitamura were all there)

So in a packed theater which I knew would add to the "midnight feel" of the experience of his "100% medically accurate" film, it was quite an experience. You could hear some gasps, screams, groans and disturbed applause when you finally see the human centipede onscreen.

Damn that was awesome.

So what did I think? The Human Centipede is a tornado of a film that challenges your visual senses and challenges your brain to compute what you're seeing. It's really something you've never seen before and that's the beauty of it. It takes about an hour to get the completion of this new Frankenstein like creation but its well worth it. Its definitely for "The Core" type moviegoer and is on the edge of indie horror cinema. My only gripe is it didn't go over the edge which is what I had wanted to see.

So let's pass some gas on this one shall we?

Boring Plot-O-Matic

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".

Awesome Review-O-Matic

The Human Centipede can be broken down into 3 distinct situations like a doctors appointment. So let's get run with that analogy because I'm a sucker for medical puns.

"The Waiting Room"

The movie starts off with a photo of a preliminary centipede made by Dr. Heiter. We'll get to know the great Evil that is Dr. Heiter later on but the first 30 or so minutes is dedicated to the party girls Lindsay (A. Williams) and Jenny (A. Yennie) who are in Germany on a backpacking trip.

Six said during the Q&A that he loved those American films of the 70s and 80s and the basic premise of an American girl who gets involved in dastardly circumstances. Six does nothing new here as we all know that a flat tire on a car will lead to Dr. Heiter's house of horrors. There is scene as our beloved American fashionistas have to converse with a icky, fat German man who has more on his mind then the girls flat tire. It's purely comical and that is your first introduction that you're not seeing a straight horror flick but a black comedy of sorts as well.

It's this balance that Six tries to deliver over 90 minutes. He injects comedic visuals and dialogue with the most disturbing imagery we have ever seen. And I have to admit, it works. To get a few laughs in makes it somewhat tolerable.

There will be a minority of people who "get" the black humor in this movie and I believe the majority will be appalled by the sensory overload. If you get it, you'll see the movie's awesomeness. The NYC audience got it completely (well nobody walked out of the theater as far as I could see)

"The Diagnosis"

Now @ Dr. Heiter laboratory of freaks, the girls are kidnapped along with a Japanese dude (A. Kitamura). Here, they (and we) are told in some awesome diagrams what will be done to them. The diagrams are completely simple and explained by Dr. Heiter in such bold, grandiose fashion that he his insane surgery becomes 1% plausible in all our minds.

Dr. Heiter (D. Laser) may go down as one of the most craziest, eviliest and mentally disturbed doctors in horror movie history. His speech in a drawn out, monotone German accented voice is clearly chilling. Laser's performance is brilliant, making the doctor who originally separated Siamese twins evolve into a mad surgeon that is similar to that of the iconic Dr. Frankenstein. All that is important is the medical breakthrough.

Later, the good doctor has to deal with some cat and mouse action with an escapee and we see the doctor at his uber evilest. He even taunts his mouse, threatening intense pain and in a wicked scene that plays out in a swimming pool, he proves his point.

The movie goes into suspense mode but the outcome has a foregone conclusion. The audience is obligated to root for the insane proctologist at this point and I happily obliged. I wanna see a fuckin Human Centipede...I mean who wouldn't?

"Surgery and Recovery"

Montaged is the surgery so the grossness of it all is compacted into quick edits of fleshy gore. The montage is hilariously LOL, as we see Dr. Heiter exhausted and upon looking at his final creation egotistically kisses himself in the mirror, proud of what he's done.

Seeing our new human centipede in action is quite a sight.The Japanese dude is at the head, our escapee in the middle and our American diva at the rear. Dr. Heiter treats this monstrosity almost as a pet, teaching them new tricks, locking them up at a cage and feeding them morsels of food.

Now connected gastronomically, the first eating, digesting and shitting transaction would seem to be the penultimate scene of the entire movie. In this movie history first our Japanese head yells in banzai-like Japanese "I'm sorry, I have to shit!!!" This initates our fearless surgeon to utter "Feed Her! Feed Her!" and thus becomes the most memorable quote in The Human Centipede.
The scene is utterly goofy and lacks the punch I wanted to see. Did I want to see Montezuma's Revenge or a 2Girls 1Cup style fuckedupness? Yeah, a part of me wanted to see some sick shit. But the movie plays it out visually R and I guess we should be thankful.

As the movie concludes, we have a Mexican standoff of sorts between our human centipede, our insane medical professional and law enforcement. The ending delivers some goods, though one final encounter between master and creation lacked the payoff I was hoping to see.

The Human Centipede is not a perfect movie but it does something that the other movie that came out the same day doesn't do. It's fuckin original.

Six mentioned during the Q&A how that the idea started out as a joke with friends that he thought the best punishment for say child molester would be to get his mouth connected to some dirty truck driver's ass.

He then concluded this would make a great horror film.

Well he's right. The Human Centipede is clearly a film that stands on the edge of horror. The simple joke that turned into an idea that turned into a movie is clearly a connected centipede of horror awesomeness.

Sure I'd like to have seen it go over the edge and go into the realm of uncharted super duper uber fuckedupness, but the First Sequence is a step in the right direction.


As part of the centipede, our American fashionistas are nude


Unscheduled medical surgery ickiness
Various forms of violence

WTF moment

The digestion process scene

The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis

Six has said that part 2 "The Full Sequence" is in the works and could be a full 12 people (I'm not sure if he was joking). He also mentioned that he had some stuff that's more crazy and intense in store for the sequel.

Sure you can take your child molesters and burn them, but all that would have done is make the perv make a deal with dream demons and thus cause him to kill your teen kids in their sleep. What the parents on Elm Street should have done was connect the child molester's mouth to somebody's asshole.

See, that would have been the better choice.


Check out the trailer below.


  1. I've seen no local ads for this film, and if it were playing here, I don't know if I'd have the audacity to be seen going in!

  2. To see this film, would be both an honor and a joy.

  3. Drunketh, I'm guessing thats a nod to the film Not Another Teen Movie. If so, bravo.

    This is showing in Dallas this weekend at a midnight showing. Can't wait.

  4. CTK - This is probably better than NOES which I decided to avoid last Fri.

    Jack - I hope my review says its pretty tame for the premise of the movie. It's a little WTF visually but if your jaded, its all gravy.

    Drunketh/Atroxion - Its got boobs. Boobs attached to heads attached to anus.

    Umm you'd think that centipede logic would equal awesome.

    Also peeps, Germany is bordering on being on my no fly list.

  5. Nice review, jaded! I've been pretty interested in this movie since I heard about it. But over time I started feeling less enthused, and your review has seemingly confirmed my suspicions. I had the lingering feeling that, despite the promise of a monster with a literal shit eating grin, that the film would lessen the impact of this moment into slight camp under the restrictions of the R-rating. Like you, I had my fingers crossed for a no-holds bar sequence that would have people running from the theater and leaving their lunches behind. I'll still probably see the movie eventually. Thanks for putting it in perspective though!

  6. That's pretty revolting in that someone had the balls to make such a film. That someone "dreamed" up this is less shocking. Gruesome acts are apart of most middle school boys minds, the difference between the likes of the many and few like Mr. Six and say Eli Roth is that we've grown up, they haven't.

  7. I myself would perfer a prequel over a sequel as to what drove the doctor mad and got him to the point that he was at in The Human Centipede. The lack of a psychological element in the film I found to be distressing. I saw a lot last week- Elm St., Survival of the Dead, Descent 2 and I surprisingly liked all those films better then this.

  8. Its built up to say "I'm shocking, watch me!" and instead its Rated R tolerable.

    But like I posted on another blog it was diggable. Seeing this visual WTF onscreen is pure awesomeness (i mean you are seeing a human medical freakshow) and you can't help but laugh, feel sick and then laugh some more.

    Thats the good stuff about the movie. They never make movies about crazy freaks....sorry freak Americans.

    Dieter is awesome as the doc and they should have went into why he wanted to make medical monsters.

    Maybe we'll see why in the sequel.

  9. Why wouldn't these girls just drive on the flat tire?? I found myself annoyed at the characters and couldn't wait for their deaths. I bought into the hype, but was very disappointed in this movie.

  10. I just finished writing my review for this. When I post it, I will read through yours fully.

  11. In a sequel they could make a male one. Lock them in a room pumped full of viagra and porno played on huge screens. I just thought this after reading your review. I'm still to watch the original but will do later today.
    Haven't watched the trailer, refrained from doing so. Sounds interesting enough tho.

  12. Or they could lock em in a room with some Taco Bell...ugh.

  13. "a icky, fat German man who has more on his mind then the girls flat tire."

    He was funny.

    I do not know if I will be re-watching the film anytime soon but I will recommend it. Its original. Better than the regular studio-fare. REC 2 is up next. I already watched the first twenty.

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