I remember the hoopla of this movie releasing, people up in arms over the vulgarity (well apparent vulgarity) of it and the shock value that it has. Whilst I understand why, on face value, people would be disturbed by this tale of a demented surgeon I don’t see what all the fuss is about.
If you’re ever going to put yourself through a flick that relies on a single hook or gimmick to shock you – all you need to do is realise that the film makers sole intent is to do just that – and once you’ve dispelled it you can watch almost anything without ever being offended. And to be honest THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (FIRST SEQUENCE) isn’t offensive – it’s just plain dull.
The greatest crime that THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE commits is that it has nowhere to go, Tom Six (Writer/Director) has made a film trapped by its own convention. The plot is really simple – two American tourists get lost in Germany and wind up asking for help at a remote house which is owned by a demented, retired surgeon who wants to sew people together to make a human centipede. So, of course, he drugs them and with the aid of a Japanese tourist he has already captured the surgeon does just that.
Problem is he does it 45 minutes into the film, so half way through the flick he’s already shown the shark. Then what do you do? You’re in the middle of nowhere, you’ve got three people – one of them screaming Japanese rants and the other sewn to each others arses for another 50 minutes. They have nothing to do. So Six’s next step – try and do things with the creation (which doesn’t work), throw in some bumbling cops for some generic dialogue and, of course, the centipede tries to make a break for it and rebel. There’s just nowhere to go in the story. He’s trapped himself in his own convention and has no idea how to get out.
It’s handsomely shot, nowhere near as bloody or grotesquely violent as I expected, and stylistically dressed but this wannabe clinical approach does nothing to hide a really uneventful story that you know where it’s going before the opening title card shows up. None of the creepy elements (the siamese twin artworks etc) are new or surprising – its all been lifted from plenty of other films.
This film desperately needed an injection of wackiness, if it were me I would’ve had the mad doctors lab full of hormones and steroids etc so the centipede could inject itself and make it super-human.. You know, something to push it even further. If you’re gonna go hyper realistic – go as far and as hard as you can!
The actors, especially the two girls, have nothing to do bar munch on someone else’s arse for a good half of the movie (and yes there’s the obligatory defacation moment which would be the 2nd hook of the premise but its just plain dumb rather than horrifying) and whilst our mad doctor Dieter Laser is suitably jarring to look at – he’s just not interesting enough to really care what happens either way.
THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (FIRST SEQUENCE) is available now on HOME ENTERTAINMENT.