Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Review: The Human Centipede (First Sequence)

Credentials: 4.6 out of 10 ( / 50%, Certified Rotten ( / 33 out of 100 (

Plot: While road-tripping through Germany, best pals Lindsay (Ashley C. Williams) and Jenny (Ashlynn Yennie) meet a cute waiter who invites them to meet up with him for drinks at an ultra-hip club. The pair accept, get all dolled up, then immediately get lost on route. Rather then turning around or asking for directions, the girls keep driving until they somehow wind up in the middle of the freaking woods and their car breaks down. After walking around for a bit, they stumble upon the home of Dr. Heiter (Dieter Laser), an expert in the field of separating conjoined twins. Heiter isn’t big on the club scene, but he is VERY into roofy-ing gals, being crazy and doing the exact opposite of his job description. When the ladies wake up, Heiter unveils his master plan: stitch them together mouth-to-butt--- along with a totally random third person--- and create a “human centipede!”

Why it stinks: “Human Centipede” is one of those movies--- like the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”--- that has a reputation for being horribly graphic, gory and violent, but in reality isn’t.
Outside of the occasional quick surgery scene, there isn’t a ton of blood and guts in “Centipede.” Very nearly all of its gross-out moments are implied. That leaves the most disgusting part of “Centipede” as the idea behind it.

Seriously, I’m calling WTF on director/writer/producer Tom Six. What kind of idea is attaching people mouth-to-butt? Six better be on some government watch lists for that.
The idea behind the movie is so repulsive, it doesn’t matter most of the movie’s gross parts are left the imagination. They’re still awful to think about. Like what happens when the person at the front of the centipede needs to go number two. We don’t see anything, but you can’t scrub that kind of ickyness out of your brain. And now I pass that gift on to you. Welcome.
I don’t understand what pleasure or enjoyment a person could get from this. There’s not enough gore for a gorehound, it’s not suspenseful enough for thriller fans, it’s not funny or creepy. Nothing. It’s just a 90 minute long movie with a sick premise and nothing else going on.
Six could have covered the same ground in about a five page short story or a single Youtube video.
Instead he went the full-length feature route and as a result his movie is padded within an inch of its life.
Characters do insane things like escape from the doctor, only to return and try to drag their unconscious friend across the man’s front lawn and back into the same woods the pair couldn’t navigate when they were both lucid. Spoiler alert, the plan doesn’t work.
The movie is full of equally dumb escape attempts. At one point the centipede tries to sneak past the doctor while he goes for a swim. You’re three people attached mouth-to-butt you really think he’s so wrapped up in doing laps he won’t notice you? He ain’t no Michael Phelps!
Worse still, Six dilly-dallys along, wasting everyone’s time, until about 40 minutes in before he finally gets around to the actual centipede action.
I use the term action there loosely because there isn’t any action to speak of. Unless you call the aforementioned poop gag action. Oh and the doctor also tries to train his creation to fetch a newspaper. It’s like Animal Planet after dark, I guess.
Eventually some cops materialize out of the blue, but by then it doesn’t matter. The story had long since packed its bags and headed out for some of that fine German beer.

Quick Thoughts
  • I don’t know what this says about me, but I found both of our “Jersey Shore”-wannabe leading ladies infinitely more tolerable when they were part of the centipede.
  • Is that one gal really wandering in the woods in the rain with giant hooker heels on? No wonder she wasn't picked to be the head.
  • To paraphrase the great Jeff Goldblum: "Excuse me uh, you do plan on having human centipedes in your uh human centipede movie, right? Hello?"
  • Dieter Laser has a great name and looks like a German Christopher Walken. So it’s not a total loss.
  • Spoiler Alert:  So after spending the entire movie brazenly thumbing his nose at the doc, the male member of the centipede randomly gives up right before the credits roll? Really? Garbage. That's garbage writing Six and you know it. 

Worst of the Worst

                Probably the scene where the doctor tricks the girls into thinking he called the car rental agency to get their car fixed. Seems like a reasonable scene except for the part where they never gave him a number to call. What, did he just know that random number off the top of his head? I find it easier to believe three people can live for an indeterminate number of days while attached face-to-pooper.
Pretty sure this is going on Six's tombstone
                So there you go, “The Human Centipede (First Sequence).” Am I man enough to one day endure Tom Six’s sequel “Full Sequence” where he goes apepoop crazy and lovingly embraces the gore and ick he mostly shunned in this film? Only time…
                Bumblebee tuna.