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I am a massive fan of gore and horror movies, I was really excited in a weird way to watch this when It came out but I was massively disappointed. I am going to review the film only but you can pick up the DVD on-line for around £5.
The plot focuses around a German doctor with the crazed idea of making this monster. He has successfully kidnapped three tourists and now wants to surgically connect them from the mouth to the anus. An original idea none the less and the director Tom Six made it happen. Sadly the plot disappears once this has been done. There is no part of the film that gives the doctor reasons to his actions and there is even once part where he is seen sitting in the garden with the centipede behind him.
Predictable, Predictable and the type of horror film were nobody questions their actions. The whole film seems to lose any sight of a storyline, just kidnap the people, turn them into a centipede and then watch them??
The start of the film is nothing special and way too much of a common scenario for any horror movie, the film has two women and there car breaks down! their phones break and they walk into the weird doctors house and get themselves kidnapped. Predictable right? The women attempt to escape but these attempts are short-lived and probably the worst attempt at escaping I have ever seen in a horror movie.
The "crucial" part of the film
Its fair to say this film could have been made five minutes long very easily, the other tourist (a Japanese guy) and the two woman are put through the process, There knee's and legs are mutated forcing them to crawl and they are sewn together. Nothing major seems to happen after this, the doctor keeps them as his pet, swims naked in the pool. The only other story line is the police coming to investigate which also ends up being just as predictable.
Well it won't surprise you! But I won't spoil it for you.
The gorey bits.
The gore is the only reason why you would watch this film, it does do its best to shock you and it really is something you will have never seen before.
I would recommend a watch If you want to see some gore and something messed up, but don't expect too much from the story line as there really isn't any.
I love weird films, the weirder the better as far as I'm concerned, as this film didn't disappoint at all! I am possibly considered odd by some for enjoying this, but I just like films that introduce new ideas, break the boundaries and actually make me go 'wow!' or 'no way!' or just 'yuk!', I have a strong stomach for things like this and I enjoy horror, but I would say that if you don't share these views you may not like this film, or even feel offended by it! In fact my review itself may offend you, so be warned!
I first read a review about it in Bizarre magazine a couple of years ago and thought i just HAVE to watch this. After telling my friend who also loves the same types of films weset out on a mission to watch it, but it had only been on in a couple of independant film type cinemas in the UK and was not openly available on DVD at firdt. Eventually however, I believe, after much censoring, it became available.
The film, as you are probably already aware once you have got round to reading this review, is about a 'mad doctor' type bloke, the German Dr Heiter, who has become obsessed with the idea of creating a Human Centipede. He wants to join people together via their gastric system, basically by joining their mouths to each others anuses. Yes, yuk! I have to say at this point that whilst the film is gory in parts it has done a good job of not being too graphic on this front, the victims are bandaged around the relevant places so you do not really see anything, which is good because nobody really wants to see that and to be honest it is more horrifying just imagining it!
Dr Heiter is a fantastic character, the actor is great at playing a weird, creepy part and you don't get the impression that he is doing this out of spite or revenge or just for the funnies, more that he is doing it out of a scientific interest - thoguh clearly he must be completely off his rocker as he shows no sympathy for his victims at any point.
His victims are basically lone travellers he has picked up, plus a couple fo unfortunate girls who - in true horror film style - get lost in the woods and knock on his door when their car breaks down, in the rain! I do they they may have made a better attempt at escaping at an earlier stage, but I could say that about a lot of horror films!
There is one particularly uncomfortable scene where one of the victims basically needs to, erm, go to the toilet, it is not nice to watch but then again you don't really see anything, it is just the thought that is awful. Whilst this scene is in there to make you squirm I suppose that also it would have not made sense to leave it out really, there is a point to it.
I don't want to go into too much detail about whether the operation is a success, who survives etc as that would spoil it. But if you enjoy horror and are looking for something unusual then give it a go, you will probably find that it is done in a far more tasteful way than you are expecting.
Raiding a friends DVD selection the other night, we had seen the majority of the films as up until fairly recently we were members of Lovefilm and watched a number of films every week. One of the only films we hadn't seen was the Human Centipede, and although I wasn't blown away by the title, I thought it may be worth a try as we were in the mood for a scary film.
This is where I must warn you that this film is pretty horrific in content and I will be explaining what it's about so you have been warned! When we switched on the film, I naively thought that there may be a centipede in the film somewhere, maybe a giant one that naffly captured and killed the female protagonists... How wrong I was!!......
The concept of the film is fairly simple. It follows a couple of tourists from New York as they break down in Germany on a road trip through Europe (in the middle of the night, of course, plus it's raining cats and dogs). Of course, they find a house in the woods, but it's not creepy looking, if anything it's quite plush, and so they venture into the grounds in search of help. This is where a touch of German would have come in handy for the girls, as they would have seen a grave for 'the 3 dog', but no, of course they didn't notice this! A very creepy looking man opens the door and he had quite a strange looking face, so I thought I had it covered and knew that the German man was in fact a centipede..... Not quite!
From here on in, there isn't much in the way of a spoiler, if you have any concept of horror films whatsoever, you will know that 2 girls going alone into a strange mans house (in a horror film) is of course going to lead to trouble, and this is of course what happens, but not quite as you would expect! The girls soon realise they are in trouble, perhaps a little too late and they soon find themselves tied up in hospital style beds with another man in the same situation. This is when we discover that the man is a famous surgeon, notably for his work with separating conjoined twins. This is where we also learn of his elaborate plan to make the first human centipede by joining the three captives together through their gastric system which will mean surgically attaching the 3 together between their mouths and anuses. Yep, you've heard me right. At this point, I had committed enough time that I felt I had to stick with it as I was so intrigued that a director could ever possibly think this was a good idea for a film. While I wasn't particularly interested with the gruesome bit, I did want to see how they would escape before the surgery, because of course, no self respecting actor would actually film this stuff would they? Err.........
This film from start to finish, was an absolute waste of my time, the actors time, the directors time...... Need I go on?! This was without a shadow of a doubt, the worst film I have ever, ever seen in my life!!! I think the only reason I stuck with it right to the end was so I could write this review, so none of you ever have to see this film! That's right folks, I'd do that for you!
Okay so I've explained about the synopsis, so next under fire is the acting... Fair play to the actors and actresses who actually thought this may be a good idea, they stuck with it (literally) and some of the scenes were fairly believable, but it basically is just screaming and crying the whole way through. The Doctor is a rather bizarre man, and I'm not sure if this is perhaps a reflection of the actor.
Was one film not bad enough, when I searched for this film to write the review, I discovered there is actually a second film! Obviously the person/people responsible have no idea whatsoever and like to throw away money!
Should you ever want to actually see this drivel and want to know more details then the film lasts for 92 painful minutes.
Please please don't put yourself through watching this garbage!!
I was so disturbed by this film that I didn't eat properly for two days after watching it. This was purely down to the concept of the film. The film is NOT easy to watch. It makes your stomach churn and it's one of those films that you can't seem to get out of your head, and not in a good way either.
The film is not what I would class as a horror film, it's more psychological than that, although I wouldn't class it as a psychological thriller either. I think i'd just class it as disturbed really! Put it this way, the director must be a little bit weird himself...
The acting wouldn't win any oscars either and it's not the most convincing of acting either!
I don't think i'd recommend this film as it's quite long winded and boring in places. The last half an hour or so really drags the film out and I was a little confused by the ending, although I won't spoil it for you. I suppose it does leave the door open for a second film (which has just been released on DVD).
It's worth watching purely down to the hype that surrounds it. I felt a little behind as most of my friends had watched this so I decided to jump on the bandwagon. I regret it now...
Not the best film in the world but probably the most disturbing...
I don't remember seeing this advertised, or that much talk about it really until this year. The type of comments have tended to be quite negative, focusing on the gross-ness of the film. I actually quite enjoyed it, but then again I was laughing quite a bit throughout, so it depends on your view of such things.
This flick is actually referred to as 'The First Sequence' because there's now the 2011 sequel, but I haven't seen that yet. The basic plot is that there's a 'mad scientist' by the name of Dr Heiter who likes to experiment. For his grand investigation into biology he kidnaps three young tourists, who are evidently terrified and quite confused at what's going on. Rather than your average kidnap-followed-by-torture scenario, we have torture to the extent of mutilation for an ultimate purpose.
And the purpose, as Dr Heiter sees it, is to attempt to create a new 'pet' - to create a literal human centipede by joining people together, mouth to rectum. Sounds gross? Yes, it is. Especially when considering he wants this centipede to live, which means that these three people must live and survive as one. So, to put it as nicely as possible, what one person eats as the head of the centipede must come out at the end person of the centipede, passing through each person on the way. This is only a three person centipede so it's not as long a journey, but it's a very tough one nonetheless. I won't say any more, for fear of either spoiling the film or making you feel sick. Basically, the rest of the film is question of how far Dr Heiter will go, whether he can be stopped, and how long this human centipede has as a life span.
The cast includes Dieter Laser as Dr Heiter, Ashley Williams as Lindsay, Ashlynn Yennie as Jenny and Akihiro Kitamura as Katsura. I can't say I've heard the names before, but being unknown wasn't a bad thing as the acting wasn't too bad. In fact, given the circumstances and type of things involved, they played their (in some cases very unfortunate) roles well. I was at least able to feel something for the victims, sitting there watching it becoming increasingly grossed out & wishing for their sake it would come to an end one way or the other.
What I wasn't so keen on was actually the opening scenes involving the kidnap. This was when they break down in the middle of nowhere and stumble across a house belonging to none other than Dr Heiter. What seems like a decent guy offering to help them out soon turns nasty as he discloses his dream creation, and they meet the third member of the human centipede. It seemed quite stereotypical having the not-quite-so-intelligent American girls, the broken down car and creepy doc on his own being able to lure these victims in. Having said that, the rest of the film's originality made up for its clichéd beginnings.
Some scenes also felt like they were being dragged out a little, and with the plot being focused almost entirely on the creation and maintenance of this man made creature, the plot was a bit dry. If this had been 'livened' up a bit and have had some variety added to it, it could have been more thrilling and engaging to watch.
What I liked was that this is apparently 100% accurate, which is good because when talking about joining up human insides and mouths and rectums you want a degree of believability. Tom Six created this after thinking about a suitable punishment for paedophiles - I think this is more torture on a grand and horrific scale than many people could ever have imagined. The scenes really were brought to live and made as grotesque as possible, without being over the top for the sake of it. It was down to earth in that sense, it felt genuine, and thus it had a more realistic atmosphere.
I won't say this is an easy watch because it wasn't pleasant to view, but I was intrigued throughout. If you appreciate biology, the weird and the downright gross yet with a strangely realistic tension at times, then this is worth a try.
Rated Certificate 18, released 2011, running time 90 minutes
Selling on Amazon for £7.39
This is the film which introduced all movie goers to a whole new type of horror film. It was one of the films which everyone talked about when it came out and is what drew me to want to see it and find out just what exactly was so shocking. I'd never heard of Tom Six beforehand and was intrigued into what exactly all the fuss was about.
The basic plot is about a retired surgeon who specialised in seperating conjoined twins who wishes to embark on his own creations by stitching three humas together mouth to anus so that they share one digestive system, thus creating a human centipede. Director Tom Six is said to have been inspired by Nazi experimentation during the Holocaust as to why he attempted such a film.
As someone who isn't shocked easily, this is one of very few films that did make me think "Wow, never thought I'd see that happen in a film" but one thing I admire in film is when writers and directors attempt to create new things and do something that hasn't been done before which is what draws me to this film. I was more fascinated into how Dr. Heiter (Dieter Laser) would attempt such a thing. Descriptive yet simple drawings are shown to the victims just to show them what Heiter's planning to do with them and gives the viewer an idea of what exactly is going on. It's not a hard film to follow but at some points you do have to think towards the end what exactly is going on because the story just seems to fade out and ends rather quickly.
My only negative thing to say about the film is that it I found scenes lasted longer than they needed to be and there could have been more of a storyline in order to make it more appealing to viewers. I am a fan of gore etc. so I wasn't put off by some of the more explicitly gory scenes which don't appear in your average horror movie but I think those easily offended wouldn't carry on watching it.
Overall I would give this film a 4 out of 5, mainly because of it's sheer originality and the way that Tom Six has approached such a thing. There is a second film due to be released here in the UK on 4th November, with a 3rd one in the planning, but having seen the second one I can't really say how they will go about a 3rd as I can see sequels getting rather repetetive.
Human Centipede (First Sequence) is definitely worth a buy. It's available on Amazon.com for £7.39 but I would look out for it to be cheaper in shops. Second hand from any Cex shop nationwide would also be worth a look!
This film had a great deal of drama surrounding critics calling it challenging and obscene, words I like to hear. I believe that boundaries are there to be pushed and pushed until they break. Clearly a lot of people are put off by European cinema despite some great releases but here is one reason why perhaps.
The film centres around a maniacal German surgeon who is obsessed with conjoined bodies, indeed he decorates his clinically pristine home with artwork of the subject. In the opening scenes we are made aware of a siamese triplet he has created from dogs buried in his lawn and we get the idea where this film is probably going.
Dr Heiter is clearly bonkers and has the vision of creating a human centipede using three unwilling guinea pigs he kidnaps to realise his demented fantasy. What gave rise to the controversy surrounding the film was that the people were joined mouth to anus and their intestinal tracts joined as one allowing food to be eating by the first and excreted by the third. I believe there was some promotion stating that the theoretical surgery was anatomically correct!
Despite the interesting possibilities I could not get into this film at all. The premise was good but the acting was absolutely dire, probably the worst I have seen in a long, long time. The two American ladies played by Ashley C Williams and Ashlynn Yennie are terrible. They over pronounce their lines and have strange pauses in the timing, you want them to be operated on! Their co-prisoner is a Japanese man played by Akihiro Kitamura who is streets ahead in terms of screen prescence practically making them invisible.
Worst of all however is the lead Dr Heiter played by the incredibly wooden Dieter Laser who virtually floats around the set making no impact at all. His interactions are mundane and clinical, like his character, and he shows virtually no emotion through his botox face to whole time he is on screen.
The worst thing thing about the whole experience for me was that I felt compelled to watch the film despite it being boring just to see the outcome of the human centipede. I could write paragraphs about imagery and ethics but at the end of the day this is a film about sewing mouths to arses.
Ashley C. Williams
Promised so much yet failed to deliver despite some key moments. It did win several awards however so someone must see merit in the work. Give it a try if it's on TV but do not rent or buy.
Having heard that the sequel to this film was banned by the British Board of Film Classification as "harm is likely to be caused to potential viewers", I decided to check out the first film to see what all the fuss was about. Sadly, I totally regret this as it was an hour and a half of my life that I'll never get back.
The film was written and directed by Tom Six and stars Dieter Laser, Ashley C. Williams and Ashlynn Yennie. It was released in 2009.
The film focuses on a mad German scientist named Dr. Heiter who has the desire of creating a human centipede out of three people. The centipede is created by stitching together their mouths to each other's rectums which forms a single digestive system (cue the first test of this digestive system - I would not want to be the second or third person!). The three people chosen for this are two American women who are back packing through Europe when they are passing through some creepy woods and happen to break down (like this hasn't happened in a thousand films already), who then seek refuge in the doctor's house, and a crazy Japanese man who cannot speak English. By the midpoint of the film, the doctor achieves what he set out to, so the second half of the film is basically filler and is completely pointless, a couple of policemen visit, there's a few deaths and that's about it.
I really disliked this film, not because it was gruesome or repulsive to watch, (I like to think I have a strong resolve when it comes to blood and guts) but because the film was just so bad. The acting was terrible and the characters were so wooden and badly created, that personally I felt it impossible to feel any empathy for them or the situation they were in. Dieter Laser, who plays the doctor, was the only decent actor and he does look pretty scary, there's something about his eyes. The acting of the two policemen in the second half of the film is so poor that I was tempted to stop watching. The script is virtually non existent with very little actually being said, the Japanese man seems to say the most, all in Japanese with no subtitles (at least on the version that I watched).
I suppose the most disturbing aspect of the film is that Tom Six (writer and director) thought that this should be the punishment for paedophiles - I think instead of making a film about this, he should have checked himself into a mental hospital and sought professional help.
I would not recommend watching this film at all, it is pointless and adds nothing to the already over saturated torture porn genre. I would only suggest watching it if you have literally nothing else to do.
So The Human Centipede...a movie which has been hyped up and hyped up since it's release in 2010 and inspired by the director himself's idea of the punishment which convicted paedophiles should endure. To begin with, I was very sceptical of investing in this movie - I got the impression that it had too much budget and was too silly to actually succeed in being scary. However, when I learnt that the film was in fact 100% medically accurate, my mind did change quickly and I was encouraged to give it a go.
My first impressions of The Human Centipede were poor considering the heavily stereotypical horror plot at the beginning of the movie - two young, mildly attractive women break down in the middle of no-where, can get no signal on their phones and decide to knock on a strangers door. Yawn. Once in the house, the women are greeted by a psychotic surgeon and heavily drugged. And so it begins...
From here on until the most widely known scene I can remember very little, which is a bad sign. The plot was extremely simple and so there was not much to consider throughout the movie (apart from the pictures of conjoined babies scattered around the surgeons house which pretty much gives away the fact that he specialises in these particular procedures). Because of this, I found the movie unmemorable, especially when taking into consideration the amount of hype surrounding it.
Aside from this, the special effects in the movie were pretty sick, in particular the scene where the surgeon produces the end product of his twisted fantasy - it does look pretty real and the acting here makes it all the more believable and evokes alot of emotion in the viewers. I mean c'mon, how can you not feel for someone who's had their mouth sewn to someone else's butt? I also noticed that the film had taken alot of inspiration from more underground cinema such as; Philosophy of a Knife and Salo. The balance between the directors own idea's, and the inspiration from films based on similar atrocities was perfect in my eyes.
If I had written this review yesterday, I would of told you that The Human Centipede is twisted and exploitative just for the sake of being more sick than the horror which came out before it. However, once I discovered that the movie is actually based on the atrocities of Josef Mengele (otherwise known as The Angel of Death in Nazi Germany), I realised that the film had more of a purpose to it and gained a little bit more respect for it.
All in all, The Human Centipede has it's moments but is not spectacular. If your into more mainstream horror, then this will probably shock you. If your into underground horror on the other hand, your likely to find this tame - I personally would have liked to see more scenes surrounding the actual surgery carried out to create the centipede.
I'd heard about this movie in passing but having never seen the trailer, I didn't really know much about the film or what it was about. That was until I saw it for myself and it's one of those films that a part of you regrets watching.
Written and directed by Tom Six, The Human Centipede (First Sequence) tells the story of Dr. Heiter (Dieter Laser), a German scientist who's career focussed on separating conjoined twins. Ironically, his research later takes a turn in the opposite direction when he undertakes an experiment and manages to join three dogs together. Unsatisfied, Dr. Heiter takes the experiment one step further, creating the human centipede.
Friends Lindsay (Ashley C. Williams) and Jenny (Ashlynn Yennie) embark on a road trip through Europe but they could have never anticipated the horror awaiting them in Germany. Driving through a rather remote area late at night, the friends break down in the woods. Searching for help, they stumble across a large house. They are greeted by Heiter who invites them in, locking the door behind them. After drugging his visitors, the girls wake up to find themselves strapped to hospital looking beds in the basement along with a gentleman that Heiter had previously kidnapped. His life soon comes to an end when Heiter discovers the body tissue doesn't match, and he is replaced by Katsuro (Akihiro Kitamura), a Japanese tourist. Happy with the candidates, Dr. Heiter performs the surgery, connecting all three of his victims via mouth and anus. The surgery is a success and the human centipede is born. Clearly overjoyed with his greatest creation, Heiter sees the centipede as a new pet, and proceeds to teach "it" tricks and feeds the head of the centipede from a dog bowl placed on the floor.
When two detectives turn up after reports of a screaming woman at the property, Heiter sees these as replacements for two of the segments of the centipede, but his plan to drug them fails drastically and his sick game comes to an abrupt end.
The movie is fairly slow paced, but is quite suspenseful as the viewer is kept wondering if and when the centipede will be discovered and if the segments will be saved. For me, the 92 minutes flew by, most of which was spent looking on with a face of disgust. There is very little blood and gore, but the idea of the whole thing is simply horrific. Personally, I would have liked to have seen a little more of the surgery. The concept may seem extreme, but what makes this film good is the fact that this could actually happen. Things that are possible are always much scarier as far as horror is concerned.
The role played by Laser is deliciously dark and is made all the more chilling by his calmness. His expressions alone are dark and quite terrifying, and it's clear to see that inside, his mind is racing with the possibilities of what he is about to create. There is not other word for him than simply mental. The acting is very good although I do have a few issues with Williams and Yennie during the first few scenes of the film. Their acting does improve as the movie progresses, but maybe this is due to the fact that neither of them can speak. Kitamura played the head of the centipede very well. His dialect was subtitled and the acting was superb and very believable. There were times throughout the movie where you could feel his pain and anger. All three characters seemed to be in genuine pain as part of the centipede as it tried to make its way around the house. It's this that I found the most disturbing.
The effects were very good and realistic, particularly the way the mouths were stapled to the anus before it. The blood looked like real blood, which seems to be something of a rarity when it comes to horror even today.
Much more sick than scary, this is a movie that I would constrict to the more hardened horror fan, it certainly isn't for the weak stomached. Around half way through the movie I found myself feeling physically sick but morbid curiosity got the better of me and I managed to stick it out. It's certainly nowhere near good enough to be classed as a great horror film, but definitely worth a watch, just once though, I'm not sure I could even stomach the trailer again.
Currently, The Human Centipede (Full Sequence) is in production which promises to be even worse than the first. To be frank, I'm not sure how much worse it could get or where Six plans on taking the story, but I'm dying to find out.
**Also on Ciao under the same username**
***This film contains things that you might find unpleasant and offensive in the extreme - seriously! I will have to mention these things in order to review it. Proceed at your peril.***
The DVD, released by Bounty Films, is currently £11 on amazon.
My goodness! I haven't felt this elated by a modern horror film since Blair Witch Project a decade ago. This is the kind of high-concept horror that makes for instant notoriety, and, like Blair Witch, has divided audiences. Most, it must be said, fall firmly into the 'anti' camp, either being repulsed by the premise, or claiming to find the film dull and badly made. I can understand the first point of view - it's a confrontational idea - but the second I find incomprehensible.
The premise, then... Mad old Dr Heiter has a dream - a dream of creating a 'Siamese Triplet' by stitching three people together. The reason for the controversy is the way they are to be arranged - a 'human centipede', formed by stitching the mouth of each 'segment' to the anus of the segment in front. The composite entity will share one alimentary canal. So naturally the second and third segments only eat... well, I don't need to spell it out.
It's hardly spoiling anything to reveal that he achieves his goal, as the back of the DVD box makes it pretty obvious. Heiter forms his centipede out of two American women taking a road trip through little ol' Europe; and an angry Japanese man. A lot of people have observed that there isn't really anywhere for the film to go after the centipede is created, and in story terms that's probably true (although like the centipede itself, the narrative does have a clear beginning, middle and end). But that doesn't really feel like the point of the film - it's come up with a startling horror premise, and most of the film's second half explores that.
While on one level this feels like a one-note gross-out (especially when the director reveals that it started life as a joke about how he would punish child abusers), it feels like so much more. Science gone wrong has been at the centre of horror ever since Frankenstein was first published, but this, with its emphasis on extreme body horror, belongs in the tradition of David Cronenberg's early films (Shivers was met with a similarly horrified critical reaction in 1975). While Cronenberg's films are about the fear of bodily change, through ageing, disease or medical procedure, Human Centipede feels like it's more about loss of individuality and privacy through excessive dependence on others - a metaphor for ageing, perhaps. If you like Cronenberg's early films, or William Burroughs, or JG Ballard, chances are you'll respond well to Human Centipede. It's tapping into the same vein of high scatological weirdness as Burroughs, the same mixture of surgical precision and grime as Ballard.
This is a horror film, for once, that actually horrifies. Most modern 'extreme' horror seems to be about unspeakably painful and nasty things being done to young people. To be honest, that doesn't horrify me in the slightest - fear of violence, or of rape, isn't horror, or at least not exactly. Horror should disturb you on a level beyond the fear of being mugged - it should appeal to your most irrational fears, not your mundane, everyday 'falling under a Tube train' worries. Just the basic idea of Human Centipede is gross enough to work, but when you get right down and start to consider the implications, it works on a few extra levels, none of them pleasant.
The film's 90 minutes positively fly by. Personally, I wish they'd got the surgery out of the way much sooner, as that would have left us with more time to enjoy the company of the centipede. There's a sense that, having come up with a killer idea, the director didn't have enough faith in its ability to sustain a whole film, so there's a lot of rather pointless plot thrown at us. It feels like it's going through some of the normal horror film motions almost as a sop to the audience. This could have been a masterpiece if it was just about the world a very sick man makes for himself; as it is, it feels like the director's tried to push his wriggling, reluctant creation into a conventional film set-up, thereby weakening it and creating expectations in the audience that it doesn't need to fulfil.
The film more than earns its 18 rating, although the actual splatter is kept to a minimum. Just seeing the centipede crawling painfully around is uncomfortable, and the pathetic attempts of the segments to assert their individuality are fairly distressing. Naturally the most uncomfortable moment is when the front segment has to relieve itself. Nothing, I should stress, is shown or heard, but the idea itself should be enough to put you off your food for a while, especially as Heiter's gleeful urging - 'Feed her! Feed her!' - adds a bit of extra intensity.
The film is shot beautifully, with unobtrusive camera work. Heiter's house is all sterile mondernism, giving the illusion of clinical tidiness, but with dirt and imperfection always lurking. There's no music, but low, almost subliminal ambient noise serves to unsettle us. This is remarkably well done, and the special makeup effects are more than adequate to bring the grim premise to life.
The film starts out as a bog standard 'Americans getting in trouble in Europe' movie. I wonder if it was a deliberate ploy to make the two girls irritating airhead stereotypes. The actresses give really exaggerated 'like, oh my gaaahd' performances - they certainly don't inspire much sympathy, at least at first. It almost comes across as a parody of the Hostel type of film, with everyone the girls encountering proving predatory: the first guy they run into makes obscene suggestions to them, and the second stitches them to a Japanese man's bottom. They start out getting lost on their way to a party, and I'd imagine if they'd ever got there they'd have ended up being sold into slavery or something. Americans in horror films just shouldn't go to Europe!
The star of the film is undoubtedly Dieter Laser as Dr Heiter. Looking like a 'dehydrated Christopher Walken' (to quote the director's commentary), he gives a wonderful mad science performance, with more layers than you'd expect. He obviously evokes Josef Mengele, a real-life mad doctor who was obsessed with Siamese twins, but most of the film's blackest humour comes from his performance. If Anthony Hopkins got to win an Oscar for the thickly sliced ham of Silence of the Lambs, Laser should have got one for this. No danger of that, of course.
There is a surprising amount of humour in the film, which helps to make it bearable. The perpetually angry Japanese victim is good ("The Japanese possess unbelievable strength when backed into a corner!"), as is Heiter's fondness for the memory of his 3-dog, a prototype Rottweiler centipede. Ultimately, though, this is pretty bleak stuff. There's no escape for the victims, condemned to a life of shuffling around a madman's lair, with even the act of eating rendered hideously traumatic. That's the source of the horror - there's no real suspense (one chase scene features the stupidest ever decision by a character in a horror movie) and the storyline is throwaway stuff which, as mentioned, doesn't feel like it really belongs in the film.
There are quite a few short interviews, and plenty of behind the scenes footage to enjoy if you so desire. Most of the information you get in the interviews is repeated in the director's commentary. Tom Six is a Dutchman and is agreeably good-humoured. He's perhaps a bit too jokey, which makes me wonder about the planned sequel. It's entirely possible that this First Segment is good for reasons that have escaped the director, and he'll become the next Tobe Hooper rather than the next Cronenberg. The best line in the commentary describes the casting for the American actresses: "So many actresses, they left the room, they were very angry, what I was asking of them..."
It remains to be seen whether Human Centipede heralds a new, exciting voice in horror cinema, or whether it's a slightly frustrating one-off. Either way, though, it's a film that manages to be completely original in premise and genuinely horrific, both in concept and execution. Entertaining, morbid and faintly upsetting, this is as close to essential viewing as it gets.
I want to start off by stating that I loved this film. Maybe that makes me slightly weird, or a little bit sick, but the fact remains that I really, really enjoyed The Human Centipede.
I was told about the film by friends (who also raved about it). I don't think they liked it because it was a piece of cinematic genius though. I am pretty sure they just loved it becuse it was weird, a bit ghastly, and unlike anything they had seen before. Or maybe they just wanted to impress me with the fact they had watched a film like this all the way through?! I won't give away the storyline but I will discuss what I loved about the film.
The Human Centipede certainly has the 'shock factor'. The very storyline screams perverse and grotesque. Personally, I struggle to classify it as a horror. I didn't find it the slightest bit scary and there was few moments of gore - plus it never made me jump out of my seat.
If anything, the film is black humour. It is horror in the way that Teeth or Bad Taste could be termed 'horror'. The film maintains a thick streak of tongue-in-cheek (though maybe that should tongue-in-bottom?!!) throughout. The very precept of the film is ridiculous but marvellous at the same time. Very few films have any imagination these days and even if you end up hating the film you could never accuse it of having a dull, generic storyline.
There are some glaring discrepencies in the film...it is not perfect by any means. But I didn't care. The film was obviously created to be so spectacularly insane that a few minor moments of bad storyline never spoiled my enjoyment. The film is a real stretch on reality so who cares if something happened that defied possibility. For god's sake, three people have been sown together, is it such a big deal how the doctor managed to.....no wait that may spoil the film!
People raved on about Naked Lunch and the critics loved it. That was a truly sick film that made no sense. But because it was a David Lynch film it was considered genius and visionary. The Human Centipede does not rely on gore, or some fantasy monster to create its shocks. It entices the viewer to consider the real horror of this actually occuring. It has been a while since a horror film used psychological persuasion to get inside a viewers mind but The Human Centipede really gets under your skin. The ending is especially stunning due to the impact it leaves on the brain once the film has finished.
The only films I remember that used a viewers own psychology to play havoc with their mind were the classic Japanese horrors (or J-Horrors as they are known). Films like The Ring, My Little Eye, and The Grudge were some of the scariest films ever made. Sadly, Hollywood has no imagination or morals and they have unforgivably remade these classics and completely ripped the heart and soul out of them.
I applaud Tom Six and his Human Centipede for proving that there are still visionary film-makers out there that can produce original material and truly understand how to mess with the human psyche. You may not like this film, or you may like it but be disgusted by it. One thing is certain...you will remember it. I have, and for all the right reasons.
Since 2009's Frightfest (maybe a little before) there has been this wave of controversy that has surrounded one movie, talked about, theorised, and worst of all imagined The Human Centipede (First Sequence) is a movie that is causing an awful lot of controversy, if you have not heard about it... Where have you been?
The Human Centipede follows the intelligent but crazy Dr. Heiter (Dieter Laser) as he embarks on his greatest creation. Known across the world for his work separating conjoined twins, he is now hard at work putting people back together, the difference being these people are not in any way related. Having successfully joined three dogs together, Heiter is keen to up the ante a little with a more daring experiment. His plan to join three people together and make them as one, a human centipede. The head of the centipede has the easiest ride, with the middle and last part joined mouth to anus with one another, allowing the digestive system to run from the front end to the back. Snatching two American girls, and a Japanese man, Heiter imprisons them before eventually operating.
This is a movie that thankfully sounds far worse either in writing or dialogue; the actual visual revelation of watching the movie is far less shocking, but as you pass on the knowledge of your discovery, that person too will have the same horrific images conjured up in their head that you did when you first heard about Human Centipede. Please don't get me wrong, its still not plain sailing and when the first bowel movement after the operation takes place you will undoubtedly be put you on the edge of your seat, but if your expecting the most horrific movie you have ever seen, your in for a nasty surprise. Yes The Human Centipede is a film that makes you think more about what's going on than actually seeing it, rather cleverly it also has you predicting what is about to happen, but thankfully failing to deliver.
This is a curious movie, because while obviously being shot on a budget it looks both incredibly beautiful (if you can classify a movie of this type beautiful), and at times incredibly cheap. Performances in the movie are sketchy, the two lead women perform quite shockingly until the power of speech is removed from them, and then there acting somehow improves. Two police officers turn up, and as well as looking like they just fell out of a skip, they act the same. Only Laser is the real performer here, but in a cheesy rip off of Peter Cushing style. So against the backdrop of beauty, you have these ropey performances. The key quality aspect of the movie has to without a doubt be down to the movies location, a remote bungalow with pool (which I presume could be multiple locations as the joins are far from seamless), this is a home you really want to live in, but most importantly seems made for a movie just like this. A scene where Heiter parades his new pet centipede round the garden is certainly a thing of beauty, and an image that will ingrain its way into your head; not because its shocking, just because it looks so good.
In terms of suspense and story formation to be honest it's a fairly dragged out affair, everything just seems to go on for that little bit too long, and most of this occurs pre-op so to speak, when you really just want him to get to work. When it starts to happen however you really want things to slow down a little, there are so many questions that really need addressing and obviously wont due to the time limitations that now haunt the movie.
Director Tom Six flies out of obscurity and straight into the limelight, fourteen months ago he could have happily walked down the street in any town in the world; now in his trademark white suit and fedora he is immediately spotted by an army of horror movie fans as he discovered when he returned to the 2010 Frightfest. In horror circles Six is the guy to watch out for, and to elevate himself to this level is a masterstroke. Running the world providing his own publicity wagon The Human Centipede has slowly unravelled across the world with the majority of countries only recently getting to see it.
On a medical level, director Six claims he sought out the advice of a top surgeon to find out whether such a thing was possible. After telling Six that it was disgusting and he wanted nothing to do with it, not only did he reveal that the process was indeed possible, but also gave Six information as to how to actually make it work.
With a title like The Human Centipede (First Sequence), you realise that this is not a one off affair. And in 2009 Six took to the stage at Frightfest and said that this was like My Little Pony compared to what he has in store for the sequel. And so having been the talk of the horror industry for near on fourteen months (and still hardy anybody has seen it) we are a year away from The Human Centipede (Full Sequence); whatever the production values, whatever the quality this is a movie franchise that quite literally has legs, and will be haunting us for a few years to come.
As selected cinemas in the UK at the time of Writing. The DVD release is due in October.
All of my friends have claimed this is the 'scariest' film they have ever seen, unfortunately I have to disagree, of course I've seen much worse, its not even the sickest film I've ever seen (that accolade went to 'A Serbian Film' - which I wouldn't even recommend).
Anyway as horror goes it's not particularly scary, it is pretty twisted - mindf**k as many of my friends would say. Basically, its not the actual notion of creating a human centipede - its the fact that someone came up with this idea in the first place, oh and the rumours that with the second film there could be up to 12 people involved.
So the idea of the film is that some crazy german retired surgeon (who used to take split siamese twins) decide instead of splitting people, he now wants to join people together via the digestive tracts (From anus to mouth).
I'm not going to lie, there is barely anything with this movie, the acting is awful, ok maybe it's just the two american girls in it - seriously bad. The plotline is actually really simple. In fact I think thats what helps this film, and makes it a lot more intense - there is not too much to think about - it's not too difficult to follow. I don't even think it was that gory, there were some really gross bits, but not too many parts.
So, I think that if you are quite a 'fragile' or squeamish person, maybe not to watch this movie, but If you are one those obsessed with horrors or you just want a good film to be freaked out by, this film is perfect.
I could write a sypnosis of this film here, but quite frankly it's not like there was much of a storyline here. Scary European Doctor with weird psychopathic obsession + 2 pretty american girls = competely disturbing yet cliche horror film. You know the type, car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, stumble upon a lone house where a psychopath lives and story unfolds as you would expect where, if you are anything like me, you spend most of your time screaming at the central character to just run!
In saying this, the film obviously has one thing that sets it apart from all of the other films of this genre. The concent of someone making a "conjoined triplet" by surgically attaching them together "ass-to-mouth". I have to say, I spent much of this film pulling faces at the disgusting idea of it than anything else.
I think watching the trailer for this film would tell you everything that you need to know about it. After you watch it, there really is no need to watch the film!