05 October 2010

October 5th

The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009) directed by Tom Six
The trailer for this movie kind of came out of nowhere and punched me in the gut.  It's actually the only trailer to ever make me feel slightly nauseous.  I thought about it for days and, of course, forced my friends to watch it too.  Not that there was any extreme gore in the trailer; it's just the whole idea of the human centipede is disturbing as hell.  The same can be said of the full movie, which is a part of its problem.

Sure, the human centipede is one of the sickest ideas I've ever seen executed on screen... but it's not enough to sustain a 90 minute movie.  Okay, so the mad scientist creates his centipede.  Now what?  Well, mostly, the centipede shuffles around and moans a lot.  There's really not a lot they can do: they can barely move in their position.  They make a couple of weak escape attempts and some idiot police show up near the end, but, ultimately, the movie seems to be about their suffering.  Like Inside, I didn't really see the point of the film outside of an attempt to go for the gross-out (to borrow a phrase from the King).

I don't mind extreme horror movies, but I guess I want more meat in them.  For me, it's not enough for a movie's only message to be "look how much it sucks to be tortured by someone."  An extreme horror movie needs to take us somewhere or show us something new about the human condition or do something outside of sadism, else you might as well be watching a snuff movies on the Internet.

Amigo J said that after watching this a second time, he saw it as a black comedy.  I can almost see it that way.  The mad scientist is rather hilarious in parts.  Particularly, when the girls first arrive at his house and he has a carefully contained "I can't believe my luck" expression on his face, and when he first sees his finished centipede and weeps for joy.  On the other hand, even though the situation is absolutely absurd, I guess I found the centipede too disgusting to find amusing.

But, damn, I will say that Dieter Laser makes a helluva mad scientist.  If there were a horror Oscars, I'd give him Best Lead Nutcase of 2010 easily.  An extra point for him and the unique premise: (6/10)


  1. Given all the hubub about this movie, I actually found myself thinking it was surprisingly restrained in what it actually showed. To me, the most disgusting part was when the doctor was doing his little slideshow explaining what would happen. I was very relieved when I saw that the actual, uh, connections, were mostly covered by cloth. This isn't to say that some scenes weren't disgusting, but they were disgusting because of what was going on in my mind, not so much what was explicitly visible on screen. I think I may have liked it a tad more than you, but I ultimately agree that once you get past the disgusting high-concept idea, there isn't really much going on here.

  2. You nailed it on the head. Dieter Laser is pretty much the sole reason to see this one. He's like Udo Kier turned up to 11.

    In an interview, the director went out of his way to say that the movie is actually a metaphor for World War II (?) which is why the characters are American, Japanese, and German. I don't see what poop-eating has to do with WWII myself.

  3. With Mark on this one. It takes too fucking long to get to its central concept, none of the characters are likable (which would make it worse for all this shit to be happening to them), they pussy out on showcasing more horror around being connected to two other people... I had this whole scene in my head where they're building up to the part where the lead dude finally has to shit, but it comes at a time when they've almost escaped, then BAM grossness.
    Also, what the shit with that ending? The Jap puts down a large weapon in favor of a small one that he uses to cut his own throat? What a horrific ending BULLSHIT it deserves a 2.