Title: The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)
Directed By: Tom Six
Starring: Laurence R. Harvey, Ashlynn Yennie, Maddi Black, Dominic Borrelli, Lucas Hansen, Dan Burman, Bill Hutchens
From the moment The Human Centipede (First Sequence) met the public eye, it’s been clear that writer-director Tom Six is a man who really relishes attention. Sure, he deserves to be proud of the shot-in-the-dark turned horror fad, but Six takes that newfound clout way too far delivering a sequel that shows zero restraint, is oozing with egoism and is utterly unwatchable.
Martin’s (Laurence R. Harvey) a small, plump and seemingly mute man who works in a London parking garbage. He wears glasses, has asthma and a slew of incredibly awkward mannerisms. But Martin isn’t just any old outcast; Martin has an affinity for The Human Centipede. Yes, Tom Six made a movie about a man who’s obsessed with his own movie.
When Martin isn’t busy watching The Human Centipede in his office, he’s scouring the parking garage for victims, people he can attack, knock out and then bring back to his warehouse where he plans to build his very own creation. However, Martin’s a bit more ambitious than Dr. Heiter (Dieter Laser); Martin wants to top his three-person creation with a centipede twelve people long.
Nauseous yet? If not, it’s probably because you haven’t seen the first film. Then again, there are also some folks out there, including myself, who, while recognizing the incredibly gruesome nature of the material, still saw some quality filmmaking. Oddly enough, The First Sequence was rather smart. It took an innovative, albeit sick and twisted idea, and turned it into an effective horror film. It almost took on a slasher-like quality, offering a compelling chase scenario to start, but then switching to a disturbing medical nightmare. The film proved to be downright terrifying, but what kept it from going over the edge and making it absolutely unwatchable is that not all of the gore was shown.
Things don’t start out all that bad in round two – minus Martin. He’s an awkward looking guy to begin with and Six does everything possible to highlight his more gruesome features, including a nasty cough and far from flattering figure. But still, he makes for a rather colorful killer. The slasher sense comes back as Martin trounces through the parking garage and incessantly whacks his victims with a crowbar.
Somewhat appropriately, things get more troubling as we get inside Martin’s head. It’s one thing to see a guy obsessed with a concept as sick as the human centipede, but Six trails off into poor storytelling when he sloppily attempts to reveal Martin’s back story and brings in Martin’s mother (Maddi Black) who’s so over-the-top, she’s laughable. Ultimately, Martin could have been a tighter character had he lived alone with his pet centipede.
The film isn’t really about Martin anyway. Anyone seeing this move knows where it’s going and Martin is merely the catalyst to get it there and, sure enough, the final 30 minutes of the film focuses on Martin fulfilling his dream. This is where Six takes things too far, not only for the British Board of Film Classification (until a couple of weeks ago at least), but for any horror movie for that matter. It’s sick enough that this stumpy amateur is attempting to recreate a surgery conducted by a processional physician; do we really need to see every step in the process? Six doesn’t just show Martin preparing his victims for their unholy union, he wades in it and for seemingly no other reason than because he can.
At this point the film loses all forward motion simply because it’s so tough to watch. The final 30 minutes is mutilation after mutilation and will really make you sick. If that was Six’s goal, he certainly succeeded, but that most certainly doesn’t give him the right to call himself a filmmaker. The Human Centipede (Full Sequence) is not a piece designed to tell a story, engage an audience or make you feel anything – but disgust. It’s films like this that drag down the torture porn sub-genre entirely. The Saw movies, Hostel, like them or not, they’ve got stories. Six reduces his movie to a mere tacky porno, but with a different goal. Forget the art of storytelling, character arcs, effective camerawork; Six was out to make a film that does one thing, shock via excessive gore. Well, congratulations Mr. Six, you’ve succeeded in creating a film with absolutely no artistic value.