‘The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)’ – the Latest Horror Geek Show

by on February 4th, 2011
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Roger Ebert in his review of “The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)” called the film “an affront to human decency.” That’s kind of pointing out the obvious as Tom Six clearly designed his film to be just that. It’s all a cinematic provocation for both fans and detractors of the original film which sent waves through the world of horror films. This time he throws at us a thoroughly disgusting movie to make you realize just how far he could have gone in the previous movie. Whether or not “The Human Centipede” was actually “100% medically accurate,” the sequel revels in being the polar opposite.

This movie proceeds with the idea that the original was only a movie as it starts with its ending and then shows it being viewed from a security guard’s computer. From there we meet the main character of Martin Lomax (Laurence R. Harvey), a grotesquely overweight loner who can only achieve any form of arousement from watching Six’s potentially overrated horror movie. His life is as bleak as can be which is more than accentuated by it being shown in black and white. We come to realize that his father sexually abused him as a child, he lives with his mother who is unrelentingly horrible to him, and he has his own pet centipede that is quick to devour whatever Martin feeds him.

Martin also has a notebook which comes to reveal his sinister intentions; he plans to make his own human centipede. But instead of 3 people, he is going for an even 12. We watch as he kidnaps victims almost at random and then leaves them in a dilapidated garage where he will connect them together later. The sequel gets even more meta as Ashlynn Yennie, who got stuck in the middle during the first movie, comes back to play herself. She’s lured to England with the promise of auditioning for a Quentin Tarantino movie, but then she does the method acting she didn’t do the first time around.

Honestly, the more I thought about “The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)” after I saw it, the more I found myself laughing. I still haven’t seen the original, but I believe Six when he says it’s “My Little Pony” compared to this. Morbid curiosity got me to see it at the Nuart Theatre in Santa Monica where it was playing for midnight showings. The gory elements are so over the top that it’s impossible to take anything seriously even as you’re repelled by the sights and sounds on display.

This is really the perfect kind of film for midnight showings as it brings out all the young filmgoers who dare themselves and their friends to watch it without gagging. Towards the end, I find myself more interested in the audience’s reaction than what was onscreen. Girls shrieking and telling each other they were this close to leaving, men hiding their eyes, and others laughing in shock at the crap (literal and figurative) that was being thrown out at us in copious amounts. For me, what Six filmed was nothing compared to how the audience responded to it.

Some might say that Martin being a die hard fan of “The Human Centipede” is proof of how movies can inspire such murderous behavior, but that’s a bunch of bull. From the first moment we lay eyes on Martin, we can tell he is a serious mental case who is a danger to society. His pathology has become so twisted because he was badly treated by the people who were supposed to love him. If Six’s movie didn’t inspire him in repulsive ways, some other form of entertainment would have. This all brings back what was said in Wes Craven’s “Scream:”

“Movies don’t create psychos! Movies make psychos more creative!”

I do have to give Laurence R. Harvey some credit because he throws himself into the role without any visible shame. Not many other actors would dare let themselves appear in such an intentionally vile movie, but that didn’t stop this guy. Harvey is shown in an unflattering light throughout, and his character really is bereft of any redeemable features. Martin doesn’t even have much (if any) dialogue in this film, and he instead has to create a character through his eyes and actions. Never does Harvey try to hide the fact that Martin is nowhere near to becoming a doctor as he connects everyone together with a staple gun and gives his victims a large dose of laxatives to expel their waste onto and into one another.

But having said all this, “The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)” is not really much of a movie. It’s more of a geek show that promises to be subversive, but it exists more to provoke than make us think. Showing it in black and white was an inspired choice and while it may have lessened the disgusting acts perpetrated, our brains weren’t fooled and knew very well how this would all look in color. Not even Dario Argento would be able to bring any beauty to these horrific acts.

Its one thing to see this sequel with an audience, but watching it at home by yourself will instead make it seem tedious. The last half when Martin succeeds in creating his unforgivably crude masterpiece goes on for a long time, and it becomes something of a bore long before the end. Speaking of its ending, it is deliberately ambiguous and leaves you wondering about all that you just saw.

In the end, “The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)” exists more as a curiosity more than a movie. As much as it wants to shock and unsettle you, it won’t have the staying power of a movie like “Salo.” Six does promise a third and final film in this series, and that one threatens to be even more graphic. Since it is inevitable, let’s hope that he has more of a story going for it instead of just simply grossing us out.

* * out of * * * *

See also:

“The Human Centipede 2″ Draws Sell-Out Crowd at Nuart Theatre

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