Studio:IFC Films Year: 2011 Cast: Laurence Harvey, Ashlynn Yennie, Bill Hutchens, Vivien Bridson, Maddi Black, Kandace Cain, Dominic Borrelli, Lucas Hansen, Lee Nicholas Harris, Dan Burman, Daniel Jude Gennis, Georgia Goodrick, Emma Lock, Katherine Templar, Peter Blankenstein, Peter Charlton
Director: Tom Six Release Date: February 14, 2012 Rating: Not Rated for (graphic horror violence)
Run Time: 01h:30m:47s Genre(s): horror
"He keeps talking about a centipede with 12 people. What does that mean?" - Martin's mother (Vivien Bridson)
Director Tom Six has realized his creative dream of making the original The Human Centipede 'look like My Little Pony' with this gross-out sequel. Where the first film implied more than it showed - and as a result created a genuinely disturbing experience - this time around Six holds nothing back in an excess of grotesqueness.
Too bad the whole thing is so sophomorically pointless.
Movie Grade: D-
DVD Grade: B-
I'm not too proud to admit that I liked the original The Human Centipede from brash and controversial director Tom Six. I thought its infamy actually paled to the film itself, which I found to be remarkably gore-free for a plot that dealt with the supremely vile subject matter of a mad doctor with a plan to create a a living, breathing "Siamese triplet" involving a straight line trio of humans connected mouth-to-anus and sharing a single gastric system. Dieter Laser - as that film's crazy surgeon - was a high camp joy, with a performance that made The Human Centipede well worth recommending, at least to horror fans.
Not so with Six's sequel. The Human Centipede 2 is a reprehensible vanity project for Six, a film that is clearly a vehicle for him to push the limits of graphic violence to another level entirely. That's certainly his business if that's what he wants to do - I just don't have to like it. It's as if Six took all of the elements that made the first film watchable and threw them away in order to create this abhorrent monstrosity, in which he treats us to such visuals as masturbation with sandpaper, a barbed wire rape scene and an infant getting its head crushed. One can almost see Six following some half-assed checklist of gross-out elements he can add just to make viewers cringe, because most of these moments serve no other purpose than that.
The plot is theoretically clever - which is about the only positive thing I can say about The Human Centipede 2. Martin (Laurence Harvey) is a mentally-challenged car park attendant who is infatuated with the original film, to the point that he watches it constantly (occasionally masturbating to it) and keeps a homemade scrapbook of stills. The fact that Martin is clearly missing more than a few screws is obvious, and when he begins clubbing parking lot patrons with a crow bar it's obvious he wants to make his own human centipede, this time with 12 people. At one point he lures actress Ashlynn Yennie (from the first film) to show up under the guise of auditioning for a Quentin Tarantino project, and she becomes part of the flesh train. Martin "borrows" a dilapidated warehouse - after killing the realtor - and from there uses staple guns, hammers and laxatives to make his perverted dream a reality. Harvey doesn't have one line of dialogue in the entire film, and unlike Dieter Laser's hammy histrionics there isn't anything to latch onto with the character of Martin. He's an empty vessel of rage and violence. Nothing more.
I can't really come up with any reason you should make time to watch this. And I love horror films. It's a compounding series of violent excess with no measurable redeeming value whatsoever. I guess that's what Six had in mind, so in one way apparently he succeeded.
Thanks for nothing, Tom.
The 1.78:1 AVC-encoded 1080p transfer from IFC is wildly uneven, not much of a surprise given that this was shot digitally in color and then converted to a highly stylized and heavily contrasted black-and-white. There's a noticeable issue with artifacting in some scenes, where other scenes look crisp and detailed. For the most part the oversaturated greyscale is tolerable, but the inconsistencies in the overall quality are bothersome.
Audio, however, is extremely well done, presented in an actively mixed DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track. There's plenty of screaming, moaning, cutting, severing and other more perverse elements that ring through loudly, and as unpleasant as it is (obviously intentional and necessary, given the plot) the audio presentation is excellent.
Extras consist of a commentary with director Six and star Laurence Harvey, and if you endured this film and feel the need to hear 90 minutes of shameless self-aggrandizing then by all means go ahead and give this a listen. Also included is Set Tour of Warehouse (09m:17s) with a cheerful Ashlynn Yennie as tour guide, which features a look at the "fake butts" used. Foley Sound Effects (03m:07s) has a lot of knives stabbing pig carcasses to get that thick, wet sound and Making The Poster (02m:18s) follows the all-nude photo shoot (with naughty bits oddly blurred out for some reason). Lastly there is a single deleted scene (:25s) with Laurence Harvey barking like a dog, along with the film's teaser and theatrical trailer.