THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2: FULL SEQUENCE (2011)
A Bigger, Grosser Centipede…
Movie Review by Nick Cato
Let’s get one thing straight: THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (2009) was made for one reason…to shock its audience. Despite its nearly non-existent plot, its scenes of torture and alternative surgery run amuck have gained a loyal cult following. So, naturally, director Tom Six had his work cut out for him when he set out to top his original with THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2: FULL SEQUENCE.
Did he succeed?
By the boat load! (“Load” being the key word here).
New York City’s IFC Center held late night screenings this weekend (at both midnight and 12:15). According to a review in a popular magazine, this version of the film is two-minutes shorter than the one previewed by a London film board before they banned it from theaters and even DVD. I don’t think I need to see what could have possibly been edited. Both theaters were sold out, and one of the film’s publicists told the audience the film had sold out its midnight screenings in all eighteen cities across the country. At least I now know there are people out there as deranged as we New Yorkers. After a horror film trivia contest and the handing out of HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 barf bags and staple removers (!), the lights dimmed and the crowd screamed as if about to try out a new roller coaster.
And in a way, we did.
Mute, mentally-challenged parking garage attendant Martin (Laurence R. Harvey) spends his work hours scanning a wall of security cameras while simultaneously re-watching THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE on his laptop. The film has consumed him to the point he decides he needs to create his own bigger & better ‘pede . His bible is a scrapbook of pictures and articles about the film, and it also has his own crudely-sketched blueprints for his own twelve-person abomination. He’s also quite fond of star Ashlynn Yennie, who had the unfortunate roll of being the middle person in the original’s centipede.
Without wasting much time, Martin begins to kidnap his victims by shooting their calves and bonking them unconscious with a crowbar . He gets most of his subjects from the parking garage, causing me to wonder how slow business must be, as no one besides the victims are ever around at one time. And he’s an equal opportunity employer: victims range from prostitutes to housewives, Asian, black, white…no one is denied for any reason (although one child is left in a car, possibly showing Martin has some type of a conscience? The post-ending segment leaves this in debate).
After “renting” a filthy, isolated warehouse, Martin stores his screaming victims on the floor and begins to prep each one for their position on the hellish conga-line. I couldn’t help but think of Pasolini’s SALO, THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM (1975) whenever our writhing captives were shown in long shots across the room (and I’m pretty sure the director did, too).
What I found more disturbing than the coming surgery and gore scenes were the depictions of Martin’s home life . He still lives with his elderly mother in a small London flat . A skinhead neighbor upstairs drives them crazy with his loud music, and a visiting doctor delivers a couple of truly bizarre sequences. Martin even keeps a large pet centipede in a glass cage in the living room, which is eventually put to gruesome use. The scenes around Martin’s apartment bring ERASERHEAD (1977) to mind, and not just due to the film being shot in black and white. If nothing else, director Tom Six managed to shoot this thing in a genuinely artistic manner, making me curious to see what else he’ll come up with when this grim trilogy is completed.
Martin, as played by the scary and hideous-looking Harvey, is a different kind of psycho. Besides his stunted mental growth, he suffers from a bad case of asthma and needs to take a hit off his pocket inhaler after subduing each victim. He moves slower than an old-school zombie and doesn’t seem like much of a threat, but he has a sinister way about him that makes him even more frightening than Dr. Heiter (Dieter Laser) from the first film. I’d love to know where Six discovered this guy.
The most clever idea comes when Ashlynn Yennie shows up in London thinking she has landed an audition for a new Quentin Tarantino film. But, of course, it’s just a ploy set up by Martin to make her the lead centipede.
The second half of the film is destined to become a holy grail for splatter and exploitation film aficionados: Martin pieces his twelve-person ‘pede together using duct tape and a staple gun…and NO anesthesia! While one person dies during the prepping process and a pregnant victim seemingly dies and is tossed aside, Martin soon has a ten-person ‘pede and begins to boss them around the dimly-lit warehouse (but don’t worry…you get to see EVERYTHING quite clearly).
THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2:FULL SEQUENCE is vile, disgusting, and at times truly terrifying…but it’s also SO over the top I actually found myself laughing at most of the proceedings (when Martin injects all ten people with 500mg of laxatives, you KNOW the director had to be trying to bring some kind of dark, twisted humor into the mix). This is one of those films most horror fans will hate to admit they enjoyed…but I dare you NOT to.
If there’s one thing I’m truly afraid of, it’s what Tom Six has planned in his demented little mind for the third installment, titled THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE: FINAL SEQUENCE. Get your barf bags ready now…
Gore/Disturbing Sequences: 4 knives
Story: 2 knives
© Copyright 2011 by Nick Cato
(Editor’s Note: Warning: If it isn’t clear already, this movie is not for everyone. Certainly not for the squeamish or easily offended.)