Film Review: The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)

Film:  The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)
Director:  Tom Six
Starring:  Laurence R. Harvey, Ashlynne Yennie, etc.
Release Date:  10/09/11 (theatres) / 02/15/12 (DVD)
Studio:  IFC Midnight
Tagline:  100% medically INaccurate.
Plot
: “Inspired by the fictional Dr. Heiter, disturbed loner Martin dreams of creating a 12-person centipede and sets out to realize his sick fantasy.”  (Source: IMDB)

Review Score:  3 / 5

In 2006, film critic David Edelstein (a man whose writing style I love despite his horrendous content) coined the term “torture porn” in his review of Hostel (2005).   While I don’t at all agree with his assertion (neither can this woman),  I can understand that these films are simply not for everyone.  The Human Centipede 2 is no different and, in many ways, does nothing to sway critics like Edelstein from their negative perch.

The film starts out where the first one ends, director Tom Six’s way of letting his eventual trilogy be cinematically bound together – like a centipede!  We meet Martin, a character that we should hate and despise given his sadistic thoughts and planning, but whose situation bears some light amount of sympathy.  He lives with his mother – a depressed woman who isn’t short on insults and thoughts of Martin and his lowly life.  In fact, just about every person Martin runs into has a dictionary full of adolescent slang to hurl his direction.  A visit by a family doctor seems to point towards psychological and sexual abuse in his past as well.  The guy clearly can’t catch a break! 

What Tom Six does with the sequel to one of the most controversial films in recent cinema is play off of the original’s celebrity nature.  Martin is shown watching the film countless times as well as keeping a scrapbook with photos and drawings about the film and its cast.
So, what does Martin do?  It’s a pseudo-Columbine effect here (“the music and films made me him do it” argument).  While this plays out quite interesting and wonderfully for the first forty minutes, eventually -like all things – it gets overplayed, overused, and burns out.

The final twenty minutes of The Human Centipede 2 becomes an obvious splash of writer’s block for Six.  He decides to add little narrative ingredients to the mix to spice up the screen – a dash of feces, a lot of blood and guts, and even a naked pregnant woman!  Even those gore-hounds who revel in seeing flesh will feel a bit awkward with these scenes. 

It’s obvious Tom Six isn’t a total hack.  He knows how to construct scenes, use camera angles, and build gripping suspense.  When Martin is shown shooting some of the centipede “participants”, is this Tom Six reflecting the audiences attitude towards the film – or his own?  Quick, get this man some new (tamer) material!

Official Film Trailer:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpmPJzLmGdI
Official DVD: http://www.amazon.com/Human-Centipede-Full-Sequence/dp/B005S9EHL6

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