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The Human Centipede (First Sequence)

Germany/USA 2009
Directed by
Tom Six
92 minutes
Rated R

Reviewed by
David Michael Brown
1 stars

The Human Centipede (First Sequence)

Synopsis: In Germany two young American girls find themselves captive in the cellar of a demented surgeon. Desperate to escape but strapped into hospital beds, all they can do is scream. The pair are joined in human bondage by a solitary Japanese tourist and the trio discover they are to be victims of the crazy doctor’s next experiment. After the success of his beloved three-dog experiment he plans to reverse-engineer Siamese triplets by attaching the digestive systems of this three victims.

Writer and director, Tom Six, is a sick little monkey. From the moment his demented Nazi surgeon starts reminiscing about his beloved three-dog you know you are in for a bumpy ride. Based around a surgical procedure in which three people are joined top to tail in a fusion of butchered flesh and surgical procedures, The Human Centipede is a warped view of the human psyche that pushes the boundaries of what we usually see in cinemas.

The film begins like any classic horror film does. Two female tourists lost in some woods in Germany, looking for shelter from the rain. They knock on the door of a very strange looking man and ask to use the phone. The crazy German’s bizarre behaviour would get anyone running but the girls make a fatal error and stick around. This is also one of the films many errors -  everyone acts in a stupid manner, the girls, the cops and no one uses common sense.

While there is a warped ingenuity behind the central conceit, the rest of the film is amateur at best. Dieter Laser over acts at every opportunity as Dr Heiter, his victims fare better but in reality, all they do is suffer. The soundtrack for the last half of the film is sobbing and crying and this makes for grimly relentless viewing. The shoddy filmmaking on display reduces the movie to a one trick centipede and lessen it’s overall effect but no one can deny that Six’s multi-limbed calling card will shock audiences looking for such and that the film is most definitely not for the squeamish. The camera lingers on every stitch and cut as the surgical procedure takes place and wallows in the suffering it creates.

Some films defy description. They break taboos so natural that you can barely comprehend the horror of what you are seeing. The Human Centipede is a twisted mélange of human suffering and surgical mayhem. The imagery will scorch a place in the mind of anyone who sees it. The sickest film ever made? No — that award probably goes to Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust (1980) — but The Human Centipede is a nasty and repugnant piece of work that will offend almost everyone who sees it.





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