Before viewing “The Human Centipede (First Sequence)”, you’ll need to decide whether you can handle watching three people who’ve been sewn together mouth to backside and crawl around naked, defecating down each other’s throats. That’s what the devilish surgeon accomplishes with his victims, and that’s what you’re going to have to look at for a good forty five minutes of the film. The rest of the story is obvious: crazy doctor acquires victims in standard fashion; victims make half-hearted escape attempts; lots of screaming and yelling ensues. You can predict everything that happens; it fits into the typical gore film formula.
My expectations were set for “The Human Centipede” to be one of the most disgusting, cringe-worthy pieces of film I’d ever watch. Even the film’s log line is enough to send even those with the strongest stomachs running for the nearest toilet desperately trying to hang on to their dinner. It’s been promised to be one of the breakout pieces of horror in this new decade, and been poised as one of the most original stories told in the genre. But frankly, it isn’t. In fact, I have no problem in stating it is the vilest film I’ve ever had the misfortune of watching.
The story is simple. During a stopover in Germany in the middle of a carefree road trip through Europe, two dim American girls find themselves alone during a storm, at night when their car breaks down in the woods. Searching for help at a nearby villa, they are wooed into the clutches of a deranged retired surgeon, Dr.Heiter who explains his mad scientific vision to his captives’ utter horror. They are to be the subjects of his sick lifetime fantasy: to be the first to connect people, one to the next, via their gastric system, and in doing so brings to life ‘the human centipede’.
Parts two and three of the centipede, played by Ashley C. Williams and Ashlynn Yennie are utterly insufferable as cookie-cutter horror movie victims whose mouths you want to see sewn to someone’s ass just so they’ll shut up. Their motives are as ridiculous as their actions and it’s unbearable to watch. They look for help with their flat tire in the woods instead of on the road, they whimper and whine about a little bit of rain, and they go right into the house of this doctor, who anyone can tell is a god damn psycho. You’d think buzzers would have gone off when the first thing he asks them is, “Are you alone?”. They’re unlikable to an immeasurable degree and you almost feel they deserve what’s coming to them. In all, it’s predictable, cliché, and trite. But it does take a special kind of actor to agree to stick their face against someone’s backside for a couple weeks of production, so A for effort, but weak execution.
They’re followed closely by the most horribly trained police officers you’ll ever see in a film, making eighty percent of the acting in The Human Centipede laughable and distracting. On a more positive note, Dieter Laser plays Dr. Heiter, and the performance is nothing short of brilliant; with the visage of an evil Christopher Walken, and he is completely and totally mad. Terrifying in the level of how unhinged he is, Laser bounces back and forth between quiet menace and utter insanity.
The Human Centipede is a dangerous film. If you think this flick isn’t for you, you’re probably right. This is a movie will leave you scarred and will give you a whole new meaning to the term “ass-to-mouth’’.
This article was originally published in the UCC College Express.