The Human Centipede: Too many legs?

Let’s face it, when The Human Centipede started to generate a buzz, I was right there awaiting it’s arrival. A genuinely disturbing movie about a deranged surgeon with a long standing desire to surgically connect humans together to create the film’s namesake was sounding like something I was going to remember for quite a while. Sadly, the final product left me sat on the fence, and I’ve watched this four times. What is it that I just watched!

Directed and by Tom Six, THC puts two lovely young ladies on a road trip throughout Europe. Unfortunately, their car breaks down in some German woods, and they set out in the pouring rain to seek help, until they arrive at a house in the middle of nowhere. Here is where we are introduced to Doctor Hieter, a surgeon renowned for separating Siamese twins. He then drugs the girls, and they awake in what seems like an underground surgery, tied and gagged in beds. Next to them is a captured Japanese man, caught in Hieter’s hunt for a new “segment” for his dream. Revealing he’s tried this process unsuccessfully on rotweilers in the past, his idea of connecting living beings by their gastric systems is to be tested with humans. The very three he’s got captured funnily enough! Cue movie.

Make no mistake about it, this really isn’t for the faint hearted. There’s hardly any gore, there’s no excessive violence, and there doesn’t need to be as the concept is mentally challenging by itself. Seeing three people crawl around the floor in a surgical conga line may look dopey, but the idea that they’re connected by ass to mouth and internal tubing is way too much for some people. At one point, you understand why you’ve got the good deal if you’re at the front of this. Again, you see nothing, but it’s suggestion is enough.

Star of the show is Dieter Laser, without a doubt. He is a total lunatic, and watching him explain his vision calmly to his screaming victims is fascinating viewing. He even injects a tidbit of dark humour into the role too, switching moods from an angry trainer attempting to get his pet to do tricks, to an artist that’s really proud of his work. Six’s vision is a good look too, the movie’s tone can suggest it could have easily come from David Cronenberg or Tobe Hooper.

Yet, it’s not all great. Personally, I think the movie suffers from being too long and the script falters. Cops, introduced later on, feel like they’ve been placed in to give it more substance, when in fact it’s rather unnecessary. There’s plenty of questions left unanswered and I found I was actually caring about what happened to Hieter more so than any other character involved. Was cheering the “bad guy” the intended result?

THC is a gross out and definitely one of the creepiest things you’ll see in a long while. We know this. It’s also got a great lead character in Hieter. Had it capitalised on a little bit extra from the supporting cast, filled in a few blanks (a la not via surgery), and cut the story short, we could have had a burst of fresh air. Something Segment’s #2 and #3 must be clambering for.

The Human Centipede (First Sequence) scores 3 skin grafts out of 5

Rumous: I hear Tom Six wants to deliver Complete Sequence, where we see twelve subjects. Good luck with that!

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