Oct 202010

Dr. Heiter, a surgeon renowned for his work with Siamese twins, decides he’d really like to sew three people together, using their mouths and anuses as the junctions.

Yes, that’s right.  The Human Centipede (First Sequence) is a real contender for feel-good picture of the year.

So the good doctor lives in the German countryside, watching diligently for “patients.”  We follow the story from the perspectives of two young American women, who are looking for a trendy nightclub when they get lost.  They are vaguely slutty, as well as bottomless pits of abject stupidity.

(Yeah, that’s not a horror movie cliché.)

How could I not expect it to be awful?  But I hoped it would be awful on its own confidently dictated terms.  Instead, it disintegrates between the two worlds it could plausibly inhabit.  It’s a little bit too disturbing to be reliably goofy, but it’s way too goofy to really disturb you.  Dieter Laser’s Dr. Heiter is dialed up two clicks past self-parody, and then wrenched around another half turn and the knob ripped off.  I’ve already been over the women.  The pan/follow camera work is frequently exaggerated beyond reason.  The film could have used twice as many stock shots as it has.

What else?  I’d say that people who enjoy this kind of thing will find this the kind of thing they enjoy, mostly because I think that’s a funny expression.  You know, though, it’s not true.  I love a good sick horror flick, and this just doesn’t make it.  I think it wants to get under you as something like Hostel would.  Might it be that the premise, as wild as it is, just isn’t enough to sustain an hour and a half?

Just read about it, find a few stills from it, and laugh about it with a buddy.  You’ll enjoy that much more than actually watching the film.


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 Posted by at 11:28 pm

  5 Responses to “Review: The Human Centipede (First Sequence)”

  1. Oh my gosh. Did you actually watch this? I saw the preview some time ago and actually thought it was a joke. Then I realized it was really a movie. I’m not much of a horror film fan. I don’t like slasher movies. But really, this just seems beyond the pale.

  2. Really? I don’t have enough time to see any good movies.

  3. Ummm, thanks for taking one for the team? I can’t imagine even thinking about watching this one, and this is from someone who watched “Redneck Zombies” back in the 80s.

  4. Yes, I really watched it. 🙂

    You know what its biggest problem was, and something I should have mentioned in the review proper? Insufficient buildup. The human centipede first showed up about halfway through, and after that, there was nowhere to go. There was a lot of good horror ore in anticipation, experimentation, and so forth that was never mined. Do that, and splash the completed centipede on the screen at about the 80% point, and it’s a much better picture.

  5. Can we please watch “Men Behind The Sun” next?

    THC is meant to be a perpetual punchline. Kind of like Faces Of Death in the 80s. I was amazed at the level of publicity that IFC Films gave it, but hey, oral-anal surgery is edgy, right?

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