Skip to main content
#
The Independent Critic

STARRING
Dieter Laser, Ashley Williams, Ashlyn Yennie, Akihiro Kitamura
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Tom Six
MPAA RATING
Rated R
RUNNING TIME
90 Mins.
DISTRIBUTED BY
IFC Films
DVD EXTRAS
Unrated edition

 "The Human Centipede" Review 
Facebook
Twitter
Reddit
LinkedIn
Pinterest
MySpace
Add to favorites
Email
There are two possibilities for you in viewing the latest IFC Films release The Human Centipede (First Sequence), written and directed by Dutch writer/director Tom Six.

You will love it.

Or.

You will hate it.

It's difficult to fathom any middle ground in this incredibly bizarre story involving two rather, um, dim-witted American tourists (aren't they all?) whose vehicle break down leads them to the door of a retired surgeon, Dr. Heiter (Dieter Laser). The two young women (Ashley C. Williams and Ashlyn Yennie) quickly find themselves subjected to an evil fantasy (Is there a non-evil fantasy in movies?) of our rather warped doctor... He plans to attach the two, along with a third chap (Akihiro Kitamura) who just so happens to already be on the operating table.

Oh, did I mention he's attaching them ass-to-mouth?

Yes, he's creating a human centipede.

Sound strange? Oh, it is.

It's strange. It's sick. It's offensive. It's not even pulled off that particularly well, but thanks to a strangely hypnotic and Christopher Walken-like performance from Dieter Laser, it's all uncomfortably watchable.

The Human Centipede is the sort of film you watch and actually feel guilty for those parts you can't help but enjoy.

It's difficult to figure out just who the target audience is for The Human Centipede, a film that is surprisingly non-graphic for a film that has the look, feel and story behind it to be another rousing version of torture porn. Yet, the film isn't particularly suspenseful either. In fact, other than a few psychological chills, The Human Centipede is remarkably devoid of anything resembling an emotion even when the two young women, who aren't particularly sympathetic even when sewn together, show signs of their worsening psychological states.

Even fecal freaks (How often do you read that phrase in a movie review?) will likely find themselves disappointed given the film's decided lack of body fluids given the obvious potential.

The simple truth is that the selling point, beyond the obvious novelty of the entire situation, is the freakish yet disturbing performance of Dieter Laser as the evil doctor, a performance that perfectly blends evil scientist with serial killer with misunderstood genius. It's a frightening performance because Laser makes it all feel so gosh darn normal.

Still, odds are The Human Centipede is not for most of you and, given its limited nationwide release, it would appear that IFC Films recognizes that even amongst horror fans you can only get so bizarre. This film, quite likely, just plain goes too far. Fans of extreme, B-horror and experimental horror will find moments to enjoy. The rest of you? Go see A Nightmare on Elm Street instead.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic
    The 50/50 x 2020 Pledge

    The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 x 2020 Pledge - By the end of the year 2020, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.

    our twitterour facebook page pintrestlinkdin

    The Independent Critic © 2008 - 2020