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A Movie A Week #18: The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence

Grab hold of your sick bags it’s time to check out Tom Six’s controversial Human Centipede follow up. The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence turns the tables on its predecessor, proudly revelling in the fact that it’s ‘100% Medically Inaccurate’. And it is, but in all honesty, that’s the least of its worries.  Round two contains so many grizzly sequences; the whole human centipede bit looks tame by comparison.

This time Six drags his nightmare into the real world.  It’s here where we meet Martin, a severely disturbed individual who’s obsessed with his DVD copy of The Human Centipede. That’s right, things get Meta. Martin spends his days using his boggled peepers to watch part one and being a rage-sponge for everyone he comes into contact with. Sexually abused by his father, hated by his mother and shunned by society, he’s a ticking time bomb. If there was ever anyone deranged enough to take Six’s debut literally, it’s Martin.

Things get even dodgier when he starts abducting people and dumping their naked and unconscious bodies into his makeshift warehouse-turned-operating theatre. It’s here where he plans to break the ass-to-mouth conga record set by his twisted hero Dr Heiter.  That’s the crux of the film and as you may expect, it’s not easy viewing.  Almost every scene in this taboo sequel features something unpleasant.  Whether it’s the extremely over-the-top sounds of Martin’s pet centipede, the shocking get-away of a heavily pregnant abductee or the bordering on atrocious acting talents on display, it’s a fair assumption that 99% of people will find something to take offence at here.

But you can’t help but notice that that’s the whole point. Six is cleverly carving out a niché, it just so happens that that niché disgusts the general public. It’s almost as if the grinning director concocted a list of all the most repugnant, degrading acts he could think of and then sculpted a story around them.  As such, blood, guts, faeces and self-degradation feature prominently but to such an extent that it’s actually hard to take any of it too seriously.

It’s not surprising that the BBFC flipped out over the original cut (who knows what nastiness wound up on the cutting room floor), but perhaps they were missing the irony. Six’s sequel is so self aware that it instantly disarms anyone willing to suggest that it actually poses any real threat. It’s nudge-and-a-wink twist ending ensures that. And while it’s by no means a horror genre gem, it’s grotesque enough to keep you talking and thinking about it for hours after watching.  What’s more, the BBFC may have inadvertently secured many more installments. After all, is there a better way to drum up horror movie buzz than by saying audiences can’t watch it? So make keep hold of those sick bags, this surely won’t be the last time Tom Six makes us wretch.

Originally featured on Horrortalk.com

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