I’m a big fan of horror and gore and watching movie directors one-up each other with new ways to kill off characters. But where Saw had intellect, Feast had schoolbuses of fun and Hostel had an exploitation thrill, The Human Centipede (First Sequence) has brought absolutely nothing to the genre except the novelty of anus-to-mouth torture.
Dr Heiter (Dieter Laser) is an insane surgeon who sets out to kidnap people and turn them into a “human centipede” (as if you haven’t figured that whole thing out by now). While his preferred modus operandi for obtaining victims involves a tranquiliser gun, he capitalises when two skanky american tourists show up at his isolated house to seek shelter from the rain one night (having committed at least six horror-film cliches in the process).
I don’t even want to speak of how the story unfolded. Watching it was draggy, forceful, disgusting, exasperating, degrading, tragic and frustrating all at once – much, I imagine, like what Dr Heiter’s victims must have been going through. Halfway through it I found myself questioning my life’s purpose and left to watch Breaking Dawn Part 1 in the cinema instead, only to resume the Centipede the next day. Although I have to add that halfway through Breaking Dawn I found myself wishing I stuck with Dr Heiter.
Suffice to say, perhaps the only thing remotely positive about this movie is Dieter Laser’s portrayal of Dr Heiter. From the unique way Dr Heiter’s speech effortlessly switched between deadpan drawl and barked-out exclamations, he successfully came across as someone truly insane, self-righteous and bored with the world around him. And that leads to a scary question: was it by accident (or unique talent) that Mr Laser pulled this off, or is he simply a natural at being the sort of person none of us ever wants to meet?
I am fully certain that as the writer, director, producer and editor of this piece, Tom Six wants a lot of credit for creating something unique to the horror world. And congratulations, Mr Six, you’ve done it.
Savour every bit of your Human Centipede experience, folks. You’re not going to want to do it again.
Director: Tom Six
Producers: Tom Six & Ilona Six
Screenwriter: Tom Six
Starring: Dieter Laser, Ashley C. Williams, Ashlynn Yennie, Akihiro Kitamura