Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Movie Review: The Human Centipede: First Sequence (2009)

I haven't heard of a bigger hype movie than The Human Centipede since Blair Witch. Blair Witch was nowhere near as good as so many have said (and still continue to say) just as The Human Centipede was nowhere near as disgusting as I've read. In fact, I found it rather tame - only horrendous in its gimmick.

The middle section and the tail, respectively. 
The already well-known plot: Two American girls vacationing in Germany get a flat tire one rainy night and while they are looking for help, they come upon the house of Dr. Josef Heiter. Once a renowned surgeon in separating conjoined twins, Dr. Heiter has the most diabolical plan in mind. Using the two girls and a Japanese man (the first man he had kidnapped was killed because he didn't "match"), the doctor wishes to create what he calls a "Siamese triplet," created by surgically connecting the three individuals mouth to anus.

The circumstances of the girl's coming to the doctor's house are perhaps a little too cliche, even for the horror genre. Car trouble and cell phones with no signal. Gee, I've NEVER seen that happen before. But I suppose it's a means to an end. As for the girls themselves, they couldn't possibly be more annoying or worse at acting. I don't how many hundreds of girls clamored to have their mouths attached to a man's ass for a few weeks, but it couldn't have been very many. Thankfully, they don't have much to do acting-wise after the surgery, what with them having no lips or teeth anymore.

She could probably use a neck massage right now.
Dieter Laser as Dr. Heiter was much more enjoyable to watch, and much credit must be given to him for being one of the film's few successes. Laser is an actor with an incredible face and a gift for acting to the extreme. He fully committed to this role, making the character a believably demented person who could actually do something like this. His actions and expressions were spot-on in all the scenes and he made the film very fun to watch.

Tom Six's writing abilities certainly leaves something to be desired. A concept for a film that comes about from joking about what punishment child molesters deserve is not enough to make a movie that is both disturbing and good. The dialogue is less than mediocre and characters are not developed at all. The ones that we do meet, though, we don't necessarily like enough to care about what we're seeing happen to them. The girls are ditzy (as described in the IMDb synopsis, written by the producer of the film) and the Japanese man in the lead of the centipede just did a lot of angry yelling and shouting. However, there were a few moments during the girls' ordeal where they would reach out and grab each other's hand, which I thought gave the grotesqueness of the situation a more tender and human emotion to it.

Of course I was disturbed by the description of the surgery and the idea of the creation of an actual human centipede. It is one of the most disgusting things I can think of, and frankly I'm glad that the film was not as graphic about the centipede as it could have been. Tom Six has said that the second film will make the first one look like "My Little Pony," so at least we have something to look forward to. If you're the kind of sick person who looks forward to that kind of stuff, I mean. So yes, I am excited about the sequel.

I kind of like the painting on the wall behind them.
Most of my problems with the film were the actions of the main characters. Many horror movies have those stupid characters that we scoff at for doing all the wrong things, but this movie just takes the cake. When Lindsay (Ashley C. Williams) first escapes from her hospital bed, instead of running out the front door - she knew the way, for pity's sake - she just locks herself in the doctor's bedroom and cowers in a corner without trying to get out. Later, she retardedly tries to go back for her friend Jenny (Ashlynn Yennie). She spends about five minutes dragging her friend's drugged ass up the stairs and through the house, when we all know that there is no way in hell that she's going to get away. So what was the point of the scene in the first place? Just to piss me off, apparently. Don't even get me started on the perpetuating of the stereotype of the incompetent policemen. I admit, I know fuck-all about  police procedure but those two bumblers royally fucked up the search on Dr. Heiter's house. It wasn't suspenseful, it was just another way to piss me off.

All that being said, however, I must give Tom Six credit for what he's done. He's opened himself up to a lot of criticism and ridicule by concocting possibly the most unusual, grotesque, yet unique film in many, many years. You knew people were going to be making fun of the concept and spitting on the "100% medically accurate" claim. He knew that the film would possibly never be taken seriously, and while that may have been part of his intention - to make a film that would only serve to get a reaction out of people - it was a huge risk to even make the movie. And while The Human Centipede was not carried out to its full potential, it was a good attempt and hopefully the sequel will improve on the first one's faults.


  1. I don't care if it sucks, my morbid curiosity makes me determined to see this movie....

  2. you said everything I thought about this movie. glad i'm not the only one who expected a lot more.

  3. Super jealous you got to see this movie. At one point I was obsessed with this movie and I still want to see it but I wont watch it with high expectations. Great review!

  4. @Andrew - Don't think I'm telling you not to see it! Definitely watch it and satisfy your curiosity, maybe you'll like it more than I did.

    @cynniegurl - I know, I heard so many people who were so grossed out and disgusted by the movie that I was expecting so much more than what I got.

    @Jenny - It came out on DVD on Tuesday, don't they have it at your video store?

  5. ah, I love that movie. One of this year's horror highlights. Exploitation cinema at its best!

  6. I thought it interesting that with all the blood of crawling up the stairs & dragging themselves down the hallway... no blood was visible when the police came walking in... the only blood noticeable was a small puddle in the lab.
    Not a great movie.. but it was one that kept me watching when I knew I should have just turned it off. ~dcj~