Information below is taken from the following link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1467304/
Mad scientist, Dr Heiter (Dieter Laser) captures two girls on a tour across Europe to form his life-long fantasy: conjoining three people together, mouth to anus, to form “The Human Centipede”.
Before I start, I’d like to just say the history of how this movie came about. Tom Six jokingly said to a mate that paedophiles should be punished by having their mouths sowed to truck drivers’ anuses. That’s it. And if there’s more, I honestly don’t care, and don’t want to know.
Oscar Wilde once said that “bad art is the result of good intentions”. Perhaps this film was made with good intentions, but then again, could you call this film a work of art?
This movie is a lot of things. Being a “good movie” is unfortunately for our, dear director, Tom Six, not one of them. It’s a sick movie. But then again, aren’t all horror movies sick? There’s a theory called ‘pleasure for displeasure’. It explains why we watch horror films. We watch them because we like being frightened. We watch them because we like that thrill of adrenaline. We watch them because we like being left shaking by the end. We like being displeasured. Yet, The Human Centipede isn’t ‘pleasure for displeasure’. It’s ‘displeasure for displeasure’. If I had to personify this movie, it would be that weird eight-year old kid who always picks his nose in class and in the playground runs around chasing girls with dog-crap dripping off the end of a stick that he found on the ground.
A good horror movie knows how to hit us, knows what fears to strike. A good horror movie prods and attacks are basic fears with visceral intensity. The fear of being alone. The fear of being followed. The fear of death. The fear of losing a loved one. The fear of the supernatural. Even the worst slasher movie attempts to scare us with these, The Human Centipede does not. Yes, people are followed, and people die – but the movie itself doesn’t attempt to scare us via these mere plot devices (and believe me, that’s all they actually are). It attempts to scare us with its concept: close-ups on the faces of the girls attached to each other’s close encounters of the pelvic kind, mucus oozing from one of the girls’ cheeks due to an infection, teeth being taken off, kneecaps cut open, the anus cut open, the section where the mad Dr Heiter demands that the ‘human centipede’ picks up a newspaper like a dog and gives it to him, the section where Katsuro – who’s at the front – has to ‘go to the toilet’, thereby force feeding the person in the middle with well…you know what I’m talking about.
The movie attempts to scare us with its concept rather than scaring us by attacking our fears. At the beginning of this review I compared this film to an eight-year old chasing girls with dog-crap on a stick. Shoving vile stuff in the viewer’s faces isn’t scary, it’s not. At first, it’s disgusting, and then…it’s boring.
Of course, there will be some horror-fans who like this movie, and find its concept interesting, different, and original compared to most horror films. Perhaps there’s a subtext to this film. Is Dr. Heiter a symbol of Josef Mengele, the infamous Nazi? Either way, I frankly don’t care.
There are other things which made me loathe this movie. Let’s look at the set-up for example. Two girls are in a car, they’re trying to get to a party which they’ve been invited to be some “cute German waiter”. But, oh dear! The tyre’s flattened! Seconds later, a car drives towards them until they’re side by side, revealing a perverted German man who mistakes them for being porn-stars. He offers to have sex with them, they scream and go ‘ewww’ and tell him to go away, which thankfully he does. From the start, the movie’s shoving weird sexual fetishes in our faces. But things get worse. Sooner or later the girls give up and walk out of the car and into the woods. One of them breaks down crying, and there’s the usual “hello!…help us” dialogue. Fortunately (or rather, unfortunately) one of them sees a light to a house. They knock on the door, and what man should luckily be behind their but the good old trusty Dr Heiter! Hooray! Effectively, all of that was a plot-device to lead to Tom Six’s weird threesome-like-you’ve-never-seen-it-before-extravaganza. All of that was there simply so he could show the world his concept.
Oh well, the cinematography was kinda nice.
A movie that didn’t frighten, disturb or shock me. But rather made me want to either fall asleep or turn off the television. Go watch a David Cronenberg movie instead.