Director: Tom Six
Stars: Lawrence R Harvey, Ashlyn Yennie, various awful unknown hopefuls
Good, solid family entertainment
Let me start off by saying that I actually did really like the first one. I thought it was an original, twisted idea that was really well executed. I loved Dieter Laser as the mad scientist, and the film had emotion and suspense. It wasn’t just trying to shock (there’s actually very little gore in it at all) it was trying to take you on an experience and I felt quite drained afterwards. I do think it’s a good film. I do not think that its sequel is a good film. In fact I think it’s one of the worst films I’ve seen and is an insult to us horror hounds and fans of the first film.
Of course I had heard a lot about this film before seeing it. It was the most disturbing film ever and the most twisted, apparently. Why would anyone want to see that? You might ask yourselves, and it’s a good question. I was expecting The Human Centipede II to be bad, but I suppose curiosity got the better of me, and as I said, I did really like the first one. To be quite honest with you I don’t think it’s as disturbing as everyone makes out. The whole film is completely ridiculous and it’s quite obvious that Tom Six is trying to shock the audience and in the end it just feels desperate and tedious.
I must admit that I do like the idea of the first film being completely medically accurate and the second film not, even though it is supposedly set in reality. Lawrence R Harvey is also very good as our cuddly hero, Martin. I believed that he was insane and he really does put his all into the role. It’s just too bad that the role is incredibly weak. Martin says nothing, instantly making it very difficult for the audience to give one iota about the man. I’m also not keen on the message that most horror fans are all perverted lunatics.
The majority of the film is incredibly tedious and not very shocking. The first hour is made up of Martin whacking people on the head with a crowbar and taking them to an abandoned warehouse. What I found much more interesting was Martin’s background and home life, even if the woman playing his Mum (and every other actor) couldn’t act for a toffee apple. However Tom Six completely blows his opportunities to exploit this and is clearly more interested in trying to shock. However, the film only really gets shocking in the last half hour or so which is when Martin starts creating the centipede.
I should point out that I saw the version which the BBFC patronisingly cut, so I was thankfully saved from seeing barbwire and an accelerator pedal. The film gets very nasty towards the end, but it’s all done in a rather boring and desperate way. There’s only so much stapling and knee-slicing you can see until it becomes tiresome and just plain mean-spirited. Seeing the actual centipede isn’t that shocking either because we’ve seen it all before! The poo scene (which Tom Six calls the highlight) is when the film just tries too hard to be noticed.
The Human Centipede II is the film equivalent of Jonah from Summer Heights High. It’s the obnoxious kid at the back of the class trying to piss off the teacher. But what happens with all these kids? They just get kicked out the classroom and ignored. Films like this give horror a bad name. Horror isn’t about gore and shocking scenes, it’s supposed to have a point and a story. The story here is complete tripe and stripped of any entertainment value. It also fails in being the most disturbing film ever. I find Martyrs much more disturbing, but that could also be because Martyrs is a profound and moving experience with a point.
I shall look forward to the third instalment like a fly looks forward to the next swatter.