The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) 2011 ½

Having just sat through what is almost certainly one of the most disgusting films ever made, and arguing with one person defending it, I have mulled over The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) for much longer than it deserves. My conclusion is very simple: it is a gigantic, messy gore wank.

About as delightful as having a chunk of dry shit stuck to the hairs on the crack of your ass, this film is an inexorable 91-minute slog through some of the most vile, horrid images ever committed to mainstream celluloid. Not only does it take full advantage of some audience members' desire for boundary-pushing torture porn, it delivers its result in stark black-and-white, which is what angers me more than any other detail. This may sound pretentious and film snobbish, but Tom Six does not deserve the right to shoot in black-and-white. That is a format too gorgeous and precious to be granted to a hack such as him. Many of the most beautiful movies ever made have been shot in black-and-white, and here comes Tom Six to show us a newborn foetus being crushed under an accelerator pedal. Oh goody.

If the film shuffles blindly through its first half (some sequences in which are reminiscent of David Lynch's Eraserhead, a far, far, far, far superior film), its second half is a stumble through some of the most grotesque, sickening sequences of over-the-top coprophagous pornography you will probably ever witness. And it just goes on and on and on...

Tom Six throws in an ambiguous ending in which all that came before it may or may not be in the imagination of its protagonist (we'll get to him in a minute). Now, let me pause for contemplation for a moment: a few shots of ambiguity as an attempt to justify the carnage that came before it does not work, because whether or not the protagonist imagined it, the viewer still had to endure it, defeating the purpose of trying to defend it by suggesting it never happened. As far as we're concerned, it happened. We saw it. So fuck off with your "imagination" bullshit.

Back to the protagonist, whom we learn from a nametag is called Martin. He never says a word and is obviously mentally retarded. It is suggested much stronger than it needs to be that he is an abused, sick individual. His mother wishes he would kill himself (and her while he's at it). She finds him despicable, and loathes the world he has dragged her into. The act of killing her is supposed to be him "breaking free." Again, I disagree with this. She is just as pathetic and contemptible as he is, so I couldn't care less that he bashed her face in and sat her at the dinner table, a la some twisted fucked up Norman Bates parody. Death is preferable for any character in this movie over the other things that occur.

No attempt is made to build Martin's character outside of the "childhood trauma" as well as a fucked up, bearded doctor who dreams of molesting him. He is simply a sick, pathetic tool. Tom Six uses him to act out his hollow faecal fantasies, and nothing more. He says it's "for the fans." Anyone who can honestly sit through this movie's second half and call it acceptable or entertaining must be on a similar or relatively lesser level of insanity to Martin.

I might as well sum up with the point it took me far too many paragraphs to simply get out: it's a porno for people who like shit. I'm off to have a shower, fuck everyone.

45 Comments

  • @MrBishop You raise an interesting point about audience expectation but it's not one that I agree with. If I said to someone that they can't hate Twilight because they knew it was going to be a crock of teenage-wank before they went in would be ludicrous. It's not about hating the premise of, or even the style of, the film, it's about hating the manner in which it is executed. HC2, in its desire to shock its audience and push the limits as much as possible, fails to do anything artistic or creative whatsoever. It's badly directed, badly acted, badly written and when it does push the limits, it does so in a pretty shoddy way.

    When I went in, I knew what the film was going to be like. I was interested by just how far the film could / would go. Nothing particularly sickened me (it takes a lot...), I just found the film utterly pointless and painfully predictable. Therefore, I agree wholeheartedly with the rating given here, even though I'd probably disagree with the reasons.

  • @Jay, I agree with you on your analogy with Twilight. You do present a good point. BUT would you go on to make such a big stink if you already knew what you were in for? Makes it kind of a mute point doesn't it? I hate Twilight as much as the next 35 year old man but do I go make personal attacks at the director and makers because they made something I knew I wouldn't like? No. Seems like a lot of that is going on here about a film everyone was clued in on to being shocking, grotesque, and "shallow" (which I don't agree with) through it's storied release and subsequent bannings.

    I read through @roni's list of controversial films, and he has seen quite a bit. Bravo. Do I think this was more disgusting and vapid than something like August Underground and Mordum? Absolutely not. They are the epitome of shock for shock sake to me. Glorified gore reels that play out like porno films of gore with little to no context whatsoever. HC2 has a story, it has an overall tone, a sense of humor, and a purpose. I know most of you aren't agreeing with me and I don't expect you to, but it doesn't change the fact that it is a film and not just a gore reel. Just seems like a bunch of chest puffing going on with the reviews to this film.

    I disagree with your opinions about the quality of the direction and acting, but it's just that an opinion. I was fully aware of what a film like The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence was going to be like so I guess I don't really understand the outrage here. I am more commenting on the over the top reactions to the film.

    It's funny how certain things shock one person, while another doesn't understand what the big deal's about? :)

  • Lol, I can't believe you brought up Fred Vogel's stuff.
    They were just Guinea Pig knock offs.
    Where do Buttgereit's Nekromatik films fit in here? Very similar films, particularly the first one, but sick and worthless? More like macabre artworks I think.

    I knew this discussion would eventually get to this point, I just wondered who would push the button, so thanks MrBishop :)

  • @MrBishop Oh no, I do see where you're coming from. If I was expecting it to be shit and it was shit, I probably wouldn't moan too much. And I tend to agree about personal attacks on the actors and directors responsible, particularly when people knew what to expect. However, if someone makes a shit film and people know it's going to be shit, that shouldn't excuse them from heavy critical backlash and people should make their views perfectly clear.

    Where we disagree, of course, is in our own opinions of the film. You like it. I hate it. On this I can say no more than "oh well". If you enjoyed it then that's your personal preference and I'd never dream of attacking you for that preference. Attacks on those involved in the film (as long as they aren't personal) are fine, attacks on the audience for enjoying the film, maybe not. Then again, everyone's style is different.

    Glad we had this discussion now though as, despite your prior warnings, I'm now determined to see this August Underground thing...

  • @42nd St.Freaky Dave I hadn't seen A Serbian Film when I first entered this discussion. I have now. Unfortunately your comments (I think it was you who first touched on it - if I'm mistaken, apologies - meant to be a comment on the spoiler itself) were a big spoiler on my watch of the film meaning a lot of the impact of what happened was taken away as I knew what was going on...either due to what you mentioned or logical conclusions from that. It would be great if you could edit your comments for future readers as this isn't a Serbian film discussion!

  • Well I guess you'll be very excited to learn that the third installment features a 500-person centipede.

    "For all you fans of the Centipede Sequence Series, Principal photography on Human Centipede 3 will take place in the Southern states of the U.S and Writer-director Tom Six himself will play a supporting role in the film. The American finale will be 100% politically incorrect and will answer questions left lingering from the first films. The Human Centipede 3 will have a 500+ person pede. XXXXL American style!"

  • Oh joy.

  • There were no questions from the first two films, and five hundred person centipede? What will that prove? I won't be buying it on DVD which I imagine it will be going straight to

  • “100% politically incorrect”? But why not 200%?

    (Great review. Found it by way of the 2012 year-end summary.)

  • Best tl;dr ever :D

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