I have not been insulted by a film in a long time. I have read many reviews calling this film “visionary”, “bold”, and “controversial.” I call it boring and some weird guy’s masturbation fantasy. I have watched extremely bad, weird, and sleazy films, yet this one is the nadir of my viewing experience. ‘Ilsa She Wolf of the SS’ seems classy compared to this.
- Our writer and director- Tom Six
- Producer- Ilona Six (wife, sister? I looked but could not discern)
- Dr. Heiter- Dieter Laser (‘Mantrid’ from “Lexx”)
- Lindsay- Ashley WIlliams
- Jenny- Ashlynn Yennie
- Katsuro- Akihiro Kitamura
- Detective Krantz- Andreas Leopold
- Detective Voller- Peter Blankenstein
Though most genre fans probably know the overall plot already, I will quickly recap it for you. I will warn you before the spoilers pop up.
We start with the creepy Doc sitting on the side of a road in his car staring at pictures of dogs sniffing each others’ butts. A trucker stops conveniently close to Doc’s car, the trucker gets out with a roll of toilet paper and walks about 10 feet into the bushes. Doc gets out with a rifle, we pan away, and we hear a shot.
Credits roll, and then we transition to two American girls who are doing the “touring Europe” thing. On their way to a club, they become completely lost, and also blow out a tire. Riveting dialogue ensues “Do you know how to change a tire?” “No, do you?” “No” Apparently the bolt is an apparatus beyond their comprehension. Do you feel my derision for them yet? No? You will soon. Some creepy guy pulls up and tells them he basically wants to use them as sex toys. They decline (note- the smartest thing they do in the entire movie). After some more bickering, they decide to walk for help. Through the woods instead of the road; at this point I’m crying blood from my eyes. Walk, walk, walk. Then one of them states “I’m tired.” Other- “We could have stayed in the car.” “And be cold?!” Quick reality check, here- your tire blew out, you’re not out of gas! “Forget it, I’m staying here, and I don’t want to walk anymore!” (Yeah, and I don’t want to watch any more of this movie, suck it up) So the car is too cold, but standing in the woods is somehow warmer? Now my ears are bleeding. But harrah! A house is suddenly in sight. (Huh?) Girls go in, girls get drugged, girls get tied up. A bit later Doc shows up with a new guy (oh yeah, the trucker was “unmatched” so he got killed in front of the girls). Doc then gives an overhead projector presentation like the ones you probably saw in elementary school showing how he is going to make the “human centipede.” Of course the surgery takes place, and then more stuff happens.
The technical aspects of the film are mostly well done. The film stock is good with strong colors. The cinematography is well done, with some very nice shots throughout. The sound levels were fairly even, though some dialogue was a bit quiet while screams had the usual extra-loudness; a tad annoying but much better than your average action movie. The acting started off as abrasive but got better as the movie progressed. Except for the Doc’s presentation to his prisoners (the high point of the film, in my opinion, and quite disturbing), the dialogue was garbage.
The film was a freak show of bizarre ideas that make no sense in the real world. The idea of a ‘human centipede’ could have been much scarier/creepier if the film’s execution was better. There were too many inconsistencies, bad plot choices, and dumb character actions to enjoy this film.
I pretty much despised the girls up until the point they got sewed together. They bickered, they whined, one got free, and instead of running away for help went to drag her drugged friend sloooowly outside before getting hit by a tranq shot. Once they got sewed together, all they could say was “mmpphhh, mmpphhh”, so that was better. They actual had some good emotion through their eyes at that point. Kitamura (Katsuro) was good- he acted like what I would guess someone in his position would act like. Except for killing off the Doc when he had the chance (twice) at the end. But he may have cracked by that point, so I can understand his oversights.
Another beef I had was when I did some research for the film I ran across a blurb that said “medically accurate.” Oh, for Cthulhu’s sake, the “medical” parts were all crap (excuse the pun). One doctor cannot anesthetize three people while at the same time perform what must have been a 10 hour surgery. The whole single digestive track thing would have killed the girls in about 24 hours.
The reports about this movie being disturbing are correct, in some sense. The actual movie is just embarrassing to watch. You can only feel bad for the actresses who had to crawl around with their mouths stuffed up in another person’s butt. The premise seems to be that the Doc got the idea for the centipede from the picture of his 3 dogs sniffing each others butts; the dogs’ tombstone in his yard is shown at least 3 times. But the aspect that really made my skin crawl was that someone thought this craziness up in the first place. Once the 3 victims are sewed together, the Doc tries to make them fetch a paper like a dog, eat out of a dog food bowl, moans in almost ecstasy when they poo into the next person[s mouth, and lick his boots. I really don’t get the boot licking thing; I’ve never seen a dog lick his owner’s shoes.
The whole movie feels like Six’s private perverted fantasy. That is the disturbing part to me. History is full of people doing all kinds of depraved things to other people, but here it is displayed as a monument to some weird fetish. Schindler’s List showed the gritty, horrible life of labor camps; this is a movie about some guy who wants to see his dead dogs sniff each others’ butts again. Mr. Six, a quick suggestion- have him buy 3 more dogs; the movie could then be 2 minutes long and I wouldn’t feel the need to wash the filth of your mind off of me.
The only reason I didn’t give this a rating of zero or below (besides the fact I can’t) is that the technical prowess was good, the girls progressed from “I want them to die now” to “maybe they’ll get away”, and Kitamura was decent. The cops were throwaway characters. I have no idea what direction was given to Dieter Laser (the Doc), but he looked crazy in some retarded way, as in he was trying to look crazy but half his brain cells were not firing during the shoot.
Also, the whole experience was basically one of tedium. The surgery’s presentation was good, the actual surgery was disturbing, and that is about it. The rest is the Doc mostly spouting lines that ran from dumb to inane. I had to keep myself from fast-forwarding this mess because I thought there must be something good in there, somewhere, with so much positive press abounding. I cannot in good conscious recommend this movie.