The Human Centipede 2
Written & Directed By: Tom Six
Laurence R. Harvey
ATTN: Spoiler Alert!
The Human Centipede 2 is the most disgusting film I have ever seen. It may seem odd, having a relatively inexperienced horror fan like myself writing this review in place of the wiser and more experienced staff members, but I think that works in my favor; I haven’t yet been completely desensitized to film violence, and Tom Six proved it. Many who saw the first film complained of its “tame” nature, relying more on psychological horror than actual blood and violence. Well, those who complained the first time around should be delighted by the inclusion of all the “blood and shit” the first film neglected.
The premise of THC2 is similar to that of Blair Witch 2; the first film in both universes was just that: a film. In this instance, we’re introduced to a middle-aged man called Martin, who is overweight and asthmatic. Watching The Human Centipede while working in a London car park, we learn quickly that Martin is obsessed with the film. He has a scrapbook dedicated to the film, in particular, the surgery itself. After seeing an arguing couple on one of the security cameras, Martin ends the quarrel by shooting the man in his foot, the woman in her legs, and knocking both out with a crowbar. By capturing people in the car park and storing them in a rented warehouse (whose landlord he kills), it doesn’t take long to figure out Martin’s intention of recreating the Human Centipede with 12 people instead of just three.
Six has crafted a dark tale, with a complete lack of optimism. There is no hope in this story. Shot in color, but changed to black and white in post-production, the gritty darkness of THC2 is always at the forefront. Martin lives surrounded by the obscene: with his suicidal and verbally abusive mother after his father was sent to prison for sexually abusing him, a violent, tattooed upstairs neighbor (who also becomes part of the ‘pede), even Martin’s psychiatrist touches him inappropriately. You’re in for a bleak and depressing world, one Tom Six doesn’t hold back on.
The actual violence is noteworthy in and of itself. There are a multitude of kills and spills: gunshots, stabbings, bludgeoning. But it’s Martin’s “surgery” that really set me over the edge. I wondered how on earth he planned to get 12 people attached when he’s A) not a doctor and B) doesn’t have the equipment. Who needs a scalpel, stitches and anesthetic when you have a knife, staple gun and a crowbar? If there’s any sort of drinking game to be made from this film, it’s a shot for every time Martin clubs someone in the head with that crowbar. In this reviewer’s opinion, Martin’s de-teething of the centipede ranks as the absolute worst part (I had several teeth pulled at a young age and it’s bothered me ever since). Hell, even listening to it was enough to make me cringe. The worst part differs from person to person, however. Ask our own Ali and she’ll tell you her least favorite part was a funnel tube going down Ashlynn Yennie’s throat. It’s either that, or the tendons in the knees getting cut. Or perhaps even the scene with the baby…
If you watched the first one and hated how non-violent it was, Tom Six made THC2 just for you. If, however, the first film was enough to put you off eating and crawling around on all fours, avoid this one at all costs. For someone who hasn’t yet seen A Serbian Film (stupid lack of subtitles in my copy!) or Salò, The Human Centipede 2 will remain the most disgusting film I’ve ever seen…for now. Yet, being a fan of the first one, I’ll give Tom Six credit for maintaining the unnerving feeling of the series, even while pulling a complete 180 in the gore department.