Saturday, January 7, 2012

my thoughts on.... 'The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence'

I never claimed to be an uber-fan of the original 'Human Centipede' flim. However, I did defend it for being orignal and really quite well made. It has a grossly over-hyped reputation as being one of the sickest films of all time.

I hate to burst your bubble folks, but there are many many other films that are FAR worse than this. See 'A Serbian Film' and we'll talk again.

This film actually has very good actors involved and they carry the film and turn a very disturbing subject matter into something tolerable. The real standout is Dieter Laser. He plays the doctor with such amazing skill and charisma that you can't help but love him. He's a villan for the ages. Now, with all that being said, let's move on to the sequel. I have to say, I was really hesitant about another film being made in this series. It really felt after the first one, that there wasn't any other territory to cover. I was dead wrong. Tom Six, the writer/ director, know exactly what he was doing. He planned on a trilogy from the start and it is obvious once you see this film. He created a concept that made a unique and interesting follow up, without being boring or just a re-telling of part 1. He also found an actor who matched Dieter Laser's performance and may have even surpassed.... without ever saying a single word. Laurence R. Harvey, who plays our lead character Martin, is not your typical leading man. He's obese, unattractive, scary to look at and doesn't seem to have anything going for him. In other words, he's perfect for this film. The funny thing is, Mr. Harvey is a British stage veteran and, yes, one-time children's television performer. Not the resume you'd look for in a depraved role such as Martin. No matter what his past was or how he got the role, he is so good that you can't take his eyes off of him and you feel repulsed and attracted to him in the same time. Even if you watch this and can't make it through the whole thing, at least watch some of it, so you can see this amazing performance. I just can't get over how much I really enjoyed this film. And that makes me a little sick to my stomach, but only because of some of the things I witnessed. Now, onto the plot. (Yes, there is one.)

The plot is taken from IMDB.com: "Martin is a mentally disturbed loner who lives with his mother in a bleak housing project. He works the night shift as a security guard in an equally grim and foreboding underground parking complex. To escape his dreary existence, Martin loses himself in the fantasy world of the cult horror film 'The Human Centipede (First Sequence)', fetishizing the meticulous surgical skills of the gifted Dr. Heiter, whose knowledge of the human gastrointestinal system inspires Martin to attempt the unthinkable." What they're referring to here is that Martin desires to make his own centipede and working at night in a parking garage affords him that possability. One by one, he begins collecting people to build his own monster. Meanwhile, things at home are going from bad to worse and he slowly slips further and futher into his delisions. When he finally begins 'construction' on his centipede, he quickly learns that he doesn't have the medical skills to do it the way the doctor does in the film. His alternate plan of action is.... well, frightening and thank god it's in black and white. I don't want to give away anymore of the plot than that. Needless to say, it's extremely original and blurs the lines of reality and fiction. The only version available right now is the censored version. There is an uncensored one that is set to appear soon, but Tom Six (the director) is just trying to get it to see the light of day. There are at least 3 scenes I know of, that were cut and they sound pretty disturbing. Although, there is one scene in this film that makes the entire first one look tame. Oh and I forgot to mention, Martin has twelve people for his creature.... that makes this much larger than the 3 person version in part one.'The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence' was filmed entirely in color, but converted to black and white in post production. I hear that there are a couple of color scenes still, but they were left out of the version I saw. The film was originally scheduled for a straight-to-DVD release. It was then banned in the United Kingdom by the BBFC because of its "revolting" content, but was eventually granted an 18 certificate after over 32 cuts were made. That means there is a lot of material that was left out and I've only heard of three of them. This could mean a very jam packed Blu-ray release. This film was released in theaters, on a limited run, but has not made it around the entire world just yet. That's why I believe there is still hope for a full, uncut version to make it here to the states. Now, once you see all of the things portrayed in this film, you'll be glad that it's in black and white. The blood is only part of it and what your mind can create out of the parts that are missing, are far worse then anything that was really filmed. I can imagine that if the final scene was in color, it would hit you like a punch in the throat with a metal glove. Because after spending an hour and a half getting used to the lack or color, the sudden addition of it would be shocking to the system.... just like the film itself.

Before I finish this review and give you my final rating on it all, I want to go back to the characters in this film. Tom Six must have had a messed up childhood or has a really sick and twisted imagination. Between the mother of Martin, his sexually depraved doctor and his asshole neighbor, you actually are rooting for him to torture and kill them all by the end. I know I hated the supporting characters far more than Martin, who was the sickest of them all. But Tom Six built the story up in such a way, that you feel sorry for Martin and look to him as an anti-hero or a man with a reason for his actions. He is basically a monster that was built by a perfect storm of situations in his upbringin. Perhaps, if he wasn't raised the way he was, he may have turned out fine. It's also kind of funny that Tom Six would point some of the blame back on himself. Martin is the way he is, because of his life prior to 'The Human Centipede'.... but 'The Human Centipede' also pushed him over the edge and into a very dark place. It gave him some extremely twisted and horrific ideas that he ended up carrying out on a lot of innocent men, women and children. It takes some balls to say that what you've created may cause others to act out and do terrible things.

All in all, I am sure there is a lot more I could say about this film. I feel like I have left out a lot. However, I don't want to give away any more possible plot points and I want to leave you with some desire to fill in the blanks that I left out of here on purpose. That being said, this is a solid 4 out of 5 stars. It's a rare example of a sequel that didn't so much surpass it's predecessor, but rather built up on it and moved the story forward. It actually made the first film stronger and in turn, made itself stronger too. Usually the sequel is a time for the film maker's to rest on their laurels and just give the audience more of the same from the first film. That's kind of the rule in movies. Tom Six didn't seem to get that memo or he chose to ignore it. The root of this film is basically the same as the orignal, but it's oh so much more. I plan on adding this and the first one to my collection as soon as I can. I can't say that I'll run out and recommend it to every friend I have, but for those who are adventurous and like their horror a little more "unique".... this will be at the top of my list. Go see it, if you dare.

Before seeing this film, you must see: 'The Human Centipede: First Sequence', but if you want to see something 20 times more depraved than both of these films put together, track down 'A Serbian Film'.... but don't say I didn't warn you. There are some things you can never unsee.

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