When I watched The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence), it was dark, rainy and miserable outside, possibly the exact situation in which Tom Six would want you to watch his sequel. The sequel itself is filmed in black and white and the constant rain and darkness results in ninety minutes of despair and suffering for all involved, including the viewer. This is a recommendation in a strange way, I mean when you come into a movie called The Human Centipede 2, you’re not expecting Sleeping Beauty are you? And Tom Six himself claims that the sequel makes the original look like My Little Pony, which I have to agree with, the first film was nasty but most of it was in your head, this time it is all up there on the screen, well most of it, the movie is missing two and a half minutes in this country ‘thanks’ to the BBFC who originally refused it a certificate completely.
I should warn of spoilers in this write-up, if only because I hate it when I read a piece on a movie that just slips in plot points with no warning. So here’s your warning. Still here? Good. It’s not much of a spoiler to say that there is a bigger nastier and bloodier centipede is it?
One of the reasons the original perhaps was less effective than this (although still a great and original body-horror classic) is that this time you get the idea that you are being tossed into a real world situation. The main character Martin, a car park attendant who never speaks through the film, is obsessed with the original film, watching it every night at work (you know at this point that is not just a love of cinema as Martin masturbates to the action, using sandpaper on himself in a sickening scene) and keeping a scrapbook of cuttings and posters as well as drawings of how Dr Heiter successfully connected three people in the original. Martin it seems wants to go further.
Martin’s life is extremely grim – his father is in prison for abusing him when he was younger, he’s seeing a psychiatrist who merely fills him with drugs and acts in an inappropriate fashion himself (at this point, the tale seems to nod towards The Who’s Tommy, Martin is not deaf, dumb and blind, but at times it seems he wishes he was and is merely going through the motions of life, only feeling anything whilst watching the first movie) whilst Martin’s mother blames him for her isolation and cuts herself in front of him, going as far as trying to kill him and also trying to get her neighbour to kill both of them.
Martin rents an old warehouse and it is all systems go. These scenes reminded me somewhat of Reservoir Dogs so it is ironic that Martin manages to get the main actress from Human Centipede to enter his sick world by letting her think that she has come to London to star in a Tarantino movie. This is the point in which you lose any empathy you might have for Martin as a ‘victim’, he is obviously far more manipulative and cunning than his giggling, grunting persona would suggest.
The most sickening moment in the film actually has nothing to do with the centipede, it is when Martin kills his meddling mother. As he swings the crowbar, you might briefly understand it but he continues hitting her until there is little left and this was a scene that actually had me dry heaving, as he places the body up at the table and happily eats his dinner in front of it. Dark. Very. Dark.
So, the centipede. Well in the original you were dealing with a professional, a doctor who knew exactly what he was doing, no matter how horrific. This time (as suggested by the tagline ‘100% Medically Inaccurate’) it’s a car park attendant, so instead of delicately placing them together, he uses a nail gun to connect the subjects along with a large amount of duct tape. The original actress gets pride of place at the front and the unfortunate girl at the rear end gets savagely attacked by Martin, with barbed wire wrapped around himself for another cringe worthy scene.
When the movie ends (no happy ending of course, what did you expect?) you might find yourself still feeling nauseous and wondering exactly what you have just seen. It will be interesting to see what Lawrence R. Harvey who plays Martin will do next as this is a stunning performance, but at the same time might be the sort of thing that makes film makers pass over him in the future. As for Tom Six, he is already working hard on the final instalment The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence) which is set to start at the end of this movie, allowing you to watch the trilogy in a single sitting if you are that way inclined. Again he has warned that it will make this movie look like Disney. I can’t wait.