Starring: Laurence R. Harvey, Ashlynn Yennie, Centipede
Find it: IMDB
Of all the unintentionally hilarious ideas at play in The Human Centipede 2, the very funniest is the central conceit that someone could actually become obsessed with the first movie. Like almost every single other person who watched The Human Centipede, I found myself underwhelmed. It's a great idea, but not one that can carry a whole film. It works best as a trailer. Preferably one with Rick Astley singing 'Together Forever' over it.
Gone is the magnificent Doctor Heiter (Dieter Laser), replaced with a more realistic and terrifying villain. The actor behind Walter (Laurence R. Harvey) doesn't have a name like Dieter Laser, but he does have a terrifying face and looks (and sounds) like a man I used to work with. Martin works as a security guard in a car park, which is a standard career for this sort of movie psychopath. Clearly a man with problems mental and physical (he's frequently described as 'a midget' and 'a retard'), Martin is obsessed with the film The Human Centipede. Director Tom Six pre-empted the BBFC suggesting idiots could be influenced by the Human Centipede 2 by making a film in which an idiot is obsessed with The Human Centipede. How very meta, Tom Six.
When he's not re-watching The Human Centipede or scrapbooking The Human Centipede, Martin is in the process of building his own human centipede; kidnapping people and locking them up in his rented warehouse. The sequel is actually set in England, which is maybe why I found it a lot funnier than I should have. My favourite scene comes where one victim realises what Martin has planned. "It's a film!" He yells, "he's gonna stitch us up arse to mouth!" Cue gagged screams from the rest of Martin's captives. The word 'arse' should never be used seriously in a serious movie. 'Arse' may be a very British word, but it is not one that us British use on serious occasions. (True story, if you watch an American movie with English subtitles, a lot of Region 2 releases tend to swap the word 'ass' for 'arse' as if us Brits are going to assume you mean donkey). "He's gonna stitch us up arse to mouth!" Even if I had been one of those fellow victims, I still would have laughed. Arse. There's another occasion where a character says "stop those tears. You're just making daddy's willy harder." Even more so than arse, no English person has ever used the word 'willy' whilst trying to be menacing. Well done on doing your research, Human Centipede 2, but it's all about context.
The Human Centipede 2 is a hilarious movie. Even more so than its predecessor. A lot of it is unintentional, but some of it, Tom Six is doing with a wink. Look, he wears a stetson. You don't wear a stetson if you're the sort of person who takes yourself seriously. For all the furore, outrage and thinking of the children, The Human Centipede 2 is ultimately a piece about twelve people being forced to do ass-to-mouth. It's more seriously done here, but it is still not really a serious film. And when it does try to be serious, it fails in almost every way.
The only thing it does do effectively is the gore. It's a black and white feature (except for one use of the colour brown...), which might fool some into thinking it more arthouse than your average bit of torture guff. It is certainly not. A Serbian Film and Martyrs are titles thrown around in some reviews. But those films had a depth that The Human Centipede 2 does not. Fuck though, the gore. The Human Centipede 2 features the most repulsive tooth removal scene I have ever seen. The last half an hour sees less of the humour (intentional or otherwise) and a turn towards some truly horrible surgery scenes. Those scat-lovers disappointed by the lack of poo in the original will go away happy this time.
And this was only the cut version. Whilst I disagree with censorship of any sort, I don't feel I'm missing all that much by not seeing a man rape a human centipede with barbed wire wrapped around his bell-end. The cut version goes far further in terms of grue and bodily fluids than I was prepared to see. That said, I will be seeking out an uncut version. Not because I want to see it, but because the BBFC told me not to.
The BBFC posits that by presenting the film from Martin's perspective, his victims are objectified, his Centipede an aspirational figure. I would beg to differ. The things that happen in The Human Centipede 2 are impossible not to sympathise with. I don't need to know a character's life story - or even their name - in order to feel bad for him/her. On a similar note, I'm not going to start feeling sorry for Martin just because he's the main character. BBFC, stop talking out of your arse.
Many will hate The Human Centipede 2, lots will be outraged by it, some might even watch it. But nobody will like it. At least, nobody will admit to liking it. I found it amusing, disgusting (forego the mid-movie snacks during this one) and not at all inspirational or arousing. Maybe I have the BBFC's cuts to thank for that, but I like to think that it's because I'm just a nice guy who doesn't like rape or centipedes. Past the first hour, it makes for truly horrible viewing. Without the humour it becomes a tiresome slew of witless violence, bodily fluids and fart noises. It's not scary, nor is there any tension, thrills or intelligence. But nor was I outraged either.
"Well," I thought, "that was pretty nasty." Where the original Human Centipede should have been left as a trailer, The Human Centipede 2 should be left as a series of descriptions in horrified reviews and on the BBFC's website. Because that does The Human Centipede 2 more favours than the film itself. The Human Centipede 2 literally throws shit at the lens and calls it art.