I’ll cut to the chase: the central sequence of the sequel to the cult hit The Human Centipede involves a sadistic man-child shrieking with glee as a bunch of people get shit sprayed in their faces.
Sorry, did I say “central sequence”? I meant central metaphor.
As one of the few weirdos who actually thought that 2010′s ass-to-mouthiest water-cooler phenomenon was actually a decent movie, I approached the sequel – clumsily titled The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) – with cautious optimism. Who’s to say that writer/director Tom Six couldn’t continue to walk the fine line between pitch-dark gross-out comedy and visceral terror while telling a unique and compelling story?
I’m to say he couldn’t.
Yes, HC2 is pretty much the movie that most of us expected HC1 to be: A childish, empty exercise in mind-numblingly stupid excess. It’s probably the most worthless sequel I’ve ever seen – and remember, I sat through Hatchet II. And before I get into panning this fucker, let me make an important distinction: I didn’t hate this movie because it was about pointless violence and misery; I hated this movie because it WAS pointless. And boring. And poorly-made. I could go on.
Here’s the story in a (smashed) nutsack: Martin (Laurence Harvey – no, not that one), a fat, short, mute, British parking attendant who is obsessed with the original HC movie, decides to make his own centipede. The problem, of course, being that it’s a fucking movie and a ridiculous one, at that – and even if this guy had a speck of medical training it would be impossible.
Martin collects a dozen people with ease by walking up to them, shooting them in the leg, and then bashing them unconscious with a crowbar.
People – literally HALF OF THE MOVIE is this little man hitting people in the head with a crowbar. I’m not exaggerating – I swear that a full 45 minutes contain nothing else. It’s like being forced to watch the same Three Stooges gag over and over until someone finally farts in your face and lets you go home.
Of course, no one ever hears Martin shooting people, or stumbles upon him loading several bodies at a time into his molester van, or actually MISSES any of the people that he has abducted, which gives him plenty of time to watch HC over and over (and we really do have to sit through almost the whole film again) while masturbating with sandpaper.
Here’s where we hit a major snag: Tom Six either seems to think that his first movie was far more disturbing and profound than it really was, or he thinks that anyone who took HC1 seriously is patently ridiculous. Either way, he’s clearly the one beating off as he makes us sit through it over and over. Also: Why, when you make a cheap and aesthetically inferior sequel (this one is in black-and-white and has none of the production values of the original), would you insist on reminding your audience of how much better your last movie was?
We know nothing about any of the victims – most don’t even get the chance to speak. A few of the guys are kinda hot, at least, and one woman is about to go into labor, which could be fun? Eh – nothing that we haven’t seen before and that doesn’t scream “See how gross I can be?!?!” in the most desperate and obvious way.
Turns out the little mute guy has one final ace up his filthy sleeve, which is to lure one of the actresses from the original film to his hideout so that he can add her to the centipede. And she does appear – playing what I’m sure she has convinced herself is a much stupider version of herself, although I think evidence of her critical decision-making ability is right here on screen.
It’s hard to go downhill from eating shit and dying in your last movie, but she somehow manages. Atta girl! I would post the actress’s actual name, but it’s really not worth the effort of my looking it up, because I’m sure we’ll all be hearing about her come Oscar time anyway.
Apart from the dozen-plus nude and bleeding people squirming on the filthy floor of Martin’s warehouse, there’s a meager attempt at a backstory, presumably to add some sort of context to this stupidity. Martin’s father molested him (and, for whatever reason, his therapist wants to molest him as well), his mother’s a bitch, and his only interests lie in his beloved film and his pet centipede, which is probably responsible for devouring most of the budget and delivers the only real chills that the film has to offer when it attacks its food in close-up.
Once he begins assembling his centipede, things at least become INTERESTING for a few minutes. This may seem like a sick thing to say when the last 20 minutes are filled with shit, blood, torture, and graphic murder, but I would much rather be disgusted than bored, which I was for the first 70 minutes. By the time Six makes his dubious and confused point, it’s far too late to make an impact.
In fact, at the screening I attended, when “WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY TOM SIX” came up on the screen at the end, a well-known writer sitting near me shouted “Fuck you, Tom Six!” After actually giving the guy the benefit of the doubt, that pretty much sums up my reaction, too.
RATING (OUT OF 5 SKULLIES):
The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) is unrated and does everything it can to earn it. It’s full of body terror, shit, allusions to rape and child molestation, torture, blood, profanity, and murder. Still, its most obscene feature is that it is dull.