I detested "The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)," and yet I'm well aware that it was made with me in mind – me and anyone else who thought that last year's "The Human Centipede (First Sequence)" was a disgusting, pointless, morally bankrupt pile of garbage. Writer/director Tom Six made a promise as he was promoting the original film, namely that the sequel would "go full force in graphic details, making part 1 look like My Little Pony"; by living up to that promise in spades, he has given his harshest critics the cinematic equivalent of the one-fingered salute. If you're reading this, Mr. Six, let me be the first to congratulate you on telling me off with such incredible flair. Let me also reassure you that you're absolutely right about people like me. We're not persuaded by the "artistry" or "entertainment value" of torture porn.
I've just been made aware that Six is currently working on a third chapter, which, according to an interview with Empire.com, he promises will "make the last one look like a Disney film." That's a pretty tall order considering the imagery he subjects us to in this film, including (but not limited to) a man masturbating with sandpaper, people defecating into other people's mouths, and the head of a just-born fetus being crushed under the gas pedal of a car. Incidentally, are these supposed to be symbolic of something? I'm asking this because I tend to overlook symbolism when I'm actively trying to keep myself from vomiting in sheer revulsion. Earlier this year, when I had to endure the wretched "A Serbian Film," a reader happily explained to me the meaning behind a newborn baby being raped, which, I admit, went completely over my head. I expect that same person will tell me how I've failed to see the genius in "The Human Centipede 2."
What a sick, depraved, repugnant movie this is. Why do producers, writers, and directors believe such films need to be made? How is it that they actually gain a following? I'm greatly disturbed by the fact that there's a demand for them. We don't need movies like this in our lives, not even for the purposes of entertainment – which is a funny word to use, because it's inconceivable to me how anyone could possibly find this kind of trash entertaining. If stories like this appeal to you, if you get some kind of dizzy thrill at the sight of degrading, pointless exploitation, you inhabit a world I officially want no part of. There are enough screwed up people in the world without their sadistic perversions being gleefully celebrated in a movie theater.
The film is not a sequel in the strictest sense. Six adopts a metafictional approach, telling the story of a British security guard obsessed with the first "Human Centipede" film. His name is Martin (Laurence R. Harvey). He's short, overweight, asthmatic, and by all accounts, mentally ill. Apart from some groans and a good deal of maniacal laughter, he says not a single word throughout the entire film. He lives with his mother (Vivien Bridson), who verbally berates him at every available opportunity. She blames him for putting her husband in prison, apparently in denial or completely unmindful of the fact that he sexually abused Martin on a regular basis. A psychologist (Bill Hutchens) has frequent sessions with Martin in his living room. Are we supposed to find it funny that this doctor is a pervert who lusts after Martin?
When he's not at home, he's either brooding in his parking garage toll booth or targeting victims. You see, he wants make his own human centipede, only he wants to outdo the Dr. Heiter character and increase the chain from three people to twelve. And so he beats unsuspecting people senseless with a crowbar (how they survive this is anyone's guess), piles them in a van, drives them to a secluded (and conveniently abandoned) warehouse, and leaves them to lie naked in filth and darkness. He lures in Ashlynn Yennie, who played Jenny in "The Human Centipede," by pretending to be Quentin Tarantino's casting agent. We eventually have to endure Martin surgically joining his victims mouth to anus, which in this case involves such needlessly graphic imagery as knives slicing through flesh and vital parts being attached with a staple gun. We then have to bear witness to an ambiguous ending that cheats.
Six's cinematographer, David Meadows, photographs all this in black and white, arguably in the least artistic way possible. Did anyone making this movie honestly believe that, by employing a cinematic device as dreamlike as black and white, the material would somehow be elevated? No amount of technique would have made this movie work. Like the film that preceded it, it shouldn't have been made at all. "The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)" is not only one of the year's worst films, nor is it merely one of the worst movies ever made; it represents all that we as human beings should strive to evolve against. Under no circumstances should we be amused by cruelty, suffering, and exploitation. The sooner we realize this, the sooner we can make that next step.
-- Chris Pandolfi (www.atatheaternearyou.net)