Review: The Human Centipede

It’s funny. For all the talk on Twitter, the YouTube trailer, and the articles that sprang forth everywhere, I really wasn’t that interested in The Human Centipede. I’m not a big fan of horror films in general, and the current trend for bleak and extreme violence like that in Hostel or Wolf Creek leaves me cold. Cruel is the new cool, it seems. So when I came across The Human Centipede on the SyFy Channel (God, I HATE that new spelling), I surprised myself by watching it.

(What I’m gonna say from now on is going to be pretty spoilerific so if you want to remain in the dark you better stop reading now)

The Human Centipede, for those of you who don’t know, is a film about an evil doctor who creates a siamese triplet, ‘a human centipede’, by attaching three people surgically, from anus to mouth. It’s fairly high concept for a horror movie and that’s about as original as it gets. The crazy ass doctor is your stereotypical German Josef Mengele-SS-Nazi-type sadist, right down to wearing the black circle-rimmed sunglasses, sporting a riding crop, and spouting his lines in the most hammy, over-the-top way imaginable. His victims are two American girls, neither of which are blonde amazingly, whose car just so happens to break down in the woods right next to the mad doctor’s house. Oh, and he manages to find a Japanese man from somewhere but it’s not fully explained where, or if it is I wasn’t really paying close enough attention.

Premise aside, there’s very little in the film that genuinely shocks. The gorno torture porn crowd are catered for with brief glimpses of the surgery, ass slicing, teeth pulling, and the like. But the most amazing thing is how dull it all is. Even the centipede itself, once revealed, doesn’t leave you reeling (or heaving). But maybe that’s just me. Maybe the years spent on the internet have left me unmoved by such things. I suppose the most shocking point in the movie is meant to be when the Japanese guy at the front of the centipede finally has to let go his bowels and ends up defecating in one of the girl’s mouths, with her forced to swallow it down. Of course, the very idea of this is repulsing, but in the age of the internet, of 2 Girls, 1 Cup, even this kinda loses its edge.

Such if the way with modern horror movies, the film end on a bleak note. The doctor is killed my some rather stupid and inept German police officers, who manage to get themselves murdered in the process too. The Japanese man and the front of the centipede inexplicably slits his own throat, and the American girl at the back dies of malnutrition or infection or something. This leaves the girl in the middle to spend the rest of her life stuck between two putrefying corpses. Nice.

Outside of curiosity value there is very little to recommend this film, but if you like your horror films to be a little more tongue in cheek and a little less ass to mouth, then I suggest you check out the trailer to Rubber. It’s directed by late nineties musical sensation, Mr Oizo, he of Flat Beat fame, and is the tale of a tyre called Robert WHO CAN KILL! It reminds me of those eighties films like Stephen King’s directorial debut Maximum Overdrive, where all Earth’s electronic and motorised goods come to life and try to kill everyone after a comet passes overhead. I particularly remember it for a truck that had the Green Goblin’s face fixed to the front. Anyway, Rubber will probably be rubbish but the trailer is worth a view nonetheless.

Seeing as The Human Centipede was made on a minuscule budget and gained notoriety through it’s YouTube trailer, would any movie producers out there like to pay me to make my brand new, just this minute thought of, idea The Human Caterpillar? It’s much like Centipede except it doesn’t have a bleak ending. No, The Human Caterpillar evolves into a beautiful butterfly. I’m pretty sure it’ll sell well. Get in touch.

More Reviews:

Troll Hunter

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Captain America: The First Avenger


The Girl With Dragon Tattoo (2009)



Super 8

The Parallax View

Cowboys And Aliens

Swamp Thing

X-Men First Class

Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen

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