director Tom Six
Cult phenomenon that it was so due to become, it’s little surprise that the 2009 horror film The Human Centipede (First Sequence) begot a sequel. Much like the original “human centipede,” director Tom Six promises that The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) is but the middle segment of a trilogy, with the intent that the films will continue to get more gruesome, revolting, and explicit. Like I am so often, “in for a penny, in for a pound” on these types of things, I did consider it relatively requisite to go through with actually watching it.
In a move that is semi-clever/a tad post-modern, The Human Centipede 2 starts out with the premise that the original was just a movie. And part 2 is about a pathetic English parking garage night watchman who has seen the film and now dreams of making it his reality. Unlike the clean, pseudo-science of the doctor of the film, he’s all sleaze, sexual torture, and duct tape. His centipede is one that MacGyver might be able to put together with the things found in an alley.
Shot in color but transfered to black and white, the film focuses on the terrible world of this man, his abusive mother, his psychologically damaged past, and his grand artistic dream: a 12-segmented human centipede. He has to settle for 10, but he gets there with more violence and more explicit gross-out, cringe-inducing ways than the original film. Six claimed that he wanted to make the first film “look like My Little Pony” in comparison. In that sense, mission relatively accomplished.
Laurence R. Harvey stars as the flubby little man in a role that is about as unsexy as you can get, with his large beer belly, his torpid eyes, and his seamy slimy skin. While Six tries to give him a backstory, and some sympathy, he’s also fairly invested in his post-modernist angle on this film too. Not only is the man a copycat killer of the first film, but he somehow manages to lure Ashlynn Yennie, one of the “stars” of the first film, out to London under the pretext of a film opportunity, having Yennie play a version of herself, commenting occasionally on the earlier film.
I don’t need to detail the “horrors” depicted in the film. I stomach a lot of gruesome stuff easily and I found myself feeling somewhat nauseated through the film. Again, mission relatively accomplished.
I think it’s interesting that this film, pretty much an exploitation film, has entered enough of the pop culture world to be joked about on South Park and infested in more people’s brains that the average film of such potential obscurity.