Fantastic Fest Review: Tom Six's 'Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)'
by Jeremy Kirk
September 23, 2011
This is going to be a truncated review for The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) to kick off our Fantastic Fest coverage. It's not because there's nothing that can be said about the follow-up to one of the more talked about horror films of recent memory. It's because this sequel neither needs nor deserves 1000 words analyzing what it is, what it has to say, and how it's all executed. Tom Six, the Dutch returning writer/director, didn't feel like he shocked moviegoers enough with the 2009 film. The idea of a mad scientist surgically connecting three people ass-to-mouth-to-ass-to-mouth apparently didn't go far enough.
But that seems to be what some people liked about The Human Centipede (First Sequence), the idea that horrible things were going on, but you didn't see them full-force. The horrible things in the original film were hidden by framing and probably an undersized budget that didn't allow for the grotesque.
All of that goes out the window with The Human Centipede 2, a film set in our world where The Human Centipede is a film and our villain this time around, Martin, played by Laurence R. Harvey, is disturbingly drawn to it. Martin is not a mentally capable human being. He spends his nights as a parking garage attendant, watching the monitors from around the garage on one screen and his favorite film on another, jotting notes and collecting news items from The Human Centipede in his scrapbook. It isn't long into the movie before we realize Martin plans to create his own human centipede, one that will put Dr. Heiter to shame in terms of ambition but without the added benefit of having any idea of how the human body works.
It's in Martin where Human Centipede 2 finds its first advantage over the original. Six is gifted at crafting disgusting villains and casting them perfectly. The background and motivation he gives Martin is far more interesting than the mad scientist one-dimensionality of Dr. Heiter. Martin is a character whose world has turned against him. Everything in it from his father, to his mother, to the doctor who visits their home, has molded him into this deranged and mentally unstable character, the kind of character who would attempt to reenact the more horrific moments of his favorite horror flick. Essentially, everyone who comes into contact with Martin has shit on him, and he finds his way to turn the tides and have them shit back on themselves.
Yes, that statement was disgusting, but it's apropos for a film like Human Centipede 2, whose last hour is a prolonged graphic depiction of everything we've almost seen before, a film that chafes, attempts to chafe like sand paper, and doesn't give a damn if it cuts too deep. There is no such thing as "too deep" when it comes to how much Six wants to cut his audience, and that idea of fandom, that he realizes how sick the people who love his first movie are and wants to give them everything they desire, could almost be seen as clever. But when it comes in the form of horribly vivid imagery - all shot in rather beautiful black and white, another notch in this film's plus category - that adds very little substance in and of itself, the word enabler can't help but be brought up. With the abused background he gives Martin, Six seems to be washing his hands of the power his films have, that sick movies don't make sick people, they just give sick people sick ideas.
Maybe that was his reasoning for turning everything up to its loudest in Human Centipede 2, to become so deafening that what it might have to say isn't even audible. The shock for shock's sake is certainly on display, and if the Fantastic Fest crowd was any indicator, that level of shock was pleasing to some. For a few it delivered what they wanted, much more of the same only more drawn out and… ahem… more in your face. For the rest of us, though, it's safe to say The Human Centipede 2 can eat shit.
*Note: Yes, I know I said this was going to be short. Sometimes you just can't stop yourself. Ask Tom Six about that.
Jeremy's Fantastic Fest Rating: 3 out of 10
Reader Feedback - 14 Comments
I usually trust your reviews, but since you didn't like the first one I think we might have different opinions on this one too. Anyways.. Thanks for the review. It's always great to hear your opinion.
Davide Coppola on Sep 23, 2011
Wow that review is crap! your suppose to review the movie not if you like it or not. So lets say i hate love movies that means im going to give every love movie a bad review? Even though it could of been amazing piece of work.
Redcarpetref on Sep 23, 2011
Did you even read it?
MegaMeg on Sep 23, 2011
The way you formed your sentences is pretty weak too. Learn how to use proper capitalization and grammar before you try and divert people to what we can only assume from your paragraph is a lackluster site. And no matter whether people at FF liked this movie or not, my morbid curiosity will more than likely lure me into a theater seat for this flick. By the way, nice spoiler-free review.
Em on Sep 23, 2011
Will on Sep 23, 2011
Hmmm, crap review, sorry. The film has done what it was supposed to do and I enjoyed it. I have never been so disturbed by a film. For a horror film fan this film is a god send.
Anonymous on Sep 23, 2011
Anonymous on Sep 23, 2011
He didn't say it was a bad movie......its just not his 'cup of tea'. Evidently the nuance has been lost.
Anonymous on Sep 24, 2011
Okay, so it 'did what it was supposed to do', but what about the acting? The cinematography? The music? The writing? You see, there are constants in the movie industry. Common factors that allow us to judge a movie in regards to it's contemporaries. Okay so the movie was disturbing and horrific. That's fine. But how does it stand up as a film?
horgin on Sep 26, 2011
Haaaa! ass-to-mouth-to-ass-to-mouth that actually made me laugh :p
Anonymous on Sep 23, 2011
U F'n snapperheads... Whine and cry some more. It's their site. He can say what he wants about a movie. I'm surprised Jeremy even gave this piece of shit 10sec of his time. Rudoosed to givving him a hard tyme abuot his gramar. Yuur pathetik. Piss off and hang out at a horror website, pat yourselves on the backs about witty banter that you think makes you appear intelligent. Last time I checked its a free country... if you don't like it...move the F*** along. This movie will be a stinkier piece of shit than the first one. That is all.
Mcfitz on Sep 23, 2011
This whole shitty piece of torture porn is in black and white? Ahaha, that is too fucking rich. Keep grasping for that artistic legitimacy, torture porn creators, soon enough you might be on the same film making level as an actual porn director! Except that even a porn director would describe this film as brainless dogshit for mouth breathing nerd virgins.
Lebowski on Sep 23, 2011
First one sucked. Why would this be any better?
Anonymous on Sep 26, 2011
There people who like gory horror films, and there are people who don't. Why can't the people who don't just go by the whole "live and let live" concept? You don't like 'em, don't watch 'em- no need to judge those who do. I love gory movies, and I enjoyed the first Human Centipede- it was ridiculous, absurd, disgusting, interesting, and entertaining. I'm not a serial killer. I'm not a sadist. I'm a perfectly normal, nice girl who happens to like nasty horror movies. And no, I'm not a mouth breathing virgin. (I'm a nose breathing virgin.) Why do I like these movies? I don't know. I do know one thing- they're NOT REAL, and I am fully aware of that as I watch. Why don't we lose the judgmental attitudes and just say, "to each their own"?
Wolldrey on Oct 8, 2011
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