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Overall Rating

Awesome: 17.5%
Worth A Look: 17.5%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 20%
Total Crap45%

4 reviews, 16 user ratings

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Human Centipede, The (First Sequence)
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by Lybarger

"The ‘Human Turkey’ is more like it."
2 stars

From its title, ‘The Human Centipede’ sounds like one of those goofy drive-in films from the 50s where human beings and animals are merged with ghastly results. Because most drive-in fans weren’t watching the actual films, their content provided more fodder for ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’ than chills.

Sadly, ‘The Human Centipede” is actually less entertaining than that. Dutch writer-director Tom Six recycles a lot of old Frankenstein and horror movie tropes but doesn’t come up with much that’s interesting or scary. Actually, the film is pretty scary in one respect. It’s frightening to think that the makers of this effort have confused relentless monotony with terror.

A pair of young American tourists named Lindsay (Ashley C. Williams) and Jenny (Ashlynn Yennie) get lost in a German forest on their way to a club that for some unexplained reason is kilometers from their hotel. When their car gets a flat tire (is this a plot device or a bad pickup line?), the two eventually discover a stately, comfortable home in a clearing.

It’s not a spoiler to say they’re doomed. Cars have always broken down in the rain near dangerous homes since before The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and that was both a satire and a tribute to the genre.

Throughout all of this, Six’s script calls on the actresses to do little more than shriek. It’s hard to feel sympathy or malice toward Lindsay or Jenny because neither has much of a personality. It’s hard to say if Williams or Yennie can act, but Six’s stilted dialogue doesn’t give them any help.

The home is owned by a creepy-looking former surgeon named Dr. Heiter (veteran German stage actor Dieter Laser), who specialized in separating conjoined twins. Lindsay and Jenny soon discover that the not-terribly-good doctor wants to make them even closer than they are.

With his pock-marked face and manic demeanor, Laser more than looks the part and seems like the sort of person who could inspire sprinters to run even faster. But unlike Norman Bates or other merchants of menace, who could be charming or amiable before they dispatched their victims, Heiter has little to offer but sadism and relentless cackling.

Because neither the predator nor the prey is that well-thought out, indifference comes easily. At least the obnoxious tourists in “Hostel” had vivid enough personalities to make you want to see a gruesome end come their way.

Apparently, the doctor thinks it’s a great idea to graft the girls into a human chain where their mouths are sewn to the anuses of the person in front of them. Included in the experiment is an unsuspecting Japanese tourist (Akihiro Kitamura) who speaks no English or German.

Although I’d hate to end up like the test subjects in Heiter’s demented study, the end result is more silly and odd than scary. For those who wish to be surprised by Dr. Heiter’s handiwork, I’ll spare you a physical description, but the characters have little of interest to say regardless of whether they can move their mouths.

The moaning and laughing drown out the soundtrack. Perhaps the music isn’t that good, anyway. Still, the 88-minute running time seems inordinately long. Six and company have created protagonists who are just as shallow and stupid as the ones in weak American horror films.

As with those movies, the makers are already working on a follow-up. Perhaps it will be worth catching because it can’t be any worse than the film that preceded it.

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originally posted: 04/30/10 14:19:37
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: Fantastic Fest 2009 For more in the Fantastic Fest 2009 series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2010 Fantasia International Film Festival For more in the 2010 Fantasia International Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

9/22/17 morris campbell who would watch this sick stupid shit not me 1 stars
1/23/13 dr.lao That sound you hear is the death throws of the last shreds of Rob Gonsalves' credibility 1 stars
9/29/11 sarai aguilar this isthe most entertaning movie i have ever seen its also nasty and shocking 4 stars
9/11/11 Captain00Kirk God help my soul, I liked it.Not great, but it's 4 stars
5/30/11 brian There are sequels. Heaven help us, there are sequels. 2 stars
5/17/11 mr.mike Had to see it in my guise as a self-styled film critic. I was uneasy hours afterward. 4 stars
5/01/11 Josie Cotton is a goddess I should really spend more time with my sweet three-dog 4 stars
4/02/11 Lindsey absolute worst, most disgusting, sickest, horrifying movie I have ever seen in my life! 1 stars
3/12/11 karamashi Disturbingly good exploitative horror. Freshest thing to hit horror in a while. No joke. 4 stars
9/01/10 johnhancock If youre messed in the head, youve found your new favourite film. Not even shocking. tediou 1 stars
6/10/10 matt 2 hot babes sewed to my ass? Sounds good, just don't make a wind chime out of my genitals 4 stars
5/21/10 Man Out 6 Bucks Mantrid(Dieter) continues the insect war on humanity by assimilating nipple-shy yank-girls. 5 stars
5/14/10 Sugarfoot It really isn't scary or disturbing. Just tedious. 1 stars
5/03/10 karamashi A dark and nasty little shocker that keeps its cool. 4 stars
5/02/10 Apollo BIg fat stupid mess 1 stars
11/11/09 michael about as enjoyable as watching a 2 hour rape scene. Recommend. 2 stars
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  30-Apr-2010 (R)
  DVD: 05-Oct-2010


  DVD: 05-Oct-2010

Directed by
  Tom Six

Written by
  Tom Six

  Ashley C. Williams
  Dieter Laser
  Akihiro Kitamura
  Ashlynn Yennie
  Andreas Leupold

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