Firstly, can I make it quite clear that I don’t overreact when it comes to these torture-porn films, and most of the time I see an audience and even sometimes artistic credit to them: Saw, Hostel, and I managed to sit through the majority A Serbian Film (2010). Even in The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009) I laughed off some of the more brutal scenes and saw it as just another horror flick. Its sequel, however, is far removed from its predecessor…
The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) is horrific. Unquestionably, undeniably horrific. The film follows the ‘life’ (if you want to call it that) of Martin Lomax (Laurence R. Harvey), a middle-aged psychopath who spends the entire 85 minutes of the film killing, torturing and participating in sexual fantasies with sandpaper to create a human centipede of people tied together. To reiterate, the film lasts 85 minutes, in which the second half consists of muffled screams and wails, no dialogue. The BBFC was forced to make 32 cuts to the film (totalling two minutes and 37 seconds of deplorable content), although questionably for differing reasons to my own with brutality to me more of an issue than defecation. I fully encourage the artistic freedom of artists and directors, but The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) takes it too far. Teeth are knocked out with hammers, faeces are forced through peoples mouths, and people are stapled to each other’s anuses – all of which is graphically shown, unlike Tom Six’s previous film which was mild in comparison.
It’s a struggle to say anything positive about the film. The closest to anything I could think of was that the acting by his victims was fairly good, although their only task was to make muffled screams and look terrified. Otherwise the film feels bleak, nihilistic and inhuman. There is no narrative apart from the first film’s inspiration on the main character; just sequence after sequence of mutilation and sexual humiliation. It is impossible to receive any sort of pleasure from viewing the film from any angle, be it entertainment, curiosity or sadism (well, maybe the last one). The black and white filming, which most likely helped passing censors, adds very little to its filmic qualities. Possibly more dramatic, but the images are far from lacking in impact.
And if that still hasn’t put you off watching it/made you want to see it more, the pièce de résistance has to be the death of a new born baby, barely 10 seconds old and in a manner that is sick to the very core. I wont spoil it (I’m not even sure if that’s the right word for it) but it is dehumanising to watch. To summarise, it is watching the sick, childish, crude and offensive movements of a sadist monster.
I did not enjoy watching this film. The only positive I can draw from it is that it may put off some of you watching it. At the very least, if it does sound like your kind of film, then do not watch it around meal times, for obvious reasons. God help us for when The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) arrives, which Six introduces as making the second ‘seem like a Disney film’. British cinema has never seen such lows.
The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) (2011), directed by Tom Six, is distributed in the UK by Bounty Films, Certificate 18. Viewer discretion is advised.