When the 2011 movie release schedule was beginning to form, there were two horror films that immediately caught my attention. First off was, The Thing, Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.’s prequel to the John Carpenter classic.
Next up was, The Human Centipede (Full Sequence), Tom Six’s follow-up to the polarizing Human Centipede that worked its way through the festival circuit to become a rising iconic reference in today’s pop culture.
The Human Centipede (First Sequence) was a gross out film where the horror that had many gasping for air was more implied that it was graphically portrayed. An overhead slide with crudely drawn cartoon characters appearing in explanation of what the evil Dr. Heiter was about to unfold was the most spine chilling of all. And a ‘Feed her!’ scene was all left to your imagination. The overall result was Ton Six having created a film that got people talking about things that they ‘thought’ they saw.
Tom Six swore that The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) would up the ante, and we can safely and assuredly comment that he has met his goal. Part II opens with a quick flashback to how grim and depressing the first film ended. We are then introduced to Martin (Laurence R. Harvey), a big, bald, loser type of a security guard who is fascinated by Tom Six’s movie.
**For those of you who might be a little confused, let me pause for some clarification – Part II is completely meta. The first film is presented as a film, and the new villain of the second film is a fan of the first film. Good idea, but execution, well…..**
Martin has fantasizes about making his own human centipede. But his vile creation would have 12 people attached anus-to-mouth as opposed to Dr. Heiter’s more manageable three. Adding to the meta of the film, Martin wants to have the actresses from the first film as part of his creation. Good idea, but execution, well…..
You can imagine what the rest of the film details. After all, imagination is what makes The Human Centipede franchise so disgusting. But what were should have been prepared for was the graphicness of the second in contrast to the first.
Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) is presented entirely in black and white which helps little in mitigating the disgust. We are not sure why Tom Six made the second in black and white. After all, this is no Schindler’s List we are talking about and any film that has the words ‘Human’ and ‘Centipede’ in the title can hardly be considered an Art Film.
The violence in Full Sequence is so blatantly splashed onto the screen that it has to rank up there with other films such as Grotesque and A Serbian Film as an film that made us incredibly uncomfortable (especially in a packed theatre house where any enjoyment of a human centipede creation should not be cheered with jumping on the seat jubilation). Scenes with a pregnant woman who is part of the experiment made us the most squeamish, but be assured there is enough uncomfortability to go around.
Thing is, that is all that Full Sequence has to offer. Martin is clearly no Heiter. He is big and gross to even look at, but the evil behind the accent in the first film was a far more compelling bad guy to watch and enjoy. The actresses (?) that involve themselves with the second film are not as annoying as the two young ladies in the first, but when the bar is set that low, it isn’t too difficult to rise about expectations.
What Full Sequence does, and I suppose well, is give us violence. Lots of it. But that doesn’t make the second film a worthy follow-up to the original. Six has promised us a trilogy with The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) due out sometime in 2012. Let’s hope it harkens back to the first film more than the second. Oh, and let’s hope it’s in color too.