42nd Street Cinema

The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009)

100% Medically Accurate - Boasts the poster. How true is this? I wouldn't know since my knowledge of human anatomy and medical science is limited at best. However, what I do know is that apparently the director, Tom Six consulted a Dutch surgeon who theorized a method which 'could' (keyword) work in real life. Six also claimed that administering an IV drip to the middle and back parts, the centipede would be able to survive for a very long time.

The Human Centipede spins the tale of one Dr. Josef Heiter (Dieter Laser), a crazed surgeon who once specialized in the separation of siamese twins. His name/character could be a possible connection to Josef Mengele who took great interest in twins.
Now, he's suddenly turned his attention to the attachment of creatures, essentially creating 'centipedes'. The first experiment involved his 3 Rottweilers, attaching one's mouth to the other's anus, something that's never seen apart from a selection of photos. Gaining confidence and furthering his research the doctor is obviously ready to go to the next phase...Human testing. Kidnapping a truck driver from the side of the road and later having two U.S. tourists, Lindsay (Ashley C. Williams) and Jenny (Ashlynn Yennie) arrive at his house due to their car getting a flat tyre. For some reason the trucker isn't a 'match' for the two girls and so he is quickly disposed of, but soon enough the doctor is back with a replacement; a japanese tourist named Katsuro (Akihiro Kitamura). From here on in Dr. Heiter explains the procedure in great detail, how they will share a digestive system as they are to be joined via their mouthes to anuses, he then preps everything ready for the creation of THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE.

I wasn't entirely sure how to take in this film; on one hand it works very well as an artsy, dark comedy and on the other it's a stylishly shot body horror film echoing the early works of David Cronenberg. But, regardless of how you look at it if you remove the hype it's solidly entertaining but falls short on expansion of the narrative, because once you're past the whole centipede thing there isn't much more to follow. Dieter Laser's performance as the maniacal doctor is chilling, after a while you really develop a distaste for the character and during the final showdown with the police I found myself shouting "shoot him!". At times it feels a little like Re-Animator (1985) crossed with Hostel (2005) but the originality of this film is through the roof and it is one thing I cannot praise it enough for.


Anonymous said...

I did not like this. A great idea squandered way too early.

Aaron said...

Glad to hear that you liked this! I enjoyed it and, like you, wasn't sure how to take it in when I finished it. It starts out as a black comedy of sorts and then turns into something resembling MARTYRS in terms of being brutal and somewhat heartbreaking (although not quite as brutal as MARTYRS, but you know what I mean). I was genuinely bothered by the final scene in the movie. It's nice to see another blogger reviewing this.

Thrill Fiction said...

Hey James

This looks perverted. But after reading what Aaron had to say - Martyrs - it sounds sadistic. Good review job though.

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