The Curious Case Of A Human Centipede

So last week I had the dubious pleasure (or displeasure?) of watching a little independent film called “The Human Centipede”. Now, knowing virtually nothing about this film save for the little bit of information I shaved from the net before going over to a friend’s house to view it introduced an interesting experience to say the least. Because of work schedules and other influences, it is rare that I get to view a film with others for the first time. This was a case when no one in the viewing party had seen this film prior, so we were going in with something of unbiased eyes.

Now, before I proceed further, I should note a few things. One, I am not a hardcore horror and terror fan. I’ve always been more of a science fiction and fantasy film fan myself. Horror and me have flirted a little bit in the past, but it wasn’t until I got to go to a little show in Baltimore called Horrorfind that I really started an appreciation for horror. Most of my likes tend to be of the classics (Dracula, Frankenstein), the staples (Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street), and the low budget/indie/exploitation (Evil Dead, Chainsaw Sally). The staples are ones I really dislike because they start out great but get so watered down in sequel after sequel and even now remakes and reboots. Indies are a favorite though mainly because of my being able to meet some of the creators in person and learn about their passion for the genre.

That brings me to the ‘indie’ Human Centipede. I give it quotes because to me, indie films need no major studio backing, and tend to focus more on the gore and terror. If the director of Centipede really wanted to do go he should have talked to the master of schlock, Lloyd Kaufman. Lloyd has given us such rich and sick films as Toxic Avenger and the “I want to see if for the title alone” masterpiece Poultrygeist. I’m really not gonna get into too much detail about the plot of Centipede, other than its just the typical evil scientist tries to mess with human nature formula that has been around for nearly a century in films but has really been lightly touched upon in the last few years. Frankenstein, Island of Dr. Moreau, and Re-Animator are but a few examples.

You are wondering…just what is this film about? Well, basically you got a mad scientist who wants to create. So, he kidnaps three people, and through some admittedly cleverly concealed explicit surgery, he stitched them mouth to…well…rear. His point is to have food go in the front person, through the middle person, and out the end one. Sounds pretty grotesque eh? Well, that’s pretty much the film. Very little blood is seen save for some scenes where the stitched together prisoners try to escape and of course the inevitable final confrontation.

Did I like it? Not really. The first viewing I think I was more disgusted with the idea I was borderline watching scatporn (don’t ask). Plus not having watched anything remotely scary in a while had the effect of not really numbing my senses to the film. Upon a second viewing and comparing it to other films of its, basically, exploitation genre, I just came to the conclusion that this was a film that tried to take itself too seriously and had some horrible acting to accompany it. Most exploitation tends to NOT have messages in it and just assaults your senses. This film is trying to make the viewer feel bad for being human or something, not really sure.

Recommended? Sure.

Wait, why?

Go watch this, then go watch Frankenstein. Only difference is Frankenstein lacks like line, “Swallow, swallow it!!”

Oh, and no ass to mouth. I prefer that in my Kevin Smith films.