Monday, October 12, 2015

THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (THE COMPLETE SEQUENCE) (2009-2014)

THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (THE COMPLETE SEQUENCE) 

Label: Scream Factory I IFC Midnight

Release Date: October 27th 2015
Region Code: A
Rating: Unrated 
Duration: 286 Minutes 
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1, English DTS-HD MA 2.0 
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.78:1, 2.35:1) 
Director: Tom Six 
Cast: Akihiro Kitamura, Ashley C. Williams, Ashlynn Yennie, Dieter Laser, Emma Lock, Kandace Caine, Laurence R. Harvey, Maddi Black, Bree Olson, Eric Roberts, Robert LaSardo, Tom Six, Tommy "Tiny" Lister, Jr

I remember first hearing about The Human Centipede on a podcast, unfortunately I don't recall which one, but they were speaking about an early festival screening of The Human Centipede (First Sequence) and what a shocker it was. They really talked-up how disgusting and odd the concept was, I knew right away that I must see it in the theatres. Some weeks later the Loft Cinema here in Tucson brought the movie to Tucson for exhibition and I made it to the first showing, along with a surprisingly sold out crowd. The movie had been promoted on a morning radio program so the movie had a great draw, many of whom could be heard retching throughout the movie, the sold out audience looked to be made up of hardcore horror fans and more general admission movie goers who seemed to have come on a dare, to experience what was being touted as the sickest movie ever made - for some it was a bit more than they could chew and several were seen leaving the screening early, it made for a great screening. 


Lindsay (Ashley C. Williams) and Jenny (Ashlynn Yennie) are two over-privileged American women on vacation in Germany when they find themselves hopelessly lost on a road in the woods on their way to a dance party. When they get a flat tire they leave the safety of the car to wander the forest looking for help, which brings them to the doorstep of Dr Josef Heiter (Dieter Laser), a renowned doctor who specializes in separating conjoined twins, but he has a secret passion project he's been working on at home. He invites the young women into his home, where they are drugged and made to participate in a ghastly experiment - the connecting of three humans via ass-to-mouth to create a human centipede with one gastric system. Also an unwilling participant in Heiter's little science project is Japanese tourist Katsuro (Akihiro Kitamura), all three are tied down in beds while the mad doc goes on at length about what the surgery will entail, complete with slide show, before he begins his experiment. 


Truly, when I first watched this I thought it was pretty shocking, the whole ass-to-mouth surgery transformation was a bit hard to stomach, but the surgery and most of the gore is relegated to your imagination and not put onscreen for you to watch, that was part of the genius of the movie, what you imagine will almost always be 10x worse than any effect they could put onscreen, watching it I could almost smell the sweaty ass. Katsuro is the head of the centipede, with Jenny in the rear, poor Lindsay who attempted to escape from the mad docs lab is made to be the middle segment as punishment for her escape attempt. 


For what this movie is I must say the cast do a pretty great job with it, Heiter is a force to be reckoned with, one of the great mad scientists of modern cinema, up there with Jeffrey Comb's Herbert West from Re-Animator! A strange looking man with a distinct jaw-line, very intense, barely contained, over-flowing with insane charisma. The young cast that comprise the human centipede do an admirable job putting across the fear required of the roles, they may not be Academy award winning performances but they drive home the desperation and hopelessness of the situation they find themselves in. 


For the gore-hounds I know this was a bit of disappointment, they wanted everything put onscreen, but I think the decision to keep the grotesque stuff off screen in this first entry was a wise move, the idea alone is just damn unsettling, to have your freedom taken away and to be mutilated and sewn together ass-to-mouth is the stuff of nightmares. Fans would have to wait for the even more deranged sequel to see the more gruesome stuff up close and personal. 


With The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) director Tom Six would return with a movie that went far beyond the first is terms of gore and gruesome imagery, a more shocking entry with more gore and more shocks, so much so that it was presented in black and white, at least I assume that's why they went that direction. Weirdo Martin Lomax (Laurence R. Harvey) is a parking garage attendant obsessed with the first movie, in a nice moment of meta-movie making the first movie is a movie within this movie that the disturbed Martin is obsessed with, setting out to recreate the human centipede in a seedy in a warehouse.


Martin lives at home with his nagging mother who doesn't know what to do with her overweight son who has become obsessed with ass-to-mouth. Martin suffers from some mental disorders, perhaps stemming from the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of his own father, who is now imprisoned fro his crimes. He regularly sees psychiatrist Dr. Sebring (Bill Hutchens) who secretly lusts after Martin, at one point the bad doc is getting a blow job from a whore when he wishes out loud that he would rather fuck that little retarded boy, yup, this is that kind of movie.

In another sweet meta-moment Martin reaches out to actress Ashlynn Yennie who played Jenny in the first movie, she thinks she's auditioning for a part in the next Quentin Tarantino movie, with the audition being held at the warehouse where Martin is assembling his own human centipede. She becomes his twelfth victim, with her among them he then begins the process of connecting his victims ass-to-mouth, with Yennie having the honor of becoming the head of the human centipede, her being the star of the first movie, it seemed only right. While Heiter performed the surgeries with a certain amount of skill and knowledge, Martin performs his surgeries with a dirty carpet knife and a staple gun, and only after brutally knocking out their teeth with a hammer. The gorehounds who complained about the absence of gore in the first movie will have nothing to complain about with this entry, once he starts stapling lips to ass cheeks there's no going back, and it only gets worse from there.

Laurence R. Harvey as the nut Martin is fantastic, a pear-shaped slouch of a man with pronounced bug-eyes and thick corrective lenses, spending most of the film walking around in stained tighty-whiteys and a blood-soaked lab coat, lording over his grotesque creation at the warehouse, never uttering a word, only moaning from time to time. At one point he injects each of the segments with a massive amount of laxatives hoping to speed along the inevitable digestive process. what follows is a stomach churning symphony of diarrhea with Martin laughing hysterically before the smell of fecal matter overpowers him, leaving him retching in the corner. 


But wait... it get worse, much worse. Martin so excited by his creation he wraps a length of barbed-wire around his johnson and has sex with the rear of the centipede... and then it goes to another awful place involving a pregnant woman whom was thought dead who makes a run for it, sweet Lord this one goes to some disturbing places, ending with one of the victims exacting a nice bit of revenge on Martin that seems wholly appropriate. 


The Human Centipede 2 is a truly shocking slice of cinema, it's way too gross to be taken seriously, I didn't offend me, but it did make me laugh quite a bit, movies like this sort of have to be looked upon as comedy, at least to me they are, and I loved it, more than even the first movie, this one has some bite to it, taking it beyond your own imagination and into the depraved mind of Tom Six, who puts it all up onscreen for you to see. 


Now for the third and final installment of the series, The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence), which again takes a meta-movie turn as both the previous movies are movies within this reality. Bill Boss (Dieter Laser, Human Centipede) is a psychotic prison warden who runs the George H.W. Bush Prison in Texas. He shares an office with his accountant Dwight Butler (Laurence R. Harvey, Human Centipede 2) and his secretary Daisy (adult film star Bree Olsen, Human Centipede 3 Parody). At the top of the film they have just finished watching The Human Centipede 2 and Dwight is trying to get a point across about a new money-saving idea he has that will save the prison millions of dollars, but he is constantly interrupted by Boss. 


From the very beginning of the movie there was something that started to grate on me, it was Laser's performance as Bill Boss, which is pretty much screamed from the very beginning, a distasteful and loud character, he is relentless and never stops yelling about getting the respect he deserves, it was tiring and abrasive. It brought to mind Tommy Lee Jones' Warden Dwight McClusky from Natural Born Killers by way of Brando' Colonel Kurts from Apocalypse Now, only with a thick German accent - I hated it. 


Boss is an awful guy, he beats and tortures the inmates, water boards them with boiling water, castrates them, breaks their bones... and when his accountant suggests that they take inspiration from the Human Centipede movies and sew the prisoners ass-to-mouth as a cost saving measure with the added benefit of being the ultimate crime deterrent he absolutely go for it. Harvey as Dwight is down-played, it was fun to hear him try to cop a Southern Texas drawl with a Hitler moustache.


Most of this entry doesn't revolve around the actual procedure of creating the human centipede, most of it are just scene after scene of Bill Boss being a depraved and obnoxious man who regularly has his secretary drain his ball sack throughout the day, at one point she is beaten into a coma during a prison riot, as she lay comatose Boss forces himself on her, referring to her as his "cock socket", just awful stuff, maybe meant as humor but the jokes just weren't funny, misogynist and racist, but not funny.


Director Tom Six pulled in some familiar faces for this one, of course we have the return of Harvey and Laser, but he also snags Eric Roberts (Runaway Train) as Govenor Hughes and Robert LaSardo (Nip/Tuck) and  Tommy "Tiny" Lister Jr. (Friday) and Akihiro Kitamura (Human Centipede) as various prisoners, LaSardo in particular gets a memorable role as the prisoner who is castrated, and then has his revenge on Boss is a dream sequence wherein he kidney-fucks the warden in one of the better sequences in the movie.


 The final entry in the franchise is a whopping disappointment in my opinion, not funny, not gross enough, overlong and overstuffed with loads of hatefulness, not sure what TomSix was going for, but I cannot see re watching this one anytime soon. 


All three of the movies arrive on Blu-ray together for the first-time from a partnership between IFC Midnight and Scream Factory in an attractive package, while I am not usually a fan of the gate fold design for movies, such as the ridiculously long gate fold sleeve for the Alien Quadrilogy set, it works for this one, being the complete sequence the gate fold has an illustration of the human centipede. Additionally they've provided additional bonus materials not available on the stand-alone releases from IFC Midnight, including The Ladies Of The Human Centipedes Featurette – with new Interviews With Ashley C. Williams, Ashlynn Yennie, Maddi Black, And Kandace Caine, with each of the actresses explaining how they came into the movies, the auditions and what it was like on-set, including a fun tale of the vegan-approved chocolate used for the diarrhea symphony of part two. 


One of the neat extras on part two is that you can watch the movie in color for the first time, honestly I think it works better as an artier black and white movie, the color takes away some of the style of it, but as a gorehound I can certainly appreciate the red blood and gruesome scenes in color, as a movie I think the black and white lends a certain amount of artiness to it which I loved. 


SPECS/SPECIAL FEATURES


THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (FIRST SEQUENCE) (2009) 

Duration: 92 Minutes 
Rating: Unrated
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0, English DTS-HD MA 5.1 
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.78:1) 
Director: Tom Six 
Cast: Akihiro Kitamura, Ashley C. Williams, Ashlynn Yennie, Dieter Laser

Special Features: 

- NEW The Ladies Of The Human Centipedes Featurette – New Interviews With Ashley C. Williams, Ashlynn Yennie, Maddi Black, And Kandace Caine (48 Mins) HD 
- Audio Commentary With Director Tom Six
- Behind-The-Scenes Footage (9 Mins) 
- Deleted Scene (2 Mins) 
- Interview With Director Tom Six (5 Mins) 
- Casting Tapes (2 Mins) 
- Foley Session (5 Mins) 
- Alternate Poster Gallery (1 Mins) HD 
- Theatrical Trailer (2 Mins) HD 

THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 (FULL SEQUENCE) (2011) 

Duration: 91 Minutes 
Rating: Unrated
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1, English DTS-HD MA 2.0  
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen 
Director: Tom Six 
Cast: Ashlynn Yennie, Emma Lock, Kandace Caine, Laurence R. Harvey, Maddi Black

Special Features: 

- NEW The Color Version Of The Film
- NEW Laurence R. Harvey's Audition Tape (6 Mins) HD
- Audio Commentary With Tom Six And Laurence R. Harvey
- Interview With Director Tom Six (13 Mins) 
- Tour Of The Warehouse Set ( Mins) 
- Foley Session (3 Mins) 
- Deleted Scene (1 Mins) 
- Making Of The Poster (2 Mins) HD 
- NEW Alternate Poster Gallery (2 Mins) HD 
- Theatrical Trailer (2 Mins) HD 
- Teaser (1 Mins) HD
- Promo (2 Mins) HD 

THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 3 (FINAL SEQUENCE) (2014) 

Duration: 103 Minutes 
Rating: Unrated
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1, English DTS-HD MA 2.0 
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen 
Director: Tom Six 
Cast: Akihiro Kitamura, Bree Olson, Dieter Laser, Eric Roberts, Laurence R. Harvey, Robert LaSardo, Tom Six, Tommy "Tiny" Lister, Jr.

Special Features: 

- Audio Commentary With Director Tom Six
- The Making Of The Human Centipede 3 Featurette (26 Mins) HD 
- Deleted Scenes (2 Mins) HD 
- Alternate Ending (4 Mins) HD 
- Still Gallery (5 Mins) HD 
- Teaser Trailer (1 Mins) HD 
- Theatrical Trailer (2 Mins) HD 


I had a lot of fun with the first two installments of The Human Centipede, but the final entry is ruined by the scenery chewing performance of Dieter Laser who has no restraint whatsoever, it ruined it for me. On top of that by part three Six is beating a dead horse, that part two was so much fun (and horrific) was beyond my expectations, but the creative juices seem to have dried-up for part three which relies far too much on Laser just being obnoxious. I do look forward to what Tom Six comes up with next, he made a series of the more notorious movies of the last ten years, I hope he can move on and beyond with something. Fans of the franchise will be thrilled with this new 3-disc Blu-ray set from Scream Factory, with top-notch picture and audio quality and loads of extras, there's a lot here to enjoy, so get out the vomit bags and have a blast, you will certainly see things you cannot erase from your mind for better or worse. 3.5/5 

No comments:

Post a Comment