Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2010)

**This review contains spoilers**

In Germany, the sadistic and obsessive Dr. Josef Heiter (Dieter Laser) plans to make a human centipede using three kidnapped victims. Dr. Heiter is a retired and famous surgeon known for specializing in the separation of Siamese twins, but Dr. Heiter wants to take another shot at putting a centipede together.

After a failed experiment using three dogs, Dr. Heiter turns to humans. Lindsay (Ashley C. Williams) and Jenny (Ashlynn Yennie) are two American tourists, looking for a nightclub named Bunker, but a flat tire strands them in a desolate forest near Dr. Heiter’s secluded house. Noticing the lights in Dr. Heiter’s house, Lindsay and Jenny decide to come in with hopes of making a phone call. But Dr. Heiter poisons their water, and in a matter of moments, Jenny is out cold, and Dr. Heiter uses more sedatives in a syringe to knock out Lindsay, who refused to drink all of her water.

Dr. Heiter murders a kidnapped truck driver the next morning, because he wasn’t a good match for the centipede. Katsuro (Akihiro Kitamura), a Japanese tourist, is the truck driver’s replacement. After a gruesome surgery, Dr. Heiter completes his centipede with Jenny’s mouth sewed into Lindsay’s anus, and Katsuro in the lead position, with Lindsay‘s mouth sewed into his anus. Dr. Heiter basks in the glory of fulfilling his dream, but a  surprise visit from Detective Kranz (Andreas Leupold) and Detective Voller (Peter Blankenstein) will force the doctor to change his upcoming plans for replacing a sick Jenny.

Ashley C. Williams and Ashlynn Yennie are believable as the airheaded American tourists, who are looking for a wild party. Well, character wise, Lindsay is a little bit smarter than Jenny, because Lindsay was smart enough to not drink the full glass of water from the creepy recluse in the woods. Anyway, once they’re sewn together, Williams and Yennie’s performances are limited to muffled screams and crying. Kitamura is the angry and vocal mouthpiece in the centipede, because…..well he’s the only one, who can actually speak. Kitamura hurls insults, and he bites Dr. Heiter in defiance, but Katsuro has a moment of clarity (more on that later) at the end.

But Dieter Laser easily delivers the best performance here. Laser is genuinely evil with a cold and vicious demeanor. He plays the mad doctor role to perfection, and he really nailed the “hateful recluse with a disdain for mankind” side of Dr. Heiter’s personality. During the beginning, Dr. Heiter is asked why he lives alone, and isn’t married. His response? “I hate human beings.” Laser was so serious, and the emotionless look on his face was spot on. That’s a convincing performance, because  I SERIOUSLY believed him, when he said this.

Tom Six (the writer and director for this film) spares no expense for disgusting gore and bloody violence. The surgery for the centipede is graphic, bloody, and the aftermath for the fully functioning centipede is more repulsive and disgusting. I say this a lot, but if you’re not into nasty horror, you should stay away from this film.

But with all his nastiness and vile attempts to make you puke, Tom Six delivers a surprisingly suspenseful finale. Once the detectives come into the picture at the end, and threaten to return with a search warrant, The Human Centipede kicks into high gear. Everything comes at you so fast. Katsuro grabbing the surgical knife to use as a weapon against Dr. Heiter, Katsuro pushing Jenny and Lindsay to crawl to an escape, and the bloody shootout between Dr. Heiter and the detectives. And out of nowhere, Katsuro has this revelation about his current predicament. Katsuro remembers how poorly he treated his mother and father, and he abandoned his only child. After his recollection, and truly believing he deserves his punishment, Katsuro uses a piece of glass to slit his own throat.

Six throws so many surprises at you towards the end, and I was on the edge of my seat, because I had no idea who would die and who would survive. Well, I guess Jenny is an exception for surprises, because after the infection, she was the first and only obvious choice for a countdown to death.      

The Human Centipede is a gruesome and grotesque surgical horror film with plenty of gross-out and hard-to-watch moments, and a suspenseful third act. But yeah, if you’re not into gross horror flicks, don’t waste your time with this one, because chances are you’ll hate The Human Centipede (First Sequence).

Rating: 8/10

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