I approached The Human Centipede with a kind of dread similar to Titanic. You're facing something inevitable and sitting through the first VHS is fun yet, agonizing because you know what will happen. In Titanic this moment is when the ship hits the iceberg. In The Human Centipede this moment is when the Japanese man has to take a poop. The idea of eating poop has never been fun for me (see Salo for more information), but one has to wonder, what kind of person am I for willingly sitting through this? Just a curious one I think.
I'm sure you've heard the plot by now. Crazy German surgeon guy deeply desires to create the triple siamese twin effect- or "the human centipede". He kidnaps 2 American girls and one Japanese man and creates his masterpiece. Working on a seemingly endless batch of anesthesia, he connects a mouth to anus, anus to mouth and then basks in it's glory.
I'll start off by saying that the two actresses in this, were pretty atrocious. I would rather sit through the bad writing and emo-like tones of the new Nightmare on Elm Street kids than listen to these two. Everything they said sounded so unnatural, possibly due to bad writing--but it was honestly the most distracting thing I've ever seen. I was glad when their mouths finally got sewn to a butt so they would shut up. Smart move on the director's part I think.
Now for the moment you've all been waiting for--shock value! Honestly, I've seen worse. Sure you get a few moments of fleeting nausea but the big pay off falls flat. The goriest parts are the brief clips of the surgery, and a nice little pus segment. It felt more like I was watching people who just had their heads tied to someone's butt instead of being surgically put there--ya dig? It didn't feel or look very real to me--except when they had to climb the stairs. That part I think was strangely one of the most difficult to watch scenes out of the whole thing. And I'm sorry if I just didn't understand how the surgery worked but man, was I lost. It's way more complicated than I thought and if they say it's 100% surgically accurate then I guess we have to believe them but...I don't believe them!
Here's my biggest problem with this flicka-roo. It verges on the boring side and the gore isn't enough to make up for it. By the time we see the human centipede in action, the film is only halfway done. What are we supposed to do now? Oh right, watch the crazy German guy treat them like a pet and see how they painfully walk around...20 times. I'm not sure why this happens--not enough build up? An exhaustion of some absolutely insane ideas? A combination of several factors I'm sure, but for the most part I felt like I wasn't getting enough of a pay off for wanting to watch this film. I wasn't really shocked, I was only a little grossed out, and I wasn't really wowed by anything in particular. So what's the big deal?
Maybe I've finally become desensitized to horrible acts of violence and gore on screen. Perhaps many of you will prove me wrong in my thinking--but I'm telling you, I wasn't that impressed. Now if the goal of this film merely was for shock value, I think it definitely fell flat. If it was for something bigger, perhaps I missed it. There is something interesting to be seen in the way that the crazy doctor picks his subjects. Dismissing the white truck driver for not matching and then selecting instead, a Japanese man. The way that there always seems to be a miscommunication of some sort, most obviously with the language barriers. And I think something can be said for what the character's do not know-- in terms of what another character is saying. The Japanese man's speech, the creepy German guy in the car are all things that only one character knew about, the character who was doing the speaking. It's an interesting concept, but one that may not be explored enough, or even one that was crushed beneath the promised shock and gore that unfortunately I felt we did not entirely receive.
Oh and by the way, what's the big deal about a flat tire? I drove on one for a whole day once without knowing and I got along just fine. Got yelled at by the AAA guy and felt like an idiot, but at LEAST I didn't get sewn to someone's ass.
Overall check this out--even if you aren't the biggest fan of these types of movies. It's not as bad as you may think- and you may get something out of it that I missed and you HAVE to tell me what it is.