BLU-RAY REVIEW: The Human Centipede
Maybe not "100% Medically Accurate," but 100% disturbing for sure...
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There are certain films you can't un-see. There's films like Citizen Kane, The Godfather, and Star Wars which stick with you forever as some of the best celluloid in history; there are films like Gigli and Battlefield: Earth which will go down in history as just plain terrible; and then there are films like The Human Centipede.
After watching this debauchery of disgusting and deranged imagery and thought, I almost wished for the opportunity to mind wipe myself and forget I'd ever seen it...almost.
The Human Centipede is no doubt one of the most disturbing films I've ever seen. It made me nearly sick to watch and, though it features some of the most graphic and horrific visuals ever set to film, it truly has a message. Unfortunately, this message is neither hopeful, nor pleasant, nor beautiful in any way. It's a message of despair, of innocence lost and gone forever, of the disturbing nature of humanity and the lack of caring, love and joy.
The film's plot is thus: a German surgeon, obsessed with the thought of conjoining twins and multiple births, sets his mind to connecting three persons - mouth to anus - to create "the human centipede." Kidnapping tourists, he achieves his goals, though the results somewhat exceed his expectations as well as disappoint his sick need for success. Sick, right? Yeah...just you wait...
While writer/director Tom Six, a native of the Netherlands, brings to life this horrifying film with plenty of bravado, delivering a script that's over the top in it's expectations as well as overwhelming in its subject matter. That said, the film perfectly casts Dieter Laser, the main lead, as the stressed, frightening obsessive Dr. Heiter. Laser is both maniacal, haunting and - in a sick and twisted way - charming as the doctor who won't be complete without a pet human centipede. Likewise, the three other leads who bring to life the human centipede - Ashley C. Williams, Ashlynn Yennie and Akihiro Kitamura - do a solid job staying terrified throughout.
While the film features some of the most outlandish ideas, what's truly sick is the idea that our world suffers from such things. As truly shocking and sad as it sounds, there are sicker and much more violent things done the world over than what is portrayed in this film. Now that is truly sick and demented...
Readdressing the message, The Human Centipede truly drains viewers. It's an experiance unlike most films and, if I have to compare the feeling I had following this film, I'd have to say the only other time I felt this...empty was following the 2001 critically-acclaimed Inside the Bedroom. Now I'm in no way comparing the films, simply the feeling of emptiness and hopelessness I had following watching both.
For those brave enough to watch The Human Centipede, you'll find the blu-ray features a crisp, clean 1080p video transfer that, while maybe not the most impressive, will still impress. Maybe the most shocking part of this film is the lack of a 5.1 track; but instead, a Linear PCM 2.0 track that forces the sound from only 2 speakers. While not terrible, it certainly isn't that noteworthy.
As far as special features go, the film features an audio commentary with writer/director Tom Six, who attempts to explains some of the more controversial portions of the film as well as entertain; some behind-the-scenes footage which features a short interview with actor Laser; a short director's interview; casting tapes, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film's sound effects, and a single deleted scene (yup, just one!). A gallery of the film's movie posters as well as the film's trailer is also included.
Overall, The Human Centipede is disturbing, gross, and - simply put - hard to watch. There's nothing really entertaining about the film nor is there really a "take away" following the end; The Human Centipede - much like in the film - simply is. Depressing, morbid and seemingly needless, for horror junkies who can't get enough, it'll at least fill 92 minutes of your time with a treasure trove of images you'll never be able to erase from your mind.
The Human Centipede is NOT RATED, but if it were, it'd be rated something extreme for all of the mutilation, nudity, frightening images, and downright horrific things it features.
- Jess C. Horsley
"Until next time...have FUN with your figures!!"
Jess C. Horsley