The Human Centipede

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio: Six Entertainment

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Tom Six

Review Rating: 7 Extra Limbs

A series of travelers in Germany are subject to kidnapping and the experiments of a former foremost doctor who separated Siamese twins turned mad scientist.

It’s really not as gross, or sick, or as out there as you might think. Even after watching the movie, I’m surprised at his little gore there actually was, the movie seems to focus more on the terror and rage and utter despair of the situation for the victims. Which is fine I suppose, but when you have a film with a plot that most horror-philes would laugh at, I think extremes would be preferable.

So we have a pair of tourist college girls, off in Germany doing the stupidest thing they possibly could: going to some party they were invited to, off in the middle of nowhere, and shock and surprise, they get lost and their car gets a flat in the rain. Off we troop to the mad doctor’s house, which happens to be conveniently located deep in the woods, to ask Doctor Heiter to use the phone and for a drink. And there, as in most horror flicks, is their fatal mistake, the Doc drugs their water just as soon as he’s out of sight, and the girls get taken to the hospital beds in the basement. They wake to find themselves strapped in beside a Japanese businessman Heiter picked up somewhere, and are subjected to a slide show presentation wherein the Doc explains who he is, what he used to do, and how it’s his greatest desire to now make a human centipede. The pictures in the slide show are hardly graphic, but they do clearly explain what the Doc is going to do, and of course there are hysterics all around. Mad Doctor Heiter there, intends to attach these three people through, stay with me here, their digestion system and the mouth. That is to say, how can I say it, these three folk are placed on their hands and knees in a line and attached to eachother by the mouth and the anus. Which essentially means only one gets to actually eat, the 2nd and 3rd part of the centipede, well, you can imagine. There is a whole scene in the movie where they actually go through the eating and feeding process, although it’s mostly horror through what’s implied and not actually what you see. And that seems to set the tone for the rest of the movie, skating oh so close to the edge of really sickening and then scooting back, like the filmmakers were afraid of simply scaring off the entire audience.

For all that, it’s not bad. Dieter Laser, of the SciFi series Lexx if anybody remembers that, gives a good performance as the mad Doctor Heiter. He capers, he yells in German, and manages to come across as a true mad scientist – you never know what he’ll do next. The girls, Ashley C. Williams and Ashlynn Yennie, are new to the whole movie scene and here’s hoping this particular film doesn’t kill their careers before birth. Akihiro Kitamura, the Japanese actor who plays the Japanese businessman lead of the centipede, has already been in a few movies and even made one of his own, and gives an actually rather passionate performance in this one. The director of the movie, Tom Six, went on about how this Centipede is %100 medically accurate and that he consulted a surgeon for the film. Of course a sequel is already in the works, this one is supposed to have, yes I am serious, twelve people joined together as a human centipede and be completely medically inaccurate. Riding on the laurels of films like Hostel, wherein terror comes when you’re in a foreign country and have no control over what happens to you, The Human Centipede gets 7 extra limbs for at the very least having the nerve to run with a concept that most people in their wrong mind wouldn’t touch.


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