Written and directed by Tom Six, 2011
When watching David Fincher’s SEVEN for the first time, did you see the fat man lying dead in a bowl of soup and think to yourself, “Screw the guy with the interesting motive that killed him, I want to see a movie about that worthless, walking tub of human lard!”? If so, IFC Midnight has a movie for you.
THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 (FULL SEQUENCE) is an unwinnable film. It’s Tom Six’ response to all of the claims that his first controversial film about a mad scientist who sews people ass-to-mouth was in fact not controversial enough. So he sought to make as ugly a film as possible to silence all of the critics that felt the FIRST SEQUENCE was too tame. And he does a very efficient job of doing that. If you thought the first was a pale execution of a batshit insane premise, then Six is going to show you what you cried was missing. You’ll see knee-joint tendons pulled out of their natural home and sliced with a grimy pair of scissors. You’ll see it several times, in fact. You’ll see considerably larger volumes of shit going into mouths. And you’ll even see some new nonsense that Six has cooked up involving other genital parts.
But the problem with the first HUMAN CENTIPEDE wasn’t that it walked on eggshells, it was that it was a dull movie where you were more interested in the mad scientist than each segment of his medical abomination. So instead of making a more well-rounded film with an interesting story and actual character development, Six has opted to make a movie that is boring and directionless from beginning to end. There’s nothing redeemable here. Nothing provocative or challenging. It’s just a depressing attempt at creating a modern-day freak show, the freak being not the 12-person human centipede, but Martin, the miserable man at the center of this braindead story about a man who is obsessed with the film THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE and is compelled to recreate it in real life.
Martin never talks. He just snarls and coughs and leers and sweats and masturbates for your viewing displeasure. He’s like one of those truly pathetic individuals that go on Howard Stern’s show and awkwardly stares at porn star guests while grabbing their crotch in a room full of people. That level of intellect is who you spend every single frame of this movie with. And if you’re somehow thinking that’s still not a bad thing, please keep in mind that more often than not he’s only wearing a pair of tighty whities. And yes, there’s no guarantee his penis will always stay tucked inside his soiled underwear. None of this gives us any insight to him as a character, his revolting physical form is just another weapon in Six’ arsenal.
Of course, this kind of reaction is exactly what Tom Six wants. He wants you to hate his film. He wants you to hate his character and the situation and the visuals and the sounds and the score. HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 is built to make you dislike it. Whether that kind of agenda earns your respect or your disdain doesn’t matter, because either way the goal is reached. But as I’ve said in reviews of films that similarly try to pass off offal as a real meal, reaching a goal of this nature isn’t the same thing as an accomplishment. Grossing people out isn’t a difficult thing to do. Making the gross out worth it, however, is a very hard summit to climb and Tom Six has either no concept or desire to reach it. He just wants you talk to about his shitty film and juvenile ideas.