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“The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)”
In theaters Oct. 6
After last night’s world premiere at Fantastic Fest, the most intriguing topic of discussion concerning “The Human Centipede II” was the film’s subtext: Writer/director Tom Six has made a sequel to his body-horror debut that both ups the original’s ante and turns the mirror on the audience, commenting both on the impact of the original film and challenging those who found it underwhelming. If there’s one thing Six does in this follow-up, it’s making sure that no one thinks “The Human Centipede II” isn’t graphic enough. The film fetishizes the revolting and revels in its own filth, taking scatological humor (if you can even call it that) to nauseating extremes. Every scene is designed to make the viewer as uncomfortable as possible and there’s not a relatable character in this amoral film.
The film’s premise is undeniably intriguing, focusing on Martin (Laurence R. Harvey), a fan of “The Human Centipede” who decides to recreate his favorite film in a desolate warehouse somewhere in London. Except where “The Human Centipede’s” titular creation had three unlucky participants, Martin’s abomination will have twelve. Most of the film is spent watching Martin trudge about his day, slowly amassing his victims and dealing with relentless abuse from his mother (Vivien Bridson), with the traumatizing final moments are composed of a long, disgusting sequence where Martin finally puts his plan into motion.
As Martin, Harvey instantly assures no one will ever be comfortable around him again and makes an impressive screen debut. Martin doesn’t speak a word in the film, and yet Harvey’s sweaty, bug-eyed leer tells us all we need to know about the irreversibly damaged madman. Harvey’s performance as Martin is the one unreservedly good thing about the film, although Tom Six’s deft criticism of the viewers provides interesting food for thought.
Even though there are a few vaguely positive things about “The Human Centipede II” here, do not take them as a recommendation. This is not a film that can be graded on terms of quality or style. It’s a brutal, self-indulgent, disgusting piece of work and there is absolutely no way to recommend anyone expose themselves to this, ever. It’s a film without a human character or quality, instead a celebration of the disturbing simply for the sake of making the audience pay for their criticisms of the first film. Morbid curiosity or a masochistic streak may draw you to see this film, but you’ll be better off not having this product of Tom Six’s twisted mind rattling around in your brain.
Editor's note: The following video contains graphic content.