Project Horror, Day 30: The Human Centipede (First Sequence)


Real life offers so few chances to use the word "penultimate," that I just have to seize the opportunity to do it here.  It's the penultimate day of Project Horror!  It's also the final day of The Evil Men Do block, so I decided to end it with a movie that was just outrageously over the top - The Human Centipede.  Have you heard of this one?  It's gained a lot of infamy this year, including lots of reviewers claiming it's one of the most grueling viewing experiences they've had.

I can't really describe the plot in gentle terms, so just be forewarned that if you are squeamish, you may not want to know about this one.  Two American girls are taking a roadtrip through Europe, and have a flat tire one night during a rainstorm.  (And really, right there, you know that whatever happens next ain't gonna be good, right?)  They find a nearby house (you know, like you do) to try and call for a tow.  Sadly, our two heroines do not read German, or they'd have seen that the homeowner is a Registered Mad Scientist.  His specialty before he retired was separating conjoined twins, and he's come up with a plan to go the other direction and join three people into a human centipede, stitched mouth to anus.  Of course, there's only two of them, so the third spot is filled by a Japanese dude.

Let's get the movie's reputation out of the way up front.  Yes, there are some unpleasant scenes, mostly during the surgery, but it's really not as bad as you may have heard.  As is often the case with horror, hearing the premise is more horrifying than the experience of watching it.  The surgery actually happens about halfway through the movie, and the first time that you see the completed centipede it's pretty shocking, but there's still half a movie to go.  It tips its hand way too early, and seriously, by the time you've heard 45 minutes of, um, muffled sobs, you're pretty much ready for it to end.

A few good things... The actor playing the evil doctor was born to play an evil doctor, and his real-life name is Dieter Laser.  Dieter FREAKING LASER!  I also liked the very last scene, which I won't spoil for you, but will spoil another movie in describing.  You know at the end of The Descent when the last woman is sitting there in the cave with certain death slowly closing in on her?  (And yes, I know that she ultimately ends up showing up in the sequel, but forget about that for a second.)  Anyway, the end of this one had that same feel.  One of the girls isn't dead, but things don't look too good for her.

I don't know if I've just watched too much horror this month or what, but this was not as hard to watch as I'd anticipated.  Maybe you notice that this movie's title has "(First Sequence)" in its name.  There's an upcoming sequel, the Second Sequence, that is supposed to have a 12-person centipede.  There's no way I'll be watching it.  (Yes, I probably will, especially if I do Project Horror next year!)

This was a pretty decent movie to end The Evil Men Do with.  I'd give it three centipedes out of five.


Chris Farmer said...

Wow. I really didn't think you'd go there.

Danny said...

That's exactly why I DID go there, though. People are curious about this movie, and I knew it would let me finish the month with a bang! You should see my page stats - even though this was the next-to-last movie that I posted, it's got by far the most pageviews for the whole month.

Unknown said...

Hey Danny,

So I watched this movie yesterday and um...yeah. I think you know what I mean.

First off, totally agree with you re: Herr Laser. If he were a professional athlete and Eric Pargac were a SportsCenter anchor, his nickname would be Dieter Shooting Lasers From My Eyes.


For me, the most disturbing scene was when the Japanese dude had his first post-surgery BM. As soon as you understand the premise you know that this HAS to be addressed. On some level, it IS the point of the procedure and I felt it was effectively handled.

By the end when the girl at the back is dying, I'm thinking, "Is this a surprise to the doctor?" I mean, she's surviving on (if anything since the middle chick was apparently constipated) third hand, twice digested "food". I can't imagine there'd be anything of nutritional value at that point. I think this was a major flaw in the doctor's whole theory.

Danny said...

"Feed her!"

Yeah, I don't know if this doctor thought his project through to its logical end. Or maybe he did, and he just appreciates the hothouse flower nature of the human centipede. It's beautiful, but not long for this world.

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