Posted by Danny at 11:49 PMLabels: Bride of Project Horror, Look What Danny Watched
I watched the first Human Centipede movie two years ago for the first Project Horror. I saved it until right near the end, because it was surrounded with buzz, and I wanted to end the project on something with a punch. After watching it, though, I decided that it was kind of like getting called to the principal's office: worse in the anticipation than it is when you actually go.
Human Centipede II is both better and worse than the original. The story is about Martin, a truly unfortunate looking man who works in a parking garage and is obsessed with the first HC movie. Right, see, this movie isn't a sequel in the sense that it follows the first movie. It exists in its own separate universe where the main character can watch the first movie and decide that he wants to make his own centipede with far more people in it. And that's really it. That's the whole story.
I say that it's better because it definitely cranks up the unpleasantness from the first movie in a big way. The movie is shot in black and white, and I imagine that it wasn't so much an artistic choice as it was a choice of necessity. If the things in this movie were shown in color, it would definitely have been rated NC17. And that's really the only thing that's better about it, the way that it raises the stakes.
Worse: everything else. Until the end credits rolled and I saw that it was written, directed, and produced by the same guy who made the first one, I really thought that this one was parodying the first one. The main character communicates entirely in grunts, snarls, and bug-eyes. I've mentioned this once already during Bride of Project Horror, but there's only so far that I can suspend my disbelief before it breaks - I know it's horror, I know it's supposed to be extreme, but you really can't expect me to believe that some of the things that happen in this movie would be able to happen without somebody noticing something at some point. It's absurd.
Also absurd is the way the movie keeps putting new little details in without rhyme or reason. Remember in The Phantom Menace how there's that scene near the end where they're pursuing Darth Maul, but the red force fields keep springing up between them? I remember watching that and thinking, "There is no plot reason for that to be happening. The only reason that is in this movie is so they can make you do that same thing when they make a video game of it." That's how some of the extremities in this movie play - there's absolutely nothing leading to them, they're just included as a way for the director to elbow you in the ribs and say, "Huh? Did you see that? Pretty gross, right? I'll bet you've never seen that shit before, right?"
But the movie's biggest mistake is what I already mentioned above: it exists in a place where people in the movie are conscious of the first movie's existence. Do you know why people still talk about The Blair Witch Project, but almost nobody even remembers that The Blair Witch Project 2 exists? Because the second one existed for pretty much no reason but to tell us how we should have looked at the first one. At least in that case, it was different filmmakers who made the second one. With the HC movies, it's the same filmmaker, which makes the second one basically one extended act of auto-fellatio. Tom Six can't have it both ways: he can't gleefully cram the screen full of awful details, and then pretend that he's shining a light on his audience to accuse us for watching those same details.
This is a gross movie to watch, so congrats for that, filmmakers, but that's about all you succeeded at. I give it one centipede out of five.