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John’s Horror Corner: The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence (2011), an ass-to-mouth film about psychosis and poor hygiene

May 3, 2012

MY CALL:  This is a good film for those who like films whose content makes folks turn their heads, cringe, and walk out of movies.  If you’re a Human Centipede fan, though, don’t expect a movie about a human centipede and let this sequel take you to a somewhat different land of moral paucity.  I give this a thumbs up for gorehounds.  IF YOU LIKE THIS, WATCH:  Movies from the Hostel(2005, 2007, 2011), Cube (1997, 2002, 2004) and Saw (2004-2010) series.  In fact, if human centipedes are your style then maybe you should jump subgenres over to Tokyo Shock, a lunch box-budget, super gore porn, semi-exploitative style of movies that I introduce in my Beginner’s Guide to Tokyo Shock.  Japanese flicks like Red Room (1999), Audition (1999), Strange Circus (2005) or the international collaboration 3 Extremes(2004) may be right your alley as well.

The Human Centipede: First Sequence (2010) really tried to test the limits of what Americans would sit through and claim to enjoy.  It tackled some serious medical curiosities—chief amongst them being what happens when you staple someone’s mouth to someone else’s asshole?  Can someone survive on a feces-only diet?  And is it medically provable that it sucks the most to be the middle segment of a human centipede?

Our sequel begins precisely as the original ends.  Except that in the sequel, the original is the “actual original movie” being watched by our new mad scientist.  He is inordinately short, stout, balding, and has rather protruding eyes and cheeks; both child-like and off-putting.  He makes an excellent sociopath.   I won’t ruin the surprise, but Ashley Yennie (from First Sequence) makes a major appearance in this film and the way Martin encounters her is very funny.

When a dude with no lines invites you into his care–without using WORDS–you do NOT get in, ladies!!!

The First Sequence was told through the eyes of the victems, as most such stories would be.  The Full Sequence tells the story through the eyes of our mentally retarded, obsessive amateur surgeon, Martin.  Martin lives with his psychologically abusive (and rather demented) mother.  He quietly tries to avoid her as he perpetually wheezes and sweats his way around the house.  Working as a parking lot security attendant, Martin recruits centipede segments late at night.  He doesn’t discriminate or target the weak; anyone will do.  He’s also quite handy with a crowbar.  You’ll wince.

Yeah, that’s a weird little guy.

Writer/director Tom Sixx had spoken some pretty strong words about how intense this sequel would be.  He explained that part two would make part one look like the “my little pony” of human centipedes.  Sixx did succeed at somehow making a very different-styled movie from the same idea with some interesting nuance, however I would contest that he completely failed at pushing the envelope and further testing our limits.

Sure, Martin is an awkwardly disturbing character—who never utters a word of dialogue, by the way—but the original dug its dirty fingernails into moral limits much more deeply.  The First Sequence delivered the utter terror and rage of the victems when captured.  Once assembled, the victems eyes, holding hands and muffled cries conveyed terror while also demonstrating their futile compassion for each other amidst this morally abject scenario.  Again, I understand that First Sequence was told through their eyes and Full Sequence wasn’t.  But what did Full Sequence give me instead?  Other than a very cleverly architected and effective villain, nothing at all.

Despite this shortcoming and noting that I enjoyed the First Sequence, I very much enjoyed this movie.  Martin is delightfully evil and somehow naively innocent at the same time.  His obsessive mania for Tom Sixx’s First Sequence was a spiffy story device and his expressions of delight or frustration with his experiment made me recoil.  The biggest flaw of this movie is that it’s really about Martin’s obsession and not his human centipede pet project.  Fans of the first should be encouraged to watch this sequel, but do so expecting something quite different from a larger, more disturbingly macabre centipede.  If you want that, then hang around for Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence), which promises an irrationally long chain or patients linked by an irrational surgery.

Ah, Fantastic Fest.  Perhaps the only place where the director and cast of this movie would be welcome–or even recognized.

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Trackbacks

  1. John’s Horror Corner: Little Deaths (2011) « Movies, Films & Flix
  2. John’s Horror Corner [INDEX] | Movies, Films & Flix
  3. A Beginner’s Guide to Tokyo Gore Shock Cinema | Movies, Films & Flix
  4. John’s Horror Corner: Tusk (2014), Kevin Smith’s risky failure with over-the-top shock horror and slapstick horror. | Movies, Films & Flix
  5. Horror Films For People Who Don’t Like Horror Films | Movies, Films & Flix
  6. A brief discussion of The Human Centipede franchise, with opinions on the trailer of The Human Centipede 3: The Final Sequence | Movies, Films & Flix
  7. The MFF Podcast #11: Sexually Transmitted Demons and Human Centipedes | Movies, Films & Flix
  8. 15 Images for 15 Years of Horror, Part 2 (2001-2015): some of the greatest, goriest, most shocking and most memorably defining moments in horror since 2001 | Movies, Films & Flix
  9. John’s Horror Corner: The Greasy Strangler (2016), a disgusting, awkward, exploitative, gross horror comedy. | Movies, Films & Flix
  10. John’s Horror Corner: Saw (2004), James Wan’s progenitor of modern torture porn is all about the characters! | Movies, Films & Flix
  11. John’s Horror Corner: Saw II (2005), more brutal, more death traps, more ominous tapes, more Jigsaw! | Movies, Films & Flix
  12. John’s Horror Corner: Saw III (2006), proving that torture porn sequels can have good writing AND loads of lingering, gross, chunky gore! | Movies, Films & Flix
  13. John’s Horror Corner: Saw IV (2007), very ambitious story with lackluster execution and so-so death traps—my least favorite of the franchise so far. | Movies, Films & Flix
  14. John’s Horror Corner: Saw V (2008), just okay—I miss Leigh Whannell and characters that matter. | Movies, Films & Flix
  15. John’s Horror Corner: Saw VI (2009), Jigsaw fights the insurance industry from the grave in this redeeming sequel! | Movies, Films & Flix
  16. John’s Horror Corner: Saw 3D: The Final Chapter (2010), bravo, Jigsaw! The game is won and your puzzle is complete! | Movies, Films & Flix

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