October's Daily Horror Dose #3 - The Human Centipede

The Human Centipede answers that age old question of wouldn’t it be shitty if a crazy German scientist kidnapped you and your friend and sewed your mouths and anuses together so you poop into each others mouths while he makes you walk around like a dog and fetch newspapers? Turns out the answer is yes - yes that would be very shitty.

The Human Centipede was a lot of fun before it came out because once you heard the concept you couldn’t fathom that someone was paying money to make a movie about this. Then you immediately conclude you never want to see it because Jesus who would want to watch something like that unfold in front of them. Up until now I haven’t indulged but this whole movie a day thing felt like the time to do it soooooo here we are. I now live in a world where I have watched The Human Centipede from start to finish. Turns out, not that bad.

I mean that more in a it’s not as graphic as you might think way than a it’s a surprisingly good movie way, though you know what, the second thing is kind of true too. It’s better shot and just overall better made than you would likely ever think.

One thing I found interesting is that right off the bat you are introduced to your two lead girls who you immediately realize are your standard one dimensional horror victims so your instinct is to be all “oh man, can’t wait to see these people get killed.” Then you remember what exactly they’re in store for, and you start to feel bad. Not too many people deserve to be Human Centipede’d. It’s like rapists, child molesters and most Food Network show hosts and that’s about it. Even Hostel couldn’t pull it off since those guys were such dicks that even when the foulest shit is happening to them you can’t help but think “well maybe if you hadn’t been such a jerk”. These centipede people had my immediate sympathy.

Something else interesting - the centipede doesn’t show up until over halfway through the movie, and even then spends great deals of time not even on screen. The first chunk of the movie is more of a standard horror thriller, where a car breaks down and people end up somewhere fucked and try to get away. Some of the thrill is lost because you know that no matter how hard they try or how close they may come - they ain’t gettin’ away. Mouths are going to be sewn to anuses no matter how much effort they put into avoiding it.

When the centipede does show up, it’s pretty damn grotesque, though most of that is due just to the sheer idea of it because again, aside from a few surgery shots, you aren’t really shown anything. If you’ve seen a single one of the SAW movies then you have already seen far worse than anything shown here. The centipede itself spends most of its time just standing there, occasionally being given commands to act like a dog, and yes there is mouth pooping and yes, it’s not the most pleasant. I don’t know what I was expecting the centipede to do, maybe some tricks or something? Jump through a hoop? Either way it doesn’t do much, though there’s a pretty tense scene where they’re all trying to work their way up a flight of stairs that definitely held my attention.

The best part of the movie is probably the villain, the German doctor whose name I’ve already forgotten so let’s just call him Dr. Scientist. Dr. Scientist makes for a menacing and often darkly funny villain who isn’t necessarily doing this to torture people, but primarily just to prove that he can indeed do it. He’s a follow your dreams kind of guy and while you or I may want money or a family, this dude wants to sew mouthes to butts, and hey, that’s his prerogative. Kudos to you sir for chasing your rainbow!

I guess my biggest issue with The Human Centipede is that aside from the novelty of seeing the actual centipede, there’s not a lot else going on. Once the “Jesus look at that thing” effect wears off, and it does, you’re left with a fairly by the numbers thriller, with granted, a pretty interesting villain. There are a couple tense sequences and the first half isn’t that effective because you know this is happening no matter what so the chase sequences can only end one way. It’s not a terrible movie by any means; it’s well put together like I said. It’s just not that engaging outside of the freak factor. So unless you’re fucked up and have a fetish for this kind of thing (apparently those people exist because of fucking course they do) I see no immediate reason why you need to watch this. And yes, there is a porno based on it, yes it’s called The Human Sexipede, and yes I’m planning to watch it.