Wednesday, 2 November 2011

The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) (2011)

human centipede 2 nude poster

"Stop them tears - you're just making daddy's willy harder"

When the BBFC announced a few months ago that they were refusing a certificate to Tom Six's sequel to his original hit, the interweb was buzzing with outrage. Firstly, that anything should be banned in this day and age, and secondly, as they gave their reasons in a very graphic spoiler laden write up, it made the film to sound unacceptably sick and totally unappealing.

centipede martin sick gore
Now we have the chance to see what the fuss was about (albeit minus 32 separate cuts amounting to just over 2 and a half minutes). To be honest, after reading the BBFC blurb I didn't particularly WANT to see it. I wasn't a big fan of the first one for a start, I found it quite over rated (yes, people DID rave about it). Then came the first proper trailer (not the rubbish audience reaction one). It actually looked intriguing. The BBFC failed to tell you it was in black and white. Not that it makes it instantly "arty" although that may have been the intention. It was just the main character, Martin (Lawrence R. Harvey - who is brilliant) was SO damn strange and scary to start with, that I felt I should see it. 
Martin is obsessed with the first film. He watches it continuously while at work as a security guard in an underground car park and keeps a nicely bound scrapbook of the film which he lovingly illustrates. He has an uncaring, overbearing, unhinged mother (Viven Bridson) and has obviously suffered some abuse as a child (hence the opening quote - a jaw dropping piece of dialogue voiced by Harvey himself, the only time we get to hear his voice) for which he is urged to see the equally strange and perverted psychiatrist Dr. Sebring (Bill Hutchins). 
human centipaedo sick
you see, this is more scary than any ass to mouth!
Martin has other plans, though. He is taking a leaf from the first film's 100% medically accurate book and plans to make his own 12 man (and woman) centipede. Only without any medical know how or instruments. Staple gun and gaffa tape ok for you? Another major drawback for the odd little chap is he seems to be unable to do anything without almost collapsing from an asthma attack (as a sufferer myself, I should be outraged and offended by this, but I found it amusing).
martin nude sick
look closer, it's his foot.. not what you were thinking...
The problem with the film is the whole meta aspect. To show a guy SO obsessed with a work of fiction that he wants to commit the atrocities is pandering to the argument that people who want to ban always use. 
It would have been a much more effective film just having Martin as a sicko fantasising about doing sick things rather than emulating a film. Having one of the original actress from the first film play herself (duped into coming to Martin thinking she is up for a Quentin Tarrantino role) was a pretty good stroke, though.

On the plus sides, Martin is one creepy guy, and the fact he doesn't utter a word (aside from a few grunts) and yet he obviously does in reality (his mother mentions several times "is this that sick film you keep going on about?". He is the ultimate film monster. In looks and deeds. It's a shame it's the usual abused upbringing that's used as a reason for him being like that. That said, watching the mother and son relationship reminded me of David and Maureen Sowerbutts in the wonderful Psychoville TV series.

The black and white photography makes it watchable, too, although you do get the feeling that Six was trying too hard to make the film have the same feel as Eraserhead (1977) or Pi (1998) but falling far short of the brilliance of those classics, but nice try, and it is one of the film's redeeming features. 
The cuts don't seem to have harmed the film from what I can see, it still makes you squirm and is very sick, with more than enough to keep the 'gore is better than story' bunch happy. it just lacks the tension build up to make the shocks work as more than just gross out moments. Just think yourself lucky Six didn't film in 3D. Wait until the 'digestion' scenes to find out why! 
human centipede 2 conga ass to mouth
One can only think Six is rubbing his hands together at the publicity the film has received thanks to the BBFC (although their decision to release it with cuts may have hurt their "banned in the UK" US publicity), as the film would have probably just had a small core audience without it. I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the first film went straight to DVD and was screening on the UK Sci-Fi channel (sorry refuse to call it SyFy or whatever the silly name is now) pretty much straight after it's release, with only word of mouth (or was that word of mouth to anus?) giving it it's publicity?
sick laugh centipede
In conclusion, the film is not as bad as people are making out, nor as bad as I feared it would be, but I don't think I'll be rushing to see it again. 5 out of 10. (would have been higher if it hadn't been for the whole meta-centipede angle)
UPDATE : I have (despite saying I wasn't going to rush and see it again) now purchased the uncut US Blu-ray, and re-watching the film found it a much more satisfying and enjoyable experience (even if it was still horrific and uncomfortable - if that makes sense?) I still stand by my dislike of the meta-aspect in principal - purely because it garnered too much negative press and bias. I have, however decided the rating should be
8 out of 10. 

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