Yeah, so . . . those of you who have heard of this one already are prolly a little worried about where this is going to go. This is prolly fair. I will say that my experience watching this movie and the uncomfortable parts for me were prolly not the same parts most other viewers found uncomfortable. Look, lemme just get the plot summary out of the way and I’ll explain.
The plot: A couple of hapless female tourists on a trip through Germany, break down in their rental car on the way to some club. They decide to hoof it toward help, unfortunately, the house they find belongs to the evil Dr. Heiter (subtle isn’t it?) who is a world renowned surgeon that specialized in separating conjoined twins. Apparently, Doc is getting a little weird after all these years and now wants to try to create a conjoined human. There are several times in the movie that reference “his beloved 3 hound”, which was 3 artificially conjoined dogs that the doctor created presumably as a prototype. Dr. Heiter soon has the girls tied to hospital beds in his basement along with Japanese tourist Katsuro. In a bizarre sequence, the doctor explains how he plans to join the three captives ass to mouth with a series of diagrams via overhead projector. The operation is successful and the three become his “Human Centipede”. The doctor then spends time trying to train them to walk in uniform movements and obey him. Eventually two detectives show up and suspect the doctor of involvement with the suspicious disappearance of two American girls, which is mostly due to the doctor acting like a complete idiot in front of the detectives. Things get desperate, and hilarity kind of ensues.
Ok, so this is a pretty gross movie for mainstream audiences. Many people are turned off just by the premise. I think this movie might qualify for what I call “street cred” movies. Street cred movies are films you can say you have seen when someone else is talking about a movie they think is really fucked up when you want to slap them down. I usually use movies like Cannibal Holocaust, Aftermath or Salo: 120 Days of Sodom for this purpose. I think this one may end up being in that group, or if not, perhaps it’s planned sequel.
Speaking of movies being fucked up, lemme take a moment to offer a brief aside. I love horror movies, I watch a lot of them, however, I rarely see them in theaters. This is because I have a tendency feel faint and even pass out at the sight of blood on screen. I know, this makes it seem like I should prolly not watch horror movies at all, but I can’t help it, I love them. My solution for the last few years has been to watch them at home, where I can pause the movie if I start to feel woozy, and pick it back up once the feeling passes. It is also worth noting that the average gorefest slasher or zombie movie is not gonna trigger this response from me. It is usually much smaller, more realistic injuries that set me off. Past examples include the scene in The Exorcist where Regan is at the hospital and while drawing blood from her there are a couple spurts onto her sheets, the end of the first Saw movie (I know that one wasn’t so small) and a scene from the movie event Horizon, I can’t remember which exactly. That last example had me leaving the movie to go splash water on my face to try to feel better, and waking up laying on the floor of the bathroom. When I returned to my seat I found I had missed about 20 minutes of the movie. This is why I watch movies at home now.
All that is a long way to say this movie got me sick too, but it wasn’t for the human centipede, ass to mouth nonsense. In a scene shortly after the girls are captured, one of them manages to release her restraints on the hospital bed and starts to run away, it is only then she realizes she has an IV in her arm as it is ripped out, tearing the flesh of her arm. This got to me and I felt sick for most of the rest of the movie. This freaked my wife out a little, for while I am sure I have mentioned this particular idiosyncracy to my lovely and tolerant wife, this is the first time she has seen it in front of her.
But I digress. The movie as a whole was not great. I tend to agree with most of the reviews I have found in thinking that the movie was one interesting idea that someone had, but there was no real story to go along with it. Really, once the surgery is complete, the movie is pretty much just the centipede shambling around moaning and crying. Eh. Despite his unfortunately cliched name, Dr. Heiter is the most interesting person on screen throughout the movie, though his inability to act reasonable even in front of cops makes you wonder how the hell he got as far as he did in life.
My lovely wife and I have just conferred and we agree that it isn’t a good movie, or even one you should really bother to see just for the hell of it because it is streaming on Netflix. It seems best suited to being a street cred movie for horror buffs to freak out their more mainstream friends.
Check out the trailer here.