The Human Centipede II [Full Sequence] (2011) - Can't Stop the Movies
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The Human Centipede II [Full Sequence] (2011)

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I reviewed Tom Six's first chapter of the Human Centipede saga way back in 2010 when I was a more optimistic, sheltered reviewer.  The first film had its charm, to a point, and a gloriously unhinged performance from Deiter Laser which drove home a lot of the dry humor.  But what I mistook as a Nazi allegory was something far worse, it was just Nazi fetishism.  Tom Six was engaging in the images as a way of satiating some impulse which I'm sure makes for long, sad, post-session conversation a therapist is sure to have with his or her significant other.

The proof of his instability is in his follow-up, The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence).  He's traded Nazi fetishism for the full spectrum of internet fandom, embracing his notoriety as he doesn't have the skill for full cinematic fame.  Six has made a film for the shut in crowd too socially inept to understand Fangoria, thinking horror films are designed entirely to fulfill some kind of base impulse that can only be released through moments of extreme violence.

An interesting film could be made using this jumping off point, and it already has (Sucker Punch).  That film is as angry about internet fetishism of violence and envelope-pushing as well as having quite a bit to say about the way women are used in nerd escapist fantasies.  Full Sequence is pandering of the worst kind because it embraces the worst our internet age has to offer by reproducing the impulses instead of critiquing them.

That is completely reprehensible.

It's been a long struggle to find anything nice to say about Full Sequence.  The entire viewing experience was thoroughly unpleasant and I had to stop the film twice because I was gagging so hard at the images of violence and filth Tom Six seems to think passes as quality film-work.

This isn't to say I didn't gag while I was watching it, I was just close to full-borne wretching those two times.  The rest of the film I was filled with good ol' fashioned disgust.

Martin (Laurence R. Harvey) works as a security guard in a parking garage and fantasizes about the original Human Centipede film.  That it exists as a work of fiction in a world of fiction exhibits a degree of self-awareness that I wish carried over into the rest of Six's film, but small victories are sometimes hard won in the world of film criticism.  He lives with his mother, gets psychological counseling from a stereotype of Jewish culture, and hears the voice of his father (also Tom Six), who apparently molested him and led him to his current desire to recreate the centipede of the original film.

I hit my peak of tolerance for these moments early on when Martin took a pair of scissors to the clothing a bound girl was wearing.  Other than being a heartlessly cruel moment in which the camera gets to luxuriate over a girl's naked body, an image meant to titillate though perhaps not in the sexy fashion we're used to, there's no reason for this scene to exist.  The women in this film, as in the first, exist to serve as body parts to a small man's larger purpose.  Men are involved, yes, but they are not humiliated nearly to the degree women are.

I hit my tolerance overload when Six filmed the scene of a pregnant, naked, woman running through the rain to a car in an attempt to get away from the obviously retarded and violent Martin.  Until we reach the point in our scientific development where we're grown in tubes, not a single person reading this sentence was delivered without some care from a mother.  This isn't a scene anyone needed to produce, let alone watch, and I hate myself a little more for sitting through every disgusting second of it.

I feel sorry for anyone who stepped on set to this production and thought they were producing something of worth in this world.  I'm sorry that Laurence B. Harvey is as committed to this role as Deiter was in the first, but with far less entertaining results.  Most of all, I'm sorry black and white movies had to be drug into this abysmal nightmare of torture and hate.  It's hard enough getting some folks to watch a truly great horror film like Vampyr because it's not in color,and this film gives them a reason to think they're right.

Other than topping his previous gore-laden spectacular, there is no reason at all for this film to exist and I genuinely hope it kills Six's career short of a massive period of self-reflection.  Only a person of talent could make something this horrible and no skill such as Tom Six's should be used to these purposes.  It's disgusting and vile, bringing no joy or even mindless escapism to a populace which wouldn't mind a bit of both sometimes.

I feel sick thinking about it, and it will take far too long to forget.

The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)
Screenplay written and directed by Tom Six.
Starring Laurence R. Harvey.

Posted by Andrew

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  1. I have to say having watched the original, which I hated, I have no inclination to watch this one. It isn’t that I find Tom Six’s crazy films “sick”, it is more to do with him being a very poor storyteller.

    • It’s damning with faint praise, but the original was a lot more fun and interesting than anything Eli Roth has made (save, perhaps, Cabin Fever, which is still bad but we’re working on a really low scale here). Even this sequel was better paced than something like A Dangerous Method, but it was all to no real purpose.

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