Human Centipede II: Fame Corrupts Ass-to-Mouth Movie


2010’s midnight-movie sensation The Human Centipede (First Sequence), in which a diabolical doctor surgically connected three tourists to form one monstrous beast with a single digestive system, was—“100 percent medically accurate” gimmick aside—stylistically austere, its scat-porn horrors never graphic, but rather almost entirely psychological. Director Tom Six’s sequel is an intentionally meta about-face. Mute protag Martin (Laurence R. Harvey)—fat, filthy, rendered “retarded” by sexual and emotional abuse—is a fanboy of the first film who methodically stages a copycat crime, even luring the actress who played the “final girl” of the First Sequence (Ashlynn Yennie as “herself”) to the dank London warehouse where he has already stockpiled nearly a dozen demographically diverse victims. Yennie was left harrowingly suspended between life and death at the end of the first movie; one of the sequel’s “jokes” is that amateur surgeon Martin—who “operates” with staple guns and duct tape, without anesthesia—accidentally kills a few of his captives, frustrating him by putting them out of their misery. More than self-aware, Full Sequence is self-aggrandizing, suggesting that the first film not only captured the zeitgeist (Martin’s victims know what they’re in for, because they’ve seen the first movie) but also created a new sexual fetish. A smug fuck-you to Human Centipede fans, it’s perhaps the sequel we deserve. But that doesn’t mean this dumb, blunt follow-up—both more unspeakably grotesque and less scary than the first film—is worth sitting through. Once Six’s conceptual project becomes clear, his escalating audience-mocking torture is increasingly pointless.

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