Friday, October 8, 2010

The Human Centipede

Initially Published Here

So yeah ... where to begin, where to begin? The film prides itself on being “100% Medically Accurate” (it’s the tagline for chrissakes). I’d love to be the doctor who sat down with writer/director Tom Six to confirm the veracity of his story about a crazed surgeon who creates the aforementioned monster by connecting three hapless human beings ass-to-mouth. He seems to feel that the possibility that something like might actually work is all that it takes to ratchet up the scare factor.

So we get the requisite mad German doctor, played by Dieter Laser (what, Udo Kier wasn’t available?), and a pair of the most annoying U.S. tourists outside of … well, the last Hostel film. The only remotely interesting choice thrown into the mix is the Japanese man who is made to be the front end of the doctor’s experiment. Played by director/actor Akihiro Kitamura, his refusal to turn into a simpering victim is refreshing. He has a little speech where he professes a belief that he is being punished for not being a better person that I found almost touching. Well, maybe the girls would have said something equally thoughtful if their mouths weren’t otherwise occupied.

Sure, there is plenty of grotesque business here, but nothing that actually qualifies as scary. And even the ‘yuck’ factor is less than what I expected given the hype -- when Eli Roth claims to have gotten sick watching a film I expect more than a few scenes of surgical mayhem and implied coprophagia. So ultimately we’ve got a horror film that isn’t scary and a gore film that isn’t really that disgusting (comparatively speaking, of course). And when that’s all you’ve got to hang your film on that’s not much at all.

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