Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Human Centipede (First Sequence)

Well, it seems that my shift away from New Jersey-based horror to Germany-based was a resounding success, as it let me finally see what has got to be the single most original horror movie to come out in my lifetime. In a time filled with lame remake after lame remake, it may not be the movie we want, but it is absolutely the movie we need.

The film begins with Lindsay and Jenny (Ashley C. Williams and Ashlynn Yennie), two American girls on vacation in Germany, as they go driving one night, get lost, and then get a flat tire. Going for help, they stumble across a mansion in the woods that belongs to Dr. Heiter (Dieter Laser), a surgeon that’s just a little bit tightly wound, and who winds up drugging the two of them and tying them up in his basement laboratory. His goal, as anyone who has heard of the film already knows, is to create the ultimate life form: a human centipede made of several people surgically connected mouth to anus. He already had a Japanese man that he had kidnapped, and is overjoyed to discover that the two girls are a match with him.

The film is fairly slow-paced, though it does manage to throw in a few surprises, as when one of the girls tries to make a break for it pre-op. With such a small cast, all the characters are allowed to be fairly intelligent, and her attempted escape from the mad doctor was rather refreshing in how both characters tried to outsmart each other instead of, just as an example, having her run as fast as she could in a straight line through the woods only to have the doctor magically standing by the street when she emerges. A smart character is always more interesting than a dumb one.

That was a nice surprise, but what was a nice non-surprise was in how they actually pull the trigger and have him complete the surgery, and one that will hopefully lead to many more films based around anus-to-mouth human centipedes (a sequel is already being worked on, so there‘s at least one). It’s infrequent at best for a horror movie to even come up with such an insane idea, let alone have the nerve to go through with such a thing. Maybe Takashi Miike could have come up with something like this, but I can think of few others. Writer-director Tom Six should be commended for his dedication to such an utterly horrible idea.

The climax, while ending a teeny bit on the cliché side for me, is mostly pretty great as well. The doctor has to deal with the dual threat of two detectives that suspect him of making off with the girls and the trouble of a rebellious human centipede. This leads to one of the best and funniest scenes in the movie, which I believe is the slowest, most agonizing chase scene that has ever been filmed. It unfortunately devolves into a gunfight afterwards, but it’s still awesome right up until it falls apart.

This is honestly one of the oddest reviews I’ve ever had to write, as I’m fairly certain that everyone that hears the premise already knows whether or not they will see this, and any real argument I try to make for or against will be going unheeded. I will say that this wound up being quite a fun movie, and definitely one of the best we got this year (as evidenced by how it was released on a massive 19 theater screens here), and I’m trusting all of you to hunt it down. Don’t fail me on this.

Rating: *** ½

1 comment:

katsucurrys14 said...

that sounds highly unsanitary