Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)

A retarded, mentally unbalanced man, obsessed with the movie The Human Centipede, begins abducting people in order to make his own centipede. Unfortunately, unlike the mad scientist in the film he so loves, this man has no real medical experience and goes about making this hideous creation with duct tape and a staple gun.

Tom Six's first Human Centipede turned out to be something of a pleasant surprise. It wasn't the grueling, perverted endurance test I was expecting; more of an old fashioned mad scientist movie with a particularly unique, disgusting (but not too graphically explicated) twist. And it had something of a playful sense of humor, a welcome touch.

Part 2 is a little closer to the movie I had imagined in my head when I heard about the first one. It feels more like a reaction on Six's part to the over-reaction to his original film. "Oh, you guys think my movie was sick and twisted? Well, I'll show you something sick and twisted..." It's everything part 1 was not. The original's sterile, clinical atmosphere and (relative) restraint is here replaced with a grainy, black and white grittiness and absurdly filthy and over-the-top violence.

So far over the top, in fact, it's clearly intended as even more of a comedy than part one; granted, a comedy that would probably nauseate and repel most audiences. Six is clearly going for the "I can't believe I just saw that" brand of shock humor, and with the exception of a few missteps (the movie has a few details that veer it into more serious territory that it just can't handle) he's pretty good at it. I don't know, guys, maybe there's just something wrong with me. Certainly, I'm at a loss for words for why the scene where he gives the centipede some powerful laxatives and then cackles with glee as all the members have to violently shit in each other's mouths was funny, but I wasn't the only one in the theater laughing. It's just so far outside the bounds of acceptable content that you have to go with it.

It's a little too crass, cheap and slight for me to praise it too much, and overall as a film I didn't like it as much as the original. Still, one thing I have to give it credit for: the main character never speaks, and long passages of the film go by without much dialogue. That can sometimes draw attention to itself, when a movie attempts long, silent sequences. Yet it didn't even dawn on me until the extended, basically dialogue-free finale how much of the film played that way. I think it's a testament to Six's skills as a visual storyteller (and the relative simplicity of the screenplay) that you barely even notice until afterward.

Grade: B-


Andy said...

Seeing 12 people connected that way is kind of visually interesting I suppose, but by this point I don't think the premise can sustain an entire movie, let alone another movie. I'll see the third one, but the shock has worn off, and there's really not too much to the whole thing, meta jokes and gross-out gags aside.

And the movie stretches credibility so many times, it stops being involving in any way. It's ridiculous enough that a man that fat, short, and stupid could somehow kidnap and attach 12 people together, but then the movie doesn't even try to figure out a way to make it believable. People show up in the parking garage, and then suddenly it'll cut to them knocked out and ducked taped up. And this movie has the worst victims ever. I don't mind that none of them are given any sort of personality, but they all could have easily escaped a hundred times, so all of their moaning and crying is just irritating, and the human centipede itself just becomes something they all deserved for their obnoxious passivity. They can't even roll themselves over apparently while ducktaped on the floor, they just lie there and cry while the most defenseless man on earth slowly goes about his duty. Some of those people were in that room for days, and they never were able to break free from duck tape?. Worst. Victims. Ever.

I get it's all in good fun or whatever, but even then it needs to be a bit more credible than it is, and I was continually irritated by its bad plotting. And the movie suffers from asshole syndrome, where every character is a stupid asshole who says "fuck" every other word (well, until the dialogue free finale). I don't remember the first movie having this problem (I even remember feeling some sympathy for the victims), but here? Just bad writing all around.

But I do like that actress that returns from the first one, she's funny and charming and deserves to be in better movies.

Shenan said...

I have to disagree about it not showing how the people got to be knocked out and duct-taped: I remember clearly them showing him coming after them with a crowbar (and them allowing him to get close enough to do serious damage to them, because he was a short little unassuming, awkward, mentally-challenged guy) and knocking them out. But maybe I'm not understanding your point?

And Dan--I agree re: the no-talking. I remember the one time he did vocalize, besides giggling at the victim's distress, was when he was feeding his centipede: the "EEEEEH EEEEH EEEEH EEEEH!" squeal was all the more grating and aggressive-sounding (think "Squeal like a pig!" It may have been an intentional connotation) because that was literally the only time he intentionally made noise.

Andy said...

Some of the people are shown getting bludgeoned, but I remember a lot of people just suddenly having been kidnapped. Like the 2 girls who walk in on him masturbating are just suddenly kidnapped, and it feels like a cheat, because the movie can't believably explain how he managed to overpower both girls at once. And the prostitute who pepper sprays him just continues to sit there and scream, and then next scene is bound up? Strikes me as lazy writing. Watching all 12 people getting kidnapped would be tedious, but when they don't show it, it doesn't feel like a very well thought out movie. Apparently kidnapping 12 people twice your size and in better shape than you and smarter than you is the easiest thing in the world. I didn't buy it.

Dan said...

Gee, you're right. I guess it's not a very realistic movie...

No, in all seriousness, I think the people getting kidnapped is pretty obviously a running joke. Shenan is right that a number of the abductions are shown. But after the first few, we tend to get the same set up: Martin runs in to some new hapless victim, then we smash cut to them tied up in the warehouse. It's done with comic timing.

You don't need to see all the abductions because you already saw the first few and you can assume they all went about the same. Your imagination fills in the rest.

Andy said...

I'd agree you wouldn't need to see all the kidnappings if the guy was a credible threat, but the movie really stretches what he is capable of. The comic timing would work if the kidnappings they do show were at all convincing, but they weren't, so it feels extra lazy after a while.

I get that the movie is supposed to be funny, and it is occasionally, but it also wants to be gross and disturbing at the same time, so it needs to be more plausible for the gross out effect to work. Martin's plan is so badly thought out (yet works) that for me the movie never went based being mildly amusing; all of the vomitous special effects on display (as interesting as they are to watch) have decreased impact because it's built around the flimsiest of circumstances. I don't think the movie going for laughs excuses bad logic. Why be grossed out by the big finale when the movie surrounding it, and the events leading it up to it, were so stupid?