Laurence R. Harvey
Lee Nicholas Harris
Daniel Jude Gennis
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Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence (2011)
3rd Nov 11
Martin (Laurence R. Harvey) is a disturbed parking attendant with an abusive mother and a sexual predator for a therapist. His only friend being a pet centipede, Martin takes an unusually strong liking to the original Human Centipede and proceeds to mimic the film, this time taking the concept to its extreme with several times the original victims and with far less skill or knowledge. What follows is what can only be described as a comedy of errors.
The first Human Centipede, while revolutionary in an odd sort of way, was nothing to rave about. Conceptually it should have been the absolute most offensive film of all time, but upon viewing (unlike most critical fans, who passed on the chance but discussed it nonetheless) it was simply a fairly disturbing idea that never met its true potential. Yes, it did prey on our imaginations, but at no point did it reach unspeakably disturbing moments. Part Two, on the other hand, takes offense to the very idea of civility.
As the film begins, you know something is up with this meta marvel. Martin, a silent cross between Marty Feldman and Dom De Luise, sits in his little office at a London car park watching the original Human Centipede with an expression reminiscent of most dedicated film nerds. Almost immediately afterward, as he watches a feuding couple on the security monitor and grabs his trusty crowbar, we know that heís about to take his fandom one step further, and it is awesome.
Before delving into the human centipede itself, Martin should be further explained. When discussing the movie, most people will focus solely on the titular characters rather than their creator, and thatís a crime because Martin legitimately raises the bar here from pointless exploitation to an enthralling cross between bizarre character study and cartoonish satire. Heís a surprisingly sympathetic character, and when his mother inevitably discovers his stash of Human Centipede images and proceeds to tear them apart, Iíll admit to giving an audible ďaww...Ē toward this fat, half naked man-child. Then he started to sew asses to mouths.
The Centipede in this case is made up of eleven characters who we never really get to know. Sure, we have the misogynistic boyfriend, the hooker, the asshole neighbor, and so forth, but none of them are given more than a scene of characterization, if that. The sole exception is Ashlynn Yennie, the actress from the previous film who hopes to be in a new Tarantino movie, and whom manages to at least head the proceedings this time around. She plays a fun characterization of herself, recounting stories to the silent Martin about her time on the Human Centipede set, and manages to add an extra layer to the satirical nature of the film.
Special effects-wise, Full Sequence decimates its predecessor. Not only is the Centipede significantly longer, but thereís also far less covering the nitty gritty. Where the first film covered everything with bandages, the duct tape used here doesnít distract from the grand view of mouths and noses stuffed into nice, mutilated anuses. Even the events prior to the big unveiling, such as the knocking out of teeth via hammer and cutting of tendons, are shown in extreme, graphic detail. Without a doubt, Six delivered on his promise to give us a far more extreme film than the original. While this gives the resulting movie a far more slapstick style, it works in its own satirical fashion.
On the negative side of things, I did have some problems. There is a fairly large plot hole involving the victims being tied up with duct tape for long periods of time, leading to the question of how none of them escaped. Thatís not quite as bad as the ending however, which is the one point I took umbrage with. First Sequence provided a solid finale, where-in our villain is properly dispatched and the main characters receive their due as horror victims. Here, itís not that simple, and even after we get a wonderful scene of newborn brutality and creepy crawly brutalization, the credits inevitably roll after a brief finale that asks us why any of this was even necessary. Prior to this, we have a perfectly good satire, but now the validity of that is nearly ruined by an overdone trope.
Presented in beautiful black and white, Full Sequence is a gritty little exploitation flick with just enough brains and gore to stand out from the rest. Itís never as smart as A Serbian Film or as endlessly graphic as certain Guinea Pig films, but it nonetheless stands as one of the top most disturbing films of our time.
26th Apr 04 Itís not all bad of course. This is Tarantino, after all, and there are plenty of highlights. Action scenes are handled very well, (the fight between Black Mamba and Darryl Hannah in particular, is a poke in the eye to any who doubt that),