Art & Design

   

The Human Centipede 2 – Banned in Oz

Posted by G. Raymond Leavold

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The Human Centipede — a horror film about a German doctor with a terribly twisted (and baffling) dream to stitch people together mouth-to-arse — was made in 2009 and is the type of film that neither warrants a sequel nor seems as though it has anything more to offer, let alone enough story to pad out another 90 minutes.

The Human Centipede 2 does indeed have some new tricks up it sleeve and the awfully silly and horrific premise of the first one is bigger in every aspect in this sequel, which centres around Martin (Laurence R. Harvey), a socially and emotionally stunted man of few words with big ideas. Abused as a child, Martin lives with his mother in a dank flat and has an obsession with the film The Human Centipede (he watches the first film repeatedly and has a creepy scrapbook full of stills and information) and decides to recreate his beloved film on a much grander scale.

With shades of Psycho and Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, it was filmed in colour and converted to black-and-white in post-production, no doubt to give it more of a classic monster movie feel. It is unfortunate that black-and-white is nowhere near as visually striking when it is shot on video, and though the depth of field is quite good in the film, the grain and haze made the conversion a bad choice.

Though a much more interesting and a decidedly better drawn character than the original’s Doctor Heiter, Martin is an abhorrent abomination. Some genuine sympathy is evoked by actor Harvey, especially early on, and his delight even in some very disturbing scenes is kind of infectious, but towards the end of the film, and in one scene in particularly, he goes too far, and it really stops being fun.

The Human Centipede 2 tries to be postmodern in its storytelling but comes off as a poor attempt to string out a story that can follow on from the first film’s tragic ending.

I’d only suggest this to major horror fans and people with a deep curiosity that is just as strong as their stomachs. Look out for The Human Centipede 3 in the next year or two.

EDITOR’S NOTE: THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE WAS SHOWING AT CINEMA NOVA AS PART OF THEIR CULT CRAVINGS SERIES. THE SPOT WILL NOW BE TAKEN OVER BY ‘THE ROOM’. SO MAYBE IT’S A HAPPY ENDING AFTER ALL.


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