27 April 2011

The Human Centipede

The Human Centipede: First Sequence: Though it begins with the clichés of the so-called *horror* film (a mad German doctor living in an isolated retreat, two dumb AmerICKan tourist girls stranded with a flat tire in the middle of the woods who happen across the mad doctor in his isolated retreat), The Human Centipede is, nevertheless, an entirely NEW kind of film. Checking its shockingly low score on IMDb, and scanning a few of the reviews, I must conclude this NEW kind of film was vastly misunderstood by the contemporary *torture porn* habitué cretins. This is an almost entirely asexual film—no one is killed while having sex, no one is raped, the doctor’s unusual deed lacks sexual motivation. The only character who wants to fuck is on screen for about a minute-and-a-half, a fat old degenerate who mistakes(?) the AmerICKan girls for porn actresses and wonders if they aren’t always wet between the legs. When the old wanker realizes there are no cheap thrills to be had, he drives off, disappointed and bored. I assume the filmmaker included this character to be a *stand-in* for the typical stinking chum who choke the cineplex horror theater shouting stupidities at the screen, and who no doubt feel *cheated* The Human Centipede exhibits only a form of *torture,* and no porn—or rather, a pornless porn—as the film’s notorious ass-to-mouth suturing is THEOLOGICAL, not coprophagical.

While The Human Centipede’s two dumb AmerICKan tourist girls wait for help that will never arrive, they attempt *small talk* to ease the tension created by the doctor’s negligible social skills. One of the AmerICKans remarks: You have a really beautiful home. Do you live here with your wife? No, the doctor replies in his guttural monotone, I don’t like human beings. This serves as The Human Centipede’s thesis statement, which shows the prior use (and further uses) of the *horror* clichés as smokescreens meant to provoke and then disorient the Pavlovian dogs who bark at the multiplex screens—while signaling to the one or two sentient in the audience this will be a NEW kind of film, a film of sublime cruelty and hate, a hate not tainted by any frustrated sexuality, but a purely *Satanic* hatred of humanity, which is expressed by the film’s *mad* doctor.

Dr. Josef Heiter, celebrated surgeon, renowned as the world’s most skilled at separating conjoined twins, is now retired and living in seclusion on his forested German estate. The doctor has a vision for transforming ugly humanity into a form more befitting its fallen nature. Indeed, Heiter has the strongest aesthetic sense of any character in *horror.* His oddly beautiful villa abounds with objets d’art—both classical and what one might call *modern surgical.*

Heiter is a bitter, angry, hateful man—why? No answer is given in this memorable NEW film. The viewer is confronted by a man disgusted with humanity, for some unstated reason (which perhaps reflects the filmmaker’s assumption that disgust is the only rational reaction to humanity, and therefore this disgust ought to be self-evident?) and feels duty-bound to transform it.

The duty-bound Heiter has NO CHOICE. Though his work is exhausting and thankless, the doctor, who would be labeled *psychotic* by our modern *psychologists,* cannot shirk the responsibility of his calling, a calling our modern *psychologists* would label a delusion of grandeur. The doctor has been called to sculpt with the tools of his former trade a new human creation.

The doctor has judged humanity guilty, and for this, he will PUNISH humanity. He will strip humanity of INDIVIDUALITY, and cripple its sense of FREE WILL. He does this by severing the knee ligaments of the two dumb AmerICKan girls and one highly-agitated Jap male, leaving them only the ability to crawl. He then removes several of their teeth, and completes his transformative surgery by joining our new Adam and Eves mouth-to-anus. The three can no longer act upon whatever STUPID NOTIONS enter their minds, as they had previously done, and which most of humanity currently does. The three are SENTENCED to spend their remaining mortality daisy-chained together ass-to-mouth. They are COLLECTIVELY punished, stripped of their former IDENTITY, made a reduced form of humanity, with only a limited ability to manifest the sins of their untouched minds. Their remaining days are spent in an ass-eating shadow of DAMNATION, examining their former lives for the evidence which convicts them as human centipedes. This is exposited in the final statement of the Jap male, the head of the human centipede, and therefore the only one capable of speech. He confesses his sin to his new god, but, still showing a retarded sense of justice, wonders, Job-like, if his sentence wasn’t too harsh. So we say The Human Centipede is a THEOLOGICAL study, and thus beyond the limited grasp of the lobotomized masses who warm the theater seats, and are unable to respond to anything other than the most base sensory stimulation.

We must applaud the performance of the German actor, Dieter Laser, who plays Dr. Josef Heiter. Laser has delivered one of the great *horror* performances. With his emaciated, ascetic’s appearance, his weary barefoot gait, his guttural monotone punctuated by occasional violent ravings, he embodies the wilderness prophets of old. The ever-severe doctor allows himself one moment of exultation, and Laser cuts loose with a scene of loonily joyful adoration. He celebrates himself after successfully completing the human centipede by dancing to the sound (only he can hear) of a worshipful choir, admiring and kissing himself in a mirror, then, as the merciless Satanic god he is, he uses the mirror to taunt his creation. In The Human Centipede, guilty humanity must live under his Law, with no hope for grace.


  1. As I read the description of sewing ass to mouth, my mind was transported back to this Italian film called Salo or 120 days of sodomy by Pier Paolo Passolini. And ,uh, it sounds like these two should've gotten together to direct their ultimate truth on humanity.....but then I wouldn't be able to watch it.I'm telling you Salo made me want to barf. And this was during my younger Faces of Death stage.

  2. The strange thing about *Salo* is how BORING it is. . .you'd think a movie based on de Sade would at least keep your eyes open, but, man, that thing was *torture* to watch. In fact, the weird queer Pasolini made another BORING movie: *The Gospel According to St. Matthew.* Pasolini turned both de Sade and Christ into yawners! What a cinematic legacy!

  3. This was an excellent review of a truly awful (albeit in a théâtre de cruauté exhibition the likes we rarely see) bit of cinema. Your ability to tease out meaningful artifacts from otherwise tedious and gory material is always worth experiencing. The fact that I like this review better than the film is not surprising, but the fact that I like most of your reviews better than most of the films reviewed speaks to your mad skillz.

  4. You know you'll be lining up for *The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence.* The director, Tom Six, guarantees THC2 will be of a whole other level of cruelty. . .

  5. You'd have been right to predict as much out of me in my wild youth. In the past ten years I've grown increasingly tired even of the new lows mass culture produces, in its race to the bottom of human indecency. Nothing's Shocking, as Perry Farrell once opined.

    I will expect a review here on this site, however, and it best be good.