Tuesday, 11 May 2010


An exhausted trucker, defecating on the roadside after a long haul, is shot soundlessly by a trench-coated man in sunglasses. So begins Tom Six’s notorious horror film, modelled in the manner of Hostel or Saw but ending up much more like Videodrome. Our main characters arrive in the form of American tourists Lindsay and Jenny, two naïve gal-pals trying to navigate their way across Western Europe. Broken down on a Landesstraße in Germany, the girls are taken in by the enigmatic Dr. Heiter who spikes them with Rohypnol. The addition of Japanese tourist Katsuro allows Heiter to begin his experiment and fulfil his twisted dream – to make a human sewage line.

It is hard to know how to react to The Human Centipede (First Sequence). Clearly, the main goal of the film is to repulse, which it manages in abundance thanks to lingering shots of the centipede in ‘motion’. What makes the experience incredibly uncomfortable is the inherent comedy in Heiter’s mission – it’s hard not to laugh at Katsuro’s confused anger. While it is never explained, one can assume that Heiter’s goal has an erotic outcome, but the campy acting makes it hard to take seriously. But while to many it may just be a juvenile gross-out movie, The Human Centipede is at least an interesting exercise in suspense, and the next logical step in torture porn. A sequel of sorts is on its way, leading one to ponder what other dastardly schemes Heiter has in mind (a digestive ouroboros?).

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