Review: The Human Centipede: First Sequence by Jamie

<Sigh>… Well, I’ve been putting this of for long enough. I’ve been trying to write this review for about two weeks or so now and it just hasn’t been very easy. It hasn’t been very easy at all. Sure it’s been easy to talk about the basics of the film at anyone who has been unfortunate enough to run into me since I saw the film but to expand those thoughts into a full on review has proven difficult.

Let me start of by saying that I don‘t think the film is particularly shocking. It just kinda gets under your skin a bit, leaving with you a vague distaste for humanity in general. It‘s kind of like the feeling you get if you accidentally eat a kebab while you‘re sober. You know something’s wrong but you know that ultimately the blame rests with you and you alone because you decided to embark on this endeavour.

Despite the feeling it lives you with, I find it hard to say that it‘s a bad film even though if pressed the best way I could describe it is to say that it‘s something like Saw or any other ‘torture porn‘ film taken to a weird extreme. And even though I generally don‘t like the genre that has been dubbed ‘torture porn’, I can‘t say that I disliked this like I disliked Saw. Oh, and don‘t try and tell me that the first Saw is a good film. It‘s essentially just a series of boring flashbacks. I also can‘t get over the fact that Cary Elwes didn‘t try and saw through the rusty pipe he was chained to before sawing through his leg. There‘s a good chance that would have worked. The Dread Pirate Roberts wouldn‘t have made such a rookie mistake.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, The Human Centipede. So I‘m guessing that if you‘ve ever spent anytime on the internet, there‘s a good chance you already know what the plot of this film is. A crazy German scientist kidnaps three tourists and sows them together, anus to mouth because, well… I guess just because he‘s a crazy German scientist and those guys are always up to something.

There is plot before the actual procedure but really who cares? The film is called The Human Centipede and the two characters you spend time with before the Centipede-ification occurs don‘t really have much to say afterwards if you catch my drift. All you really need to know is that they are friends who will soon be getting better acquainted then they ever thought they would.

I should also point out that according to the director and the film‘s poster, the procedure itself is actually scientifically accurate and could possibly work if actually carried out. Knowing that before seeing the film probably didn‘t do anything to abate that feeling of unease that I got whilst watching it. Anyway, after said procedure the crazy German scientist tries to train his new six legged pet almost as he would a dog, trying to teach it to fetch the paper, eat from a dish on the floor and locking it up in a cage to sleep at night. This training procedure is really quite effective at giving you the sense that not only have the three captives been dehumanised in the worst manner possible physically but he‘s also trying to dehumanise them mentally as well. Apparently it‘s effective in my mind since I just referred to them as it earlier on.

Anyway it turns out that despite everything, his victims aren’t going to willingly give up their identities in order to become this twisted bastard’s pet. The front piece in particular, a Japanese tourist, is particularly resistant to the scientists attempt to train him. Of course the reason that he is the one that rebels the most is possibly simply because being at the front provides him the opportunity to do so. The fact that he is Japanese provides rather an interesting language barrier between him and the scientist, making the training scenes even more drawn out and tortuous.

God, have I even really written anything of consequence in this review? I feel like I‘m just rambling on and on. I‘m honestly having a ridiculously difficult time writing this. I think that what it comes down to is the fact that I have very mixed feelings about it. I didn‘t like it but I didn‘t hate it. I didn’t find it shocking but I didn‘t find it an easy watch. It‘s not particularly graphic but there were times when I had to look away from the screen and the final scene is one of the worst things I‘ve ever seen happen to a human being in a film with the exception of perhaps ‘Jack Ketchum‘s The Girl Next Door‘.

At the end of the day, I think most people know whether or not they‘re going to see this film as soon as they hear the title and get the basic gist of the plot. It‘s certainly not a film I can recommend to anyone because it‘s hard to tell how anyone would react to this film. I thought I‘d find it kind of funny but I really didn‘t so if I can‘t gauge how I would react to the film properly, how could I suggest it to others? If I had to give it a rating, I‘d have to give it a 2.5 out of 5 simply because it‘s the middle rating and my mind has been very ‘in the middle‘ with regards to this film, even two weeks after watching it. I guess my final words are you already know whether or not you‘re going to watch this film. If you do, don’t go into it with any expectations as they‘ll probably be wrong… except for the expectation of seeing three people sewn together ass to mouth. That‘s one expectation that will definitely be met. Laterz.

Oh yeah, watching that trailer again reminded me that the two girls who make up the middle and back of the centipede aren’t particularly great actors though after a while they don’t have much acting to do beyond panicked looks and muffled screams and I suppose you have to take what you can get when the roles are what they are in this film. The Japanese guy, played by Akihiro Kitamura, is pretty good and the German scientist, played by Dieter Laser, is actually quite brilliant and definetly the best part of the film. Oh, and ‘Mantipede’ would have been a better title.

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