Monday, May 3, 2010

Withholding Judgement: The Human Centipede (2009, Tom Six)

There are a few movies that I must be dared to re-watch. The Exocist was one of them. The wife had never seen it, and I fought her on it for a long time. We finally turned off the lights, turned on the DVD, and... Meh. Next are the Hellraiser movies. I have not really watched much of any of them, but remember one where a guy was sitting in a closet, smoking cigarettes, waiting for his flesh to regrow. I don't know why this turned me off, but it did.

Now I see a lot of talk about Tom Six's The Human Centipede (First Sequence), and thought I'd look into it after seeing two tweets:

First, friend of AiN and NGoN #30 Darla Crane said: "Watched The Human Centipede (First Sequence) yesterday. Boy howdy, talk about yer modern day exploitation flicks!"

Good so far. Then The Vicar of VHS said: "Am I sort of a wimp if I don't want to subject myself to THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE?"

Needless to say, I was intrigued. Here is how the New York Times describes the film:

"A must-see for coprophiliacs and spanking enthusiasts [...] may be the year’s first mainstream fetish movie. [...] [A] couple of ditzy American tourists [...] happen upon the villa of Dr. Heiter [...] Cowed by their host’s praying-mantis affect and plentiful supply of Rohypnol, the girls soon learn their fate: to be joined, mouth to anus, into a single plumbing system headed by a luckless Japanese hostage (Akihiro Kitamura)."

I'll say it, "ACK!"

I, dear readers, will not allow this description to keep me away, nor will it have me rushing to Amazon to pre-order. The review invokes the name of Cronenberg, who is a master (The Fly, btw, is another dare-me-to-see-it film). There are two possible outcomes here. Either, this will be the biggest gross-out film made in a while, or it will be a bizarre and interesting look at evil and perversion. I somehow doubt it will fall in the middle.

Now, as for the sickening factor. I will definitely watch some awful things. Jess Franco's Ilsa: the Wicked Warden and Pier Paolo Pasolini's Salò among them. I have read most of the Marquis de Sade's major works. Yet, I am not desensitized or jaded. When we see films or read books that display something truly awful, it can be an example of how cruel and fucked up people can be. I certainly don't have high hopes of this being the best film I have ever seen, but I have a feeling it will be worth checking out, to those of us with the stomach.

Finally, I asked Darla Crane if this was a yea or nay. Response:

"Well, my weird brain spent way too much time thinking about how wonky the 'science' of it was, which is pretty ridiculous to do with this kind of flick. What I did like was that it was clearly just some dirty image someone got in their head and they succeeded in making it into a full-length, highly-produced feature. Hilarious!"

That's sold it for me.


the jaded viewer said...

Whats up man? Don't be afraid of the centipede. It's not as WTF as everybody is making it out to be.

I saw it during the NYC premiere and Tom Six and all the actors did a Q&A after the flick.

You'd think a movie with this premise would go over the edge. Well it teeters on the edge but doesn't go off it. It's rated R ickiness.

Overall, a good original movie. Check out my review here:

I hope you VOD it and see it. Wanna know what u think.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I am with you. My own mind came up with horrific enough images so I don't need to see what the filmmakers came up with. I can pretty much download anything I want to see and I haven't seen this in my various sources. It just doesn't seem to be something I want to watch alone.

Darius Whiteplume said...

@Jaded - I'll likely see it eventually. I won't be turned away by the premise, but being used to hype-driven pessimism won't get overly excited, yet ;-)

@Cal - The initial reaction is a "Two Girls, One Cup" image. After Salo, there is no amount of feces that can bother me these days (though I have not seen 2G1C).

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