Movie Review: "The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)" (2011)
DISCLAIMER: This review contains some heavy spoilers.
The much-anticipated and tight-lipped sequel to "The Human Centipede (First Sequence)" is finally here, but the question is does it live up to all the hype? "The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)" departs from the first movie in a few ways: By taking the guise of a meta-film, it's filmed in black and white, the gore factor has sky-rocketed, we have a bigger centipede this time around, and it's 100% medically inaccurate.
"The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)" introduces Martin Lomax as our main character. He's short, fat, doesn't talk much (or at all in the film, actually), and he's mentally disabled. He works as a security guard for an underground parking complex and lives in the projects with his annoying mother who hates his guts. See, Martin has been sexually abused by his father as a child and his mother blames the poor guy for it.
The only idol that Martin has to look up to is Dr. Heiter himself, the psychotic surgeon from the first movie. Martin is obsessed with "The Human Centipede (First Sequence)", constantly re-watching it, masturbating to it with sandpaper, and he even keeps his own little scrapbook of the movie. Martin has plans to put the mouth-to-anus operation of the film to the test, the only problem is that he possesses zero medical skills or knowledge.
But who says you can't make your own DIY human centipede? All you need are some knives, a hammer, lots of duct tape, some pliers, a funnel with tubing, scissors, a dog bowl, a syringe, some liquid laxative, a staple gun, a crowbar, and a big enough warehouse. Remember, the tagline informed us that this would be 100% medically INaccurate, so say no more.
"The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)" sees Martin kidnapping twelve victims this time around (as opposed to the first movie's unlucky three) for this grisly operation. These candidates consist of:
- Ashlynn Yennie herself as the head of the centipede.
- Two interracial couples, including one pregnant woman (Daniel Jude Gennis and Katherine Templar, Lucas Hansen and Emma Lock).
- A fat guy (Dominic Borelli).
- A hooker (Maddi Black).
- A pair of clubbing girls (Kandace Caine and Georgia Goodrick).
- An annoying skinhead neighbor (Lee Harris).
- A middle-aged guy (Peter Blankenstein).
- And a younger guy (Dan Burman) who gets to say the most cringeworthy line of the film.
Before getting into what 'Full Sequence' does wrong, let's talk about what it does right:
- Martin is an interesting villain to watch. There are some truly creepy moments with him, a couple which are worth mentioning: After cracking his mother's skull to death with his crowbar, he sits her up in a chair at the dining table and sits across from her while he eats his supper; another scene, which happens immediately after completing his operation, depicts Martin happily dancing to the screams of his victims.
- Everything that we didn't see in the original film, we get to see here. Yes, I'm talking about the operation in all it's disgusting glory.
- The movie is very dark and nitty-gritty. Tom Six nails the atmosphere and mood right down perfectly. Everything is as depressing as Martin's life and backstory.
- The meta-film angle was a good choice. As opposed to a typical sequel that directly follows the original, the thought of a true nut with no medical skills attempting what took place in it is actually terrifying.
Acting Lessons 101
First and foremost, the acting is horrible in quite a few places. Martin does so much with his performance and he doesn't even have any lines. One of the few victims who get to speak in the film delivers the worst and most unnecessary line in all of its running time: "He's gonna stitch us anus-to-mouth!", he tells his fellow victims after managing to get the duct tape off his mouth. Did that line really need to be in this movie? You can tell the actor didn't agree either just by the sound of his delivery.
Most of the bad acting comes from Martin's mother. The expression on her face while she's sitting with Martin and his psychiatrist is laughable and the delivery of her lines is far, far off. Are you telling me that this was the best take they could get from her?
Uncut? Get the Scissors
One of the big selling points of "The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)" was that Tom Six refused to cut anything from it after the BBFC had banned it back in June. The BBFC's review not only spoiled certain parts of the movie, but also gave us an idea of just how sick this sequel was going to be. Need I say barb wire rape and sandpaper wank?
Well, I can honestly say that the version I watched was cut, which is very disappointing because not only does it take away the impact from certain scenes but it also leaves certain bits open to explanation. Allow me to give you a couple of examples:
- When the owner of the warehouse is showing Martin around, he presses him for the down payment, but the next shot shows him lying dead on the floor with Martin crying as he attempts to revive him (remember, he's on the lookout for candidates). Martin is so hurt and saddened when he loses a prospective candidate due to accidental killings, but the way this part is edited, the impact is totally lost.
- During one scene when Martin is trying to kidnap the interracial couple, we first see the woman holding the baby inside the car. But then, we cut to see Martin holding the baby in his arms and the woman is crawling away as blood leaks from a head wound. So what happened? Did he crowbar her while she was holding the baby? Did the baby fall on the ground and he picked it up?
So what do we really get to see in this movie? I'll try to list as many as I can recall... Martin peeing blood? Check. Sandpaper masturbation? Check, but it's more or less implied than anything else, we see him ripping off some sandpaper and then we watch the expression on his face. Teeth removal by hammer? A big fat Check. Knee ligament cutting? C-H-E-C-K, in all its glory. Mouth-to-anus attaching via staple gun? Check, check, check!
From tongue-cutting to bodily errors during the operation, the entire second half of this movie is sickening to a bloody (and poopy) pulp. I did say poopy, didn't I? Well, we do indeed get to witness the 'full sequence' of that in this sequel, in all its brown glory. Not even infants are safe in this movie.
100% Medically Inaccurate vs. 100% Believable
I can understand the tagline as it pertains to the actual operation itself, but wow, Martin really isn't the sharpest tool in the shed here. I know he's supposed to be mentally handicapped and all, but he is so reckless when it comes to abducting his victims. Now, it's one thing for him to be reckless, but it's another for him to get away with it.
Where the heck are the surveillance cameras? While kidnapping his victims while at his job, never does Martin acknowledge the presence of security cameras in the parking lot. Also, Martin's weapon of choice seems to be a crowbar. He uses it to 'temporarily' knock out his victims. This is how Martin compensates for Dr. Heiter's anesthesia.
How can Martin be so sure that he hit them in the head enough to knock them out but not so much to actually kill them? Then, just prior to the operation at the warehouse, he knocks them out again -- WTF!? How many times can you smash someone's head with a crowbar before they die?
Random Things That Make No Sense
- Martin calls the agents of all three actors from the first movie so that he can trick them to come to London, thus adding to his centipede victims. He does this by pretending to scout actors for a Quentin Tarantino film. Somehow, one of them fall for this. Really? The guy is mentally retarded. You would think these people would be a little more careful about such things.
- How does someone with a mental handicap manage to get the job of a security guard? Let alone special training for firearms? Is it that easy in London?
- How is it possible that an overweight asthmatic like Martin is able to carry twelve unconscious people from a parking garage into a van, then from the van and into a warehouse -- all by himself? Some of these victims are pretty big people compared to his size.
- After being shot in her torso and running up a staircase, the hooker waits for Martin to track her down. Then, after managing to distract him with some sweet talk, she sprays mace into Martin's eyes and makes no further attempt to get away from him. Genius plan.
Remedies for "The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)"
- Censorship sucks and this is one movie that deserves to be uncensored. Hopefully, an unrated version will be released on DVD in a few months.
- Some acting lessons for a few of the actors would be nice.
- Martin needs a better method of abducting his victims because the crowbar thing crosses that line of believability.
- A running time that is slightly longer would allow us to get to know a few of the victims just a little bit (as we had with Lindsay and Jenny in the original).
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