The Human Centipede (First Sequence) [2009] • Netherlands, UK

My take on this beast. Kudos for the attempt to take horror to a place horror hasn't been before; props to Dieter Laser for being one of the creepier bad guys we've seen in a while; respect to director Tom six for employing some restraint, after the initial premise of course, in what he shows and how he shows it.

For those who don't already know, this is a film about a surgeon who stitches three human victims, a man and two women, together anus to mouth creating a human centipede, with a marketing kicker that this procedure is 100% medically accurate and possible. The film is fairly clean, not too explicit in its horror. Six could have had the three victims be naked instead of wearing diapers, and had the last one shit all over the place and have them wallow in it, but he didn't. The two women are topless but through the use of controlled camera angles there is very little boobage on display. One of the women is flat-chested, which says a lot about what Six wants to give his audience.

Dieter Laser is pretty menacing and spooky as the surgeon but he doesn't have a very good script to work with so half the time he comes off as over-acting and kind of dumb. The rest of the cast, including the centipede people (two of them with variations on the name Ashley, for crying out loud), is pretty weak. The cinematography is crisp but the rest of the mechanics of film making aren't that great, mostly having to do with weaknesses in the script and direction. Little things, like when the two girls show up soaking wet in a rain storm at the surgeon's big, beautiful, immaculately clean house they just traipse in with their muddy feet and plop down on his big, beautiful, immaculately clean sofa. How does the centipede get up and down from a table so easily some times and with extreme difficulty in others? And of course there are many standard B-movie bad decisions by the victims sprinkled throughout.

The Human Centipede (First Sequence) isn't a complete flop by any means but it's not a very good film as far as films go. I don't think it will really disgust anybody who knows what it's about and willingly goes to see it, but I also don't think it will satisfy many people who go in wanting a lot more than it delivers unless they are so hung up and in love with the concept of the film they forget to actually watch it. Most important, I don't think the film leaves a lasting impression ... any more than just the thought of the film initially does.

Director:Tom Six
Starring: Akihiro Kitamura, Dieter Laser, Andreas Leupold, Ashley C. Williams, Ashlynn Yennie
Beyond Hollywood

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