Movies From the Black Lagoon: The Human Centipede
Movies From the Black Lagoon
The Human Centipede - 2010, Unrated
By Tom Doty
A retired surgeon, with way too much time on his hands, tries to create the titular creatures by sewing three people together in the basement of his suburban home, somewhere in Germany.
The story lets you know just how far out it is willing to go from the opening scene. The camera settles on Dr Heiter who appears to be out for a Sunday drive. He parks his vehicle off of the highway and causally leafs through photos of three dogs that have been sewn together and now resemble a string of sausages (they are rottweilers, by the way, though Dachshunds would have been more appropriate). Soon a truck pulls off the road and a burly driver emerges with some toilet paper. He heads off into the woods like he has a purpose but so does the good doctor who takes off after him after he has retrieved his Tranquilizer gun.
The scene abruptly changes to focus on a pair of female tourists who are driving across Europe on a vacation from New York City. It's hard to buy them as New Yorkers as an elderly pervert spooks them. It's easier to make the jump, however, when they prove to be useless at changing a tire. They hit the woods and eventually find a home where they can get help. If you guessed that the odd Doctor from the opening lives there then you're a true horror fan but there is no way on earth that you will be prepared for what happens next.
I have seen countless horror movies but this one deserves credit for taking a standard beginning and then pulling the rug of comfort out from under you by having the mad doctor that is off the charts in his schemes. They may have laughed at this guy in Luxemburg and ridiculed him in Russia but they had no idea what was coming. He doesn't want to rule the world or conquer death. He aims to connect three people via their gastro-intestinal systems for no other purpose than he wants to prove to himself that it can be done.
That's right folks. He is engaging in kidnapping and brutal surgery just to satisfy his curiosity. There is no reward at the other end of this experiment and no chance for fame or money. In fact his plans don't go past watching it move around and fetch his newspaper. He is just bored.
The scary part is that the writer/director (Tom Six) has the same motivations. He actually consulted with real physicians who supervised and designed the surgical techniques used to fuse three people together so that the end result only had one orifice for taking in nourishment and only one for reliving itself of waste products. Good taste forbids me form getting more graphic but the film is more than happy too.
Surprisingly the end result is utterly engrossing, not to mention gross. The surgical result is a shuffling curiosity that is in constant agony. The new creature can't communicate well as it only has one working mouth and it belongs to a Japanese man who doesn't speak English. Heiter tries making the centipede do tasks but it is (not surprisingly) loathe making him happy. An investigation by local authorities eventually brings cops to the door. The good news is that they don't need to buy a clue to figure out Heiter is hiding something. The problem becomes whether anyone will survive the climax as the creature goes on the offensive and teaches our mad doctor that it isn't right to mess with Mother Nature.
This is a very disgusting movie. It's not for all tastes but if you want to see what kind of film it would take to sicken the director of "Hostel" then check out this film. The cats are unknown but they work hard. The three actors who play the Centipede get credit for earning their "Screen Actors Guild" cards the hard way while Dieter Laser totally rocks as Heiter. He is a gifted actor who makes the most here of his own ghoulish looks. He is also, however, a gifted thespian who manages to make the whole enterprise convincing.
Best Line: "I have to kill you. Don't take it personally."
Tom Doty occasionally emerges from the Lagoon to check his e-mail and to read to children every Wednesday at 10:30am at Borders in Hagerstown. If you'd like to get a message to him, write to: firstname.lastname@example.org.