BUY FROM AMAZON: Standard-Def | Blu-Ray
STUDIO: IFC films
RUNNING TIME: 92 minutes
• Deleted Scene
• Behind The Scenes
• Director Interview
• Casting Tape
• Foley Session
• Alternate Posters
• Director Commentary
Ass To Mouth… THE MOVIE!
Tom Six (director) Dieter Laser, Ashley C. Williams, Ashlynn Yennie, Akihiro Kitamura
A deranged surgeon, famed for his abilities to separate siamese twins, hatches a plan to connect asses to pie-holes on three people, to create the first ever Human Centipede. The scientist builds his monstrosity out of two American girls who get lost while vacationing, and a japanese man. Poop goes in a mouth once this one time.
Buoyed by an incredibly bent performance from Dieter Laser (pardon my regression back to sixth grade, but that dude’s name is fucking ill), The Human Centipede functions based on a wacked-out concept that actually makes for an excellent, original, and impeccably-shot horror flick that has become extraordinarily over-hyped (for the wrong reasons).
The Human Centipede works for two primary reasons: Dr. Heiter is a blast to watch, and the concept of a human centipede is simple and compelling (both visually and in terms of being a horrifying idea). There are other components of the film working in its favor, but those are the primary selling points. Dieter Laser’s insane doctor is a truly classic villain whose sunken face, terrifying eyes, and condescending psychopathy drives a film that is otherwise filled with characters whose mouths are too busy munching hole to contribute much in the way of dialogue. Even though the lucky front-end of the creature can speak, Dr. Heiter in no way acknowledges him an equal worth speaking with, so the doctor is very much center stage. Without his fine performance, it is unlikely the film would have accumulated enough success to even spark the water cooler “Did you hear what this movie is about?” type buzz.
Stitching three folks together into a great long tube of miserable human is (just barely) enough of a conceit to power an entire movie, and Human Centipede takes full advantage of this. The short flick plays out at a slow, steady pace that feels natural and constantly moves forward. The gathering of the subjects, the explanation, the procedure, the discovery, the learning curve, and the breakdown all lead one into another without unnecessarily dwelling. The Director of Photography Goof de Koning (full of great names, this crew) deserves a great deal of credit for giving the film a creepy, sterile look that is sophisticated and modern. To marry a gross mad scientist plot that would typically draw up images of leaky labs and disgusting tools, and instead treat it with the most clean and precise of photography really sets the film apart aesthetically. Tie this in with the excellent directing from Tom Six, and you’ve got a rock-solid horror film with an original concept, great acting, and a full-fledged contribution to the horror-villain tradition. The film isn’t transcendent, but it does its job very, very well. It’s not the most disgusting horror movie ever made, or the most memorable, but it’s definitely a good one.
As a note, I often wonder if Tom Six ever suspected just how acclimated to the concept of the film much of his audience would be walking in, as he really doesn’t go very far beyond it to shock viewers. Just reading the title is going to make you imagine far worse ideas than ever show up in the film. Perhaps he should have expected the twitter effect to diminish some of the inherent shock value, but it still works. He’s got a long way to go for the second film to possibly live up to it however. I’ll admit though, if he does go all out and create a disgusting, memorably gory shock-fest, it would pair nicely with the quieter first film as the other side of the same disgusting coin.
The DVD is fairly well loaded with a batch of extras that include the trailer, a brief deleted scene, and behind-the-scenes featurette, production videos, and a commentary track. The deleted scene is a strange, simple scene that takes place right after the Centipede is complete, and the featurette is simply a collection of short clips from the actual production and give a nice feeling of how the shoot went. Dieter Laser is the most fun to watch, and you can tell he is just as intense of an actor as he is a mad scientist.
The commentary track is a solo session with Tom Six, whose dutch accent and occasionally broken english makes for some adorable comments, like the following:
“Some say he looks like a dehydrated Christopher Walken, some say he looks like an evil turtle, but man what a face, what a charisma.”
On the girls…
“They really have big balls. They don’t only want to be pretty, they have guts.”
“…and of course the girls are speechless, because they are attached to assholes…”
The usefulness of the commentary track itself is debatable, as it’s mostly the “we shot this here, we added this VFX here” sort of deal.
I was also pleased to see a small video from the foley crew, showing them record sound effects for grossness! Lots of meat.