“I castrated him myself!”
“Yes sir; we’re all aware.”
I suppose Tom Six should feel proud for achieving what he has with the Human Centipede series. From, let’s say “humble”, beginnings — a simple b-movie body horror tale with a horrific (and creative) premise — Six gained obscure pop culture recognition for a gimmick that makes everyone gag just a little. Someone like myself who is grossed out by toilet bowl selfies, being sewn mouth to anus is pretty unsettling. And a little funny, too. I had a great time watching the first movie in the theater, with an audience giggling along the way.
The sequel, (Full Sequence), was a joyless affair of self commentary, pointing a finger at his audience by taking things to the next level of disturbance. If the first movie was Drive, consider this to be Only God Forgives. The follow up nobody expected or wanted; I suppose Tom Six deserves applause for that.
I suppose much about Tom Six, but, he might just suppose less of himself.
Perhaps one of the most self loathing (and just plain loathing) movies EVER made, The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence) is a feature length reason for why it shouldn’t have been produced. I recently quoted a Roger Ebert review of Cloud Atlas, where he suggested that a film could just be “the telling of itself”. This is true for (Final Sequence) to a detriment, no matter if it was on purpose or not. Gross for the sake of gross? Sickness with a depressing point? Scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas? Maybe all of the above.
(Final Sequence) sees the return of the main antagonist from the original, but in a new role. Dieter Laser is now an insane prison warden / possible run away Nazi, who spends his time speaking unintelligibly, eating circumcised African female genitalia, randomly killing prisoners, assaulting his secretary and worrying if he’ll be “death raped”. He is in just about every scene, skulking around like a half alive skeleton, sticking his tongue out at anyone watching and yelling at anyone listening. If Uwe Boll ever tried to rip off a Klaus Kinski performance, THIS would be his interpretation of it. Redundant, obnoxious and never ending.
There is a constant stream of disappointed / disgruntled / disgusted faces from characters, who ask things like “Why!?” and demand “Please No!” over and over again. At one point, Tom Six appears as himself, and vomits at the plans the warden has, despite being raring to see it all. If you think about it, the warden is a version or extension of Six, with his accountant assistant being either an eager fan or writer. Eric Roberts comes in as Governor — possibly representing Hollywood studios and / or the money men. I usually refer to Full Sequence as a commentary on its own audience. Final Sequence just might be a commentary on / peak inside the soul of itself, exposing some hate filled and nonsensical rantings from a madman’s heart. However subtextual and meta it may be, it never feels fully realized, either as a message or a movie.
When a patriotic musical tune pops up, I sigh. When Laser makes a weird face, I sigh. When a prisoner with a stoma is being abused, I groan. When nothing but the same depravity runs and runs over and over again and again, I scream. Was the point of it all to make me feel this way? If so, is that a good excuse? When I tried my hand at screenwriting, a good friend and I joked that we’d be puppeteers to a world of characters and crazy dark humor scenarios. If there is a god of cinema, (Final Sequence) is his / her way of handing out penance.
Did Six really need to go this far? This deep? Not at all. But I think his point is that we made him take it all the way. In Michael Moore’s The Big One, the filmmaker visits a candy plant, where the manager tells him that if the workers did a worse job, they would still have their jobs. “That’s insane.” Moore exclaims. I suppose.
0.5 / 5 *s
Originally published at billreviewsfilm.blogspot.com on May 26, 2015.