FF 2009 Review. The Human Centipede (First Sequence)

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FF 2009 Review. The Human Centipede (First Sequence)

Possibly the most talked about film at Fantastic Fest The Human Centipede brought with it a baggage of high expectations and the promise to freak you the fuck out.

While it wasn't as extreme and messed up as I thought it would be, people were talking about how they almost puked and stuff like that, it was however a good film, with a crazy central idea and good performances that raise it up to a higher level than a simple gore fest would.


Dr. Heiter is a brilliant sepulchral surgeon on a mission. His mission, to reverse the process that he usually does, separating Siamese twins, and merge together three human beings in to one by joining them from end to end with a single digestive system. Ass to mouth just got a whole new meaning.

His "volunteers" for this experiment are two American girls looking for shelter after their car breaks down and a Japanese tourist unlucky enough to fall in to his trap.

Prepping the patients he shows them how this surgery will take place with crudely drawn diagrams and they realize that this situation has gone from bad to utterly ape shit. It should be noted that this type of surgery can actually be done in real life as the filmmakers worked with a surgeon to get this as accurate as possible which makes this idea even more freaky.

After the surgery Dr. Heiter tries to condition his victims to accept their fate and to become one with harsh discipline but their irritating will to be free puts a fly in that ointment and things don't go as planed.

It would be very easy for this film to be an all out gore and gross out fest but director Tom Six is not really interested in that aspect of the story but rather the harsh reality of the victims. So the film is never exploitive in that sense and doesn't hit you as hard as it could for all the wrong reasons.

The performances are really the best thing about this film, Dieter Laser is just utterly insane and with his looks fits just perfectly in to the role of the stereotypical crazy german doctor. The two american girls do their job as well, I can't imagine it's comfortable to be strapped to the back side of your acting partner for the duration of the shoot. Akihiro Kitamura is also wonderful as the head of the creation, never letting go of his japanese spirit.

Tom Six has promised that a sequel is in the works, this time using 12 people as the human centipede and that it is going to be much more graphic than the first part. If people felt the urge to leave and felt queazy while watching this one then I recommend bringing a barf bag to the sequel.

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Tom SixDieter LaserAshley C. WilliamsAshlynn YennieAkihiro KitamuraHorror

More about The Human Centipede (First Sequence)

Joshua ChaplinskyOctober 5, 2009 3:13 PM

Exactly. Despite not being as extreme as expected, this was def a cut above standard horror fare. Dieter Laser is my new favorite actor. And Tom Six was so congenial and polite, I don't know how he came up with this film.

Agent WaxOctober 5, 2009 11:06 PM

It would take a TEAM of surgeons with state of the art operating theatre equipment to do something like this in real life, even if it were possible. Also, the creation would likely not survive very long. Just thought I'd point that out to quell any misconceptions about the feasibility of this plot. As a horror movie, it works. But, no, it wouldn't work in real life.

Joshua ChaplinskyOctober 5, 2009 11:29 PM

Haha, that's not what director Tom Six said. He claimed it was 100% medically accurate, and that he spoke to several doctors.

Ard VijnOctober 6, 2009 4:40 AM

It might be technically possible, especially the way they solve the problem how the two people at the back get fed (it's not straight coprophilia in case you were wondering, or so I've heard), but I totally agree on the "team of surgeons" comment.

This is one of those films, like "Grace", where I'm REALLY curious how it will play out but am equally reluctant to actually watch the movie...

ToryOctober 6, 2009 5:59 PM

I'm in the same boat, Ard. But I'm MUCH more willing to Grace.

Agent WaxOctober 7, 2009 12:18 AM

I concede it is theoretically possible. It is also theoretically possible to win $30 million in the lottery, but that doesn't mean you should quit your job to become a professional lottery player.

kungfueurotrashOctober 7, 2009 9:30 AM

Great idea for a horror movie, not so great if it were to happen in real life.