Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Human Centipede II (2011)

I'm not going to make any excuses for watching The Human Centipede II (which should have been called The Human Millipede). After watching the first one, I knew what to expect. But the "meta" nature of the sequel, as described in the synopsis, reeled me in (like a sucker).

Part two is a lot more graphic, and even more disturbing than the first, but it has at least one thing going for it, and that's its smart self-awareness. What is the worst possible thing you could say about the movie The Human Centipede? How about that some lowlife would watch it and want to try it at home? Well, that's the premise of this movie.

The sicko this time around is a bloated, bug-eyed, asthmatic troll of a subhuman who lives with his mother (so, basically, your stereo-typical 4chan poster), and is absolutely obsessed with the movie The Human Centipede, to the point of masturbating (with sandpaper!) to it on repeat. Plus he was psychologically and sexually abused since childhood (although honestly, I don't understand how that's even relevant - it's not like it makes him sympathetic, or his actions any more understandable).

Whereas the doctor in the first movie was a trained surgeon who simply had a twisted view of what constitutes a medical marvel, this guy is an utterly pathetic, homocidal, antisocial pervert who is such a caricature of creepiness that you can't imagine how he would have survived long enough in the real world to carry out his fantasy of stitching together a 12-person human centipede with a hammer, duct tape, and a staple gun.

But yeah, that's kind of the brilliance of it, because it totally emphasizes how ridiculously absurd the premise is, as much as the idea that somebody would a) want to, and b) be able to recreate it after seeing the movie. Maybe some crazy Nazi scientist during WWII, but those were extenuating circumstances that allowed for many inhuman atrocities to be committed. In modern society, the idea that a movie like The Human Centipede should be banned because somebody might enjoy or emulate it is, as I said, as absurd as its premise.

Still, social commentary aside, what we're left with is a fundamentally disturbing movie. I give it props for its stylistic approach, but it's still a movie about a sicko (however fictional he may be) whose only joy in life is shooting innocent people, clubbing them over the head with a crowbar, and then sewing them together ass to mouth.

It makes me wonder why I even watch films like this. I mean, I'm all about the importance of defending free speech, and the worst that speech has to offer is that which is most in need of defending. But there are less distancing ways to push the boundaries than with sadistic, pathological violence.

However, violence remains a far more acceptable dramatic subject than sexuality, and so even bad horror films have more interesting stories than most porn. I just wonder if maybe I'm fueling my own fear of real life violence and medical operations by watching so many overindulgent dramatizations, and that rather than desensitizing me, it is feeding my paranoia and anxiety...

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