Laurence R. Harvey as Martin
Ashlynn Yennie as Miss Yennie
Dominic Borrelli as Paul
Georgia Goodrick as Valerie
Lucas Hansen as Ian
Emma Lock as Kim
Dan Burman as Greg
Bill Hutchens as Dr. Sebring
Maddi Black as Candy
Katherine Templar as Rachel
Lee Nicholas Harris as Dick
Peter Blankenstein as Alan
Kandace Caine as Karrie
Daniel Jude Gennis as Tim
Vivien Bridson as Mrs Lomax
Directed by Tom Six
A security guard named Martin (Laurence R. Harvey) is so obsessed with Tom Six’s movie “The Human Centipede,” he’s inspired to create his very own human centipede, capturing enough people to go for the entire 12-person sequence.
When the sequel to Tom Six’s disturbing grossout begins with the final scene of his previous movie, you might assume that this will be a direct sequel continuing where that one left off, but no, we’re actually watching the end of the movie on a DVD along with Martin, a security guard at a parking garage who has become quite obsessed by Six’s movie to the point of watching it on an endless loop. When he sees a couple in the parking garage, he goes out with a gun and a large metal poker and proceeds to knock them out and load them into the back of his van. We see him do this a number of times, driving his victims to a warehouse where he proceeds to perform his own makeshift version of Dr. Heiter’s experience.
Despite the numbering in the title, “The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)” isn’t the type of sequel where you necessarily need to see its far superior predecessor. Instead of any actual recap–as if you need to know much more than the premise–we’re brought up to speed by Martin’s repeat viewings of the movie, but he also keeps a scrapbook of images from the movie as well as newspaper clippings from the cast and detailed sketches of Dr. Heiter’s operation as explained in the first film.
Martin is a short and rotund, constantly wheezing and sweaty troll of a man, who is quite disturbed. He never talks, not once, instead making weird squealing sounds, and when we follow him home, we learn he still lives with his elderly mother who hates his very existence and that he was molested as a child by his father (now in prison). She calls upon a psychiatrist to try to get through to her son and his obsession with centipedes, even having one as a pet.
There’s something about these scenes that are as amusing and perverse as Alex DeLarge’s home life in Kubrick’s classic “A Clockwork Orange,” and like with that controversial movie, you’re never quite sure whether Six is hoping you’ll eventually be able to empathize or even like Martin. You can appreciate Laurence Harvey’s ability to portray such an absolutely loathsome character with such zeal, but he’s never quite as entertaining as Dr. Heiter from the first movie, instead being more of a curiosity. Because there are so few significant characters outside Martin’s home life–we never learn much about his victims–it relies entirely on whether you can spend an entire movie watching this slug of a man realizing his demented dream.
As much as one might want to give Six credit for his ability to convince eleven more actors to crawl around on the floor naked with their face planted in someone else’s ass, any statement he was trying to make about how one’s obsessions can take them down an ugly path (take note “Twihards”) gets lost in the graphic violence, all of which goes too far. The point where it becomes quite unforgivable is when Martin knocks out a pregnant woman, strips her naked and everything that happens with her character after that, which makes it impossible to appreciate any attempts at character-development done earlier in the movie.
For whatever reason, Six felt the need to deliver on the most undesirable aspect of the premise, maybe for those who were disappointed by how tame it was in the first movie, but between the actual “operation”–Martin isn’t a surgeon so he just uses whatever tools he can find around his flat, which doesn’t include anesthesia–the last half hour is unbearably gruesome. Martin’s endless obsession at getting his 12-person centipede to deliver grows tiring.
Needless to say, if you were even remotely disgusted by the concept of the original movie or shaken up by the limb-severing climax of Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours,” you’ll probably want to avoid this movie. The decision by Six and his cinematographer to shoot in black and white may spare the viewer of potentially being even more disgusted by the amount of blood, gore and sh*t that splatters the screen, but it also quite masterfully harks back to the early films of David Lynch, particularly “Eraserhead.” As with his previous movie, Six proves himself to be a skilled filmmaker, but the sequel leaves you wishing even more that he’d use his storytelling talents for good rather than merely to disgust and be controversial.
The Bottom Line:
This sequel to “The Human Centipede” is not for the faint of heart or stomach, but you’d have to be a very sick puppy to relish the idea of seeing the level of gross-out gore it delivers. Other than the oddity that is the main character and the inspired META aspect of the sequel, it really doesn’t add anything to the premise that absolutely must be seen.