I am sure many of you are already familiar with The Human Centipede. I first became aware of this low budget film while working with The Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival in September. For those lucky few that are not acquainted with the film or at least the concept, let me quickly explain. The Human Centipede is exactly what it sounds like… a centipede made out of human beings. I will not go into the plot details as if the film works at all it only works when the viewer doesn’t exactly know how things are going to play out. I will, however, go over a couple of things that seemed to bother me after the film was over. There will be some minor spoilers to follow.
First off, is this a good film or at least is it a good horror film? I say no on both counts. The film isn’t shot interestingly, the gore effects are not particularly new or shocking, and the acting is sub par at best. Some say the part of the “Dr.” was acted to perfection but I take issue with that as we shall soon see. The film is not remarkable as a horror film or even as “torture porn”. It really only has one gag (pun intended) and that one doesn’t make any kind of sense. The film, however, has garnered a certain level of pop culture attention so I suppose it is worth watching. At least one can then understand the jokes when they hear them.
I want to take a little time going over the biggest problem with the film and that is numerous plot holes. I am talking plot holes big enough to drive a tank through. This film is so holey that one might think it could apply for sainthood. So, let’s start at the beginning…
Plot hole #1: If you are are a young, hot American woman and you are out with your equally hot (ok, just go with me here) and young American friend in a foreign country there is absolutely no excuse not to have a GPS with you. They come in phones, they are built into rental cars, you can get one as its own device, or access GPS data through any other number of random gadgets. Calling the concierge for directions to some random club you heard about on the internet is probably going to end up with you getting lost. On to plot hole #2.
Plot Hole #2: If you find yourself driving around some foreign country without a GPS, go ahead and turn around when you see the unpaved road into the dark and gloomy forest. You are already lost. Don’t make it worse by getting as far away from the main road as possible. Cut your loses, go back to the hotel, order room service, and resolve to have unprotected sex with a strange, club hopping European male some other day. This is important advice and you will thank me later.
Plot Holt #3: If you find your GPS-less ass lost in a foreign country AND you turned down the path through the dark and gloomy forest (like I told you not to) AND you blow a tire in the rain then NEVER and I repeat NEVER leave the car. Do you think that pervert who just propositioned you for sex isn’t chomping at the bit for you to get out of the car? Have you NEVER seen a horror movie before? Nothing good comes from wandering around the dark and gloomy forest in the rain at night. You know, you could try and put the spare on the car. You did listen to your dad when he taught you how to do that right? No? Well, if you don’t know how to change a tire you DO know you can drive a car on the blown tire right? Yes it is going to ruin the rim and you won’t be able to drive terribly far but you can probably make it out of the dark and gloomy forest. Even if the car completely dies you are probably better off waiting until daylight to try and get your bearings and find help. Wandering around in the rain at night in a foreign country in heels is likely the WORST mistake you can possibly make. Even if there isn’t some crazy doctor in the woods you can still suffer from all manner of horrible deaths including but not limited to: starvation, animal attack, frostbite, falling off a cliff, etc. Just stay with the car. It is warm. It has lights. You have a horn to make noise. the car is on a road that is at least occasionally traveled by other humans. You are safer with the car. Don’t compound your previous two mistakes with a third.
Plot Hole #4: So you find yourself wandering around the dark and gloomy forest at night in the rain and you happen upon a house right out in the middle of nowhere. Lucky you eh? Maybe. At least be a little wary of the person living out here. Yes, the house looks nice and well kept but you can never be sure right? My advice, however, is if they guy that answers the door is in ANY WAY odd then get the hell out of dodge. Being aware of bad situations is key to staying alive, un-raped, and un-surgically attached to another human’s anus.
Plot Hole #5: Now things get absolutely ridiculous. If you make all the mistakes I warned you about previously this is the one I need you to remember. The importance of this can not be understated. DO NOT FOR ANY REASON ACCEPT A DRINK FROM A STRANGE, EUROPEAN MAN that seems to have serious attention and emotional problems. For that matter, just don’t accept drinks from strangers period. THIS INCLUDES WATER!!! This point is so critically important that we will return to it again later. Remember this one ladies. It is good advice no matter what the situation.
Plot Hole #6: Ok, so you screwed up and found yourself tied to a gurney in some strange European doctor’s house. You had several opportunities to avoid this fate but failed at every step to make the right choice. It sucks but you still have a shot at redeeming your absolute incompetence. Through some kind of blind luck you are able to free yourself from your bindings while the doctor is sedating your companion and that strange, Asian dude you have never met before. Not only are you able to get free but you have been able to disable your kidnapper. Take this time to ensure your safety by killing the guy! I know you are afraid and the flight instinct is VERY strong but use you head for just a moment and destroy the guy who seems hell bent on creating a medical monstrosity from your flesh. You are in a makeshift hospital so there are any number of things in the room capable of rending this crazy guy an ex-human. You are going to have to get your hands dirty and bloody but if you will just do this one simple thing you will be back home in the states before you can say 3-dog. Just find something and destroy that crazy SOB. Pound his head into hamburger and then pound some more. Use the scalpel and remove his head. Just do whatever it takes to be sure the guy become a permanent resident of Dirt City.
Plot Hole #7: What? You just ran away? Ok. Fine. You just insist on being the dumbest person in history. I get it. Just go. Really. Go. Leave your friend. Sucks for her but one dead American nitwit is better than two dead American nitwits. How far are you going to get dragging your friend anyway. You don’t look particularly strong and she is dead weight. Oh, and don’t forget you didn’t take my previous advice. That doctor guy is up and moving and has a sedation gun. Your friend is collateral damage at this point. The odds are you won’t be getting away but at least give yourself a chance.
Plot Hole: #8: Oh holy hell look at what you have gotten yourself into! You are the middle section of a three person human centipede. I’m done with you. One final piece of advice. If sections 1 and 3 happen to die. You might want to grab that scalpel that was left out on the floor and cut yourself loose. Yes it it will probably hurt and you will be horribly scarred for life but you will be alive. Yeah, I know you may end up living that life institutionalized but it is still worth a try don’t you think? Otherwise, use it to end yourself because honestly the species is probably better off without you anyway.
Plot Hole #9: If you are a trained detective and you are investigating some odd disappearances and happen to find a strange doctor out in the middle of the dark and gloomy woods please see #5. I would have thought your law enforcement training covered this point but maybe European police academies aren’t up to the level of US schools. Don’t accept drinks from strangers especially if they are potential suspects in a missing person’s case.
Plot Hole #10: Obviously I was right in thinking police training across the pond stinks. Here is something to consider. If you are wandering around an unknown house looking for someone who seems a bit insane and may be responsible for some kidnappings or worse and you start getting violently ill, then maybe it is time to call off the search, find your partner, and seek medical treatment. Ever consider the water that you so enthusiastically imbibed may have had something in it? I know it took like 30 minutes to act, but hey who knows right? Maybe you should at least try calling out to your partner.
Plot Hole #11: Herr Doctor this one is for you. I appreciate that you are a bat-shit crazy. Hey, we all get a little insane every now and again. You should have seen me that day someone ate the last Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bar that I had saved for an after work treat. I got home, found it was gone and I went ballistic. It was one crazy day I can tell you. Anyway, I understand that sometimes you just gotta do something that doesn’t make a lot of sense but come on dude…a human centipede??!! No way that is ever going to work. In all of your medical experience didn’t you ever once come across a case of the human gastrointestinal tract reversing direction? Have you ever been drunk? Stomach Flu? Food Poisoning? I can only assume that somewhere you have at least heard of someone blowing chunks right? So what did you think was going to happen when segment one of your little experiment had to defecate? Did you think segment 2 was just going to be able to process that without issue? Hell man, I know ladies who can’t even smell a fart without hurling so how can you possibly imagine that neither segments 2 or 3 would reject the “gifts” from the previous segment. Seems like segments 2 and 3 would be destined to die by choking/suffocation as soon as the normal bodily functions cranked up again. Your experiment was a failure before it even got started.
Alright, I think that is quite enough. The film is a silly attempt at finding success by being disgusting. The sad thing is that it fails even to do that most of the time. I have read several reviews that praised Dieter Laser’s portrayal of the doctor. Personally I think it was ridiculous. I think he was directed to be completely non-subtle in his portrayal. Even so I can’t imagine anyone who comes across a guy acting like this would for a moment think he is anything but insane and possibly dangerous. Someone like that could never make it is far as he did with his dream. I feel pretty sure any good detective would have locked him up on first sight. I don’t consider such a portrayal as genius but then again I am just some guy watching movies and what do I know?
The only reason to see this movie is to know what other people are talking about. It is just one of those things you need to see so you can be in on the conversations at parties or get the jokes during stand-up routines, talk show monologues, etc. Otherwise I think it is a bit silly and otherwise forgettable. I understand they are in production of a sequel right now. The subject of which is a 12-person centipede. I think plot hole #11 becomes even more important here. I wonder if they will address that problem. I am not sure I want to find out.