Movie Review: The Human Centipede: First Sequence (2009)
Two American girls on a road trip through Europe get a flat tire late at night in Germany. They walk to find help, and stumble upon the residence of Dr. Heiter, a first-class surgeon who separates Siamese twins. He promptly kidnaps them, along with an unfortunate Japanese tourist, and announces to them that they will become part of a first-time experiment. He will fuse them together mouth to anus to create the human centipede.
This independent film mixes two great horror movie classics–kidnapping and a deranged doctor–and combines them into a great idea. It doesn’t quite attain the heights such a great idea should have, but I can easily see it becoming a cult classic.
Dieter Laser, who plays Dr. Leiter, does an excellent job. His facial expressions are magnificently creepy. He is actually German, so his German is perfect, as well as his German accent. Akihiro Kitamura’s performance was also well-done, particularly given that he mostly just gets to yell in Japanese and whimper. The actresses who play the two girls–Ashley C. Williams and Ashlyn Yennie–have painfully annoying voices. It was a blessing that they were the two end sections of the human centipede, because it shut them up.
Given how incredibly idiotic and annoying the two girls are in the beginning of the film, I can’t help but suspect that the writer was trying to make us feel less sympathy for them. Possibly with the hope that it would soften the blow of the gross idea? Maybe.
As far as the grossness inherent in three people being sewed together mouth to anus, they could have taken it much further than they did in the film. Only bits and pieces of the operation are shown, and the human centipede wears bandages so strategically that you don’t really see much of the actual connection. It’s more about the viewer imagining it than actually seeing it. Although the scene where the front unit of the human centipede (the Japanese man, Katsuro) must first *ahem* use the restroom post-surgery is quite gross, it is simultaneously hilarious. If you have a bit of a quirky sense of humor, the horror and gross-out factors of this film are greatly lessened. In fact, I found The Fly to be much more disturbing and disgusting than this film.
Overall, if you enjoy gross-out, B-level horror films, you will have a fun time watching this movie. It’s short, interesting, and different.
4 out of 5 stars