Please note, that in order to properly discuss this film, there will be some amount of spoilers to 'The Human Centipede: First Sequence,' which this follow-up is based upon. If you do not want a single aspect of that film spoiled, please skip ahead to the technical portion of this review.
Also please note, that, much like its predecessor, 'The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence' is not a film for everyone. To recap our previous disclaimer: This review is for a film whose entire premise may be considered vile, disgusting, crude, and completely unacceptable to some viewers. As such, this review may not be for everyone. Reader discretion is advised.
100% medically inaccurate.
Count me in the category of people who thought that 'The Human Centipede' could have been more graphic. In fact, for horror standards, it was amazingly tame...and chaste to boot. The idea freaks people out, and has created all the hype and backlash against the film, but the idea is hardly shown all that much. It's the atmosphere, the ideas, the visualizing and imagining that makes 'The Human Centipede' a disturbing film. For a movie whose premise centers on a creation that forces other organisms to masticate on its defecation, there wasn't even a single drop, a speck, or a hint of the human byproduct. So...if you are like me, you probably had some thoughts in mind, with how much more perverse, graphic, or utterly insane the film could have been.
Every single nightmare, dark vision, and revolting action imaginable to up the ante is included in the sequel, 'The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence,' and on this disc, is presented fully uncut. That means every single nasty moment you've heard about is here. Not a single zoom to escape the naughty. No cut-aways from the sandpaper, no censorship of the barbed wire. This sequel will make viewers question whether less is more, with its amazingly over-the-top, insanely disturbed twists and turns that will test even the truest gore hound.
Now, those who have viewed the film will ask "how can they make a sequel to 'The Human Centipede?' Didn't that doctor and most of the original centipede die? How is this story going to continue?" That was my biggest question going into this film, and I'll admit, writer/director Tom Six brilliantly worked around this potential franchise killer by making an amazing statement on society. See, the main character of this sequel is a random mentally handicapped misanthrope who is obsessed with the original film, who wants to take the 100% medically accurate surgery and results and apply them to real life, parodying criticisms by depicting the possible ramifications.
The diminutive, non-imposing parking attendant Martin Lomax (Laurence R. Harvey in his film debut) has a scrapbook full of pictures and drawings concerning 'The Human Centipede.' When at work, he watches the movie on a loop. When at home, he supposedly has babbled on about making a "twelve person centipede," according to his overbearing mother (Vivien Bridson). When Martin takes over a warehouse, the time comes for his plans to come to fruition. Only, Martin doesn't have the compassion or the experience that the insane Doctor Heiter did. He only has a set of dirty tools, the general idea from the original film, and his deepest, darkest desires...and twelve unfortunate victims -- including one of the stars of the original film.
'The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence' is one bizarre fucking film. There's no other way to put it, unless you replace the word bizarre with repulsive, ungodly, or any other extremely negative adjective. If the pioneers of motion pictures knew that one day their creation would lead to this film, they would have quit and sought out a new line of work. This is, without a doubt, one of the most graphically disturbing perverse pieces of cinema ever created. The thing is...it's damn effective, and amazingly performed, to the point that you almost start to believe that this film is real. That only makes it all the more sickening.
Martin may go down as an iconic character of his genre. Throughout the entire film, he doesn't speak a single word. Not one. He grunts, he moans, he whimpers and makes sounds at his creation (let's just say they're not exactly kind sounds, mind you...), but he doesn't speak on screen, not even to his mother. We know he can talk, since his mother mentions he babbles on about his dream, and he is able to trick Ashlynn Yennie into flying in to London on the pretense of auditioning for a major motion picture, but he doesn't speak, not in pain, or anger, not at all. His stare is among the coldest and most evil you'll ever see. His body is hardly a work of art, as the little man is quite rotund and is about as attractive as the thought of having your mouth stapled to someone's ass. He's ill in the head, and at times questionably catatonic due to sexual abuse he's suffered in the past. But he's been inspired to finally turn the tables on those who mock and torment him, including the mother he catches trying to murder him in his sleep.
The first hour or so of the film isn't all-too graphic, as it mostly sets the stage for one of the most demanding climaxes you'll ever see. That doesn't make it any less disturbing, though, as the "less is more" approach is flirted with (when it isn't obliterated by the masochistic masturbation moment), and we're constantly kept on our toes by the unstable nature of the character. And then, we get to that point, where we know that Martin is ready to finally make his dream come true. This time around, the procedure is much more graphic. In fact, the depictions are so sadistic, it's hard not to be affected by them. Teeth are bashed in with a hammer and not carefully plucked, leaving some to gargle on their seeping blood with every attempted breath. Knees are sliced into, tendons yanked out, and cut in half. The victims? No anesthesia, only a crowbar blow to the head to knock them unconscious, a state many will wake from mid-procedure. The attempts to slice open the posteriors to create interconnecting skin pieces doesn't work out so well, either, leaving dear Martin to crudely use a staple gun and lots and lots of duct tape to adhere his creation. This amateur approach to medical science is beyond fucked up, and even Martin is affected by it when he realizes that he doesn't quite possess the skills needed to perform the procedure properly. An awkward revelation, really -- considering the apparent mental incapacity the character possesses.
Now, this film isn't without its flaws, and the number one issue with the film is logic. Since the character is clearly mentally ill, one major plot hole may have you wondering if the events that unfold are reality or fantasy. See, we're talking about a film taking place in 2011 London, yet Martin has himself a handgun or two that he's not afraid to fire. He kills people. He abducts others. Cars are abandoned, one with bullet holes through the windshield. Heck, even an infant appears, its mother abducted, its father murdered. The entire time, there's not once a concern for the authorities, for investigations into missing people or gunfire. The child vanishes, its fate unknown. While Six can argue, fantasy or reality, that the perturbed state of the character leads him to believe there are no consequences by his repeat viewings of the film, he knows that a knock on the door at the wrong time can cause the whole house of cards to come crashing down. The suspense of the cop visit in the original film was so thick you could cut it with a butter knife, yet that is abandoned here, for sake of telling a different tale.
'The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence' is a film that, we all can agree, goes too far. The possibilities running through your mind when it is revealed one of the segments is pregnant and nearing her due date are reason alone to go in with a barf bag. When it comes time to feed the centipede, it's not as simple and gentle as before, either, and let's just say that the desire to see one portion defecate into the other is an act that is fulfilled, over and over again. Graphically. Noisily. There are three moments in the climax that will leave viewers shaking their heads or covering their eyes, as the boundaries of what is acceptably capable of being depicted in cinema are shattered, and there's no way to explain these events without making oneself sound like the most demented being on the face of the Earth. The fact that Six thought up all this "goodness" and found these ways to depict it is reason enough to give up on humanity.
This sequel is not better or worse than the original. It does show (oh, boy, does it show) the goods this time around, but it also removes the tension and fear from the first film. This is not a film to be taken lightly, or to be viewed while dining. It doesn't restrain itself in any way, shape, or form, and goes to the deepest, darkest places imaginable, and then goes even further. Despite the amazing performance by Harvey, 'The Human Centipede 2' may be best described as a piece of shock cinema, something made to intentionally go as far as possible, for no reason other than to do it. This is 90 minutes of a man lashing back at the world that cannot be unseen once it has been seen.
The Disc: Vital Stats
IFC brings 'The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence' to Blu-ray on a Region A marked BD25 disc. There are a number of odd pre-menu trailers for films that have not come to Blu-ray, and a very easy to navigate menu.
Presented in black and white in 1080p, 'The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence' makes for an interesting Blu-ray. On the bright side, the amount of detail can be borderline amazing, with fantastic hair detail, great skin texture, amazing peach fuzz pop and clarity, and the most brutal accenting from sweat gleams or blood shine. Black levels are pretty deep, and there's only a minimal amount of information lost, even with the film being shot in color and converted to black and white. There are some issues, though, like a borderline constant aliasing issue, visible on items like Martin's glasses, the pulses on computer speakers, the outlines of cars, or even the patterning of wood, and the light camera sway in the warehouse affects the blood on the ground, making it appear to shimmer.
Now, mind you, there could be some other anomalies in the picture, as well, that I didn't catch. I say this as a disclaimer, because there were moments where I just had to look away, just briefly, to remind myself this was just a film. They weren't any actions in particular, just the added up effect, the weight of it all. So...if you spot a screen with blocking briefly, or a real brief artifact burst, don't blame me. That just means you have an iron stomach.
The audio for 'The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence' comes in just one flavor: a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, and it's a good one! Room dynamics are spectacular, with great echoes, perfect pitch, and enough realism to make the visuals all the more disgusting. The sticky, gooey sound of duct tape pealing apart, the heavy rain battering the room from all angles, the gunfire pop and crowbar impact crunch, there's not a single beat missed here. Moans often localize to one side of the room or another, but sound isn't exactly precise or exact. Bass levels start soft and can get dangerously powerful, and are fairly constant. This track lacks the constant engagement needed to be a top tier title, but it's great for what the film is.
'The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence' is a disgusting, revolting, despicable nightmare of a film. Without a doubt, it's one of the nastiest films ever made. Once it gets going, there's no stopping, no end to the depravity, the twisted acts, the need to excise oneself of one's bile and stomach contents. This is not a film to watch while eating. Ever. Ever, ever, ever, ever, ever. If that isn't endorsement enough, I don't know what is. This Blu-ray disc is solid, with some pretty darned good presentation qualities, and some disturbed extras. If you're a fan of the original, you have to check this out. Just get ready to be shocked back to the stone age.