FF2011: 'The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)'

'Human Centipede II' reviewed

Bad lovin'.
Bad lovin'.

Likely to be as divisive as its predecessor, a Fantastic Fest 2009 favorite that gained notoriety almost entirely by word of mouth, director/provocateur Tom Six unleashes a sequel that's stylistically gorgeous and thematically repellant in near-equal measure.

Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) is the cinematic equivalent of a triple-dog-dare from Hell. You wonder if by announcing the sequel -- at FF 2009 -- long before he'd even begun pre-production on it, Six backed himself into something of a corner. A corner begrimed with blacker-than-black death camp humor and human feces to be sure, but a corner nevertheless.

Six's biggest coup is, again, his lead actor. This time it's the ickily riveting Laurence R. Harvey, who plays Martin, an obese, dwarfish man-child who works as a security guard in a car park in some unknown, presumably British backwater. Martin spends his downtime endlessly watching a DVD of Human Centipede (First Sequence) on his laptop. The fact that Six has suddenly gone all meta on us pales in comparison to the ghastly realization that this pop-eyed, Peter Lorre-esque pervert is taking notes. It's not long before -- you guessed it! -- Martin's mangled his domineering mum and started collecting interchangeable victim-types to, well, interchange.

Six outdoes himself in the disgusting bodily fluids department, but you can't shake the feeling that he's trying way, way too hard. After all, in a black-and-white film, do we really need to see the copraphigic torrents in living (and dying) color? Brown appears to be the overall mood of this film, not crimson like its predecessor. All of this is fair "can you take it?" territory, but in the end you find yourself wondering where 90's-era German cinema-transgressor Jorg Buttgereit is, and when he might deign to make Nekromantik 3. As for Human Centipede 2, well, frankly it kind of sucks ass. And we mean that literally.

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ff2011, FF2011, Human Centipede II (Full Sequence), Tom Six, Fantastic Fest 2011

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