The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence)
2015, NR, 103 min. Directed by Tom Six. Starring Dieter Laser, Laurence R. Harvey, Eric Roberts, Robert LaSardo, Tommy “Tiny” Lister, Bree Olson.
REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., May 29, 2015
Dutch director/provocateur Tom Six achieved some serious cinematic infamy when he premiered “100% medically accurate” Human Centipede (First Sequence) at Austin’s Fantastic Fest back in 2009. You may recall (or more likely you’ve spent the intervening years desperately attempting to scour the memory from your brain) that in that film, German actor Dieter Laser played a mad vivisectionist who ends up sewing a luckless trio of innocents anus-to-mouth just for kicks. Six imbued that surgical nightmare with a certain amount of arty, stylistic flair, and Laser nailed the crazy to a point that verged on the Mengele-esque. A gross-out shocker, it succeeded in becoming that year’s “I dare you to watch it” cult film.” Then came 2011’s inevitable sequel, which toyed with the idea of taking the whole grotty idea into “reality,” but was a gooey, unpleasant, and depressing step down from Six’s original concept, despite a repellent but transfixing performance from pudgy actor Laurence R. Harvey. Why make this third entry then? Six promised Fantastic Fest fans a trilogy, and apparently he’s a man of his word, so here we go.
Actors Laser and Laurence return in new roles here: Laser plays Bill, the sadistic, maniacal warden of George H.W. Bush State Penitentiary who discovers a novel solution to penal overcrowding via his accountant Dwight (Harvey). If you’ve seen the first two Centipedes, then you know how this is all going to go down in the end (no puns intended). Six, however, has to up the ick factor a thousandfold just to try to top himself, so this third romp through hell itself is overflowing with gross-out sequences that run the gamut from over-the-top scenes of rape (Bree Olson, as Bill’s poor secretary, gets abused in ways we won’t go into here), castration, cannibalism, and clitoral mayhem. Like I said, ick.
It’s all for naught, though, as Laser’s screaming madman schtick wearies fast. Eric Roberts (a long way from The Pope of Greenwich Village) has a role as a creepy politician that adds little to the “plot,” and the appearance of Tom Six, as himself, confirms the notion that he’s a narcissist nonpareil working down the clock. Bad writing, shoddy effects work, and Laser’s nonstop shouting of every single line of dialogue do not add up to a transgressive statement about the American for-profit prison system, but instead achieve the dubious honor of being the most annoyingly in-your-face horror flick of the year thus far. Don’t take this as a challenge, Mr. Six: You’ve already topped yourself straight into yawnsville.