Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Human Centipede

Human Centipede 1 – Tom Six – There are some things in life that you know, without equivocation, will be unpleasant. And yet, human curiosity nibbles away at the evidence of rationality and before you know it, like intrepid advocates of touching wet paint, we are plunging into the debased inevitability of Human Centipede. Alas.

I can remember, fairly vividly, the moment in which I first heard of the film’s twisted concept. I remember being huddled around a friend’s phone, watching the trailer over a post-lecture pint (twas back in the heyday of BA daytime drinking) and feeling nauseated and exhilarated. Pretty much the two key elements to the film, with one sad alteration – exhilaration is no longer on the ‘muffled-mouth-to-anus’ menu.

Never had a pitch for a film been as simple as Tom's infantile and disturbing doodle on the napkin. 

Once you’ve seen the trailer you have more than seen the film. I say ‘more than’ as the trailer preserves the possibility that the film may in fact build upon its central grotesque premise, that maybe it will be allegorical, or frightening, or startling, or deeply blackly comic. It is the wet paint you knew would be wet …and yet touched anyway. Shame on you.

It is the undeveloped result of having an extravagantly disturbing notion, dreamt up with the same sophistication as a playground insult, and then lacking the artistry or craft to do anything remotely interesting with said notion. The underlying feeling from watching such a film is one of monotonous nausea and an accumulating annoyance at having expected anything other. If you have seen the trailer, heard of the ‘ingenious,’ scatological, DIY Siamese, crawling, surgical nightmare, then: you have no need to watch this. It is a badly made, badly thought out, juvenile mess of titillating provocation, devoid of any of the intelligence or style to make such an act worthwhile. I’m all for horror or the grotesque and always receptive to indulging provocation and titillation, yet this is simply dumb. Perhaps the only redeeming features are the faintly amusing references made to the crazy professor’s ‘trial-run’ pet Labradors, condemned to become ‘My Sweet-Three-Dog’. Apart from that, avoid experiencing what is essentially a depressing low for human endeavour. However, that encapsulation suggests this has some grandiose place in filmic history, as an emblematic and abortive aberration that will be remembered as something to forget…a summary far too monumental for this meagre turd. When I first heard about it, I thought Human Centipede would be in the vein of a budget monster movie, I envisaged a towering human/centipede hybrid, crushing buildings and doing battle with Godzilla. I would still like to see that movie; thousands of insect legs grafted onto a herculean mutation, swatting bi-planes and catching screaming blondes in its lusty mandibles. 1/10

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