March 30, 2015

Movie Review: The Human Centipede II (full sequence)

I remember with the first Human Centipede movie came out back in 2009, there was so much hype around how gross and disturbing it was. When I saw it, it did not live up to the expectations. Still, I liked it, although I do not believe there was anything else to it other than trying to gross out a mainstream audience. On that note, they succeeded. The mainstream press jumped on it, at least until the next thing came along (currently, that seems to be the Sharknado franchise). It should come as no surprise that a sequel sprang up a couple years later (2011), the surprise may be that it took until now for me to see it.

Much like the first, I do not believe there is any intent outside of trying to gross out the audience. I do not think there is mean to be any manner of social commentary or deeper meaning outside of doing something that is pretty gross on film. I am all right with that, not everything has to have a purpose, or important reason for being. Sometimes the sheep fact that it was made is merely enough to justify its existence. With that said, I actually think I enjoyed The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) to be better than its predecessor, although it is not a movie that could exist without the first foray into grossness.

This film certainly requires a certain knowledge of the first film, it cannot exist without the first, yet its place in the world is certainly different. The sequel does a nice job of doing a creative spin by not going back to before the first film or constructing a way to bring the malevolent Dr. Heiter back to life. Writer/director Tom Six goes the meta route. You always hear about people being afraid of movies giving people ideas, or of folks attempting to recreate what was done in a movie, that is what they do here.

Martin (Lawrence Harvey) is a strange little man, he lives with his mother in a rundown apartment, and works as the night security guard at a dank parking garage. To pass the time he watches The Human Centipede. He watches it so much that he wished to take Dr. Heiter's experiment within the movie to the next level in the real world. So, you can probably guess what happens there.

No, it is not really a good movie, but it is effective in being more gross than the first and it manages to be entertaining. I think what I liked about it was the return of Ashlynn Yennie, playing herself and believing she is going on an audition (she may want to look into another agent, just saying). However, liking that is really nothing, the best thing about the movie and the reason to watch it is Lawrence Harvey. This guy gives a mesmerizing performance.

Lawrence Harvey does not speak a word of dialogue throughout the film. He cries, moans, screams, and makes other noises, but never speaks a word. He is funny, frightening, sympathetic, disgusting, sad, and everything in between. His character makes you feel sorry for him, makes you fear him, makes you wonder what is wrong with him. He does a lot with little. Harvey, with a side of grossness, is the reason to watch this. It is Harvey that makes this movie work, makes it stand over the first film.

There may ultimately be no point to The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence), but Harvey's Martin makes it a worthy film to watch. He brings something to the movie that I do not think anyone else could, a sympathetic yet terrifying villain. Oh yes, the black and white look is pretty neat too, it adds a lot to the experience that color would have drained away.


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