I love the first Human Centipede. I do not like the second Human Centipede. I despise the third Human Centipede, and yet for some reason I was compelled (beyond the requirement to review this trio) to watch all three movies over the course of two nights including all the extras in this set from Scream Factory and IFC Midnight. The result was actually quite positive, giving me a better appreciation for the sequels while reveling in my love for the original and better understanding what makes me okay with watching three movies about ATM (that would be ass to mouth ladies and gents) in a surgical, precise but completely exploitative manner. This set is for lovers of the Human Centipede, the concept, the actors. It’s got a lot of meet on that there insect.
Let me run through the movies before getting into what makes this a unique set that has it a lot to offer someone who is a fan of the series but hasn’t ventured into the physical media versions just yet.
The first movie is perfectly camp and comedic with elements of perfect disgust that may not be as suave as the body Horror in a Cronenberg movie but has all the hallmarks of a classic, mash em up monster movie from the late 60’s. The plot? Let’s surgically slam three folks together and train them. It’s that simple. Oh… and the three unified individuals will have one digestive tract and someone’s mouth goes on someone’s butt. Maybe I left that out. That’s the part that icks everyone. To be honest the first Human Centipede handles this connection with style and grace for the most part, only playing at the connection between mouth and anus rather than treating it like a longwinded dick and fart joke. Sure there’s a moment of pure bowel moving hilarity, but it isn’t a running joke. It’s disgusts, moves on and then gets to the core Horror element of the movie, our mad scientist and his mental instability and ultimate controlling nature. As I said before, Human Centipede is the same movie you’ve been watching for years since Dr. Frankenstein made his monster (or any version thereof). This time you just get a more physiologically accurate interpretation of that involving two body parts that don’t go together.
That brings us to part 2. The Full Sequence. This is what happens when you put 11 folks together, non-surgically using the crudest methods possible. The original was displayed in black and white and was exceptionally graphic with some moments of horrendous torture and violence. It’s unsettling at best, well-acted and quite honestly, not fun at all for someone who enjoyed the original movie, a monster movie with body Horror elements playing off a familiar trope. In part 2 we truly understand what it means to be in the mind of a madman, played by Laurence Harvey. I understand why this movie is appreciated and revered by many, but I can’t quite stomach the thing. There are scenes in HC2 that get under my skin, cuts that don’t heal and a particular nasty job done to a pregnant woman that made me sad. I suppose your enjoyment of the Full Sequence relies on what you expect when you watch a Horror picture. I like to be entertained; I like to laugh and feel great when I watch a final battle. This left me feeling raw and cut open and absolutely filthy with shit everywhere. While the original tries to conceal the connection between mouth and anus, focusing in on it for comedic effect only subtly, HC2 has the intricate nature of the connection on full display and pushing for the absolutely gross out. It really is the next step in the evolution of the concept and has meta qualities that are very creative and innovative.
Human Centipede 3 changes all that. It takes the best from both movies and… forgets they even exist, by turning the whole series into a Horror comedy filled with non sequitur jokes at the expense of woman in the most sexually degrading manner possible. Sometimes I’ll admit, they’re quite funny. Others, I don’t understand why this was the ultimate conclusion of a series that was about creating a new being/monster. Dieter Laser is very funny at times and his one-liners are quotable, but one-liners do not make a whole movie. You spend the entire movie waiting for the connection to the actual franchise only to get the smallest tease possible at a giant human centipede. As individual segments the construction looks great. As a whole, from an aerial perspective, I got the impression I was looking at a matte painting rather than real people connected at the butt. The ending is unsatisfying and the focus is on the insanity of the protagonist, exploitation to a humorous extend and the degradation of everyone. I’m actually quite certain that some folks will love just how far out of its way it goes to get you laugh at the human clitoris. I am not a fan of this movie, but I must admit that the second viewing let me laugh at more of Laser’s dialogue without focusing on the lack of pede.
The set is handsome with a sleek black case, three individual cases inside that preserve the original artwork. It almost feels to professional given the topics of the movies inside. Each movie looks great in HD, and I had no issues with playback, audio or video. The extras are strong especially for someone who hasn’t yet purchased the first two discs in the series. Each movie gets a commentary track with at least Tom Six at the helm. Plenty of behind the scenes reels, deleted scenes and even a foley session (truly icky and fun). The standout extra on this set is the color version of Human Centipede 2. I prefer this version to the bleaker, black and white version. It isn’t as pretty as the black and white edition and it certainly doesn’t feel as artsy. The color presentation almost seems to humanize Laurence Harvey and shows off some of the effects better. I appreciate both interpretations of the movie, but I actually enjoyed HC2 a bit in color. This is a new feature for this set, one that I strongly recommend checking out.
You can order the Full Sequence from Scream Factory now.
Or just the third installment on Blu-ray.
I strongly urge fans of the second film to pick up the set to get the color version of the movie. If you haven’t seen any of them, this would make you an instant ATM expert and as long as you have a strong stomach and a good sense of humor, you should appreciate the series. This represents another solid collaboration between IFC Midnight and Scream Factory where the quality releases of IFC Midnight really shine through the ingenuity and physical media savviness of Scream Factory’s packaging and extra packaging.
From Scream Factory:
Upon its release, The Human Centipede became a cultural sensation. Now, get ready to experience the "complete sequence" of the notorious Human Centipede series, including Unrated Director’s Cuts of all three films!
THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (FIRST SEQUENCE) Unrated Director’s Cut:
NEW The Ladies Of The Human Centipedes Featurette – New Interviews With Ashley C. Williams, Ashlynn Yennie, Maddi Black, And Kandace Caine
Audio Commentary With Director Tom Six
Interview With Director Tom Six
Alternate Poster Gallery
THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 (FULL SEQUENCE) Unrated Director’s Cut:
NEW The Color Version Of The Film
NEW Laurence Harvey's Audition Tape
Audio Commentary With Tom Six And Laurence R. Harvey
Interview With Director Tom Six
Tour Of The Warehouse Set
Making Of The Poster
NEW Alternate Poster Gallery
THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 3 (FINAL SEQUENCE) Unrated Director’s Cut:
Audio Commentary With Director Tom Six
The Making Of The Human Centipede 3 Featurette