The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence) [dir. Tom Six]

Posted: June 5, 2015 in Uncategorized

I actually liked the first “Human Centipede” film. I thought it was original, in its own way, and had some sequences that generally worked in their own suspenseful and gross-out fashion.  The concept may have been a joke, but at least that first film was executed reasonably well.  Then came the second film, which had an interestingly grubby black-and-white look and an usual leading man in Laurence Harvey, but ultimately didn’t work for me and was a ho-hum follow-up, but at least it tried something new and didn’t merely repeat the first film, which became a success solely on the novelty.

Well, now we have “The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence)”, and it’s just awful.  This is like a Troma film where the good-natured humor of Troma’s gross-out semi-horror films has been replaced by tone-deaf attempts at humor, offensiveness for offensiveness’s sake, and perhaps the worst, most over-the-top lead performance I have ever seen in Dieter Laser’s prison warden character. Think of Nicolas Cage at his most hammy, over-the-top heights….and then rocket past that into an entirely different galaxy, and you have Laser’s performance. While Laser was good in this first “Human Centipede” film, here his idea of acting is to yell at the top of lungs in his heavily German-accented voice, break up sentences into nonsensical structures, stress the wrong words and syllables in words, and render bad dialogue even worse and more unintelligible than it must have read on the page. This is the most horrendously bizarre and failed acting performance I have seen, to the point where it becomes almost fascinating to watch how off-key and wrong it is.  Not since Tommy Wiseau in “The Room” have I seen a performance that overshadowed everything around it with its awfulness.  When a film contains castration with a pocket knife, a man rubbing his face with the blood of shorn testicles, waterboarding committed with boiling water, the rape of a comatose woman, a man raping a wound in someone’s kidney, a man being strangled to death and resuscitated in order to continue being strangled, and the eating of circumcised clitorises, and the most unwatchable thing in the film is a man’s acting, you KNOW it’s bad.

The plot.  Okay.  The plot involves Laser’s Warden Bill Boss, who runs the George H. W. Bush Prison, in what is one of many failed attempts at political satire in the film.   Upset with how his prisoners remain violent and uncontrollable, he wants to have all of them castrated.  His accountant, Dwight (Laurence Harvey) thinks that castration won’t work to quell the aggression or curb prisoner recidivism, but he has a plan of his own.  He wants to take all of the prisoners and put them into a real life human centipede. See, he’s seen the films, and thinks with some adjustments prisoners could be placed into a human centipede and removed when their sentence is up, albeit with minor scarring on their mouths and anuses.  To prove this can be done, he invited the director of the films, Tom Six (playing himself), who presents his evidence showing that the procedure can be medically possible if the prisoners’ diets are supplemented with a liquid diet of vitamins and minerals and they’re given anti-rejection drugs.

The warden and his accountant are under pressure to do something since the governor (Eric Roberts…yes, Eric Roberts) is threatening to fire and replace them if they don’t improve the prison in 2 weeks.  So, regardless of laws, human rights, and ethics, the plan is put into place.

The film isn’t meant to be taken seriously.  The warden tortures and murders prisons willy-nilly, with no consequence and few batted eyelashes.  He has an unlicensed doctor (Clayton Rohner) as the prison physician.  His secretary (former porn star Bree Olson….yup) he repeatedly sexually assaults because he got her father out of prison, leaving her as his sex slave.  The film obviously doesn’t even want to try to exist on a realistic level.  The problem, aside from Laser’s performance sucking the air out of the room, is that the film is not scary, not funny, and only occasionally even gross enough to justify its existence. It’s mostly just bad.  It attempts to be political by mentioning prison statistics in the US and attempting some satire about the Prison Industrial Complex, and there’s some humor about how the governor only smokes Cuban cigars and the warden hates him for that, but largely the film is an unfunny mess.  When we finally get to the centipede, and also a human caterpillar of life sentence and death row inmates who are sewn ass-to-mouth while all their limbs are cut off, it’s no longer gross or shocking, but boring.

I don’t know why Tom Six decided this should be the last film in this series.  It reeks of a “fuck you” to critics of his and a self-congratulatory run around the bases for himself.  His weird idea did become a cultural meme, which the character of Dwight points out in the film. A porn parody, a “South Park” episode, and more have launched from the original film.  Now, however, the idea has run its course and Six is clearly out of anything useful to say with it. He’s simply disappeared up his own asshole. D.

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