Screw You, ‘Human Centipede II’

Sobering thought before you check out for happy hour on Friday afternoon: we currently live in a world where there are not one, but two movies about creating human centipedes. When the aliens from ‘A.I.’ are surveying the wreckage of Earth in 3,000 years, that’s the type of thing that they might point at and say, “Thank God these guys are gone.” Put another way: this is why we can’t have nice things.

Far be it from me to condemn a movie I haven’t seen — nor will ever see — but: seriously? Seriously? ‘Human Centipede II’ is a thing people want to watch, with its graphic violence, rape, sadism and fecal accoutrements? “If you’re an actor in ‘Human Centipede 2,’ how do you show that movie to your parents, or put it on your reel?” Variety reporter Jeff Sneider wondered on Twitter. “Utter trash.” To answer the first portion of that Tweet: you don’t? Simply cutting photos for our posts on the film this week made me gag. If that makes me a prude, then consider me a prude — one who doesn’t like to see the words “mouth,” “anus” and “sewed” placed near each other in any sentences. Ever.

To be fair, director Tom Six is somewhat in on the “joke,” reveling in his role as agent provocateur. When Movieline’s Jen Yamato asked him about a woman who fainted during the premiere screening of ‘Human Centipede II’ at Fantastic Fest last month, Six seemed satisfied. “Secretly it pleases me – of course, as long as people don’t get really hurt,” he said. “I think that’s the core of filmmaking. If you make a great comedy and you’re laughing your ass of and you’re really hurt from the laughing – I love that. If a film in any way does that with you, that you’re really fucked up or you have a strong emotion, then it works I think. Because it’s terrible if you see a film and you don’t care.”

Which is the larger problem for horror movies. If you have to make people literally watch shit to get them to “care” about a genre, what does that say about the state of your genre? Nothing positive, of course — something that has been proven at the box office this year, where horror has been pushed to the side by family films, action spectacles and R-rated comedies (poop played for laughs > poop played for torture). The mere existence of ‘Human Centipede II’ seems like a tipping point: where can horror go from here? Can you even imagine?

Sadly, yes. Six says that plans are already underway for a ‘Human Centipede III,’ one that will take place in America. ‘With Part Three I go in a totally different direction again, and there are some scenes that I think are worse than Part Two – but in a whole different way!” he told Movieline. “So it’s up to the viewer if it’s worse or whatever.” Early guess: it’s worse. And whatever.

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