Saturday, 12 July 2014

The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence (2011)

"Is this the perverted film you've been talking about?"

Oh, you just knew I had to blog the sequel.

This is much more splendidly disgusting than it's predecessor, which inevitably failed to live up to its stomach-turning reputation while being a perfectly decent standard issue horror. This is much more genuinely horrific, and not just in terms if the obvious body horror.

We now find ourselves, in a nicely metatextual move, in a world in which the previous film was just that- a film. The scene shifts to England, a bleak and monochrome England of run-down multi-storey car parks and barely inhabitable flats, areas redolent with poverty and the scent of violence and sexual abuse. Within this dark world we meet the weird, tragic Martin, a tragic and virginal loner who lives with his mum, endures a dead end job and is at the bottom of society. He is obsessed with The Human Centipede. He's also at the bottom of society and a very damaged and creepy young man, who punishes his own sexual urges by sand papering his own genitals; repression and arousal in a single act.

It's made clear, though, that it's not the film that made him this way; unsurprisingly, this horror film is not pushing a tabloidy, reactionary message about violent films be getting violence. It is Martin's environment that has made him what he is, and that environment is very dark indeed. 

Martin's mum is a horrible bully who bleakly and pointedly makes sure her son knows how she longs for death, and his dream hints clearly at his abusive childhood. Both he and his mum live in fear of their thuggish neighbour. His pet centipede seems to symbolise his late abusive father. This is a dark, dark world before we mention any of the human centipede stuff, a world in which the camera never looks at things straight on, as though to emphasise how alien this life is to the presumed middle class audience of this film, which is shot just like the art house flick that it isn't.

Martin uses his job as the car park security guard to murder and kidnap, and has gone to great lengths to lure Ashlynne, actress from the earlier film. It is clear from his drawings that he plans a much bigger centipede. Soon, indeed, he has eight people including a pregnant woman, soon joined by Ashlynne.

The human centipede is just the body horror, though; the most horrific thing about the film is the dynamic between mother and son. It is when he kills her, and then eats a meal with her corpse, that the film's darkest moment arrives. In shirt succession he then proceeds to violently kidnap the thuggish neighbour and kill his psychiatrist, whom he observes doing sexual things that he, a virgin, unable to attract girls and therefore fearful of and disgusted by sex, could never do.

He has his twelve "segments", and we slowly see the build-up to the horrific surgery to come. The surgery is amateurish, involving a staple gun and very little hygiene. The pregnant woman soon dies, her baby still alive. 

The surgery is over, and Martin is ecstatic, feeding his "centipede" with dog food and tinned soup. He delightedly encourages defecation into the mouth of the person behind, right down the line. Urrrgh. He masturbates, and rapes the woman at the back. It's all very disgusting.

Suddenly, the "dead" pregnant woman awakens. She's about to give birth; fleeing, she locks herself in the car with a crazed Martin trying to get in. As Martin leaves the scene the "centipede" splits, the thug bleeding from his mouth. Martin returns to see several smaller centipedes. Enraged, he shoots them until he runs out of bullets, and then starts to behead them with a knife. By now this is pure Grand Guignol. His death, with a centipede up his arse, seems entirely appropriate. 

This film is quite, quite disgusting and is everything that it's predecessor wasn't. It's also a rather good little character study with a message behind the gore; create a marginalised underclass and this is what you get.

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