The original Human Centipede was a strange underground sensation. Many reviewers said it was a bit underwhelming but also pointed out the potential and the fine acting of Dieter Laser as the crazed Dr. Heiter.
Then director Tom Six decided to make a sequel to ‘silence his critics.’ At least those who claimed the first wasn’t very horrifying. The sequel focused on a crazed man, Martin (Lawrence Harvey) who had seen the original film and decided to make his own centipede out of a dozen innocent strangers.
Critics didn’t care much for it but rather than be humbled, director Tom Six seemed to have taken a ‘more is better’ approach for The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence). This time there’s an entire prison full of people who will eventually get stuffed together, ass-to-mouth style.
For this version Dieter Laser is Bill Boss, the man who runs the George H. W. Bush state prison and Lawrence Harvey is his accountant Dwight Butler. Unfortunately Bill is a failure of a prison warden. He’s a self-absorbed racist, sexist, damn near paranoid schizophrenic who enjoys torturing his prisoners so much that he can’t be reasoned with unless his life is in danger.
When the governor (Eric Roberts, seriously slumming it) tells Bill that he’s going to be fired if things don’t get better in two weeks, the man begins to lose what little sanity he has left.
First he tries torture then forced castration. Not only does this fail to work it makes the prisoners even more prone to violence and riot. But not to worry, Dwight has a plan! In this universe, the first two Human Centipede films are loved by everyone with good taste in films and they serve as the basis of Dwight’s plan. Because prisoner recividism is so high it’s obvious that prisons are currently ineffective. So why not sew them all together? The prisoners will be less likely to become repeat offenders and public knowledge will deter future criminals! It’s brilliant!
It’s also really, really, really, really, really, really, really, utterly terrible. Human Centipede III is film trash. Listen, I’m a guy who willingly watched films like Salo and A Serbian Film because of a personal fascination with the obscene. I’m always curious about how disturbing ideas are put on screen. But those movies, however disgusting and repugnant, at least tried to tell a story that justified the horrors on display. This film exists as a self-congratulatory pat on the back for the director. Hell, Tom Six himself actually shows up so all his fictional characters can pat him on the back. “This stuff is gross, isn’t it? Critics hated the last one, saying it was pointlessly disgusting. That means they don’t understand my vision. Well, I’ll show them! I’ll show them truly disgusting stuff! Look at how subversive I am, fellas!”
Damnit. I didn’t intend to start speaking about a director as if I knew them, but it’s hard to believe that any reasonable man would look at the terrible acting, bad script and worse dialog and think that this was anything other than a vanity project.
Oh yeah. The acting. Whereas Dieter Laser was hailed as the only really good thing about the first film, here he’s a German man with a southern (Texan?) accent that makes him so hard to understand I had to turn the subtitles on. He screams, throws actual hissy fits, pauses at weird places in sentences and says things so terrible and stupid that it’s hard to even want to keep up with the plot.
Don’t think it can be that bad? Here’s a few gems from the mouth of Bill Boss: “Fuck the sissy psychological leadership bullshit. My leadership balls are atom bombs.” “I need my balls drained before lunch.” “Your ugly pussy mouths sewn to an unwiped asshole...”
Oh, and he also has a jar of dried female clitoris’s on his desk. For snacks. Meanwhile, the only woman in the film is harassed and degraded at every turn for no particular reason other than to show how terrible everyone else is.
As for the disgusting stuff, there’s a live castration, a man who gets boiling water poured over his face, and someone getting sexually assaulted...in the kidney. It’s all crass for the sake of being crass, and while I would never defend films like Cannibal Holocaust as ‘good’ movies, they have a place in cinematic history. Human Centipede III’s place is a landfill.