UK Release Date: 20th July 2015
Runtime: 103 minutes
Director: Tom Six
Writer: Tom Six
Starring: Dieter Laser, Laurence R Harvey, Bree Olson, Eric Roberts, Tom Six
Synopsis: Struggling to maintain order in a violent prison environment, a psychotic warden assembles a huge human centipede.
In modern horror cinema, few filmmakers have maintained the ability to shock as much as Tom Six – the man behind The Human Centipede and its two sequels. Combining gross-out extremity, shocking misanthropy and increasingly bizarre metanarrative, the films are a distinctly singular vision, whether you love or hate them. The franchise comes to an end with The Human Centipede 3, which is now available on UK Blu-ray.
Bill Boss (Dieter Laser) is the psychotic warden of George W Bush Prison, alongside his long-suffering accountant Dwight (Laurence R Harvey) and assistant Daisy (Bree Olson). In the wake of escalating violence within the prison, Governor Hughes (Eric Roberts) issues an ultimatum putting Boss’ job on the line.
It’s important to state, from the start, that The Human Centipede 3 is a repellent film. The central character is one of the most disgusting ever committed to the big screen, the central conceit is horrific and there are some of the most gratuitous and unnecessary scenes of over-the-top sexual violence I have ever seen in a film. However, despite all of my reservations, there’s a certain bizarre genius to it all.
| "I don’t speak with a stupid filmmaker about his poop fetish."
Laser’s performance is a polar opposite to his subdued, sinister Dr Heiter from the first Centipede film. He’s a maelstrom of grotesque gurning and screamed obscenities, which cannot be read as anything other than a hilariously unsubtle satire of the American right-wing, which seems to constantly bay for blood. No one would argue that this kind of satire is intelligent, or nuanced, but it certainly serves as an entertaining case of reductio ad absurdum.
The star of The Human Centipede II – Laurence R Harvey – appears as a more moderate voice. However, crucially, Harvey’s Dwight is every bit as vile as Boss, but hides it with whispers and a timid appearance. Harvey showcases a range here that the truly awful previous film never left him any space to explore. It would be interesting to see him in something outside of the splatter that he has been offered since his last Centipede outing.
Tom Six knows that, for many viewers, the first act of every Human Centipede film essentially just exists as a prelude to the main event. Knowing that’s the case here, he frontloads the film with a bizarre deluge of Boss’ madness and off-colour humour, wryly jabbing at everyone from fans of the film, to the BBFC for cutting the second film, to the many critical detractors of his work. By the time the centipede does arrive, it’s almost the least ridiculous moment in a film that features a kidney rape dream sequence.
| "I fucking told you these movies would be shit and they are pure shit… literally."
It would be easy to kick The Human Centipede 3 around as an example of the absolute worst that cinema has to offer. There are certainly moments when this is true and the film exposes its director as an odious character without any affection for humanity. But there’s also a certain honesty to the way the film approaches its scatological material.
Six knows that we all want to have a little look, so he makes it really damn hard to ignore him.
The pick of these largely Tom Six-centric special features is an alternate ending that brings the whole franchise full circle. Other than that, unless you’re a fan of Six himself, there’s nothing much to see here.
Pop or Poop?
The Human Centipede 3 is a disgusting film, replete with the absolute worst aspects of humanity and produced by a man who clearly has absolute contempt for his own species.
However, it also packs in absurd humour, buckets of melodramatic gore and a handful of performances too over-cranked to be believed.
It’s the vision of a madman, but one who sees his version of the world with absolute, hideous clarity.
Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments section.
The Human Centipede 3 is available on Blu-ray now