Movie: "The Human Centipede (First Sequence)"
Year: 2009
Rated: Unrated
Genre: Horror
Directed by: Tom Six
Writing credits: Tom Six

Reviewer: -RoG-
Posted: 5/8/2010

Plot: Some tourists in Germany find themselves at the mercy of a mad scientist who plans to surgically join them together in a most horrible way.

Review: Dieter Laser stars as the mad scientist, Dr. Heiter, in this bizarre new horror film that has everybody talking. Before I review the actual film, we all need to agree on something first: Dieter Laser is an AWESOME name. With that out of the way, let's get on with the film. This review does contain spoilers, so if you're trying to remain in the dark about this movie, do not read onward.

The movie starts out with two American tourist girls in Germany. Soon enough they get lost and their car gets a flat. They panic and yell a lot and within the first five minutes, you can't wait for somebody to shut them up. Well, the filmmakers sure as hell found an interesting way to shut their yappers.

The girls stumble into the home of Dr. Heiter, who drugs them (along with a Japanese man soon after) and prepares them for an experimental surgical procedure that he's been fantasizing about his whole life. He calls it The Human Centipede, and it consists of three people surgically connected to share their digestive tracts... literally ass-to-mouth.

I know it's a disgusting sounding concept, but believe me when I say that the movie isn't the hardcore grossout film people are making it out to be. Roger Ebert refused to even give the movie any stars because he seems to believe it's some kind of twisted abomination that transcends any ratings system. This movie doesn't even make the top 10 list of grossest movies I've seen, and I know there's WAY worse out there that I haven't watched. Trusting Ebert's review is like asking your grandmother what she thought of it. But hey, way to give a film you were apparently so disturbed by some great free publicity, Ebert.

Don't worry folks, The Human Centipede not some nasty fecal-fest where they show close-ups of the surgical victims gagging on butt butter. It's more of a dark horror comedy that focuses on the twisted mind of Dr. Heiter and the lengths he will go to in order to live out his fantasy. He no longer sees his patients as humans, and instead, clearly thinks of his three-person centipede as a pet. He even tries to make them act like a dog by eating from a feeding bowl and fetching the newspaper. It's also shown that before working on people, he successfully attached three dogs together.

I'm happy to report that Dieter Laser is indeed worthy of his awesome name, because not only is he absolutely creepy and amazing in the role, but I swear he looks like a German version of Christopher Walken. I sincerely hope his career takes off and he gets offered more horror roles, because this is a talent that should NOT be ignored.

Akihiro Kitamura also did a really solid job as the tortured leading man of the centipede, and he was hilariously hyper during the live Q&A session in the theater I saw it in. The other two actresses, well... they really didn't get to speak at all for the remainder of the movie for obvious reasons, but kudos to them for having the guts to even audition for such a crazy role.

As twisted and amusing as Dr. Heiter can be, the pacing of the movie was definitely too slow for my tastes at times. It was clear they were constantly trying to build up tension, but it just didn't work or benefit the film in any way. But hey, as annoying as those girls were at the start of the flick, I did find myself feeling sorry for them by the end of it... so at least they accomplished that sway of emotions.

I'm not sure where they're going to take the story in the sequel, which reportedly has plans for a 12-person centipede, but they are claiming it will be far more extreme than this first one was. So perhaps that's the one to be wary of if you're easily nauseated.

In a time when Hollywood is puking up countless horror remakes, I was happy to go out and show my support for a truly original horror film with an incredible performance by Dieter Laser. If you've been curious about the movie, yet too worried it's just some sicko scat flick, you can put those fears at ease, because it's nothing of the sort. Check it out, because while the overall story may be a bit lackluster, Dieter's character will have you craving much more of that madman.

Overall rating: WholeWholeWhole
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Gix Gix is offline
May 8th, 2010, 09:09 AM
metacritic gave it a 34
May 8th, 2010, 01:18 PM
I have heard good things about this believe it or not
Jason's a Furry! Run!
May 8th, 2010, 04:38 PM
I watched it last night at a midnight show, and this review pretty much hits the nail on the head (though I'd probably give it an extra pickle). The pacing was a bit weird for me as well, but I think things picked up nicely in the last act to make up for everything. And since I'm just about at phobia-levels for shit-eating stuff, I'm very glad the movie handled it the way it did. Still a very squirm-inducing movie, though.

And yes please to more Dieter Laser, the man was amazing.
Queen of the Beasts
May 11th, 2010, 11:49 AM
What I don't get is, why does the villain want to make a human centipede in the first place? What's the point of it all?
Ancient Mariner
May 11th, 2010, 01:00 PM
Queen of the Beasts
May 11th, 2010, 04:17 PM
Originally Posted by Grislygus View Post
In other body horror movies there was a point to it all. The Cenobites from Hellraiser wanted to "enlighten" people about pleasure and pain. In Alien the monsters wanted to reproduce. In Videodrome it was to give brain tumors to deviants.

Again, why did the doctor make a human centipede? As a conversation piece? What's his motivation as a character?
Jason's a Furry! Run!
May 12th, 2010, 12:12 AM
Well, as a legitimate surgeon he was world famous for separating Siamese twins. I guess now that he's retired he wants to go the other direction.

And anyway, since when does "Because he can" not work as motivation for crazy mad scientists?
The Goddamned Batman
May 12th, 2010, 06:27 PM
Yeah, it was because after so many years of separating conjoined twins he wanted to see if he could go the other way and create a new conjoined entity.

I pretty much agree with Roger's review. The film isn't nearly as disturbing or graphic as people are making it out to be. The concept is more disturbing than anything you actually see in the movie. In fact, I felt more sickened when I heard the doctor describing what he was going to do to his victims than I did when I actually saw the result.

The most disturbing part of the movie to me was the very ending. I won't spoil the particulars, but the situation that poor girl was in was completely horrible and depressing, even if only temporary.

I don't even know how they are going to do the sequel either, considering the way things left off in this one. Basically, it's not a great movie, but it is a pretty novel concept, so if it captures your imagination it's probably worth seeing at least once for that.
Queen of the Beasts
May 13th, 2010, 09:08 PM
Originally Posted by Protoclown View Post
Yeah, it was because after so many years of separating conjoined twins he wanted to see if he could go the other way and create a new conjoined entity.
No, that's just not enough character development for me. I like crazy villains, but it has to be a crazy that I can understand. That's what makes a character, and by extension, a movie, work for me.
The Goddamned Batman
May 14th, 2010, 12:41 AM
This movie, like many horror movies, wasn't really about the characters.
Forum Virgin
May 14th, 2010, 03:27 PM
Yeah, a mate of mine introduced this to me in a link, the other day, and inspite of the attempt to downplay the furore surrounding it in this review, I still wouldn't watch it if someone paid me. Just don't understand, when there are so many high quality films and TV shows out there, that anyone would waste an hour and a half of their life with garbage like this?
May 14th, 2010, 03:39 PM
Kinda silly to post about it then eh?
First time Forumer
May 24th, 2010, 02:02 PM
I watched this today. It was rather slow at the begining but I quite liked it. Th acting was rather stupid apart from Dieter Laser. I did laugh A LOT at the end when the 'middle piece' was just just stuck there with a dead person at either end. I wish to see more of Dieter Laser. I think a sequel would be good but if there is better actors/actresses. I want to see a 12 person centipede
May 30th, 2010, 10:01 AM
After playing your game and reading this review, I really want to watch this film.
Forum Virgin
Jun 2nd, 2010, 01:54 AM
Dieter Laser was also in few episodes of the LEXX series season 2 and 3 (all episodes are on HULU) if you wanted to check out some more of his work. He played the character "Mandrid". And he's just as disturbing in the Lexx series as he was in Centipede.
Jun 10th, 2010, 11:58 AM
Look what I just saw on ugliest tattoo dot com.

Insane Writer
Jun 20th, 2010, 10:03 PM
So here's my question for the sequel - how in the holy hell are they going to have the 12 centipede thing come up at all? Are they really going to suggest that there are TWO nuts in the world who want to sew people mouth-to-anus?

Incidentally (and rather hilariously), they brought in some doctors to make sure that the movie was 100% factually accurate. Which means that apparently some doctors were brought on the set of a movie and asked "if you were to sew three people mouth-to-anus and have two of them forced to eat feces, what would the effects on their health be?"
the gore...THE GORE
Jan 21st, 2011, 09:57 AM
Personally, I thought this film was very sick. Just because Haiter explains everything before hand and when you see the centipede(?) for the first time, the images on the slideshow and Heiter's speech are stuck in your head reminding you of how sick and twisted his 'invention' is. Still, Dieter Laser deserves his awesome name because he was so demented in this film.