12 October 2011 | Michael_Elliott
Unlike the Original, This One Lives Up to the Hype
Human Centipede II (Full Sequence), The (2011)
*** (out of 4)
Martin (Laurence R. Harvey), a deranged man who was sexually abused by his father, lives his life with his abusive mother who blames him for the father being in prison. Martin, a fan of the film THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE, finally reaches his breaking point and begins to pick victims so that he can create his own 12-person centipede. When THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE was released in 2009 it hit with a storm of controversy and it appeared that the film gained a cult following even before it was released. I found the movie to be well-made but found most of the so-called "shock value" to just be hype. I thought the film wasn't nearly as graphic as the filmmakers would like you to believe and the word around the campfire started to build early for this sequel. All sorts of rumors were leaked onto the net about how shocking this film was going to be so does it succeed or was it just more hype? I'd have to say a little bit of both but there's no question that this here is a much better movie than the first. With that said, if you're offended by the subject matter or graphic violence then there's no purpose to see this thing as no matter how well-made it is you're not going to make it through. The first portion of the film is going to remind people of ERASERHEAD as we spend most of the time getting to know this Martin character. On one hand you can't help but feel sorry for the guy due to him being raped by his father and abused by everyone in his life but then again you really can't forgive anything he's going to do on his quest. I really thought the first hour of the movie did a great job at building a sick atmosphere and a very surreal one without having to use any gore or violence. I think the sickening atmosphere created was exceptionally strong and it's do to the visual style and the performance by Harvey. Harvey doesn't get any dialogue so he's just acting his gestures, his eyes and his body movement but he certainly reminded me of Peter Lorre and delivered that same type of creepy performance that you'd expect to see from Lorre. I'm not sure if Fritz Lang's M had any impact on the performance or if the director had it in mind but they are quite similar. The supporting players are fit their parts nicely and that includes Ashlynn Yennie, the actress from the first film who plays herself here. Those wanting the gore and violence won't be disappointed but this here is pretty much saved for the final half hour of the picture. We get some pretty graphic stuff that I won't spoil here but if you're familiar with the original film then it's pretty much the same stuff only much more brutal. I think the smart thing director Tom Six did with this sequel is that he filmed it in B&W. This is the perfect example of why B&W is such a beautiful format and it shows what you can do with it. The shadows, the perfect lighting and just what it adds to the atmosphere. This film would never have worked in color and I'd even say the mostly silent nature of the picture was another very big benefit. THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II (FULL SEQUENCE) is bound to have many curious viewers checking it out and if your stomach can handle the content then you shouldn't be disappointed.