After the euro-gloss of Human Centipede: First Sequence and the exploitation arthouse of Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence, director provocateur Tom Six returns with the much threatened Human Centipede 3: Final Sequence. And boy howdy, it’s hard to decide what to make of it.
The stars of Six’s last two films, Dieter Laser (First Sequence) and Laurence R Harvey, (Full Sequence), returning roles that are polar opposite to those they made famous. Laser’s calm and calculated Dr. Heiter is replaced by Bill Boss; a ranting, racist, raping prison governor looking for order by any means necessary. Harvey’s childlike Martin is swapped for Dwight Butler, Bill’s overly patient and brow beaten assistant who may just have the solution he needs
A squishy stew of castration, shouting, sexual violence and Eric Roberts, Human Centipede 3 is liable to offend pretty much everyone. Stacked up against the first two, it’s perhaps not as technically brilliant. Nor is the ‘centipede’ the main focus of this third entry. Bill’s experimentation in castration and arm-breaking to quench his prisoners’ wrath remains at the forefront for the majority of the film’s narrative. Accusations then that the film is boring seem to be a little misguided. Like Tom Green’s Freddy Got Fingered, Human Centipede 3 is deliberately polarising. There are long periods of nothing happening, which are punctuated with waves of deplorable behaviour. Laser screams at the camera for what seems like hours on end. There are some extremely uncomfortable scenes with Bree Olsen. And then, from seemingly nowhere, we’re in slapstick territory. You’re not leaving the film feeling bored. No no. You’re feeling polarised with yourself.
If it sounds like we’re like we’re sitting on the fence, then we are. Tom Six is definitely trying to get a reaction and he’s not bothered how you respond. We’re flummoxed but we think that’s the point.