People always ask, “Why do you go to the theater to see a movie when you can just wait for it to come out on DVD or watch it on VOD at home?” Well, the answer I always give is the experience. The experience of seeing it on a big screen and sitting in a dark theater with a group of strangers all adds up.
The Oriental Theatre had five midnight showings of the newest and one of the most disturbing horror movies The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence. I went with a couple of guys to one of the showings and it turned out to be an interesting night.
Before the movie even started, we knew the night was going to be an odd one. That night there were two midnight movies at the Oriental and the other one was The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Talking to some of the people waiting to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show, they were telling us that we were weird to want to see a "disgusting movie" and yet they were the ones wearing outrageous outfits in the cold rain.
When they finally started letting us in we had to pass through security. I have to say this is the first time I ever got patted down to see a movie. I guess The Rocky Horror Picture Show folks have a reputation of smuggling contraband into the movie and again we were told that we are the weird ones.
We finally get our tickets and snacks and made our way into the theater. I wasn’t sure what size crowd would show up to this kind of movie, but it was a decent size. We ended up sitting in the second row because we couldn’t find enough seats together.
Then, another first. Right before the movie started, the projectionist came out and stood in front of the theater and reiterated that this movie is gross and disturbing and wanted to make sure everyone was prepared. All this build up and I just couldn’t wait to see what all the fuss was about. Finally the movie started and I just sat back and had my mind blown.
There are not many appropriate words I can use to describe The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence. For those of you who don’t know, it is a sequel to The Human Centipede: First Sequence. The first movie is about a mad scientist who wants to create a monster. He is a skilled surgeon who uses his knowledge of separating conjoined twins to create a “human centipede” by sewing people together instead of separating them. His goal is to create one long digestive tract, and you can use your imagination from there.
In the sequel, a mentally unstable man named Martin kidnaps people from the parking garage he works at and tries to recreate scenes from the first movie using more people. Obviously not being a surgeon, he uses cruder methods (instead of using anesthesia, Martin uses a crow bar) and the result is something insanely grotesque.
The biggest criticism of the first movie by horror fans was that it wasn’t very gory or violent. The doctor was very precise and clinical, which gave it a more realistic, creepy and unsettling feeling. Those are the reasons I liked the first one. As if to answer his critics, director Tom Six decided to make the sequel extremely gory and violent. Gone is the precision and clinical expertise of a surgeon and instead it is just a mad man hitting people with a crow bar. Even with all the disturbing imagery, it is not really scary because it is so outrageous. This outrageousness gave the movie a bit of a comical feel, even though it was uncomfortable laughter that we all laughed.
There were a few scenes that were there just for laughs and one that might qualify as the most disturbing fart joke ever filmed. One of the oddest things about seeing it with The Rocky Horror Picture Show was that during the quiet, intense scenes, you could hear the people in the other theater clapping and singing. It added another level of surrealism.
After the movie, there was not much you can do but sit around and try to wrap your head around what you saw. We stood around in the lobby for 10 -15 minutes just decompressing from the experience. About three days later one of my friends posted on Facebook, “After taking a few days to reflect and research, I've concluded that Human Centipede 2 is literally the single most disgusting movie I've ever seen." I had to laugh because, while it is true, I like that he put some thought into it.
But isn’t that what we want from movies? Movies that make us feel something and make us have a reaction. Some movies make us feel good, some hopeful, and some just disturbed. But it makes you feel something. And while the movie was not great, it causes you to have a reaction, which is more than I can say about some of the movies I have seen recently.
If you think you are brave enough to check it out, you can watch it on Time Warner Movies on Demand. I cannot overemphasize that this movie is not for the faint of heart. This movie pushes the boundary of everything decent. Some of the most outrageous and disturbing images you will ever see on film are in this movie. It was even banned by the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) in the UK because it “would risk potential harm … and would be unacceptable to the public.” The BBFC graphically described some of the more disturbing scenes, but not all of the scenes made it into the US version. The banning of the movie by the BBFC made me even more curious to see the movie.