Oh, Jesus Christ, why am I even writing this? Maybe because, once you've seen this film
, you feel the need to warn others; maybe just so you
won't have to see this movie, or write this node. Look, do yourself a favor, if you have any common decency
-- or a weak stomach
-- stop reading right now. Because this is it, the most conceptually disgusting movie I ever saw.
As the film begins, our antagonist
, Dr. Heiter (Dieter Laser), glances wistfully at a picture that looks to be triplet Rottweiler
s doing a conga line
, by hanging on with their mouths to the next dog's butt; and then he goes and kidnaps
a truck driver who has unfortuitously stopped to poop
by the side of a road. Ominous things will follow, as we are flashed away to be introduced to a pair of in-over-their-heads American tourist
s traipsing through Germany
-- meet Lindsay (Ashley C. Williams) and Jenny (Ashlynn Yennie). They are yakkity-yakkity-bickery types, and naturally, when they set out on the archetypal dark and stormy night, hunting for an uber-hot nightclub
(I'm thinking, "now is the time on Sprockets
when we dance
"), they get lost
. And then they get a flat tire
(one of them, hearing the noise, actually says "what the hell
was that?".... it's called a flat tire, ignorant movie bimbo
). After a brief and unglamorous run-in with a local pervert slob, they brilliantly decide to traipse through the dark woods in hopes of finding help. And so, not having the luck to be eaten by wolves
, they end up ringing the bell
of the lovely country house they come across, and who should answer but the gaunt and humorless Dr. Heiter?
Heiter invites them in and engages in really, really creepy small talk -- "are you alone?" is the first thing he wants to know, and then a few minutes later (after they have complimented his "lovely home," oblivious to the bizarre Siamese twin painting
s hanging there), "are you.... related?" He's genuinely down-faced to learn they are not, but agrees to call for assistance anyway. But, while loudly pretending to be on the phone with some helpful German assistance agency, he is instead dropping roofies in the water glasses he is preparing for the ladies. He brings drinks, they ask if he's married, and Heiter simply replies, "I don't like human beings." And they still
drink that goddamned water. And they pass out.
When they hazily awaken, they are strapped and bound on gurneys in Heiter's basement, IV needle
s in their arms. The truck driver kidnapped at the beginning is there too, but not for long. It seems he is "not a match" and so Heiter injects him with something that makes him dead real quick (while placatingly pointing out: it's nothing personal). Back to forced sleep for the girls, and when they are next awake they meet their "match" -- kidnapped Japanese
tourist Katsuro (Akihiro Kitamura). Why a Japanese man would be a better
"tissue match" for two clearly anglo American girls (who are just as coincidentally a "tissue match" to each other) is one of the great biological mysteries the film never explains.
Now comes the moment of pure showmanship
-- pointless showmanship, that is, for reasons to be dwelt upon in a moment. Doctor Heiter enters his makeshift hospital ward to introduce himself anew, as Katsuro screams and curses and throws out Nazi
references (calling for the invocation
of Godwin's Law
, but appropriately in light of a German doctor preparing to perform a gruesome experiment on human beings). Heiter flips on an overhead projector, and at last explains his avocation, a retired surgeon
, o-ho, but still renowned among his peers for his expertise in the separation of Siamese twins. But, the poor doctor has come to feel his work has been the wrong way round. No longer does he desire to split those born joined; instead, he wishes to join people together. Surgically. As he did with his "beautiful three hound construction" -- which died
(hint, hint). Since the current coterie of captives have matching tissues, he will explain the operation to come "only once." I'll give you the short version -- first he's going to snip their knee ligaments so they can't stand up; then out come the teeth; then he cuts the lips
off one subject and the anus
off the next, and cuts some flaps of skin on the buttocks of the latter and cheeks of the former, so, voila!! He can sew the mouth of the one right to the anus of the other, and sew those butt flaps from one to the cheeks of the other, making a very strong bond, the kind where three people end up sharing a digestive tract
-- because they are sewn together ass-to-mouth
. So, the Human Centipede will in truth end up being more like the Human Docahedropede. Now, why he needed to explain his procedure to his "patients" at all (much less "only once") is a mystery, but it comes off as sheer megalomania
-- as in, I'm so great I've got to tell somebody
this, and if I told anyone else, I'd have to kill them.
Nuttiness commences. Lindsay, not content with her decreed surgical fate, manages to loosen a strap with her teeth, and lickity-split unties the rest, bloodily yanks out her IV, and bolts off (all while Heiter is standing next to her bed
with his back to her. But, like Danny DeVito
(not the conjoined kind, or even identical), she finds herself unable to leave her friend behind (ironic, since this will lead to her friend not being able to leave her behind
) -- so after not
using the phone that is readily available, enticing Heiter to break a window, and being chased around various lovely corners of the house, she manages to get herself trapped in a pool
with a retractable cover; and so, she's recaptured and sedated (and, as punishment for her feeble attempt to flee, is bestowed with the honor of being the lest-comfy middle segment). One icky graphical surgical montage
later (wherein teeth
are pulled with pliers
and strips of skin
are sliced and peeled away), the deed is done and the creepy Doctor is ready to kiss his
mirror in celebration
Now the real fun begins (for Heiter, if not for the audience
so much), as he plays with his new toy
, ordering the three it to crawl about here and there, feeding it (or at least the front segment) from a bowl
, beating it with a whip when it disobeys. As they are being "trained" in the Doctor's yard, Katsuro suddenly downfacedly apologizes for his need to excrete (which seems to have come upon him with no warning); Heiter joyfully commands, "Feed her!! Feed her!!" For some odd reason, she seems reluctant, prompting Heiter to joyfully intone "swallow it, bitch" in a context you'd probably never thought of. You don't really see anything, there, by the way, you just know it's happening, and that's pretty much gross enough.
And so it goes from there, surprisingly slowly after that in terms of action and character development; but all is not well in Heiter's house, as the endless screaming of his tormented victims disturbs his sleep (in an annoying way, not in any inducement of remorse -- he laments that he did not cut the girls' vocal chord
s when he had them under the knife the first time). He examines Jenny (the ass-end girl) more closely, squeezes a blister
on one her scars and sniffs the puss
that oozes out of it, and from that declares Jenny is dying from blood poisoning
While Heiter is briefly distracted deflecting some visiting policemen
(searching for the missing girls, natch), the sewn-together trio make a break for it (in a manner of speaking) which requires them to climb a spiral staircase
on their bloodied knees, and with stiches popping and all sorts of pain
and nastiness ensuing. Coming upon his escaping creation, Heiter coolly informs them of his intention to replace the dying Jenny with two new parts. Instead of shrugging and giving this plan the okay, Katsuro stabs Heiter in the foot and the knee with Heiter's own scalpel
, then bites a piece off the fallen Heiter's neck
for good measure. Katsuro then gets hold of a piece of broken glass and -- finishes the mad Doctor off? No, Katsuro makes a speech about how he's been shitty to his own
family, and deserves to be made into an insect
, and then cuts his own throat
!! Since we've had zero character development
of Katsuro to this point, it's like, seriously "what the fuck" random
ness. Perfect timing, too because that's just when the cops come back, prompting the hobbled Heiter to crawl away in the general direction of his swimming pool (there is supposed to be some irony in his being reduced to crawling like his creation).
One cop goes searching for Heiter while the other shockingly discovers his masterpiece on the living room
floor. The discovering cop goes looking for his partner only to find him dead in the pool. Heiter and the cop shoot each other (leaving one to wonder how the sequel is going to be done without Heiter, who is pretty clearly dead), and some undefined number of moments later, Jenny dies from her blood poisoning. So, end of film, Lindsay is trapped in the house, her face sewn to a Japanese suicide
, her ass sewn to her dead best friend's mouth, prospects bleak, fade to black, credits roll.
If you've read all this, you may well be shaking your fist and demanding, "Why are you telling me this?!?!" Because, you can't see a horror like this and not tell someone -- maybe a warning
to the world, maybe catharsis
for this one discomforted soul, but out there it has gone. The Metamorphosis
, this ain't.
One curiosity of this movie is that crazy Doctor Heiter felt compelled to kidnap
people to carry out his crazed plan. I mean, come on, this is Germany -- put an add on Craigslist
: "wanted, three or more people willing to have a mouth sewn to their ass and/or an ass sewn to their mouth and eat feces until death." He wouldn't have had applicants busting down his door, but he'd have gotten a dozen or so responders to pick from.
So, the bottom line is, don't see it. Unless you do.