The Human Centipede
High concept meets sustained graphic horror in Tom Six's satirically challenged thriller that succeeds if only by the realistic treatment of its gross-out premise via the best mad scientist performance in recent memory. Deiter Lasser plays Dr. Heiter, a renowned surgeon whose expertise for separating Siamese twins has turned into an obsession with creating a "human centipede," i.e. a chain of humans connected anus-to-mouth by carefully cut and stitched skin flaps. Amateur performances, by the three newcomers who signed on to parade around a chic German home on hands-and-knees, barely diminish Lasser's diabolically dead-eyed incarnation of pure evil. American best-friends Jenny (Ashlynn Yennie) and Lindsay (Ashley C. Williams) get a flat tire in the rain while on vacation in Germany. The girls make the time honored genre mistake of venturing into the dark woods to what turns out to be Dr. Heiter's lab-equipped home--complete with indoor swimming pool. A couple of drugged-glasses-of-water later and the clueless girls find themselves strapped to beds in a fluorescent-lit basement lab where a third "patient" also awaits. Blood type problems mean that the good doctor has to go out to procure a replacement for his experiment--in this case a Japanese male named Katsuro (Akihiro Kitamura). Dr. Heiter's diagramed explanation of his planned procedure, for the benefit of the doomed trio, is the stuff of a very witty nightmare. With Katsuro in the lead position, the girls are left to eat poo while desperately trying to escape from an intimate kind of hell from which there can be no painless getaway.
Rated R. 90 mins. (B+) (Three Stars - out of five/no stars)
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