In Review: The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence)

by Daniel Goodwin on 11/07/2015


Anyone intending to see The Human Centipede (Final Sequence) should by now know what they’re getting themselves into. Even though writer/ director Tom Six’s crud and gut splatter features are far from exemplary film-making, his trilogy brags distinguishing qualities that make them more than mere franchise fodder. Each of the three films has a unique visual style, combined with an inimitable blend of angry, surrealist horror and dark, sardonic humour. But despite Six’s tendency to revel in the demented, his understanding of film as a means to tell a story remains somewhat questionable.

Dieter Laser (Dr Heiter from the first film) returns to the franchise, this time playing lamentable US prison warden William Boss, a hulking great psycho in a cowboy hat, alongside lowly accountant Dwight (Human Centipede 2 star Laurence R Harvey). After a series of violent run-ins with inmates, Boss and Dwight seek out new punishment methods to lower the prison’s expenditure. In the trilogy’s emblematic meta fashion, Dwight watches the first two Centipede films and convinces Boss to stitch their inmates together, to cut costs and impress the haughty Governor Hughes (Eric Roberts).

Six presents his mulch coated canvas with tongue locked permanently in cheek and a wild, childlike fervour. While the story is slack, the comedy, characters and lead performances remain boisterous and striking. Laser and Harvey are hilarious, with Boss exuding such throat-scathing anarchy you can’t help but laugh at his audacity. There are a number of yuck moments in the style of early Pete Jackson/ Sam Raimi, melded with Wiley Coyote freneticism that makes the gore more comedic than upsetting. But this time controversy derives from the politically incorrect characters who rile with their callous insults.

Despite the indecencies, The Human Centipede (Final Sequence) is not as visually nauseating as the previous films. The story lacks refinement (and common decency) as too much time is spent establishing the protagonists but there is a great deal of panache in the vibrant production and playful performances. The limp plotting, lack of resolve and terrible supporting cast hinder the whole and, by the final third, Boss’ insane jabbering grows tiring but THC3 lingers in the memory due to its cracked, intriguing demeanour, animated characters and scathing absurdity. It will certainly be shunned by many but embraced by the freaky few, those partial to this sort of thing.

Daniel has awarded The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) three Torches of Truth

3 torches cropped

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