Blu-ray Review: THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 [FULL SEQUENCE]

What is there to say about Tom Six's coprophagic endurance test that hasn't already been said? About as much as Martin had to say to his victims, I would think. Consequently, this review will be the reverse of my recent rundown of The Sunset Limited blu- it will focus more on the disc than the actual film. How can one cineaste appreciate such diametric opposites, you ask? My only response would be, "Embrace the mystery," delivered with a heavy Japanese accent.

Do you really need a synopsis? Fine, I need to fill up space. The Human Centipede 2 picks up where the first film left off. Sort of. You see, in the world of the sequel, the first film was actually a film, not a sequence of real life events to be continued by the party of the second part. Martin, a corpulent young parking attendant who avoids sunlight like a ginger, is a man obsessed with the exploits of one Dr. Heiter (which makes him a man after my own heart). And because movies are the Devil's work and cause people to do horrible things in real life, Martin decides to emulate his hero by constructing the ultimate human centipede.

You either like it or you don't. Is HC2 a brilliant piece of meta-narrative deconstructing the critical response to the first film and the public's perception of horror fans? Or is the director of the 2.8 IMDB rated Gay In Amsterdam riding the shock train to Money Town? (paintfarts.com would suggest 'yes.') Friends who saw the film before me (who were also fans of the original) were disappointed, and called it a nasty piece of work that lacked the humor of its predecessor. The humor is what made The First Sequence so endearing, and I don't dig torture porn, so I went in with low expectations. But low expectations and behold, I found the film to be quite funny, as did the midnight crowd at the sold out screening I attended. Tom Six had done it again!

THE DISC:

Discriminating connoisseurs of filth will definitely want to catch this one on blu. The crisp contrast of David Meadows' black and white cinematography is stunning in HD, highlighting every line of pain on the victims' faces, every blackhead on Martin's nose, every grain of salt and pepper in Bill Hutchens' scraggly beard. Frame-by-bloody-frame, each image is a work of art, worthy of mounting on your wall. Add to that the subtle use of the color brown, in what Tom Six calls his "Schindler's List Moments," and you've got your biggest Oscar snub of the year.

Then there's the sound. The surround tracks give new meaning to the term 'aural pleasure,' assaulting your earholes with the soothing sounds of gurgling innards, tearing flesh and muffled weeping. You will hear Martin creeping up on you. You will feel his breath on the back of your neck. You will like it. Seriously, don't play it too loud. Your neighbors will call the cops. Hell, my neighbors called the cops on me for watching Lord of the Rings too loud. They said there were complaints that I was amassing an army of evil minions. 

EXTRAS:

As soon as I popped the disc in, I went right to the lone deleted scene, thinking it had to be the infamous excised barbed wire rape*. Nope. It was just 20 seconds of Martin barking at a dog in a car. I guess even that was considered too much verbalization for our mute protagonist. In any event, it was quite a letdown, and doesn't compare to the deleted scene from the first film, in which Dr. Heiter does a Christopher Walken inspired dance of joy. But don't worry, the film itself is presented completely uncut, as the offending scene has been reinserted (no pun intended).

After that, it was on to the tour of the warehouse set. This is one of the better features on the disc, as you get to see a lot of the makeup/effects crew in action. You also get a good sense of the camaraderie that develops between a dozen half naked people forced to spend days on end with their faces buried in each others' asses. Our guide on this tour is none other than actress Ashlynn Yennie, who legitimately seems to be having a good time. It's like when you go to a strip club, and the girls actually enjoy what they are doing. It makes all the difference.  

What else? There's an interview with Tom Six, but if you've seen or heard any recent interviews with him, you're not really getting anything new. There's a foley sound effects featurette, similar to the one for the first film. That's always fun. There's a 'Making The Poster' featurette, which really should have been a lot cooler than it was, because the posters for the film were awesome. I wanted more technical details on the process. I wanted to see when centipede met vadge. Something tells me it wasn't in a diner and there were no fake orgasms involved. 

Last but not least, there's a commentary track featuring Six and- holy shit! I just realized Laurence R. Harvey is Martin! If ever you wanted to hear the man speak, now's your chance. More flashbacks to my review of The Sunset Limited, another disc with commentary from a talented man of few words. (That's right, I just compared Martin from HC2 to Cormac McCarthy.)

Not a bad package, overall. IFC has done a solid job taking you inside the 12-person centipede (figuratively, of course). It should be enough to satiate you depraved lunatics until the Criterion edition comes out. 

*This makes me sound like a sicko, but it was for the sake of the review, I swear!


Joshua Chaplinsky is the senior editor for LitReactor.com. He also writes for ChuckPalahniuk.net. He was a guitarist in the band SpeedSpeedSpeed, and is the poison pen behind thejamminjabber, although he's not so sure he should admit it.


Special Features:

-Interview with Filmmaker Tom Six
-Commentary with Tom Six and Laurence R. Harvey
-Set Tour of Warehouse
-Foley Sound Effects
-Making the Poster
-Deleted Scene
-Promo/Trailer/Teaser
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