2015 / Director. Tom Six.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 3 isn't a film I was able to come away from and punch out an immediate review. I needed time to process what I had seen. Seeing it with an audience on the big screen was an assault on the senses and were I not a willing participant, it would have been deemed a genuine mind-rape.
Only those who tempted the first and second films will been courageous enough to face this third (and final) sequence. Where the two previous instalments were wolds apart in terms of story, aesthetic and tone, so too is this third act in director Tom Six's opus. In fact the film is so far removed from what we've come to expect that it is guaranteed to split audiences down the middle. Tom Six will be applauded for being an audacious and dangerous filmmaker by some and he will be condemned and ridiculed by others. Nevertheless he has established himself as a notorious one and that is worth its weight in gold.
The film is set inside a maximum security prison where we follow the outrageous behaviour of the warden and his accountant. He is a psychopathic German with a penchant for depravity. With a general displeasure for anything and everyone he spends his time devising new and creative ways to control his prisoners. When his accountant presents him with copies of THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 1 and 2 and underlines the financial benefits of 500 prisoner mouths' to asses, the warden sets in motion a twisted experiment in perversion. With the help of Tom Six himself (yes he appears in the film) the prisoners are subjected to all kinds of mutilation, deprecation and castration. It's a smorgasbord of filth and it's unlike anything I've ever seen.
I was conflicted for the entire duration of THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 3. One moment I would be telling myself that it is one of the worst films I have ever seen and the next moment I was applauding its fearlessness. On the surface it is a shonky piece of shit. A movie so low-rent that would fit comfortably in the lamest of Eurotrash collections. And yet everything is deliberate and there is a lot more at play than many unsuspecting viewers will realise. From intentional technical blunders to inexcusable overacting, nothing is done accidentally and having proved himself to be an astute filmmaker with the previous two films, we really do need to give Tom Six the benefit of the doubt.
Upon reflection and discussion I am resolved to giving THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 3 its due recognition. It is a satirical, farcical and outrageous comedy that keeps loyal fans on their toes. In the full-house session I attended, none of the audience suspected what they saw. People were shocked, disappointed and elated all at once. It wasn't the hardcore faecal-fest they were hoping for, but it was definitely more politically incorrect than they could have ever imagined. With his lunacy levels at full dial, Dieter Laser delivers one of the most absurd and maniacal performances I have ever seen. Like, I'm talking some of the most vile and astonishingly repulsive dialogue and actions I have ever seen. I was repulsed beyond explanation and yet giggling and lapping up every moment of it right to the bitter end. What is wrong with me?
If you're determined (and game enough) to endure this exhausting exercise in surrealism, then ignore the online hate. Be sure to watch it with other people too, because this is an experience. It is an 'event' film that demands an audience reaction. Watching it alone will diminish its impact and lessen your response.