It's not just a movie about going ass to mouth. It's a 100% medically accurate movie about going ass to mouth.
Two dumb American girls are vacationing in Vague European Country and become stranded alone in the pouring rain on their search for a nightclub, because apparently they thought Germany’s hottest club was in the middle of the fucking woods. In their search for help they stumble across the house of Dr. Heiter (Dieter Laser), a renowned surgeon who specializes in separating Siamese twins. He drugs them, sews them mouth to butt with an Asian dude, and they crawl around while crying and whimpering for about 45 minutes.
The Human Centipede is an example of the type of movie you would hear about at school as a kid and your tiny little brain couldn’t comprehend it. How does something this twisted even exist? It must be the most intensely violent, disturbing movie of all time. You and your friends spend lunch thinking of the most despicable shit imaginable, careful to look over your shoulder to make sure there aren’t any teachers around before leaning in and describing what it would look like if someone pooped in someone’s mouth and that person vomited the poop back up. There’s no way your parents will let you see it, the odds of the Blockbuster employee letting you rent it are slim to none, and your older brother is more concerned with fingerbanging a cheerleader than sneaking home a horror movie for you. So years go by and it's that movie that's always been in the back of your head as the most disgusting thing ever put on film. The day comes and you finally see it. This is the biggest day of your life, even bigger than the day you finally re-discovered the first porn you downloaded off of Limewire. You settle in, prepare yourself, and turn it on. And it kind of sucks.
From the premise, to the cover, to the title itself, every aspect of the movie promises to disturb you. That's fine, plenty of movies do that. Those types of movies clearly aren't for everyone, but there's a place in the world for movies that exist solely as shock value. The problem is it's not that shocking. This movie's entire purpose is to be a depraved, graphic, deplorable mess, the kind of movie that causes half the crowd to walk out and the other half to feel sick to their stomach. It came into being around the time 2girls1cup reaction videos were a thing. That crazy guy sews these fine ass girls ass to mouth, that means they poop in each others' mouths. Isn't that fucking INSANE?
It's not. There's literally no gore. The only thing in the entire movie that made my stomach turn was the Doc pulling teeth, and they weren't even conscious when it happened. Human Centipede is the perfect example of nothing being scarier than your imagination. Every disgusting mental image? None of it is here. Nothing’s here. Obviously that’s not to say a movie with this premise has to be the most graphic, X-rated film in history. It would be one thing if a skilled director used a variety of film making techniques to tell a depraved story rather than relying on fake guts and dropping a chocolate hot dog in a girl’s mouth. Unfortunately, Tom Six (that's literally his name) isn't a skilled director. So it has neither depraved visuals or a sense of style. It’s a cool concept with nothing to back it up.
There's a good sense of dread leading up to the centipede's creation, and once it's formed there's about 40 minutes left of movie. Here's just about all that happens for the rest of it.
They whimper and cry and crawl around for over a half hour. The doctor yells in broken English, the girls whimper half muddled through bandages, then the head of the centipede yells in Japanese. For forty minutes. That’s about it. The South Park HumancentiPad episode is more graphic than anything in this movie.
So is there anything worth watching? If curiosity gets the best of you and you just have to watch it, is there a saving grace to it? Absolutely, and it's the man with the greatest name I've ever seen. Dieter Laser. Just look at this fucking guy. He looks like a monster.Not only does he look like the harbinger of death, he speaks in a thick German accent. You can’t cast much better than that. That's win/win. In a movie where people are sewn ass to mouth to each other, the insane old German man improvising lines in stilted, broken English, crying while looking at a picture of his dearly departed Three Dog (take a wild guess as to what that is), and training the centipede like a pet is my absolute favorite thing. There were a lot of moments when I got upset at the movie not living up to my insane expectations, but then Mr. Laser would scream "WHAT WRONG? CHICKEN?" and start clucking and laughing maniacally while this 12 legged affront to God cries on the floor. The entire process of creating the centipede is explained to both the main characters and us the viewers by Laser by way of overhead projector like he's teaching a fucking geometry class. If I ever watch this movie again, he will be the reason why. He's literally Dr. Mephesto from South Park, especially considering the morbid fascination of asses.
I'm honestly torn on whether or not I'd recommend it. You would think a movie failing its own premise would make it a pretty clear not recommend. Without skin crawling discomfort and the urge to pull the blankets over your eyes because you're too squeamish to watch another second, it's a pretty boring, tame, and cliche movie. Expectation vs reality isn't always a fair way to judge a movie, but this entire movie exists (and made enough money for two sequels) based solely on expectation. It’s the monster under your bed. You’re too terrified to let a leg drape off the mattress, much less take a look. You finally build up the courage, take a deep breath, and there’s nothing there. Without being disgusting, it ends up being a rote, underwhelming movie built on the shoulders of a unique premise.
But at the end of the day, I think I'm going to begrudgingly recommend it, but only to a very limited audience. Am I giving this movie a pass solely because of the insane German man who screams FEED HER while an Asian guy shits in a girl’s mouth? Yes. Am I recommending a movie I am mostly indifferent towards because he kisses his reflection in the mirror while crying tears of joy at the sight of the human centipede? Absolutely. Is this movie filled with inconsistencies, poor acting, and R-rated horror masked with the "unrated” label to stir up even more controversy? Indubitably. I don't know if you'll like it, love it, hate it, or want your time back. All I know is if someone tries to shit in my mouth, I'm ripping those stitches.