The Human Centipede Review

The Film

Tom Six's fiendishly conceived film explores relatively virgin territory for body horror. It is appalling, deliberately abysmal and quite glorious as it rolls around in its own obscenity of conjoined nastiness. It fails to seek redemption or to diverting from its basic purpose of providing shocking entertainment. It is quite unrepentant and throroughly repelling.

Building on horror movie cliches such as the lost American girlies stumbling onto the wrong place and the teutonic mad scientist, Six takes his central conceit of spliced human beings and explores the terrifying philosophy therein. What could be worse than not being able to speak or to eat or to breathe freely? What could make an unchosen dependency more diabolical and what are the chances of escape from this abomination perpetrated on three pathetic souls?
Thankfully, Six fails to self censor and follows through, so to speak, with his extended metaphor for humans enslaved to one another through physicality. The Human Centipede plumbs the kinds of outrageous depths that fellow countryman Paul Verhoeven would probably now avoid, and fails to hold back or compromise on the gut churning misery revealed here.

Some have claimed that this film is the very climax of the apogee of the depravity explored by modern horror, and I believe that whether you get past the central obscenity of humans stitched together ass to mouth will determine what you can get from it. Personally, I enjoyed an exploration of a entirely new kind of hell which is both competently made and unremitting in its vision.
Whilst my enjoyment stemmed from the consistent exploration of the unspeakable, a lot of the film's impact comes from the oddball villainy of Dieter Laser. The mad scientist, who leaps at the chance of joining together what he had once separated as a surgeon specialising in siamese twins, is a creation that borrows heavily from many a Nazi stereotype in cinema. Laser goes full throttle and makes his creation the sociopath's sociopath.

So let me finish with my synopsis as that will determine whether you want to watch the film. Mad scientist stitches three people together, ass to mouth, and they try to escape en masse. If that sounds like you want to watch it you'll enjoy it greatly, and if it doesn't then I am sure something better intentioned and much much milder will be along soon.

Tech Specs

Shot on DV at 720P, the film is presented here in 1080I with a framerate of 25 per second and a filesize of 18.5GB. Whites are sometimes too bright and detail is not as deep as you may wish for. The image is very digital looking with some interlaced artefacts like aliasing noticeable and I believe the film was shot at 1.66:1 but is presented at 1.78:1 here.
Similarly modest is the master audio mix which offers stereo surround of the English, Japanese and German dialogue on offer here. There is little in the way of dimensionality and effects are far from remarkable within a largely functional soundtrack. It's far from a 3-D experience and the relatively modest source materials are reproduced with little flair.

Special Features

About 60% of this BD50 is used and the extras come with two interviews of the director and a Q+A, a deleted scene, a short making of and two post production featurettes. Six seems a remarkably well adjusted and jolly gentleman in the pieces on show. He talks about the origins of his idea for the film and his particular inspirations in the genre. Six even made sure that his idea was 100% "medically accurate" and claims that the sequel will be the opposite!

The director's commentary is not particularly fluent although Six again provides some interesting anecdotes around filming especially about the neighbours reactions to the shoot of the scene in the garden.

Six and Laser attend a Q+A in London in between filming the sequel. Laser claims the film is multi-layered and calls Six a "sophisticated guy" with no irony at all, whilst Six tells a great story about the difficulties in casting US actresses for largely naked roles involving having your face inches from someone else's arse for 14 hours a day.

The making of is rather unrelated set of sequences of footage from the shooting, but the foley session is quite a lark as it includes a sound man messing around in offal. Laser really goes over the top in the deleted scene which is an extension of his moment of creation in the film.


Six promises worse is to come but his first horror film shows terrific promise. This blu-ray presentation is limited but offers HD extras on top of a 1080I transfer.

7 out of 10
4 out of 10
7 out of 10
7 out of 10


out of 10

Last updated: 20/06/2018 13:31:02

Did you enjoy the article above? If so please help us by sharing it to your social networks with the buttons below...

Category Blu-Ray Review

Latest Articles