Director: Tom Six Starring: Dieter Laser, Ashley C Williams, Ashlyn Yennie Time Out rating:
A sleek surgical thriller with disgust-inducing coprophiliac affectations, writer-director Tom Six's is indeed six of one and half a dozen of the other. Abducted and drugged by the cadaverous Dr. Heiter (Dieter Laser), two female American tourists, Lindsay (Ashley C Williams) and Jenny (Ashlynn Yennie), become part of a deranged medical experiment. Sutured together, mouth to anus, with male Japanese abductee Katsuro (Akihiro Kitamura), they form the mid- and tail segment of the surgeon's prototype human centipede.
Unfortunately, once the ungainly, composite creature has been created, there is nowhere for the film to go. Repeated escape attempts, a visit by two suspicious cops and some creepy, gliding camera movements generate a degree of suspense; but by failing to explore the potential of the Cronenbergian 'body horror' elements, Six substitutes cheap thrills and self-conscious sick-making for genuinely disturbing dread. Nevertheless, the slab-faced Laser makes a striking impression as the former separator of Siamese Twins, and although the blood-bath finale seems to preclude a sequel, the film's success at horror film festivals means that the idea has legs. Part two, Full Sequence, is already being made.
The Human Centipede opens at Shibuya's Cine Quinto on July 2. Japanese title: Mukade Ningen