If the greatness of a film is to be measured by how well it accomplishes the goals it sets out when being made, then The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) may be director/writer Tom Six’s Citizen Kane.
Introducing the film before its world premiere, Six said “People are making movies that no one remembers… I want to make something that will be remembered 150 years from now.” If I were fortunate enough to live so long, then Six will surely have accomplished that goal; it would take some gnarly Philip K. Dick nightmare to make me forget one of the most offensive films I have ever seen.
For those nice people uninitiated to these films I’ll explain the human centipede concept as gently as possible. Basically you sew a person’s face onto the anus of another, mouth open, and repeat. The idea is for everyone to share the same digestive system, one person horribly but efficiently feeding the next and so forth. The first film was three people, the second film was twelve. This one will be over five hundred. The closing film of this trilogy takes place in an American prison, with plenty of American flags and satirically used Sousa-esque marches.
The prison warden Bill Boss (Dieter Laser, The Human Centipede) is really feeling the heat, both literally and figuratively. The literal heat is driving him crazy, while the latter comes from a governor (Academy Award nominee Eric Roberts) who wants immediate changes in the prison. Here we see Bill Boss as the dictator about to be ousted by a violent coup: Paranoia, delusions of persecution, surrounded by sycophants. He just wants respect, and cut a different way you could call Bill a sympathetic character.
But Bill starts off crazy, even psychotic from the get-go, and Tom Six is like a degenerate gambler at the blackjack table, always doubling down. Example: It’s not enough to just show Bill cutting someone’s testicles off with a hot knife, he then needs to cook and eat them. How will the warden fix his prison before the governor comes back? He needs a big dramatic idea! It’s like an 80s film, except Bill’s not some benevolent manager of a youth recreation center, nor are there any happy montages. The idea comes from his accountant Dwight (Laurence R. Harvey, The Human Centipede II), who was inspired by the previous Centipede films to make the entire prison population one giant human centipede. Dieter Laser as Bill Boss is made, for better or worse, the centerpiece of this film. He’s like the Crypt Keeper with a thin layer of skin stretched over the brain of Joseph Goebbels.Howling in sometimes barely decipherable Germglish, Laser is a mad Klaus Kinski to a mad Werner Herzog in Tom Six.
Oh Tom Six. Perhaps I should have been more prepared when Six walked up to the mic to introduce his film with his dwarf bodyguard/servant who held up an ashtray for Six’s unlit cigar. Six is aware of the line, but he doesn’t want to cross it, he wants to rip it up and rape us with it. It’s now the next day and though I am pretty sure that this is not a good film, it does manage to satirize corrupt American moors through Bill Boss’s gestapo cowboy and Six’s relentless brutality. Imagine John Waters whacked out on bath salts remaking an Uwe Boll film. You’ll end up with an audience chanting “ASS TO MOUTH! ASS TO MOUTH!” for a film that is tough to recommend but also a very fitting conclusion to the most offensive film trilogy of all time.
In theaters, May 22nd.