The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) Reviews
As an avid horror fan this movie checked NONE of my boxes and I couldn't even finish it. Unless you're a fan of torture porn, don't waste your time.
Given that The Human Centipede: First Sequence set a high standard for sadistic violence and sickening concepts, The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence has a high standard to live up to. Even though the film wasn't a particularly great one, the sequel still needs to be sickening enough to be a worthy follow-up. The value of The Human Centipede: First Sequence was largely the fact that its idea was so ridiculously grotesque that it cried out for cult audiences, and the surrounding controversy made it impossible to miss. As a whole, the idea behind the film was more sickening than its actual execution while its greatest hook was the performance of Dieter Laser. This time there is an antagonist of far less interest who viewers have to embrace while he wanders through his meaningless existence in silence, never saying a word. Blood and gore is just thrown at the viewer repeatedly without much intense build-up which forsakes any potential for narrative value, even though the story never had much of a chance of that in the first place.
Treading the mistaken ground followed by the first film, The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence ends up with sloppy execution of a potentially sickening concept. Quadrupling the ambitions of the villain Dr Josef Heiter, The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence introduces Martin Lomax. With a far more conventional reason for his insanity, Martin Lomax's edge is driven by the fact that he is a short, mentally challenged, overweight and asthmatic man who was molested by his father and criminalized by his mother. This is Tom Six's idea of characterization, and there's only so long you can tolerate seeing a silent obese man staring at things in a slow-paced black and white film before the once-eerie atmosphere created by the manipulation of silence and colour becomes yet another staple of boredom inducing. Given that the crude gimmick of the first film has been and gone the effect is no longer as innovative, the central hook is gone. And with black and white disguising the practical nature of many scenes, the film is never as brutal as it wants to be which really makes the potential of the experience dull. The film doesn't become much of an exercise in the shock value of blood and gore until close to an hour into the film, and the build-up until then has been far from satisfactory for any real power to come from it. And with The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence failing to offer much in terms of shock value, it fails at the one thing it could have been any good at. Given that the film is in black and white it runs this risk very much from the start, and despite Tom Six's claims that it is meant to create a dark and gritty nature to match the insanity of the protagonist it ultimately restrains the effect of the shock value. It has a very slight touch of visual flair and some good cinematography, but it isn't nearly enough to add any major value.
On top of everything, the film is very much a parody of itself. Due to the meta nature of the narrative and Tom Six's intention on emphasizing the concept of copycat crimes, the ridiculous concept of the first film serves as the motivation for the actions of Martin Lomax. The disgusting extent that the story goes to as a means of mocking viewers with its crude violence is seemingly a humourous insult directed at audiences, and given the way Tom Six depicts Martin's nightmares of his father molesting him with the voice-over line "You're only making daddy's willy harder" there is clearly a humourous edge in the film. Since many critics of the first film took it so seriously it's rather beneficial that jokes are prevalent in The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence. But I can't ascertain how much social satire is supposed to actually be in the film or certify that I did in fact laugh at any point. It seems as if every line of dialogue is satirical because it all subscribes to the most conventional format of dialogue available to horror cinema and none of it can be taken seriously, but while that seems to intentionally detract from some of the more serious elements of the film I most definitely did not find myself laughing, scared or even all that sickened. Frankly, I was just bored in the case of The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence. And when the film comes to a close with an ending that leaves a frustrating ambiguity to the rest of the events in the story, its the final insult.
However, I will certainly admit that I have respect for the leading performance of Laurence R. Harvey. The man has no shame taking on such a sick and twisted character in The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence, and it's a fairly challenging role. The man has to convey ultimate insanity in almost complete silence, and given the lackluster filmmaking around him it would be easy for him to cater to such standards and simply maintain a blank stare the entire time. But with his directionless gaze, his hunched shoulders and his childish grin, the man is able to create an effectively introverted psychopath. Laurence R. Harvey manages to perfectly capture Martin Lomax, approaching the most sick and twisted scenes with such neutrality or sadistic pleasure that he manages to capture both the disturbing elements of the character and his vulnerability too. Laurence R. Harvey says everything about the character without ever having to utter a single word, and in a circuit of mediocre plot lines and stiff direction he has more success capturing the greatest extent of Tom Six's ambition than the director himself. Laurence R. Harvey is an ideal creep to lead The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence.
And though her role is really small, fans of the first film can rejoice at the presence of Ashlynn Yennie returning to be part of another sick medical experiment.
Laurence R. Harvey delivers an effectively creepy lead performance, but The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence lacks the originality of its predecessor which weakens the potential shock power, and with a slow pace, weak plotting and black and white covering the blood and gore, it's ultimately just a boring experience above anything else.