The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2010) Director: Tom Six

You've probably heard all manner of things about The Human Centipede but have you actually seen it? If not, I'm here to help you - and I'm afraid everything you have heard is true. It's horrible, horrible, HORRIBLE and you have to question HOW and WHY writer and director Tom Six came up with this concept. This is a film about a mad doctor who creates his own human centipede - three tourists he kidnaps who he stitches together mouth to anus. This isn't a heart-warming tale or easy ride. However, what did surprise me is that The Human Centipede is actually a very well made film; it looks good (I'm talking shots here and mise en scene, people), plays out well and features some very fine acting performances. You try acting with your mouth up someone's bum!

Centipede focuses on poor, poor Lindsay (Ashley C.Williams) and Jenny (Ashlyn Yennie), two American tourists who get lost out in the woods in Germany when their car breaks down. They knock on the door of deranged German Dr. Heiter (an outstanding Dieter Laser, but more on him later), who invites them in and pretends to ring the breakdown company for them. He then drugs Lindsay and Jenny, who wake up IV'd and shackled to separate makeshift hospital-type beds next to an out of it Japanese tourist, Katsuro (Akihiro Kitamura). Dr Heiter explains his lovely idea of making them into a new creature - a human centipede - by joining them mouth to anus so they share a digestive tract. If that wasn't bad enough, he's going to remove all of their teeth and do some weird stuff to make flaps around their bums and mouths. He'd already done it with his rottweilers but they died, a reference which keeps going back to shots of the rotties grave which reads 'my sweet three dog'.

The film cranks up the pace of its absolute horror in perfection. All of the Centipede leads show their terror and revulsion well - this is especially hard when you are acting with just your eyes and you're trying to show fright and shock through them alone. But onto Dr. Heiter - this guy was made for horror. Dieter Laser is a freaky looking guy and he plays the Dr with camp, gusto and almost Hammer House of Horror glee. He is a relevation and seriously puts in a Best Supporting Male Oscar worthy performance, I kid you not! You will be repulsed as he squeezes the pus out of Jenny's infected face and feel bad for chuckling as he 'trains' his centipede. There is a fair amount of black humour in Centipede too; don't feel bad for laughing. It's a great combination of disgusting material and some very, very dark comedy. There are also two surprisingly emotional scenes; Katsuro's final speech and what happens to poor Jenny.

As horror, I can't fault it. As a piece of film-making, I can't fault it. As 'entertainment', it's not going to be everyone's cup of tea but I highly recommend it. This is only just a taster - Six made this one so audiences get used to the idea of the centipede. God help us all.
(a very surprising) 4/5

And here's the teaser trailer to...err...number two - shit...literally