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The Netflix Files: The Legacy of Torture Porn

I've made a grave mistake.

Not doing Halloween Horror Week back in October; no, that's been really fun. I got myself better acquainted with the work of Wes Craven, re-discovered that Tim Burton is a great director when given the right material to work with, realized that I don't really need to go past Saw III to understand that the rest of the series is a seemingly lazy exercise in offering the audience nothing by more torture and grizzly, pointless violence, and that I'd love to see Jessica Chastain in more horror movies. But when it came to the last movie on this list that I chose to watch, I had much better options. 

I could have reviewed Halloween: The Revenge of Michael Myers. Sure, it's probably same movie John Carpenter made back in 1978, but hey - an early Paul Rudd would have a few wisecracks thrown in there, right? I could have done Vampire in Brooklyn, but I had already covered New Nightmare, so covering two Craven movies didn't really sound like a good call to me. Hell, I could have (finally) finished up reviewing those damned Twilight movies in Breaking Dawn - Part I and Part II, and despite how batshit insane that series got, I'm certain I would have gotten more out of it than Tom Six's The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence!

Two years ago, I praised the first movie for showing restraint in it's nasty premise and thought it was an effectively disturbing horror film that looked like a David Croneneberg picture that the Canadian-born director never got to make. Despite the movie earning cult-status, many critics called First Sequence a revolting, mean-spirited piece of work whose only purpose was the cash-in on the torture porn craze that's become popular within the horror genre from films like Saw. Apparently, Six took this as a challenge to abandon what made the first movie decent and amp up the brutality, pain and violence as a "fuck you" to the haters (and fans of the first movie) with this grotesque black-and-white snuff film.

Martin (Lawrence R. Harvey), an overweight, mentally challenged man is obsessed...with Tom Six's The Human Centipede. He watches the film repeatedly during his shift as tollbooth man in a carpark. He keeps a scrapbook of the actors and the drawings of how to create a human centipede underneath his mattress. He even masturbates to the scene where Dr. Heiter forces Jenny to swallow Katsuro's shit, using sandpaper as a cum rag - really. When Martin isn't watching/jerking off to First Sequence, he's casually kidnapping, shooting at, beating up and/or killing random people who are trying to leave the mall. The ones who aren't killed are taken to an empty warehouse which Martin bought out in order to fulfill his dream of creating his own human centipede - this time, with twelve victims instead of three, among them being Ashlynn Yennie (playing herself) one of the stars from the first movie.

There's also a shamelessly lazy sub-plot dealing with Martin's overbearing and abusive cow of a mother (Vivien Bridson) and the psychiatrist (Bill Hutchens) who tells the former that Martin's messed up because he was abused sexually by his father (it's a bullshit cop-out as to why he's a psychopath), but that's basically the "plot" to this second go-around. If you're wondering how Martin is able to commit such startling acts of violence and murder without being stopped by anyone, tough shit, because Six doesn't give two fucks explaining his main character's remarkably lucky streak. The rest of the movie follows a pattern: Martin watches Human Centipede for the upteenth time, kidnaps/kills someone, drags the unconscious victim to the where-house and goes back to his abusive mum. Later, rinse, repeat. It's intensively repetitive to watch; you could leave  for 15 minutes, returned and not missed a damn thing.

It isn't until the moment where Martin takes Yennie to the storage room where the titular human centipede comes to fruition, only this time, it's shown in loving, gruesome, and grizzly detail. The disturbed fucker is no Dr. Heiter, but staples, kitchen knives to cut out muscle in the kneecaps and a strike to the head is good enough to create a 12-person human centipede, complete with Martin injecting everyone with a laxative to make sure they swallow someone else's excrement. I've never been one to pass judgement one one's choices in film, but I really do question anyone who can look me straight in the face and say this mean-spirited, exploitative and callous sack of dogshit is entertaining.

 Perhaps what I find absolutely insulting about Full Sequence is how patronizing and cynical Mr. Six is toward his audience. He's trying to pass off commentary about how the torture-porn craze has harmed the horror genre, yet gives the audience exactly what it wants in seeing more people being maimed and slaughtered, and then chastises the audience for enjoying Martin's psychotic rampage of blood and gore ans he connects a dozen individuals ass-to-mouth. Do you remember how much better New Nightmare would have been if Wes Craven had wagged his finger at the audience for liking Freddy Kruger, or if the writer-director had pulled out buckets of blood, guts and gore each time Kruger killed someone? Oh, right - it wouldn't have been better. The Sultan of Slash never lectured his audience about how the Kruger character took on a life of it's own; rather, he took the Elm Street mythos and added a new take to keep the viewer interested in the series. Tom Six just gave the audience what it wanted, and tried to be clever by shaming them for liking the original's exploitative premise. It isn't clever, and it doesn't have anything interesting to say, except "Hey, paying audience: screw you guys for enjoying this sick shit, you perverse fuckers!"

The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence might just be both the worst horror movie I've ever had the misfortune of watching, and one of the worst movies, period. There's a third flick, dubbed Final Sequence, and here's hoping, because if the first sequel taught me anything, it's that the less of this lazy, gross and pointless "horror" movies there are, the better.

Zero stars out of ****

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