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Randall: You've never gone ass-to-mouth?Dante: You never go ass-to-mouth!
Brain Bleach Warning!: Just reading about this movie could make you wish you hadn't. Those of a sensitive disposition should stop now before it's too late. No really, we're serious. The "centipede" here isn't just a human with too many limbs.
Still with us? Here we go. Don't say we didn't warn you.
Two young American tourists, Lindsay and Jenny, are traveling through Germany when they get a flat tire. They stop for help at the house of Dr. Josef Heiter (Dieter Laser), a surgeon who specializes in separating conjoined twins. However, Heiter is a man with a vision. We're going to let you get a cold drink and a comfy seat before we share his vision with you. If you're the drinking type, make the drink a stiff one.
Ready? Okay, here we go.
Heiter dreams of taking separate individuals and using them to create a new being that shares a single digestive tract. (Take a minute to let that sink in if you need to.) To do this, he... okay, for the sanity of our readers, we're not putting this in the description. Scroll down to the trope list if you want the details, or look at the poster to your right (or read the film's title) to get a hint. Bottom line is that Lindsay and Jenny, along with a Japanese Tourist named Katsuro, are about to be his first human test subjects.
Billed as being "100% medically accurate," The Human Centipede gained plenty of early attention from horror fans and sites due to its depraved premise and the fact that it was riding on a wave of graphic European horror films. Reactions to it have been mixed, with some feeling that it went to amazing lengths with its premise and others feeling that it relied too heavily on being disgusting at the expense of scares.
Clearly, it was successful enough at festivals to warrant a Sequel in 2011. The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence), filmed and set in England -- where the uncut version was Banned in China until 2:37 of footage was edited out -- centers around a Psychopathic Manchild named Martin, who is obsessed with the first film and decides to imitate and top it. Tom Six has described it as making the original film look like My Little Pony, an allegation that, judging by people's reactions to the finished product, is frighteningly true. While the first film was billed as "100% medically accurate", Six has described the sequel as "100% medically inaccurate".
It appears the folks at Six Entertainment have been reading Franken Fran, especially chapter two. And apparently, Six has plans for a third movie... though it seems that, given reports of a falling out between him and actor Dieter Laser (who was to reprise his role as Dr. Heiter), it may not get off the ground.
Somehow spawned a light-hearted porn parody called The Human Sexipede, as well as inspiring the Season 15 premiere of South Park, "HUMANCENTiPAD". A Screen to Stage Adaptation, Human Centipede the Musical, was created as well.
Not to be confused with Ciem: The Human Centipede.
- All Animals Are Dogs: Heiter attempts to invoke this with the centipede by trying to get it to fetch the newspaper.
- All Just a Dream: The sequel is just one of Martin's fantasies as he watches the original film; though some background noise as the film ends hints at Or Was It a Dream?.
- And I Must Scream: Well, you can scream... it's just that you can only scream up someone's ass. This is also Lindsay's ultimate fate, with Heiter and the other two members of the "centipede" dead, leaving her stuck between two dead bodies with nobody to help her.
- In the sequel, the same applies, with Miss Yennie being the only one in the centipede to scream clearly. Martin finds this annoying, so he resorts to pulling out her tongue. With pliers.
- As Herself: Ashlynn Yennie appears as "Miss Yennie" in the sequel.
- Ass Shove: Martin ends up on the receiving end of this when Yennie finally snaps.
- Asshole Victim: A good portion of Martin's victims in the sequel are people who have wronged him somehow: his mother, his psychiatrist, the rude couple at the beginning, the skinhead upstairs neighbor, etc.
- Awesome McCoolname: The actor playing Dr. Heiter is called Dieter Laser.
- The actor playing Detective Voller is named Peter Blankenstein.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Subverted hard.
- Banned in Britain: The sequel was released Direct to Video in Britain due to scenes of sadistic sexual violence. A particularly horrific example: Martin anally rapes the woman at the end of his centipede, with his penis wrapped in barbed wire. Even then, release was only possible after several cuts were made.
- Bilingual Bonus: "Heiter" is german for cheerful.
- Body Horror: Good lord. They even go into graphic detail on what the procedure involves. The cheeks (of the mouth) are cut and grafted onto the cheeks (the other kind) of the person in front of them in such a way that the mouth is enclosed around it and that the person can't even breath through it, and can't move their jaw without ripping the flesh. Some teeth are also removed. Probably the only horror film where you don't even need to see it to be horrified.
- Brain Bleach: Gallons and gallons are needed.
- You'll need even more for the sequel.
- Break the Cutie: Lindsay and Jenny.
- Broke the Rating Scale: Roger Ebert refused to give this film a rating. To be fair, he has done so in the past, for films such as this an Pink Flamingos, where rating a movie would be pointless, as a director or prospective viewers couldn't possibly care about it.
- On the other hand, he gave the sequel zero stars, because it was "reprehensible, dismaying, ugly, artless and an affront to any notion, however remote, of human decency."
- Crack Fic: The Huemn Ceniped 2 The Humen Milipede. Perhaps the author went insane after watching the film.
- Creepy Centipedes: Not the literal one but close enough....
- Played straight with Martin's pet centipede in the sequel.
- Daylight Horror: Once the operation is complete, the film gets very bright and sunny visually.
- Decoy Protagonist: The two girls the first movie supposedly focuses on barely get any lines or character development. The only one who gets his character fleshed out at all is Heiter, making this a straight case of Villain Protagonist.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: An insane German scientist wishes to try a potentially-deadly and Body Horror-ridden experiment on live, human subjects. Whose first name is Josef.
- The Dog Bites Back: Martin, especially in the scene with the rude boyfriend at the beginning and later on with his mother and their skinhead neighbor.
- Then there's Yennie, who, in a fit of adrenaline-induced rage, grabs the funnel Martin used to force-feed her earlier, shoves it into his ass, before grabbing his pet centipede and inserting it into the funnel.
- Downer Ending: The man at the front of the centipede slits his own throat, the girl at the back dies of blood-poisoning and various other complications. Heiter and the two cops kill each other and the final scene is the camera panning up from the middle girl's muffled cries as she remains surgically sewn to two corpses.
- The downer ending is actually mitigated by a bit of Fridge Logic: If the police were sensible and following procedure, the longest amount of time the last surviving girl would go without receiving help from the inevitable group that goes to investigate when the cops don't report in is a few hours. Sure, everyone is dead and she's maimed and permanently traumatized, but she'll most likely survive.
- Driven to Suicide: Katsuro.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Before there was a human centipede, Heiter performed the surgery on three rottweilers. He was very fond of them.
- Even Evil Has Standards: A twisted version in Full Sequence. Despite his obvious insanity and cruelty, Martin doesn't actually intend to kill his victims. When he does do it, or thinks he does, he becomes very upset, tries desperately to revive them, and actually cries when he fails (or thinks he did, in the case of the pregnant woman). Whether this is because, in his own twisted way, he feels bad for killing them, or is just upset they can't be used in his "centipede" is open to interpretation.
- Evil Old Folks: Heiter.
- Evilly Affable: Heiter has his moments. Especially when the power cuts out and he apologizes.
- Expy: Full Sequence will feature a mad doctor with a cardboard box, punctured with one eye-hole, on his head.
- Film Within a Film: The original film is this in Full Sequence.
- Final Girl: Yennie is implied to have survived the second film.
- Flesh Golem
- Force Feeding: And how!
- For the Evulz
- Fridge Horror: The First Sequence...
- Go-Go Enslavement: Sort of. Both female segments are topless for most of the movie, though the camera never focuses on this.
- Gone Horribly Right: The Centipede...
- Herr Doctor, Mad Doctor and Morally-Ambiguous Doctorate: Heiter.
- Dr. Sebring, Martin's psychiatrist in Full Sequence, has a bit of Morally-Ambiguous Doctorate going on, himself, considering he wants to rape Martin.
- I Ate What?: Goes without saying, really.
- Idiot Ball: Passed around many times, by both good and evil characters. Some examples:
- Linsday, after freeing herself, dragging Jenny out of the house at a snail's pace instead of running to get help.
- Katsuro not killing Heiter when he was down and totally had the chance.
- Heiter flipping out about the police's accusations, taunting them about not having a search warrant, then jokes about having a torture den in his basement. The writer clearly left no room for guessing as to what was going to happen next.
- Infant Immortality: Horribly averted in the sequel.
- Jack the Ripoff: In Full Sequence, the first film inspires Martin to create his own Human Centipede.
- Japanese Tourist: Katsuro.
- Kill'Em All
- Kill the Cutie: Jenny. May or may not be the case for Lindsay.
- Large Ham: Dieter Laser is clearly having a lot of fun.
YOU WANT BITE? YOU CAN BITE ZIS! (whilst gesturing to brand new combat boots)
- Jack-boots to be precise.
- Left Hanging: Considering that there should have been some police backup the very same day (since two cops didn't report back from Creepy Guy's home), it's odd that there's no mention of Lindsay's fate.
- Mad Doctor: Heiter. IN SPADES. Well, he is named Josef...
- Nightmare Fetishist:
- In the first film, Heiter is strongly implied to be getting off when Lindsay, as the "middle" part of the centipede, is "fed" by Katsuro.
- Martin, the villain of Full Sequence, became sexually obsessed with the original film (which is a Film Within a Film in the sequel's universe), and resolved to create a Human Centipede of his own.
- This Australian trailer for the film depicts several people's reactions to the film. Most of them are rightfully shocked... but one is shown to be masturbating.
- No Dead Body Poops: Then again, considering the nature of the film, it's probably for the best.
- No Social Skills: Heiter. "Are you alone? Are you relatives? I don't like human beings..."
- Obviously Evil: Heiter, good lord.
- Oops, I Dropped the Keys: Lindsay deliberately drops the keys (for some reason) after locking herself in the doctor's bedroom. She then realizes what a dumb idea this was, when the doctor then appears at the window with an axe.
- The Other Darrin: At the moment, Dieter Laser appears to be having a falling out and won't appear in the third film to reprise his role. As such, the role is being recast, with none other than Udo Kier himself in talks.
- Parallel Porn Titles: A porn parody is in the works: The Human Sex-ipede (site NSFW). Though the director claims that it will be more slapstick than scat.
- The script (available at the linked site) is actually quite funny, mostly due to the parody element.
- Plot Hole: How did Heiter get the centipede out of the basement/OR if all he has is a spiral staircase? This becomes quite an issue when the centipede attempts to escape.
- Recycled in Space: It's Hostel Part II... with even more Squick!
- Rule 34: Thanks to the existence of certain shock videos, you just know that someone thinks this is sexy.
- Seems to be becoming its own sub-genre as well, with fanart and fanfiction of characters from various other works as a human centipede.
- Serial Escalation: The first movie has three people sewn together ass to mouth and the sequel has TWELVE PEOPLE. The third one is slated to have FIVE HUNDRED PEOPLE!!!!.
- Shown Their Work: The director brought in a surgeon to consult him on how a "human centipede" would function in real life (hence the "100% medically accurate" disclaimer), including suggesting that it would be able to survive for years with an IV drip to provide fluids and nutrients. This trope may also explain why the centipede doesn't last long -- almost immediately, Jenny starts dying from blood poisoning.
- Show Within a Show: The first film to the second film.
- Silent Protagonist: Martin never says a word onscreen in the sequel. He is intimated to have talked and even makes phone calls offscreen (we only see him checking his messages on his phone), so he can speak, but aside from some grunts, he otherwise is completely silent.
- Stock Parody: It's well on its way to this (see the trope heading for details).
- Stupid Evil: Heiter epitomizes this trope. See Idiot Ball.
- Take That, Critics!: At least one reviewer sees the sequel as a Take That towards the critics of the first film and those who took it too seriously.
- Tears of Joy: Heiter, once... oh dear god... once it's complete.
- Too Dumb to Live: Jenny & Lindsay, rather than staying on the road like any rational human being, decide to walk into the woods (at night) in the middle of nowhere Germany.
- In his review, The Cinema Snob points out that given how Obviously Evil Heiter was, it was incredibly stupid of the women to accept drinks from an open container from him.
- Or just driving on the flat tire since the car still ran. If they were smart, they would have paid for the insurance; so they could total it if they had to.
- Torture Porn
- Trailers Always Spoil: Complete inversion for the sequel. The trailer literally shows absolutely NO footage of the movie, or even say what it will be like. What's the point?
- There's probably not enough showable movie. Let that sink in for a minute...
- Actually, there was a second trailer released that did show clips from the film for two minutes.
- Developing Doomed Characters: The decoy protagonists that the film opens with are not only horribly written characters, but also horribly acted. Not that you wish the horrors they later endure on them, but they're very annoying and unsympathetic.
- Villain Protagonist: Heiter is the only character in the movie who gets, well, any kind of character. See Decoy Protagonist.
- And then there's Martin from Full Sequence.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot
- The Voiceless: Detective Voller in First Sequence.
- Martin may never speak in Full Sequence, but he makes some... interesting noises.
- The Worm That Walks: Inverted.
- ↑ Although if you're reading this article at work, you're probably screwed anyway.