'Human Centipede': Is this the most disgusting horror film of all-time?

human-centipedeA couple of weeks ago, I emailed a director acquaintance of mine to say I was off to a preview of his new film. After that, I explained, I was seeing a movie in which a mad doctor surgically combines three people to make a grotesque, insectoid-style creature. The director, who has some experience in the horror genre, knew exactly of which movie I spoke. “You’re seeing Human Centipede straight after my film???” he responded. “Don’t get them mixed up!”

There was, as it turned out, no chance of that happening. Actually, it is hard to image Human Centipede, which opens April 30, ever getting confused with any other film. Why? Well, for one thing it is, as previously mentioned, about a mad doctor who surgically combines three people to make a grotesque, insectoid-style creature, which is not a plot twist you find too often in the filmography of, say, Sandy Bullock. And, for another, it is without question one of the most disgusting horror films ever made.

Human Centipede stars Ashley C. Williams and Ashlynn Yennie as a pair of fun-hungry Americans who seek refuge at the remote house of a surgeon, played by Dieter Laser, after their car gets a flat in some German woods. To say that Laser’s character is sinister is not to over egg the pudding. The guy has “psycho” written all over him, even when he’s not gazing fondly at a photograph of three dogs who have been attached mouth-to-rump. Before you can say, “Just what the Sam Hill is going on here?,” Laser has drugged our two heroines and begun the process of turning them and another unfortunate, played by Akihiro Kitamura, into, yes, a human centipede.

I’ll spare you the details of how he accomplishes this feat — even if the film itself most definitely does not. I’m also going to pass over describing the consequences of three people sharing a single alimentary canal, though those with a basic knowledge of biology and a strong stomach will probably be able to work those out for themselves. Suffice to say that, at the screening, the groans and moans emitted by the onscreen characters were almost matched by those of the viewers, including myself — and I’m someone who has happily sat through every Saw and Hostel movie.

What makes matters worse — or, arguably, better — is that Human Centipede is no shoddily-constructed piece of witless schlock. Laser makes for a terrific villain and Dutch director Tom Six has put together his nightmare yarn with Cronenbergian care and precision. He may also, it appears, be planning a sequel, given that the full name of the movie is Human Centipede: First Sequence.

Is that a promise or a threat inherent in the subtitle? Judge for yourselves — and report back — after daring to check out the trailer below. But you really can’t complain that you haven’t been warned.

Comments (84 total) Add your comment
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  • Kat

    I am so glad my company blocks video content. I’m tempted, but I’m pretty sure I’d regret it if I watched.

  • harry

    this looks so crazy!!!

    • maiv

      this is genius!

  • harry

    train wreck, I cant avert my eye!

  • Cris

    Looks absolutely disgusting and horrendous. Yet I think I’m going to have to see it …

    • Kathy

      Yes. THIS so very much!

    • Season

      Looks absolutely disgusting and horrendous. And that’s just the acting.

  • quagmire

    Thankfully it’s “100% medically accurate”.

  • Sarah

    Umm, no, this is just wrong. And the trailer has burned a “Human Centipede” into my brain forever. NOOOOOO!!!!!!

  • Shelby Coman

    On the one hand, this looks good. On the other, it looks too intense for me. The more disgusting a movie gets, the more humor I need to balance it. I probably wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I enjoyed it!!!

  • Paul

    I will now have nightmares for weeks.

    • Tha Phoenix

      Join the club, we’ve got jackets…

      Why in God’s name did I watch that trailer? Why, why, why?


      • MsSuniDaze

        I’ll take a size small please. I don’t know why I watched it either. I was warned, and I still watched. Ugh!

      • teababe27

        Me too. With regard to the jacket, I’ll take a large.

    • Tha Phoenix

      *hands @MsSuniDaze a size small ‘We Regret Watching That Damned Human Centipede Trailer Jacket*

      Right? It’s not like we weren’t warned.

      The irony is that, if we hadn’t been, I probably wouldn’t have watched it.

      Me and my damned curiousity.

      • MsSuniDaze

        ah…perfect fit thank you.
        Ya, I probably would have still watched it too. Kind of like a car wreck…just want to take a peek.

  • crispy

    LOL I was wondering if EW would ever get around to talking about this movie. I’ve heard it’s funnier than it is gross. And yes, there’s already a sequel in the works in which he plans to go full-centipede… 12 people mouth-to-rump.

  • Kathy

    I hate to admit it but this seems almost like a have-to-watch, trainwrecky kind of a movie. I’ll be there.

  • paige

    lol wtf— i am so there

  • whatevs

    Why must there always be some form of dog violence in horror movies? Leave the puppies alone, Hollywood!

    • Jason

      But feel free Hollywood to kill as many people as you like, of course!

      Good grief.

      • Amy

        Haha, that’s pretty close to the way I actually feel. I can handle a reasonable amount of movie violence toward humans, but violence towards dogs really makes me squirm.

      • sMiles

        Okay, now that’s weird.

      • Nokomis


    • Kristito

      Preview the trailer/movie for “Fetch” from Dripping Dead Films that also stars Ashlynn Yennie, and you’ll see, there’s no violence being done TO the dogs…just the other way around…

  • skip

    Where is Tracy Morgan in THIS trailer when we really need him? “He was like AWWWW, and I was like WHAAA’
    Need trailer mashup now

  • Eve

    Ever since seeing “Salò”, there is nothing that is ever going to disturb me anymore movie-wise, I think. The movie could turn out to be a fun watch in the end though. Probably gonna invite my girlfriend over to see it when it´s out. She hates stuff like that. :X

    • Allen

      Eve, I totally agree with you about Salo. Watched it and found it to be the most disgusting movie I’ve ever seen. I’m gagging just thinking about it. But so beautifully done. Paosolini was good.

    • Scottie

      Salo is definitely the foulest film I’ve seen, but it also carries a powerful political message and statement on the human condition. I don’t get the impression that The Human Centipede will even attempt to accomplish this – somehow that makes this seem more disgusting to me. Interesting.

  • Kevin

    It has a very disturbing quality to it… don’t think i’d enjoy that movie.

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