Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Human Centipede 3: Final Sequence Review

Filmmaker Tom Six completes his own three segment cinematic centipede exactly as he intended and with no compromises artistically. While some may regard his trilogy as torture or splatter porn, I would argue that much like Tobe Hooper's original classic, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a lot of what you think you saw in the original was what you, the viewer projected onto the film itself and not necessary what occurs on the screen. With each installment following the original, Mr. Six has taken an entirely different approach to dramatizing his vision from the at times sterile, but almost dreamlike like setting in the original that suited the unimaginable inhumanity that befalls the characters as contrasted to the orderly world of the mad Doctor (Dieter Laser), who like all mad scientists takes great pleasure and subsequent loathing to his unprecedented creation. Is it not a sad fact that there is a part to the human condition where sometimes we may love something just as much as we may come to hate it or grow to hate what we love? I would wager that a great deal of the divorces that occur every year began as relationships where the participants truly were in love with each other. As for loving what one hates, turn on any popular successful dramatic TV show and very often in the more operatic kind, viewers will gravitate toward the villain almost as much if not more than the hero because a well written villain is in someways more interesting than a hero. This can be seen in many television programs, movies and works of classic literature.
This brings us to the the second installment and here is where Tom Six begins to subtly break the fourth wall by continuing his story right at the moment where the previous film concluded and through the use of grainy, yet stark black and white photography that is evocative of the classic Germain expressionist style of filmmaking, we are brought into the world of his new protagonist and antihero of sorts, Martin (Lawrence R. Harvey), who is our window into the world outside of the world of the first film where Martin's obsession with the original film prompts him to take control of his life. Just not in the way most of us would because Martin is a depraved victim and like any victim of severe abuse over a life time from many people who should be a part of his support group, Martin tortures the seemingly innocent and puts people into his own centipede nearly indiscriminately. It was with the inclusion of Ashlyn Yennie, one of the protagonists from the first film, playing a characterized version of herself in the second, who thinks she is going to audition for Quentin Tarantino, that Six takes a step beyond meta fiction and self referencing pop culture. It was here that I personally knew this was as much a parody of the first film and I then began to truly see Tom Six as more than a filmmaker. He is an artist.
The question now is what would Six do for his encore? Metaphorically and literally Tom Six completes his cinematic centipede by fulfilling a promise he made going back to the first film. For like the second, The Human Centipede 3: Final Sequence Six begins at the end of the second film and brings us into a different exaggerated and satirical world that is sun drenched and natural as Mr. Six brings back Dieter Laser and Lawrence R. Harvey along with alumni from the first two films all as different characters that include Akihiro Kitamura, Bill Hutchens, and Peter Blankenstein. Tom Six even joins the cast playing himself as what started out as a horror film completely becomes both a very dark and extreme comedy that parodies the entire trilogy without ever falling into slapstick. Joining the cast for this final installment are Eric Roberts, Bree Olsen, Tommy "Tiny" Lister, Robert LaSardo, Clayton Rohner and Hamzah Saman. In a role that is even more over the top that Dennis Hopper's role in the David Lynch film, Blue Velvet, Dieter Laser plays an insane Prison Warden, who through coaxing from his Accountant (Lawrence R. Harvey), is convinced that to save their jobs they must create a five hundred prisoner long human centipede that would not only be cheaper to house and easier to imprison, but who could stand as such a horrible example of punishment that it could be the ultimate criminal deterrent. 
Nothing and nearly no one is too sacred to satirize here whether it is Tom Six making fun of himself, the veteran actors from the previous films calling subtle cues that will remind fans of the previous installments and together with the new cast for this final segment, all genuinely look like they are in on the joke, but never does it get too far that we see any tongue in cheek or winking at the camera type of gags. The intensity of the gore remains consistent with the previous film, but oddly enough the most cringing moment is not gory at all, but it is graphic. To reveal it I feel would be giving away a big spoiler and would be unfair to everyone. All I can say is Tom Six lays it all out for us and puts it in our face in what could be the ultimate way of breaking the fourth wall in the film series short of having the characters address the audience directly. Fans of Dieter Laser should definitely check out this film because I think his performance is absolutely masterful. Remaining true to his vision, Tom Six deserves great praise for creating a trilogy that is truly a work of art on every level with no compromises. I think these films will be studied by student filmmakers the way films like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Todd Browning's Freaks, and the works of Lars Von Trier are studied and celebrated in academia and on home video. This is more than a cult film. Always remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and art does not have to be pretty. The Human Centipede 3: Final Sequence will debut in select theaters and on demand courtesy of IFC Films on Friday, May 22, 2015. Please read my one on one interview with Writer, Director and Artist Tom Six at link below or you can simply go to the main page and find it at the top at

(C) Copyright 2015 By Mark A. Rivera
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