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New Release Review - THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE III: FINAL SEQUENCE (DVD)

The controversial body horror trilogy comes to a close.


Review by Jason Abbey

Directed by: Tom Six

Starring: Dieter Laser, Laurence R Harvey, Eric Roberts, Bree Olson, Tom Six, Tommy 'Tiny' Lister



"For all of the “what’s the most disgusting thing you can think of?” idea, at heart everything in Six's faecal freak-out is tame. Take away the bulging eyes and fart noises and you are left with a spooky house and mad scientist narrative that is as old as the hills."


So Tom Six’s turdology reaches its final movement, a franchise that had barely enough to sustain one movie, each digesting the other to diminishing returns defecates onto our screens one final time.
If the second film was an ordeal due to the repellant sexual violence and ragged aesthetic, this is by turns a trial by boredom and one of severe agitation, unnerving more for the excruciatingly shrill acting on show than for any violence (of which there is plenty, although portrayed in such a disjointed and unengaged way that you really won’t care).
For all of the “what’s the most disgusting thing you can think of?” idea, at heart everything in Six's faecal freak-out is tame. Take away the bulging eyes and fart noises and you are left with a spooky house and mad scientist narrative that is as old as the hills.
Dieter Laser of the original film now plays Bill Boss, a (just ever so slightly) histrionic prison warden of indeterminate German/Texan heritage, who is having trouble controlling his prison and the inmates therein. His right hand man Dwight (Harvey, he of the barbed wired penis from the second movie) decides to follow the guidance of the first two films and create a prisoner centipede in order to instil order and save their jobs from the State Governor (Roberts).
If this sounds like a dimwit Charlie Kaufman movie, then I am giving it more credit than it deserves. Despite the coprophagic plot contortions of the sequels, this is little more than a selection of gory skits, as we witness various stars of American crime TV get castrated, broken or boiling water boarded in a way that is far less brutal than Dieter Laser's approach to acting. In the Judge Dredd comics there was a character called Mean Machine who had a dial on his head which allowed him to control the level of violence he enacted on people. Dieter has the same approach to acting, although in this case he is stuck on four for the duration. It is quite possibly one of the most annoying performances in cinema history, making Chris Tucker in The Fifth Element look a shining example of restraint in comparison. Harvey may not be much of an actor, but next to Bill Boss he shines as second banana Dwight, showing he has all the range of a man who can play both a sad pervert and a comical sad pervert.
Poor old Oscar nominee Eric Roberts must be hoping that Chris Nolan still has his agent's number; this is less a performance and more of a bet to see if he could be in a film worse than Sharktopus. He gives a performance of mild befuddlement suited to a man withstanding a tsunami of Bavarian Ham.
That a film set in an all male prison can be so rankly and depressingly misogynistic is just another tiring trait of this scatological juvenile production. By casting porn actress Bree Olsen (who previously starred in a porn parody of The Human Centipede) Six has a scapegoat for his juvenile sexual sensibility, which among many abuses has her eating a dried clitoris. For reasons too boring to go into, Bree is a secretary who undergoes various acts of sexual humiliation, which has very little to do with the plot of the film and more to cater to an audience of dead eyed onanists who like their women submissive and abused. For this to be a low mark for an actress that has appeared in a porn film lovingly titled Chloroform Bondage Silences Feisty Females must rank as some achievement.
Throw Tom Six into the mix with some very pedestrian gore and you have a film that is a chore to sit through. There isn’t even a human centipede until right at the bloody end, so after all the teasing he spends 90 minutes rubbing your face in the shit then doesn’t make you eat it.
Extras:
An alternate ending that takes it full circle to the first film, which makes no narrative sense, and a 25 minute making of. Well, you don’t think the director just threw this all together. Picture and sound are fine, although you may want to turn the volume down to stop Dieter giving you a headache. Completely uncut but so cartoonish there is little to trouble the censor.



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