The Human Centipede horror film

The Human Centipede: First Sequence is a newly-released schlock-horror film about a crazy surgeon who attempts to make a human centipede by sewing people together mouth-to-butt. Roger Ebert refused to apply the star system to it in his review. From the Sun Times:
 Wp-Content Uploads 2010 04 The-Human-Centipede-First-Sequence I have long attempted to take a generic approach. In other words, is a film true to its genre and does it deliver what its audiences presumably expect? "The Human Centipede" scores high on this scale. It is depraved and disgusting enough to satisfy the most demanding midnight movie fan. And it's not simply an exploitation film...

I am required to award stars to movies I review. This time, I refuse to do it. The star rating system is unsuited to this film. Is the movie good? Is it bad? Does it matter? It is what it is and occupies a world where the stars don't shine.

Roger Ebert reviews The Human Centipede (Thanks, Lisa Mumbach!)

And here's The Awl's review, "Horror Chick: Do Not See 'The Human Centipede' Unless You Are a Sick, Sick Puppy, And Even Then Reconsider"

UPDATE: And the requisite Tumblr blog for this depraved flick, "Behind the Behind," from UPSO and pals.


  1. I’ve seen this film my wife about a week ago, and we both agreed it was basically nothing but boring.

    The actors all were wooden, the villain was a pointless caricature, and the two American girls who are the “victims” are so poorly acted and written to be so vacuous that you don’t give a damn what happens to them.

    Unfortunately, nothing but a D-grade horror film with a minor twist for its main premise.

  2. Y’know…here’s the thing about Human Centipede: I like dumb, schlocky horror movies–and the dumber they are, the better I like ’em! But this piece of crap is just so ridiculous and pointless I couldn’t even finish watching it. Not because it’s all gross and grody and stuff–but because the premise was so thin it couldn’t even support a moronic ’80s drive-in slasher flick, and the film itself is just boring. The *entire premise* of the film revolves around sewing people’s butts and mouths together. Whoop-de-doo. And then what? Nothing. There is literally nothing else. It might’ve worked as a short, but as an entire film? Honestly, it makes Hostel and all the Saw movies after the first one look like high art. I am a connosieur of cinematic depravity, but THIS example is not so much depraved as it is simply *stupid.*

  3. I tend to agree with Derek. Saw this last night and made it to the first of probably many “money shots.” From that point forward you could sense fairly easily that the director had nowhere else to go. B-Horror is one of my favorite genres when done in a fun and easily-forgiving way, but The Human Centipede treads only in the somber and the disgusting. It simply wasn’t entertaining on any level other than morbid curiosity. Any balanced individual will likely find that once their curiosity is sated about an hour into the ‘film’, there’s nothing left to see but suffering and depravity. Having said that, I’ll never forget The Human Centipede, if only for its novelty.

  4. But DUDE! He makes them EAT POOP!

    Whoever “wrote” this script deserves to die of shame.

  5. If there was ever a time for a BoingBoing Unicorn Chaser, for f*ck’s sake, post one now…

  6. My first thought is that this is the hollwood attempt to cash in on the viral nature of memes like 2girls1cup and goatse. The lesson seems to be that if you make something repulsive enough, it ends up becoming a memorable part of internet culture. Maybe they’re hoping we’ll adopt “The Human Centipede” into the same club.

  7. So the premise is taking a bunch of people and having something go in one end and crap come out the other. Isn’t that how Fox News works?

  8. I never really was one for torture porn, myself. I saw a trailer for this by complete accident and the concept alone just left me queasy and unhappy.

    1. You’re not the only one who gets queasy and unhappy at the mere concept of this thing. It actually ruins my whole day every time it is mentioned. I hate that every time I finally forget about it “the internet” keeps reminding me.

  9. I just noticed the trailer at the end says “100% medically accurate”. 100% of what? Total bullshit? The idea is full of more holes than that centipede is.

  10. Saw it in the theater a few weeks ago. This movie was hilarious! The descriptions I had read beforehand ended up being more disgusting than anything in the film. I guess the hype softened the blow.

  11. Last year at Fantastic Fest, I met the director/creator, Tom Six, on his way to go shoot guns in the desert. He was one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met…

    …exactly the kind you need to worry about.

  12. C’mon now, it wasn’t that bad. I found the sparse aesthetics to be reminiscent of Martyrs without being quite so harrowing. In fact, I suppose the point was to explore the fetishistic treatment of humans as objects. In that sense, this is a great film for makers to watch!

    It may not be great, but it is cringe-worthy, and interesting. I’m looking forward to the full sequence sequel.

    Mr. Spooky

  13. why is the first step to cut the knee ligaments? do centipedes not have working knees?

  14. Antinous,

    I recall hearing that Dieter Laser was the only choice for the nutball doctor. Udo Kier doesn’t turn any role down. Unless Clint Howard already turned it down.

    With just a little more stitching, they could have gone from Human Centipede to an awesome Human Doughnut (aka The Neverending Story – Full Sequence).

  15. Haven’t seen the Human Centipede, but I did see Deadgirl. It was a truly horrific movie, well made, but I can’t really *endorse* it in a 1 to 5 score either. Well filmed, somewhat gory, disturbing as hell, but would I encourage or discourage others from seeing it? I don’t know.

  16. I bet Ebert wishes he’d held back on calling Kick Ass “reprehensible”.

    Also, Re: “100% Medically Accurate”: Centipedes always have an odd number of pairs of legs!

  17. It’s definitely best to be out front.

    But interestingly, it’s pretty constant after that. I don’t think it’s much worse to be last than to be second.

    In other words, the graph of goodness vs. position looks like:

    | x
    |     x   x  x   x   x  x   x   …

  18. This sounds like an incredibly bad Japanese horror movie. And not the good kind of bad Japanese horror, the really, honestly BAD kind.

  19. The premise is asinine. It should be that the “human centipede” shouldn’t be MADE of tourists but should be a genetic mutant kid kept in the basement & is FED tourists by it’s demented scientist father.

    Could be wry take on genetically modified crops if done right.

  20. 26: “…cut the knee ligaments?”

    So the “participants” cannot stand up and can only crawl a la centipede.

    36: “The premise is asinine.”

    Surely you mean ass-inine.

    1. And for the win!

      37: “Surely you mean ass-inine”

      Sir, surely you mean ass-in-line


    2. Steiny • #37 • 2:55 PM Thursday, May 20, 2010 • Reply

      36: “The premise is asinine.”

      Surely you mean ass-inine.

      surely you meant ass-in-line…

  21. I guess the person at the front gets to eat better than the others. What’s this fellow’s purpose in linking people in such a manner?

  22. Coincidence that the female actors are called Ass-hley and Ass-hlynn?

    And why are germans so into scat?

  23. I saw this movie last week and it was actually a lot of fun. The lead actor who plays the doctor is very good in a David Warner-ish sort of way. The movie kept moving and actually was more conceptually disgusting than it was visually disgusting. I don’t generally like splatter films. They just irritate me. This movie was more of a modern updating of the classic “innocents lost in the woods stumble across a mad scientist’s castle” genre, and as such, it was great.

    If you want shockingly inappropriate filmmaking, the end of Audition wins that category hands down. This movie was much more goofy and cute in a sick sort of way. I’m looking forward to the sequel.

    In my Netflix envelope for this weekend is a potential fun romp titled, “Dead Snow”. A group of Norwegians in a machine gun equipped snowmobile do battle with Nazi Zombies. Yowza! High concept!

  24. Classic body horror, which is cheap and easy to do in order to generate a thrill, pulled off inexpertly and with a clumsy hand. Ebert must be aware of the incredibly large body of work along these lines such as the Saw series, Xtro, Slither, Meatball Machine, Tetsuo The Iron Man, etc, etc, etc…

    This boring example does not merit the angry and self-righteous review that is starting to typify Ebert’s writing more and more as he ages.


  25. It’s medically accurate in that it’s possible to sew people head to butt, i suppose.

  26. I just finished watching it. Sure, one could argue that it had little to no point but, then so does every other movie. I thought it had charm.

  27. please don’t ever ever ever ever ever post anything like this again. ever. please.

  28. well great! Now some sick maniac will probably try to do it for real. Thanks for the sick inspiration…

    1. That’s what I said about “When Harry Met Sally” and now all these sick maniacs are getting involved in romantic comedic lives. MAKE IT STOP!!!

  29. This strikes me as one of those “People actually get paid for doing this?!” kinds of things – along with many of the other horror movies you all named here (gotta love how Wikipedia posts a lot of movie plot synopses). I guess the flip side is, “There’s actually a paying audience for this?!”

    The Human Centipede. Taste the Horror.

  30. It seems pretty stupid, and is obviously based on somebody’s scat fetish.

    In reality, if you were sewn to someone’s ass and began receiving a torrent of shit like that, your body would reject it as powerfully as it is able. This would involve blacking-out, blasting the offending matter out through the nasal passages, vomiting uncontrollably, possibly rupturing the abdominal muscles along the way, seizures would be possible… the list goes on. At the very least, a person would probably be able to ignore the pain and manually tear their mouth from the preceding person’s posterior. A bleeding mouth would be a secondary consideration at that point, anyway.

    So it’s just another boring old torture-porn flick, same as the million others that were made back in the late 70’s and 80’s. Dumb as hell and clearly based on some fruitcake’s dookie fantasy.

  31. Watched it tonight based on all these rave reviews. The concept is so unsettling that it could have made a great 20-30 min. segment of a horror anthology film like Creepshow or Three Extremes, but it just isn’t enough for a full 90 min. The result is a movie that starts slow, moves slow and ends slow. The acting from the two American girls is so bad that you’re praying for them to have their mouths sewn to someone’s ass just to shut them up. It’s the sort of movie you only watch so that you can say you have. Now that I have, I can look forward to never watching it again.

  32. The trailer for this is hysterically funny. It’s a worthy piece of art, all on its own.

  33. I’m glad it disturbs other people too. I watched the first minute or so and had to turn it off, and it’s been haunting me and making me sick ever since. I don’t care if it’s dumb or schlocky – what is in your brain that you think of this? and then get money and a team of people together to make it? ugh ugh ugh. I don’t like living in a world where this exists.

  34. Am I the only one who liked it? It’s a film centered around exploiting a fetish, and in that sense it does so very, very effectively. Tom Six avoided a lot of the stereotypical gore and over-the-topness that is still ruining the Saw franchise (not they were anything special to begin with), and instead focused on the idea of three people connected for survival. The front is subjected to a constant barrage of character tests, in which his decisions directly affect both his own outcome and those of the people sewn to his asshole. The middle receives the most punishment, forced to take the shit of the first and to deliver it helplessly to the last. And the last? Well of course she is constantly malnourished, forced to swallow what’s left of the already exhausted nourishment.

    The entire time, the mad patriarch of the house attempts to force the members of his centipede to live up to a mythical predecessor (his rottweilers) that they never actually see. In the end, the middle, although she took the most abuse, is the only one who withstands the experience.

    I thought it was all really interesting from a weird, faux-metaphysical point of view. What’s more, there wasn’t any cheesy music, the effects were good, the lighting was decent, and even the acting wasn’t TOO inexcusably bad. The fact that people are criticizing an indie exploitation horror flick for realism or plot is mind-blowing. Try appreciating it for what it is. It’s actually a lot of fun!

  35. Why is nobody talking about how the movie affected them? Everyone is just saying if it is good or bad. I was disgusted, very uncomfortable, scared, irritated, pissed off at both the film and the audience’s responses. Generally unhappy. Yet I stayed. Why? Because I couldn’t bear leaving those poor girls in that fucked up state. And something about the “human centipede” plays on our fears of being interdependent. It is human dependency brought to a horrifyingly literal image. It forces the viewer to imagine sustained torment, an unending nightmare. That is about as scary as it gets.

  36. During the uncomfortable parts of the film, I distracted myself by musing:

    What will the commenters on BoingBoing have to say about this?

  37. Right, so what was the actual point to this film? Some weirdo makes a manky link of 3 people, and two of them have have to eat the one in fronts poop? No. Thats wrong. Manky, disturbed and horrible. There was so actual point to this film, apart from for it to grose everyone out, just about to the point where you think you’re going to puke. I will not recomend this film to anyone, and to be quite honest, I hope they dont make another one. Worst film I have ever seen. :| !

    1. Clearly you don’t understand the concept of art; which film is.

      Subjective opinion is irrelevant. Some people will like it, some not – like with all art. If you don’t want to consume it, then don’t – but making out that it’s intrinsically wrong just because you dislike it is tantamount to censorship – which I personally despise.

  38. I love any movie that is engaging. I can honestly say that most of the movies produced within the last two decades are complete garbage, save a very few exceptions. I have given up on movie critics to entice me to watch movies. Movies that are touted as some kind of cinematic “triumph” turn out to be heavily filtered, formulated vehicles designed to cater to a certain age demographic, as determined by some group of marketing experts who want to maximize the production’s earning potential. It’s payola.
    I enjoyed this movie for two simple reasons:
    1. I was engaged, and sat through the whole thing .
    2. I actually liked the characters, and felt that they did their roles justice (japanese guy and psycho doctor).
    So, using that simple analogy, The Human Centipede was better than I Am Legend, Hancock, any movie with someone named “Seth” involved, any film with someone named “Bruckheimer” involved, anything directed by Tony Scott or McG.
    Well, that takes 99.9% of big Hollywood productions out of the running.

  39. You. Have. Corrupted. Me.

    I watched the trailer and read an analysis (no pun intended) of the film the day this was posted, and then forgot about it. Until a minute ago, when I re-visited the Mochi Mochi website and saw this:

    Poor Mochi Mochi Land doggies! They were being adorable way before this creepy crapfest (no pun intended) was even thought of. But still…jibbly! jibbly! jibbly!

  40. I think the movie was just as good as Torture Room…Both movies mad me queasy….and a bit uncomfortable from time to time. However, I must say almost nothing “get’s”me but this movie was crazy. Forget that the acting was bad and that it could have been a shorter film, watch it again and ask yourself what you would have done, or how that would feel or even how you would have coped with choking your best friend to death with your crap. I must own this movie and cannot wait until the next one!!!

  41. This movie was disturbing. In fact even though it is humanly possible the director tom six did not make it realistic because he wanted people to use their imaginations (to make they freak out and panic even more), thus making them scare themselves.Just the fact that Tom Six would even think or, create images in his mind is sick
    this man has a serious mental disorder,

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