The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) (½ Star)

human_centipede_threeIt somehow got worse. A franchise that began as a mediocre horror title given undeserved controversy in The Human Centipede (First Sequence) has progressed to a carnival freak show aiming to shock in The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) and now something even poorer. Yes, The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) might not be quite as gory as the last one, but it’s even more over the top and has delusions of grandeur to boot. Believe it or not, filmmaker Tom Six harbors the notion that his trilogy is “important”, making this final outing a political satire. It’s bad enough that Six is a poor writer and director, but he’s bizarrely chosen to more or less repeat himself on a loop, as if his concept is so ingenuous and so essential to cinema that he owes it to the world. There’s no art to be found here, not that you should consider it a surprise, but it’s just so unoriginal and often boring that it stands out like a sore thumb in this trilogy. Sure, there’s some horrific things to be found here, but nothing scary. Six is at times seeking to blindly shock, as if the prior sequel was a modern classic that demanded to be one upped. It’s such an overt miscalculation on Six’s part that you have to wonder if he’s all there. That, and what he actually depicts in The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence). Yuck…

As a fan of the horror genre, I’m far from someone squeamish about gore or gross depictions of violence. Just like last time, the “controversial” bits are just there for the sake of being there. It’s one thing to include someone eating from a fried clitoris jar (you read that right), showing a man sexually violated in a stab wound leading to his kidney, a gun stuck inside a stoma and fired, castration, and of course a 500 person human centipede, but to do it without any acceptable reason, well…that’s the sign of an artless failure and a waste of time. In case any of you were going to see this just for the shock value, consider those potential spoilers to be a public service to save you some money, as well as precious moments of your life. Just like The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) made The Human Centipede (First Sequence) seem positively inspired by comparison, the same can be said for what The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) does to the last one.

This film begins by showing third act bits from the prior two, since Six wants to immediately make it clear that not only is this a franchise, but that the reality being depicted here is one in which those two movies exist. It’s then established that we’re at the fictional George H.W. Bush Correctional Facility, the first of many terrible attempts at political and social commentary/satire. The prison, one of the worst in the state, is run by the sadistic warden Bill Boss (Dieter Laser), along his accountant Dwight Butler (Laurence R. Harvey), and is dealing with high costs due to all manner of failures. The prison is a complete cesspool, with Boss railing on about castrating the inmates between sexually violating or verbally abusing his secretary Daisy (Bree Olsen). He’s done it to one prisoner already and in light of the governor (Eric Roberts) planning to fire him in a matter of weeks, Boss wants to do it to the lot of them. Each time he waxes on un-poetically about this dream of his, Dwight suggests that he consider a different option…one that involves those movies. Soon, the real Tom Six is on hand to explain how the procedures in his flicks are medically viable and Boss is dreaming of a revolutionary new idea for prisoner rehabilitation. I’d say that you can let your mind wander in terms of what comes next, but it’s all made very clear to you over the course of the film’s abysmally padded and slow running time.
When the best performance in your film comes from adult film actress Bree Olsen, you know that you’re not casting well. To be fair, Olsen isn’t a bad actress, but what has her stand out is that she’s playing the only character who’s not a total piece of shit, if you’ll excuse the language. “Star” Dieter Laser is playing a subhuman pig as a cross between a lizard and his mad doctor from the first one on acid. With a shaved head, barely intelligible dialogue, and a vile look and feel, this could be an interesting villain, but that would require the work of a capable actor and filmmaker, which this is sorely lacking. Laurence R. Harvey also returns to play someone new, this time a creepy little accountant again obsessed with Six’s films. Eric Roberts is here too and should be ashamed of himself for going along with the nonsense. He’s solid enough in the role, but it’s a glorified cameo and he should have known better. In addition to the aforementioned Six cameo (where he establishes himself not just as a bad filmmaker, but a bad actor as well), Robert LaSardo plays one of the more abused prisoners, along with a host of other no names who are perfectly content to not have you learn their names and associate themselves with this. The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) is not something to put at the top of your resume on IMDb.

We come now to Tom Six, a man who I once gave the benefit of the doubt to. I wrote last time that Six has vision as a filmmaker but also one hell of an ego. Well, I’m not sure about the first part, but I’m doubling down on the latter. Now with three poorly made films of this sort under his belt, we should all be on to his stunt. He’s clearly not though, as he repeatedly makes sequels meant to congratulate him on starting the franchise. The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) was a response to pundits who railed against the first one for being morally objectionable. It really wasn’t, despite the unpleasant central concept, so Six made sure that the sequel was. Now, The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) posits that both prior outings were cultural phenomenons and literally have the power to change the world. One character here even muses that sewing people ass to mouth and connecting their digestive tracks has the power to get them elected President. Throw in Six showing up as himself to have his characters praise him on screen and this is just one other type of masturbation that he’s chosen to depict in his work.

I could go on and on about how bad The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) is, but the half star rating, my lowest ever, in case you’re wondering, should be enough. No one in their right mind thought that this would be good, but it’s a pointless would be satire that doesn’t bother to satirize anything. He might argue that merely setting it in America is some sort of commentary, but that’s the lazy point of a lazy filmmaker. One goes to see something like this hoping for a carnival like feel, subjecting themselves to a sideshow, as it were, but this was closer to straight up torture. The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) is easily the worst film of 2015 so far, and hopefully the worst I’ll see all year. If an inferior one exists, I don’t want to know about it.

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Thoughts? Discuss in the comments!