If 2010's "The Human Centipede (First Sequence)
" was an unsettling, claustrophobic chamber piece about three travelers meeting a fate worse than death within the antiseptic lair of a mad doctor (Dieter Laser), and 2011's "The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)
" was a stark, black-and-white, definitely meta
character study of an antisocial parking lot attendant who takes his love of the original "The Human Centipede
" to stomach-churning extremes, then purported last entry "The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence)" drops the seriousness and aims strictly for satire. Writer-director Tom Six has received a lot of press and plenty of unwarranted negative flack for a franchise that few outside of serious horror buffs have likely bothered to watch. Take away the premise-turned-punchline, however, and what one will find is a taut, even handsome, thriller and a less restrained but undeniably clever and effective follow-up. "The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence)" is affecting in its own right, too, but this time there is a smarmy, self-deprecating tone to wade through and even a faint scent of desperation in the air. Six doesn't dare flinch with what he hath wrought, but should he be proud of the rampant sexism he has chosen to add to the equation?
At the sleazy, violent, financially ailing George H.W. Bush State Prison, maniacal warden William Boss (Dieter Laser) and his long-suffering accountant, Dwight Butler (Laurence R. Harvey), are facing termination from Governor Hughes (Eric Roberts) unless they can quickly find a way to turn things around. With an unlicensed doctor (Clayton Rohner) on staff and unruly inmates whom Boss takes great pleasure in torturing, there seems to be little hope for the future until Dwight comes to Boss with the previous two "The Human Centipede" films in hand and a foolproof idea on how to deter the crime rate. Simply put, they will construct a prison-wide, slightly amended human centipede, each convict sewn anus to mouth in such a way that when their sentence is up they will be able to walk free with no more than slight scarring around their lips and backside. The lifers and death-row population, however, won't be so lucky with what Boss has in store for them.
"The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence)" is pure insanity, a bonkers excursion into the depths of torture, degradation and ugliness. If there is an element strong enough to almost make the entire film worth recommending, it is Dieter Laser's unforgettable performance, an unhinged fireworks display of psychologically twisted inhumanity that he plays, at all times, to the rafters. Laser's William Boss is as vivid a villain as the very different one he portrayed in "The Human Centipede (First Sequence)
," a screaming, sex-crazed, cigar-chomping lunatic who nibbles from a jar of fried clitorises and castrates a prisoner just so he can cook his testicles for lunch. He addresses his cute secretary, Daisy (Bree Olson), by "Tits" and threatens her job by forcing her into humiliating sex acts. Boss is crazy enough that it is plausible that he would objectify poor Daisy to such a sickening degreeand rest assured her treatment only gets worse from therebut at a certain point director Tom Six has to be held accountable for the images and ideas he splatters onto the screen. His perverse joy in sinking as low as he can possibly imagine gradually wears out its welcome. Ruminating on the film after the fact, there are things worth admiringcinematographer David Meadows shoots the heck of the picture, and Laser's turn is the work of a frightening geniusbut also a level of vicious pessimism coursing through its veins that has nothing to do with the grisly story being told and everything to do with the filmmaker at the helm.