The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence)
May 22, 2015
Dieter Laser as Warden William Boss
Lawrence R. Harvey as Dwight Butler
Clayton Rohner as Dr. Jones
Eric Roberts as Governor Hughes
Robert LaSardo as Inmate 297
The Human Centipede III admittedly had a few good moments, but as my husband so aptly offered, “It was like one of those Saturday Night Live sketches which just went on too long.” Indeed, it’s an interesting concept, but could be done more efficiently and effectively in a short film format – certainly a feature film trilogy was unnessacary – especially since the envelope pushing in this “final” film barely registered.
Yes, the film starts out with great promise, a sick sense of humor and audience anticipation (several viewers at the premiere began chanting the above-mentioned “ass to mouth” as writer/director Tom Six took the stage to introduce the film). But after an overload of dialogue-only scenes, a few bits of prison life and very little actual centipede-ing, this promise is eaten up and eventually poorly digested.
Prison Warden William Boss (the original The Human Centipede’s Dieter Laser) is certifiably insane. He mistreats the inmates under his supervision, torturing them – seemingly with little repercussion or interruption from the government. But Governor Hughes (yes – that’s Oscar nominee Eric Roberts) is ready to fire him and his well-trained and subservient accountant/assistant, Dwight Butler (The Human Centipede 2’s Lawrence R. Harvey) due to over-spending and other various infractions. Mr. Butler continually tries to guide his boss into viewing the two original films in The Human Centipede trilogy – hoping that his idea of a “human prison centipede” will cure their financial and prison control woes.
An almost-cartoon atmosphere drenches the film. It’s ridiculous, over-the-top, totally scare-free and far less nauseating than you would expect (or perhaps hope for if you’re a fan of these flicks). Basically, it fails.
The tagline – which is frankly intriguing – is “100% Politically Incorrect”. And while much of the insane weirdness would be considered offensive to a general audience, for horror freaks like me, it was all quite tame – and shockingly so. I actually had anxiety about seeing the film, well remembering battling the few instances of nausea while viewing certain parts of the first film.
On top of the relative ease of the subject matter, the film was pretty boring. Initially, Laser’s long rants – proving that he has one hell of a lung capacity – were kind of fun, but as the film went on and this lunacy continued, I found myself growing ever more silent. The laughter had subsided and his shtick became annoying.
Aside from one particularly nasty moment with Inmate 297’s (the talented and underrated Robert LaSardo – what are you doing in this mess?) genitals, there was no real gross-out factor. Even when we finally get to see the “ass to mouth” sequences, they were underwhelming and boring, not to mention brief. The film itself gets two out of three of those last three adjectives. Guess which ones?
In addition to LaSardo, some other recognizable actors show up to collect their paycheck. Among them, an uncredited Efren Ramirez (Pedro of Napoleon Dynamite) and Clayton Rohner (my beloved Rick Morehouse from the 1985 gem Just One of the Guys) as the head doctor at the prison. Ramirez had perhaps three brief scenes and Rohner with a bit more substantial screen-time. His comic pseudo mad-doctor character is enjoyable. The scene in which Mr. Butler, Warden Boss, Dr. Jones and the film’s writer/director Tom Six (he shows up as a consultant for the prison project) is Rohner’s comic moment to shine. But again – what are you doing here? You’re better than this.
Strangely enough, I found myself quite attached to Lawrence R. Harvey as the warden’s right hand man/accountant, Dwight Butler. He was the star of the second film. Here, he’s a loyal little puppy dog to the insane warden, using the DVDs of the original two films to persuade his boss of his idea (it’s all very meta – in the tradition of Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, Scream and certainlyBook of Shadows: Blair Witch 2). His disgust at his boss’s antics and his need to be heard and appreciated is actually endearing. God help me – a loveable character in a Human Centipede film – but it’s the truth. With his meek southern accent, bulging eyes and hunched physicality, he was the best part of the picture.
Technically, what stood out to me the most were the sound effects. Whether we’re experiencing the rampant scatological humor, the sexual (and oral) abuse (there’s some more of that political incorrectness) of the Warden’s chesty assistant, Daisy (porno actress Bree Olson), or out in the prison yard with the completed human centipede and its fully functioning, all-in-one digestive tract – the sound effects are juicy, comical and certainly ramped up from the norm. More-so than the “meh” special effects, “ass to mouth” surgical scenes or gory gunshot wounds, this auditory icky-ness actually succeeded in grossing me out.
If you’re a fan of the first two films, perhaps this will spark your multi-legged, perverse fancy. But… even a 500-person human centipede (the overhead shots of this monstrosity are glorious) couldn’t make this much fun. What is this world coming to?