If you had a flat tire, which led you to the front door of a skeletal stranger eyeing your wet blouse, don’t you think his first words—“Are you...alone?”—might ring certain alarms? Dumb-as-dirt American tourists are nothing new to horror films; The Human Centipede (First Sequence) adopts that dopiness as a mission statement. You really have to hate logic, party girls and evil German doctors to dig this excruciatingly stupid movie, whose main gag is creating a surgically linked chain of disbelieving adults. Eat shit and die is the prescription. Viewers might relate.
Our auteur is Dutch writer, director and ding-a-ling Tom Six who, as the title hints, hopes to extend his food chain even further in a sequel. He’d be better off learning some craft. Or maybe not: Though the movie has less social significance than a Saw installment, its foreign sheen (and an arrestingly loco central performance by Dieter Laser) has landed it a berth at IFC Center, where arty viewers generally line up to see Vincere or Summer Hours. (Is a Criterion DVD far behind?) That’s actually the most interesting aspect of this unsatisfying little nothing of a movie, which displays the distribution game at its most cynical.—Joshua Rothkopf
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