Movie Review - The Human Centipede III: The Final Sequence
If I'm being completely honest, it took me a long time to warm to the Human Centipede series. I actually avoided it for quite some time before someone convinced me to give it a try. And I'm glad they did. The first film was filled with sick and twisted fun, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. The second film in the franchise doubled down on the insanity and is easily one of the most disturbing pieces of cinema I have ever experienced. So I suppose I had high hopes going in that it would somehow top the depravity of its' predecessor. Unfortunately, that was not the case. In fact, and I can't believe I'm about to say this, but it was kind of boring. Not only that, but it was tame by the standards set by the previous two films, aside from a few cringe-worthy scenes throughout. It's not that I hated the film, it was just less of a Human Centipede movie and more of a performance piece for Dieter Lasar and Laurence R. Harvey, the talented actors who played the villains from the first and second films respectively. So it certainly had its' moments, but overall this was a bit of a disappointment. The Human Centipede III: The Final Sequence is now available in theaters and on VOD, though you may want to wait until this one arrives on Netflix, even if you're a fan of the series.
Bill Boss is the warden of a maximum security prison somewhere in the middle of the desert, plagued with constant prison riots, staff turnover and skyrocketing medical costs. Under pressure from the Governor to clean up the prison, the warden tries to revive medieval torture methods to gain control of the prisoners. But when resorting to waterboarding prisoners with boiling water and even castration isn't enough to strike fear into the hearts of the inmates, the warden's assistant suggests something even more extreme... turning the entire prison population into one massive human centipede.
Before I get into a few of the things I didn't like about the movie, let me talk about what the film did correctly: casting. The entire ensemble was top notch, with some stand out performances by some of the supporting cast as well as the two leading roles. Carlos Ramirez and Robert Lasardo both have intensely memorable scenes, and Bree Olsen matches the warden's over the top intensity and provides for some of the more comedic moments in the film. But the film rests on the almost caricature-esque performances of Dieter Lasar as Bill Boss and Laurence R. Harvey as his assistant, Dwight Butler. Both actors throw themselves into the roles with as much gusto as their previous characters in the series, but this time around neither is as terrifying. Though that isn't on them, that's just the way that the film was written.
Now, the premise of the film is kind of brilliant, as was the casting of Dieter Lasar and Laurence R. Harvey. But where the first two films focused heavily on the creation of the human centipede, which is obviously the most disturbing part, most of the 'assembly' in this chapter takes place off-camera. It was shocking how little the film actually focuses on the centipede and how much it focused on the mental degradation of the warden and his staff. But the film was so over-the-top that it came across just a little too silly and not quite demented enough for my taste. Tom Six is an extremely talented writer and director, but this one just didn't come together in the same way that the other two films did. It almost seemed like he knew it would be impossible to top the second film in terms of being just plain disgusting, so he didn't even really try. Which is a shame, as I expected a lot more. Now available on VOD and in theaters, I would recommend you skip this one.
- Leo Francis