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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - Edition No 907 

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HUMAN CENTIPEDE, THE (FIRST SEQUENCE)

SYNOPSIS:
Two American girls, Lindsay and Jenny (Ashley C. Williams, Ashlynn Yennie) are on a road trip through Europe. In Germany they end up alone at night with a flat tyre in the woods. They search for help and find an isolated villa. But help is not what they get. They awake to find themselves manacled to their beds in a basement hospital and are soon joined by another victim: Katsuro (Akihiro Kitamura). Their host identifies himself as Dr Josef Heiter (Dieter Laser), a retired surgeon who specialized in separating Siamese twins. However, this time his three "patients" are about to be joined together in a horrific operation. He plans to be the first person to connect people via their gastric system, anus to mouth to anus, bringing to life his sick lifetime fantasy "the human centipede".

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
With its R rating and consumer advice (high impact horror scenes), The Human Centipede comes fully loaded for the midnight screening cult fans - and enough warnings to scare off the simply curious. It has been written off by mainstream critics I gather, although it won the Best Film award at Screamfest (2009) and two more awards at the Austin Fantastic Fest (2009), including Best Actor for Dieter Laser as the surgeon with a bizarre quest to join three humans from anus to mouth in a daisy chain from hell. His award is no surprise: Laser's wonderfully creepy face (made more so by cinematic context) helps his measured performance to give the film its steel cold edge.

The two girls, Ashley C. Williams and Ashlynn Yennie, have exceptionally difficult roles, both physically and in performance, being restricted for most of the film by the needs of post surgical bandages - and the graphic result of Dr Heiter's surgery.

There is no question the film is unique and bizarre - but the worst part of the horror is not what we expect: it's our minds that do the work here, not just our eyes. It certainly achieves what it set out to do in genre filmmaking. I expected the film to be B grade horror litter, but its conceit rises above the expectations, as does its technically polished execution and the dramatic seriousness of purpose. It's economically written and directed by Dutch horrorist Tom Six, who is working on the sequel, called The Human Centipede - Full Sequence. Can't wait.



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

HUMAN CENTIPEDE, THE (FIRST SEQUENCE) (R)
(Netherlands/UK, 2010)

CAST: Dieter Laser, Ashley C. Williams, Ashlynn Yennie, Akihiro Kitamura, Andreas Leupold

PRODUCER: Ilona Six

DIRECTOR: Tom Six

SCRIPT: Tom Six

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Goof De Koning

EDITOR: Nigel De Hond

MUSIC: Patrick Savage and Holeg Spies

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Thomas Stefan

RUNNING TIME: 93 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Monster Pictures

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: Melbourne (Nova): August 27, 2010; Sydney (Chauvel), Brisbane (Tribal): September 4, 2010







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