17. The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) (2011)
Director: Tom Six
Stars: Laurence R. Harvey, Ashlynn Yennie, Maddi Black, Dominic Borrelli, Bill Hutchens, Vivien Bridson
Looking back on it, it’s quite laughable to think that critics and audiences were so disgusted by Tom Six’s The Human Centipede when it debuted last year—as the sequel, released earlier this month, confirms, the Dutch filmmaker’s first trip into medical grotesquery was mere child’s play. Or, rather, the psychological slow-burn leading up to the black-and-white sequel’s balls-out sickness.
Totally meta, The Human Centipede II follows the overweight and antisocial Martin (Laurence R. Harvey), a parking garage attendant who’s obsessed with Six’s first Centipede movie. So, he bludgeons strangers with a crowbar, brings them to an abandoned warehouse, cuts their knees open, bashes their teeth in with a hammer, and staples their mouths to someone else’s ass—he’s a real people person.
For all of the backlash that Six has received thus far for Full Sequence, the fact that he’s a skilled director often gets overlooked, but it’s the truth. The Human Centipede II is so effectively disgusting because that’s how Six made it, consciously, with in-your-face close-ups and an all-around bizarreness in tone that never allows the viewer to settle into a groove. It takes real chops to be so despicable.