CATEGORIES Reviews
A title and concept for the ages, director Tom Six's 'The Human Centipede: First Sequence' may be the scary indie that-could this upcoming, overcrowded theatrical weekend.

In nowhere town Germany, two carefree, road-tripping American girls find themselves in a fairly precarious position as their car breaks down in the middle of the woods. Seeking help, they arrive at the home of an insane, reclusive surgeon. Pretty much chaos takes over from there, and the girls are held victim to the maniacal whims of this crazed man.

For the faint of heart, we won't go into the gruesome details, but just take one look at the outrageous, provocative trailer below and you'll quickly get the idea. Also, be forewarned: Even though this film is not yet rated, it would most likely fall in the hard "R" category.

The critics are mostly embracing "The Human Centipede," with several noting the film's ability to sustain a taut mood and psychological terror -- despite a few too many visually repulsive scenes. Ed Gonzalez of The House Next Door even points out the film's pre-release buzz and its potential as a horror classic, stating: "'The Human Centipede' is already being hailed a cult classic in the making."

Read what the critics have to say: A title and concept for the ages, director Tom Six's 'The Human Centipede: First Sequence' may be the scary indie that-could this upcoming, overcrowded theatrical weekend.

In nowhere town Germany, two carefree, road-tripping American girls find themselves in a fairly precarious position as their car breaks down in the middle of the woods. Seeking help, they arrive at the home of an insane, reclusive surgeon. Pretty much chaos takes over from there, and the girls are held victim to the maniacal whims of this crazed man.

For the faint of heart, we won't go into the gruesome details, but just take one look at the outrageous, provocative trailer below and you'll quickly get the idea. Also, be forewarned: Even though this film is not yet rated, it would most likely fall in the hard "R" category.

The critics are mostly embracing "The Human Centipede," with several noting the film's ability to sustain a taut mood and psychological terror -- despite a few too many visually repulsive scenes. Ed Gonzalez of The House Next Door even points out the film's pre-release buzz and its potential as a horror classic, stating: "'The Human Centipede' is already being hailed a cult classic in the making."

Here's what the rest of the critics have to say:

Entertainment Weekly
: "Much of the film's 'entertainment value' rests on the sadistically outlandish performance of Dieter Laser, who's like Boris Karloff starring in a movie by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. The film itself, as staged by Dutch director Tom Six, is a fairly crafty piece of over-the-top suspense. By showing exactly what it promises to show, it lets us peer into a B-movie abyss. But unlike its obvious influence, the 1999 Japanese shocker 'Audition,' 'The Human Centipede' has no real-world echoes. It's an only-in-the-movies sick goof."

Village Voice: "In fact, 'The Human Centipede' is startlingly relatable: Six uses the centipede to talk about humanity. In the tradition of the first 'Frankenstein' films, various contemporary 'advanced interrogation techniques,' and certain interpretations of Catholic purgatory, 'Centipede' plays on the notion that the only thing more frightening than death is a state bridging life and death, in which, though one's body is no longer his own to control, the mind remains conscious. In Six's view, the moral imperative to preserve life only goes so far -- eventually, death is a relief."

New York Magazine
: "If you grew up loving horror and exploitation films, torture porn poses certain dilemmas -- because what attracted us in the first place was the flouting of taboos. We believe in the idea of 'transgressive' art, right? Well ... I'm not sure I want to live in a world that would embrace this particular monstrosity, a clinical, detached portrait of a German sadist who performs experiments on two women and a man, removing parts of jaws and knees, sewing mouths onto anuses, and running a digestive tube ... never mind. The director forces into our mouths what he forces into the mouths of his female characters. The movie stinks to heaven."

'The Human Centipede: First Sequence' Trailer

Slant Magazine
: "An astonishingly gross cinematic chimera, 'Human Centipede' is a Frankeinsteinian hybrid of Takashi Miike's sense of humor, David Cronenberg's skill at provocation, and a bit of 'Ilsa, She Wolf of the S.S.' S&M fantasies too, just to keep you on your toes. Six is to be commended for making something this brutal and delightfully freakish stay as thoroughly disturbing for as long as it does. In his determination to throw his viewer for a loop for as long as possible and keep them straining against the film's playfully drawn-out series of confrontations, Six has created something new, unsettlingly crude, and strangely arresting. And he did it all without the pretense of making a political statement. Eli who? Unlike 'Hostel,' a film that likewise takes heavy cues from Miike's films, 'Human Centipede' is able to keep the viewer off-balance, from start to finish, a feat that not even Miike has ever really been able to accomplish."

Boxoffice Magazine: "Mind you, it's masterfully handled. Like the doctor himself, writer-director Tom Six knows how to splice his work together. The first half is excruciatingly tense. A brief escape from Heiter's basement laboratory is mercilessly well paced. And Dieter Laser is a find: he's got such an alien presence, he makes Christopher Walken look like Justin Bieber. He moves like a predatory eagle, utterly unruffled by pain. You can't take your eyes off of him, even when he's whipping his creation and ordering Katsuro to 'Feed her! Feed her!' (Imagine that.) But part of his allure is misdirection: you don't want to look at the human centipede for long and what else is there onscreen? And after the shock wears off (okay, it never wears off that much) there's nothing to see but two sets of cheeks slashed and stitched into a joker's smile and three pairs of screaming eyes."

Time Out New York
: "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."