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The Human Centipede III: Final Sequence (Movie Review)

The Human Centipede III: Final Sequence (Movie Review)
05.20.2015by: Jake Dee
6 10

PLOT: Inspired by the odious first two HUMAN CENTIPEDE films, a wicked warden at a fledgling U.S. prison vows to keep his inmates in line, literally, by fusing the entire population into a 500-man centipede.

REVIEW: Four years after braving the penultimate Full Sequence, Dutch iconoclast Tom Six returns with THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE III (FINAL SEQUENCE) - an indefatigably vile and violent piece of gross-out black humor that well satisfies as a Grand Guignol series finale. With an undeniable grind-house temperament studded with deep-seeded perversion, Six has recruited a spate of recognizable actors to mix it up with series repeat offenders to create a more grandiose spectacle than the first two films combined. Yet, in true grindhouse fashion, the promise of one thing is subjugated for another, and we're left with less centipede-horror and more overtly comedic psycho-sexual vulgarity. This may bum out some, but I dug the shift quite a bit. Whereas the first two films were tagged as "100% medically accurate", the accuracy here is in the newfangled tagline "100% Politically Incorrect." Real shit...even Bill Maher would blush a deep crimson!

Back in the fold this time out is returning champion Deiter Laser, who played the demented German doctor in the first sequence who kicked this whole f*cking sick shindig off to begin with. Here Laser plays the repulsively oleaginous Bill Ross, warden to a maximum security penitentiary in the United States. He's aided by his mousy mustachioed lackey Dwight Butler (played by Laurence R. Harvey, the villain from HC 2: full sequence) and his sexpot secretary Daisy (Bree Olson), whom the warden affectionately refers to as Tits. Laser is sweaty, booze-addled letch whose prison faces a host of problems: high riot rates, soaring medical costs, constant staff turnover, etc. When the state governor (Eric Roberts) shows up looking to shut shit down, Laser is forced to take radical action to show his prison deserves continuous funding. So what does he do? Yup, at the behest of Dwight, not to mention the blessing of director Tom Six himself, Laser finds it wise to string up his entire prison population into one giant, cumbersome Human Centipede. What in the hell could go wrong?!

Along for the ride is a who's who of familiar faces: Robert LaSardo, Tommy "Tiny" Lister, Clayton Rohner, Carlos Ramirez, the aforementioned Roberts and Olson, etc. This inherently makes the film bigger and dare I say a bit more mainstream, particularly since Six wisely waits a good portion of the runtime until finally unveiling the massive 500-man centipede. Really, if we're treated to 100 uninterrupted minutes of ass-to-mouth putridity, the film would be insufferable. However, Six is clearly aware of how the first two movies secreted into the consciousness of pop-culture, and here, he has a lot of meta, self-reflexive fun with the whole ordeal. There's a hilarious scene where the warden tortures his inmates by screening a double feature of the first two HUMAN CENTIPEDE films. There's also the fact that Six plays himself in the film and has fun time toying with his own image. The result, I found, is a much more scathingly dark but laugh-out-loud crowd pleaser.

But the real star, let's be clear, is Laser as the slimily heinous Warden Bill Ross. Holy hell. I make it a point to rarely draw this comparison, if ever, but I do think we've found a character whose utter sleaze and foul depravity rivals the great Bobby Peru (Willem Dafoe) in WILD AT HEART. Dude's that disgusting. That repulsive. But entertainingly so. Whether it's chomping on a jar of circumcised clitorises imported from Africa, sexually abusing his secretary many times over, or cruelly emasculating his underling Dwight with a skein of verbal invective...it doesn't matter...this nasty bastard makes ILSA, THE WICKED WARDEN look like Mary f*cking Poppins. And for a long stretch, I had a blast watching him, even if I could actually feel a permanent wince etched on my face throughout.

The problem, minor as it is, seems twofold. First off, the lecherous charm of Ross' crude humor tends to wear thin after about an hour so, with the film starting to drag a bit as it nears its third act. Seeing the film with an audience in on the joke, as everyone should do, you can feel the bouts of eruptive laughter begin to die down a bit as the film slithers towards its 100 minute runtime, the longest ever for a HUMAN CENTIPEDE joint. Also, as this one blatantly bends into the sick-and-twisted humor, fans of the first two films who really want to see nothing but bigger and bolder ass-to-mouth sequences may be a tad let down. Don't get me wrong, the goods are delivered, but it takes a while to do so, and by then the humorous bent begins to fall victim to its own sort of self-parody. Put simpler, the film works far better as a pitch-black comedy than an out-and-out horror flick, and tonally veers quite a bit from the first two films.

As for recommendations, they might honestly be unnecessary from either side of the argument. Since the HC films are as polarizing as cinema gets, I'm sure you've already made up your mind about whether or not the desire is there to see this here sick series finale. Fans of the franchise will inevitably see and defend the film, and if that includes you, I'm sure you'll have an absolute gas. But if you already detest these films based on the previous two (or the premise alone), there's nothing here I can do to sway your eyes to the screen this go around. This is unredeemable yet highly entertaining trash. So, I suppose, to the fence-riders like myself who felt rather indifferent after the FULL SEQUENCE, this is aimed at you. If you want an uncompromisingly sick, unadulterated gross-out grindhouse experience, by all means run out and clock THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE III. If these films aren't your gospel to begin with, the FINAL SEQUENCE isn't likely to make you a believer. So which camp are you in?

Extra Tidbit: THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE III (FINAL SEQUENCE) opens Friday May 22nd.
Source: AITH

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