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OKG Newsletter


Topic: six

Fantastic Fest: 'The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)'

Oh. My. God.

I can't imagine a more appropriate movie to serve as Fantastic Fest's official opener than "The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)," a near-immediate sequel to the instant cult hit that entered the pop-culture lexicon before it even saw release.

Last night's 9 p.m. crowd was pumped, but perhaps not quite primed, for whatever in-attendance writer/director/producer Tom Six had conjured up this time. Anyone who has read my original review of the first "Centipede" may recall that I think that film's events weren't as graphic as everyone expected — that they could've been much worse.

Well, welcome to the "much worse." But more on that in a moment.

Awaiting each viewer was an official "Human Centipede II" Survival Kit, a branded barf bag containing a staple remover and a peppermint. I ate the peppermint.

We also each received a "Human Centipede II" T-shirt, bearing the pun tagline, "The Deuce Is Loose." Anyone who didn't get the reference would within 90 minutes. Naturally, the shirt is brown. No, you can't have it.

Before the show, FF and Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League coerced lil' "Lord of the Rings" star Elijah Wood to join him onstage from his spot in the audience. Wood complied, soon giving way to an all-audience re-creation of the actor's now-infamous "Puppet Master" dance from kiddie show "Yo Gabba Gabba!" The sight was surreal, especially since — this being the Alamo — subliminal shots of exploding heads from "Scanners" and the like made their way into the footage before taking over completely.






Then we experienced the movie. When Six promoted the original film by saying the sequel would make it look like "My Little Pony" by comparison, that wasn't just a good soundbite. Part two makes part one look positively innocent. To Six's credit, he didn't simply remake his own movie. Instead, he completely flipped it and went meta.

"THC II" begins with Martin (newcomer Laurence R. Harvey), a sweaty, bug-eyed, obese parking garage attendant in London, watching the tail end of the first "THC" on his laptop at work. When it's over, he watches it again. He's obsessed with it, to the point that he keeps a scrapbook of the film hidden underneath his bed, as if it were porn.

Martin doesn't utter a word. He doesn't need to. His story is so simple — a lifetime of abuse and ridicule — that he doesn't have to. The gist of "THC II" is that he begins to wonder about testing the movie's "100% Medically Accurate" advertising claim, so he seeks out some unwilling test subjects from the labyrinthian parking garage. Whereas the movie's Dr. Heiter had but three victims, Martin seeks a dirty dozen.

Whereas the first film was clean and antiseptic in look and design, this sequel is bleak and grimy. Whereas the first film was in color, this sequel is in black-and-white — except for one scene, à la the girl in the red dress from Steven Spielberg's "Schindler's List," but I leave it to your imagination. Whereas the first film showed next to nothing, this sequel shows everything. I do think it goes too far, and from a guy like me who has a strong tolerance for horror, that's saying something. (However, I should note that most of the audience members were more troubled by a pre-show short of a medical education film about the vasectomy procedure, step by scissoring step.)

I'm still processing "THC II." Six has made the darkest of black comedies, set in "Eraserhead"-type surroundings of societal misery, and then stitched on a Grand Guignol grand finale that had many unsure whether to laugh or recoil, so they did both. Harvey gives a remarkably brave performance; we alternately feel sorry for him and want to kill him. I think I liked the movie — it's arty, clever and unique — but so much of its third act crosses the line that the angel on my shoulder tells me I shouldn't. You'll never look at sandpaper the same way again.

Actually, the afterward appearance of Six, Harvey and four lovely centipede segments onstage took some of the sting out of it. There's a reason why they call it "special effects." Those butts sure looked real to me.

The highlight of the Q-and-A was when League asked Six about how he found Harvey, who resembles Alfred Hitchcock by way of Batman comics' The Penguin. Six said Harvey walked into auditions, "and then I asked him to rape a chair. He went at it full-force." And the rest is cinema history. —Rod Lott


by Rod Lott 09.23.2011 2 years ago
at 10:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

Hear this


OKG7 things to do

Gazette staff

Drawing from six centuries of music, the dozen men comprising the a cappella ensemble Chanticleer will let their “orchestra of voices” ring at the Armstrong Auditorium, 14400 S. Bryant in Edmond.
 
Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Crime Does Not Pay: The Complete Shorts Collection (1935-1947)

Look who broke out of obscurity jail.


Drama

Rod Lott
Coming presumably from the deepest, darkest, dankest corner of Warner Archives’ basement, right by the leaky pipe from which hangs an opossum about to give birth, comes a true obscurity: Crime Does Not Pay: The Complete Shorts Collection (1935-1947).
 
Monday, June 25, 2012

Weird-Noir

Something Weird brings you six flicks of hard-boiled hoopla.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Of the six films that compose the double-disc Weird-Noir set, exactly zero may qualify as truly weird. The adjective likely is applied just as a tie to its label, Something Weird Video. Whatever the case, I don't care. The point is, all six films are a blast, and I'm just happy to have them — weird, plain, odd, milquetoast, legitimate, what have you.
 
Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Support it


OKG7 things to do

Gazette staff
We like this art show for the name alone: Holi-Day of the Dead. We love it because it benefits the art department of the low-income Emerson High School. Starting at 7 p.m. Saturday and running daily through Nov. 23, Holi-Day features works inspired by various big days of the calendar. See ’em at Six One Six Studios, 616 N.W. Fifth. Call 306-0343 or visit sixonesixstudios.com.

Saturday, ongoing

 
Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Strip it


OKG7 things to do

Gazette staff
What are six unemployed steelworkers to do for money? Take it off — take it all off. That’s the setup for the 1997 Oscar-winning film The Full Monty, now a musical to be performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Mitchell Hall Theater, 100 N. University in Edmond. Tickets are $10-$14 — a bargain for that much skin! Call 974-3375 or visit click4tix.com/uco.

Thursday-Sunday

 
Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Film it


OKG7 things to do

Gazette staff
Six years ago, Erin Davies found hate speech graffitied on her VW Beetle. So she drove it on a 58-day trip across North America to combat homophobia, and the results can be seen in Fagbug. The documentary feature screens Sunday at The Paramount OKC, 701 W. Sheridan: at 2 p.m. for youths ($5) and 6 p.m. for all ages ($10). A Q-and-A with Davies follows each. Call 517-0787 or visit theparamountokc.com.

Sunday

 
Tuesday, April 2, 2013

6 Souls

And not one worth saving.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Three years widowed, Dr. Cara Harding (Julianne Moore, Game Change) is a psychiatrist who meets one hell of a patient (Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Albert Nobbs) in Adam. And David. And Wesley.
 
Friday, June 21, 2013
 
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