Regular Cinematical readers will remember that I've famously said I can never watch Ruggero Deodato's Cannibal Holocaust thank to violence it commits against animals, but I have definitely seen my share of gross, weird, and deeply disturbing movies. Until recently, the most f*cked up thing I've ever watched is probably Jorg Buttgereit's 1987 film Nekromantik, which climaxes – literally – with a guy stabbing himself to death as he ejaculates blood. But Sunday's offerings at Screamfest offered a new contender in this dubious competition to show audiences the depths of human depravity: specifically, The Human Centipede is precisely the kind of cult sensation that earns immortality on the merits of its gobsmacking levels of gore, despite the fact that all in all it's really not a very good film.
Dieter Laser stars as Dr. Heiter, a reclusive German surgeon who specializes in separating conjoined twins. Pining for the loss of his beloved 3-dog – in fact, rottweilers that he surgically attached end-to-end – Heiter recruits a series of unwitting victims, including a trucker, two American tourists (Ashley C. Williams and Ashlynn Yennie), and a Japanese playboy (Akihiro Kitamura), for his latest experiment. But when his victims give him more trouble than he expects – including unwanted attention from the authorities - Dr. Heiter is forced to decide whether to abandon his latest project, or protect it from the outside world – with their and his very lives, if necessary.