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The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) review

Not the Hungry Caterpillar sequel...

After being refused classification by the BBFC then passed with 32 cuts, Tom Six’s self-referencing sequel arrives with a seriously squelchy rep.

Centring on a deranged London car park warden (Laurence R. Harvey), who’s obsessed with copying Six’s original film, this B&W effort shows him kidnapping passers-by to re-create the titular aberration.

If you don’t know what it is, let’s just say it involves staples, surgery and a symphony of shit.

Whether pissing blood or masturbating into sandpaper, it’s an extraordinary performance from Harvey (whose face resembles M’s Peter Lorre inflated to popping point).

The city is foreboding and there’s a great meta-moment when the soundtrack is revealed to be a noisy neighbour, not the clanging of our protagonist’s mind. Plus, it’s not often you hear the line: “Look, there’s a midget wanking!”

Though guttersnipes can tick off tooth, brain and anal trauma, the real surprise is that everything’s so muted.

Maybe the cuts dulled the edge, but there’s no fear, tension or sorrow, and not even that much disgust. Often, it plays like a (very) black comedy that forgot to be funny, or a scat film directed by David Lynch’s biggest fan.

It works for about 45 minutes as a grim psychodrama, but ends up a poorly stitched together grot flick made by a sensationalist of questionable taste.

If that was Six’s intention, the man’s a genius.

Despite its self-awareness, and the central performance, this is still a grubby hack job about a grubby whack-job whacking off grubbily.

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Matt Glasby

Matt Glasby is a freelance film and TV journalist. You can find his work on Total Film - in print and online - as well as at publications like the Radio Times, Channel 4, DVD REview, Flicks, GQ, Hotdog, Little White Lies, and SFX, among others. He is also the author of several novels, including The Book of Horror: The Anatomy of Fear in Film and Britpop Cinema: From Trainspotting To This Is England.