Human Centipede, The (Blu-ray) (2009)

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Released 6-Oct-2010

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Audio Commentary-Director
Trailer
Interviews-Cast & Crew-Director and Star
Interviews-Crew-2 Director interviews
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-General
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Foley Session
Featurette-Casting Session
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 2009
Running Time 88:03 (Case: 96)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Tom Six
Studio
Distributor
Bounty Films
Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring Dieter Laser
Ashley C. Williams
Ashlynn Yennie
Akihiro Kitamura
Andreas Leupold
Peter Blankenstein
Bernd Kostrau
Rene de Wit
Sylvia Zidek
Case Amaray Variant
RPI $29.95 Music Patrick Savage
Holeg Spies


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080i
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     A German doctor (Dieter Laser), who specializes in the separation of conjoined twins, has concocted his dream operation, to conjoin several people bum to mouth such that they share a single gastric system. Thus is the plan for his human centipede. Lo and behold, just as he is prepared to find bodies for his operation two American tourist girls arrive at his quiet forest house after their car has broken down. After quickly acquiring a Japanese tourist to make up the numbers, and a single pretty half-arsed escape attempt, the doctor is ready to begin. But what does happen when his creation is complete? Well, not much really.

     The Human Centipede is a novel idea for a movie, but really an idea that could pad out a 30 minute short at most without a bit of actual story. Sadly, there isn't any and the affair is dragged to close on 90 minutes. Maybe if the effects were good this could have panned out, but aside from a couple of good shots of the actual operation it is all pretty average and decidedly tame. The film simply doesn't bother at all with creature type effects and all the interesting bits are permanently covered up by bandages. Rather than some cool scar tissue effects to make it really look like these people are physically conjoined it looks like a couple of people wearing velcro undies have been stuck to people wearing velcro ball-gags. For a film entirely devised to capitalise on shock and awe, The Human Centipede really fizzes.

     On the upside Dieter Laser makes for a great evil doctor and chews up every scene he is in. It really is a shame he didn't have a little more to work with as it could have made for a cult appreciation-worthy character with a little more going on to make him memorable.

     The case for the film proudly carries the quote "Is this the sickest film ever made?". Well, the answer is a resounding "no". The whole film would fit as but one of the many depraved acts of Salo and isn't even on the same scale as the genuinely twisted Cannibal Holocaust. As for the film's claim to being 100% medically accurate, I'd buy it but the depth to which it goes medically is about that of the first week of a high school biology class.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The film is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio in 1080i/25fps. Given that the film was shot digitally, this seems likely to be the correct aspect ratio. The video looks decent, but no more than you would reasonably expect of a low budget, essentially amateur, production. The lighting is frequently poor, but the shadow detail is reasonable and that goes a long way towards making up for the poor lighting. The colours are drab and dark, which suits the film well even if it doesn't look particularly appealing.

     The film features forced English subtitles for non-English spoken parts and an optional English for the Hard of Hearing track.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The film features a single predominantly English DTS HD MA 2.0 track (not Dolby Digital as the case states). Yes, high def DTS 2.0.

     The audio sounds reasonable for what it is, however the lack of surround and subwoofer presence is quite noticeable and makes the film sound far more lifeless than it deserves. The dialogue is clearly audible throughout and easy to understand. There are no issues with audio/video sync.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     The disc includes a huge assortment of extras, although it is a case of quantity over quality.

Audio Commentary with Director Tom Six

     The film's director, Tom Six, appears to be desperate to be remembered as a zany kind of character, right down to the ridiculously out of place cowboy hat he wears in all the other extras on the disc. This commentary track will only help that image. Six more or less seems to be trying to play this one straight, and for the most part it is a fairly bland barrage of production facts, but frequently comes off as unintentionally amusing. Though he frequently states that he is well aware that he is making schlock, he often sounds to be taking it deadly seriously. His comments as to the audition process, in which he had all manner of unknown wannabe actors essentially sniffing each others' behinds is priceless.

Trailer (2:44)

     A theatrical trailer for the film that pretty much shows every part of the film worth seeing. Essentially a decent alternative to the film itself!

Deleted Scene (1:27)

     An odd but amusing deleted scene that adds a bit more depth to the demented doctor character.

Behind the Scenes (8:39)

     A bland collage of on set footage and the odd on-set interview. Pass.

Director Interviews (23:39 + 5:07)

     Two interviews with Director Tom Six, who is quite candid about the schlocky nature of the film and offers some good anecdotes on how the film came together. As with the extras in general it is a case of quantity over quality and only one of these interviews would have really been necessary as they do cover a lot of the same ground and there is plenty of padding.

Foley Session (4:41)

     Some amusing on-set footage of the creation of sound effects for the film. Lots of fun squashing meat in different ways!

Casting Session (1:58)

     A very brief bit of footage of the casting session featuring the film's main bimbos. Nothing terribly interesting.

Q&A with Tom Six and Dieter Laser (22:08)

     A reasonably amusing Q&A session with the star and director, which is somewhat more interesting than the plain director interviews as it adds the additional perspective of the mad doctor himself. There's a considerable overlap in what the pair have to say with what Six has to say in the director interviews, although this one is probably in itself more interesting.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The Australian Region B edition appears to be identical to the UK Region B edition. These versions differ from the US Region A edition in that the US edition features 1080p/24fps video but misses the longer director interview and the Q&A. In all honesty the difference is much of a muchness as the film wouldn't really gain much from improved video given its low budget look and the interviews are not essential viewing. Personally, I'd opt for the US 1080p version.

Summary

     A great idea for a torture-porn horror flick, but an idea that struggles to find a story to wrap that idea up in. Not bad viewing, but far more bland than the concept deserves.

     The video is decent given the low budget roots of the film. The audio is flat and lifeless. The extras are overwhelming in number but are quantity over quality.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3, using HDMI output
DisplayOptoma HD20 Projector. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

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