Viewed – 02 October 2021 online rental

Enid, a woman working for a British censorship board in the early eighties discovers a movie that strongly resembles her own childhood memories of when her younger sister disappeared. So begins an investigation into the movie and it’s mysterious Director, as the boundaries between reality and the movie start to blur.

Video nasty…

This British horror has a great initial concept, and explores a time in the U.K. when many violent or gruesome movies were getting banned as well as occasionally linked to real life crimes. This explores that period, which delivered movies that went onto become classics such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. However the viewpoint here is one dimensional, with that era of horror being looked at as sleazy and only worthy of disdain. It generally works in the context of the story however and the mystery surrounding Enid’s sister is an interesting one.

Shame then that any mystery or investigation is soon discarded in favour of increasingly surreal imagery and a focus of Enid potentially losing her mind. Visually this echoes the likes of Dario Argento’s Suspiria, especially in the more nightmarish sequences, and is on a whole imaginatively filmed. Niamh Algar as Enid proved compelling with one bit towards the end particularly heart-breaking. Just a shame then the movie lacked closure, at times felt rushed and kind of disappeared up its own ass. Worth a look for its visuals and its lead actress, but ultimately disappointing.

Verdict: Poor

The Human Centipede

Viewed – 22 June 2011  online rental

First Sequence

This movie has become quite notorious of late due to the outright banning of its sequel, The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence by UK censorship board The BBFC (British Board of Film Classification).  Now although I generally do not approve of censorship when it comes to a form of entertainment, what I have read about the sequel sounds just plain sick.  Didn’t stop me checking this out though.

A deranged surgeon (Dieter Laser) in rural Germany has a crazy ambition to splice three human’s together to form a human centipede, whilst at the same time, keeping them alive.  This  bonkers procedure soon falls at the feet of two best friends (Ashley C Williams & Ashlynn Yennie), stranded in the woods after their hire-car breaks down.  Seeking refuge from the rain, they are taken in by the surgeon, and soon their nightmare begins.  What starts out as a fairly conventional, clichéd horror set-up soon turns into something much more original and distasteful and this viewer at times could not believe what he was watching.  It’s not disgustingly gruesome, more bizarre and twisted.  However the actual idea did not creep me out or disturb me as I’d expected, and I actually found myself getting engrossed.  The acting here is not good though, with the two girl’s painfully unconvincing until both have their mouths sewn to an asshole (both literally and figuratively in the screaming, annoying Japanese kid also pulled into the surgeon’s macabre experiment), and the only real performance to come out of the movie is that of the unhinged surgeon, marking him out as a new iconic horror boogeyman.

Tom Six’s movie is obviously an experiment in how far a freaky idea can be pushed, and perhaps with tighter direction, not so many ‘eh?’ moments and someone other than the main villain who can act, then this could have been a fine example of extreme cinema.  As it stands though, it’s a worthwhile oddity that anyone with a taste for such material should definitely check out … but perhaps everyone else need not apply.

Verdict:  3 /5