Over-stretching his same, tired joke of a franchise for one more deluded outing, director Tom Six returns to the realms of body horror to end his make-shift trilogy in the most disgusting manner possible.
Arguably the first in the series to boast something of a meaningful plot, Six’s Final Sequence tests the limits of the American prison system, placing its focus on demented warden Bill Boss and his bumbling sidekick Dwight Butler (the returning Dieter Laser and Laurence R. Harvey – the antagonists of the two previous instalments). When the two are threatened with dismissal by visiting Governor Hughes (one-time cinematic legend Eric Roberts) they set about attempting to save their jobs through any means necessary, formulating a plan to reduce the number of reoffenders and cut prison costs in half, by putting into practise an idea they saw realised in a series of popular horror movies, directed by Tom Six. Because one meta joke is supposedly never enough.
For those uneducated in the apparent cult-phenomenon that is The Human Centipede, the basic premise and central plot motivation of all three films revolves around a psychotic individual (or in this case, a pair of them), deeply obsessed by the idea of joining one person’s face to another person’s anus, creating one, long digestive tract.
Why this exists, one will never know. Why there are now three versions of it, featuring different combinations of races, genders and numbers, is even more baffling. The fact is, apparently the idea has mileage for some people, despite the very fact that the films themselves – this third instalment included – are made with all the skill, humour and fervour of a lazy, immature child.
At their very core, all of the Human Centipede movies are reduced to nothing more than an extraordinarily lame poo joke. Thus, as much as Final Sequence is better lit, better shot and more extravagantly realised than its predecessors, it is still, at its very basic level, the juvenile ramblings of someone who wants to do nothing more than make that same poo joke again, and again, and again. Six may have tried to tart it up a tad this time, with a politically-motivated plot, a familiar face or two and another (now far too overused) meta send-up of his work but there’s no escaping the fact that even as arguably the best of the bunch, Final Sequence is subhuman trash.
Returning villains Laser and Harvey are watchable at best, though neither ever seen quite comfortable with their far campier personas. Harvey’s underspent sidekick suffers from a wandering accent and a lack of actual action, whilst Laser’s big-bad, as accidentally humorous as he so often is, ultimately remains nothing more than an overly-loud, barking annoyance. In fact, the most capable of the cast is oddly enough its only female force, ‘adult-actress’ Bree Olson who is obviously reduced to nothing more than a pair of breasts on legs by Six and his positively demoralising script. It says a lot about a film that boasts an expansive cast (including a former Oscar nominee) when its most convincing performance is delivered by a porn star.
To break down every single fault the film holds would only prove futile however, as it becomes quickly apparent that this is what Six himself seems to feed upon. As much as his first two instalments are powered by nothing more than bad taste and a genuinely psychotic eye for human suffering, Final Sequence is more concerned with just being as offensive as humanly possible. Packing in enough racism, sexism and general homophobia to just about offend every single minority group on planet Earth, it’s clear that ultimately – aside from his beloved poo jokes – Six wants one thing and one thing only: controversy. He doesn’t care how well his film is made, or how entertaining it will prove to be for audiences, he just wants to sell his film on controversy alone.
And to be fair to him, having successfully made and marketed an entire trilogy, he has. Nobody watches a Human Centipede movie because they are fun, or interesting, or because they say something about society; they watch them because they are just that, controversial. Six has got this far because people talk about his work. So I guess that makes the only solution to just stop. The joke’s over Tom, move on.
The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence) (2015), directed by Tom Six, is distributed by Monster Pictures, Certificate 18.