Nottingham’s Broadway cinema will be treating fans of The Human Centipede to an exclusive screening of The Human Centipede II during its Mayhem Festival this Halloween. Given the recent controversy which has arisen due to censorship issues with the BBFC, this film is bound to be one of the most highly anticipated releases this autumn.
Initially banned by the BBFC, creators of The Human Centipede II have made 32 cuts and omitted two minutes and thirty-seven seconds, all of which has served as a nice publicity stunt; after all, amid audiences, this film’s initial reaction was one of shock, so for the BBFC to declare its sequel as too violent, will only serve to heighten the anticipation.
However, this still detracts from some of the major issues of the first film and presumably the second. Audiences were disgusted not only by the gore and bodily harm exhibited in the the first installation of The Human Centipede, but also by the terrible quality of filmmaking. Based on its artistic merit (or lack thereof), The Human Centipede was initially met with mockery from critics and audiences alike. The sheer amount of absurd violence largely inspired the skepticism towards the film, so the filmmakers have reacted accordingly and decided to go one step further. However, this recent wave of controversy and inevitable hype has meant that The Human Centipede II is poised to be just as, if not more, successful as its predecessor.
On the other hand, perhaps I am being a tad too cynical; this is a film that for the most part is attempting to shock its audience and what better way to do so than by using copious amounts of violence? Certain audiences felt an ironic kind of love for The Human Centipede and fans (if that is not too strong a term) went to see the film with mock-anticipation all along. So for these thrill/gore-seeking cinema-goers, The Human Centipede II will be more of the same, which is exactly what they want. After all, this is a film about a mad scientist genetically sewing people together; Citizen Kane it ain’t.
So The Human Centipede II has entered its honeymoon period just as so many horror series have of late. And for now, it is just waiting for audiences to bore of the only gimmick this series has going for it, à la Saw, Paranormal Activity and Hostel. But in the mean time that won’t stop people going to see this film and enjoying it for what it is, which is healthy for cinema if not the horror genre.