Director/Screenplay – Tom Six, Producers – Iona Six & Tom Six, Photography – David Meadows, Music – Misha Segal, Makeup Effects – Bianca Appice & Toryn Reed, Production Design – Rodrigo Cabral. Production Company – Six Entertainment Company
Dieter Laser (Warden William Boss), Laurence R. Harvey (Dwight Butler), Eric Roberts (Governor Hughes), Bree Olson (Daisy), Robert LaSardo (Inmate #297), Clayton Rohner (Dr Jones), Tom Six (Himself), Tommy “Tiny” Lister (Inmate #178), Jay Tavare (Inmate #109)
Bill Boss, the brutal and sadistic warden of George W. Bush State Prison, is told by Governor Hughes that he will be fired if he does not maintain better control at the prison. Boss rages against this. After various schemes to assert control fail, he is finally persuaded by his accountant/assistant Dwight Butler to meet with Tom Six, the director of the ‘Human Centipede’ films. Six convinces Boss that it is medically possible to join all two hundred plus inmates together into a human centipede with their mouths surgically attached to each other’s anuses to form a single gigantic digestive system. Following a riot, Boss orders all of inmates surgically connected and believes that doing so will form a revolution in penal reform that will cut down on crime and prison costs.
Dutch director Tom Six caused a sensation with The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009), which featured Dieter Laser as a mad surgeon who surgically connected three people together with their mouths attached to each other’s anuses. This caused a great deal of controversy around the world and ended up being banned in a number of countries. Six, who had always planned The Human Centipede as a trilogy, went onto make the even more deranged The Human Centipede (Full Sequence) (2011) wherein mad Laurence R. Harvey attempted to replicate the first film and make a centipede of ten people. Six returns to complete his trilogy with The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence).
As with Full Sequence, Final Sequence exists in a recursive relationship to the film(s) that went before. Full Sequence had Laurence R. Harvey watching the first film and trying to replicate its experiment, while this has Harvey giving dvds of the other two films to Dieter Laser to serve as inspiration. While Full Sequence had a guest appearance from the first film’s Ashlyn Yennie playing herself, Final Sequence goes even further and has an appearance from director Tom Six who is brought in to consult on the operation – where Six clearly takes the opportunity to write himself a series of dialogues about the practical medical considerations of a human centipede that people have no doubt pointed out to him. Like Full Sequence, this also features reappearances of actors from the two previous films – the warden is played by Dieter Laser, the mad surgeon from the first film, while Laurence R. Harvey plays his assistant (with a little Hitler mustache) and Ahihiko Kitamura, one of the people in the human chain in the first film, has a small part as one of the prisoners.
I enjoyed both of the other two Human Centipede films as Tom Six took all good taste by the horns and pushed the films into someone genuinely out there territory, especially the second film, which to my mind is the masterpiece of the trilogy. Both films naturally accrued a ton of hate for their extremes, which did not particularly concern me. All of that said, I hated The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence). The reasons for this are nothing to do with the content, which is actually milder than the other two films (more on that below), but how Tom Six gives over the film to Dieter Laser in possibly one of the most unrestrained performances that has ever been put on film. I am straining for comparisons – the nearest I can even think of was Udo Kier in Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein (1973). Laser staggers about the penitentiary with a tall, angular bow-legged gait that makes you think of a drunken cowboy, waving a gun about while ranting in his German accent a seemingly ad libbed range of insults, racial taunts and all-round things designed to be as nasty and unpleasant as possible. You are astonished how much Tom Six has allowed this performance to completely dominate the film and how unrestrained Laser goes with it. In that Laser goes into orbit every time you see him, the results actually end up being so utterly over-the-top as to be boring. The sad thing about it is that, outside of Laser’s performance, the film almost nothing else going for it.
With Final Sequence, Tom Six gives us the human centipede concept expanded to 200+ people. It worked when Six expanded the idea from three to ten people in Full Sequence. Here there are so many bodies that the camera has to pull back to super-wide angle to get the entire centipede into shot. However, with the prisoners all decked out in identical orange prison fatigues, there is almost zero in the way of individualisation to any of them. It is not the same shock effect as last time where we saw the prisoners being force fed, choking on shit and it splattering the camera lens. Moreover, the revelation of the complete centipede only comes near the end, leaving the bulk of the show to be dominated by the unrestrained Dieter Laser. Six does nothing particularly new with the centipede concept in these scenes other than to expand the number involved. The rest of the show is punctuated by random scenes designed to shock – Dieter Laser cutting out Robert LaSardo’s testicles, Laser being held down and fucked through a hole punctured in his kidneys, Laser eating dried clitorises shipped in from female circumcisions – but it just seems to be trying to shock for shock’s sake. Six also seems to be wanting to make some kind of satirical point about US society and the fascism of the penal system but everything proceeds at such a farcically over-the-top manner that it is impossible to decipher the point trying to be made.