Director: Tom Six (2015)
Starring: Dieter Laser, Laurence Harvey, Eric Roberts
Find it: IMDB
Fair play to director and series creator Tom Six, having made three Human Centipede movies now, each time in the sandbox of a different genre slash style. Where the first one was a relatively silly backwoods body horror film (played fairly straight), and the second a black-and-white arthouse torture thing (played far too straight) the third... well, I'm not entirely sure what The Human Centipede III is, but it's definitely its own thing, to be sure. What it definitely isn't, is played straight.
This second sequel exists in a universe in which The Human Centipede 1 & 2 are fictional movies, which the characters can and do watch as entertainment. "Haw haw haw," I said (paraphrasing) in my original review of The Human Centipede II, "the funniest idea in this is the thought that anyone could ever develop an obsession with Tom Six's terrible movies!" Well, that turned out to be a load of hot nonsense, given my subsequent discovery of Fetlife (not that I would know what that is) and people who most definitely are obsessed with Tom Six's terrible movies. Again, fair play to Tom Six, I guess.
While the previous two entries definitely had a sense of humour, Six's Final Sequence swings the balance almost all the way to comedy, no longer even remotely pretending to scare people and only playing the gross-out schtick at half-mast for the most part. As sadistic prison warden Bill Boss, shaven headed gurning Dieter Laser is so loud and broad that even Will Ferrell might cringe at his antics. At times, it feels like more of a Movie Movie style approximation of a Human Centipede than it does a Human Centipede in its own right. Sadly, like its acquired taste horror, its comedy strikes just as wide of the mark on most occasions. Unless, of course, rape is hilarious, in which case The Human Centipede III is very funny indeed.
In setting the film inside a prison and constructing its centipede from 500 (!) inmates, there is more satire and social commentary than one might expect, even if it is of the mostly incidental variety. Real-life imbeciles who celebrate prison rape as a form of 'justice' or a joke should be okay with Bill Boss's plan to revolutionise the system by housing his inmates within the boundaries of a shared digestive organ. Right-hand man Laurence R. Harvey isn't much better, balking at Bill's cruelty but himself coming up with the centipede idea (with credit to Tom Six, playing himself... badly). How much cruelty, the film asks, is too much cruelty when it comes to our nation's prisoners?
"Now, fetch me Tobias Beecher."
That's framed within an incessant cavalcade of violence, torture and grotesque bodily transgressions. There's nothing on the same level as the previous film's sandpaper wanking or newborn squishing car escape sequence, but there's enough to turn most stomachs during its more intense moments. Those moments, however, seem few and far between, with the rest of the film more concerned with Laser's mad ranting and raving. A puzzled Eric Roberts briefly brightens the mood in his bookend appearances, while there are a few familiar faces among the supporting cast (most notably the big dude from The Dark Knight who threw the bomb detonator off've the boat) to keep it from getting entirely bogged down in its own arsehole-gazing. There's no hiding how surprisingly dull the film is though, running on a lack of ideas and excess of ego.
With The Human Centipede III, we witness a man in the process of creating his own one-person centipede: that is, Tom Six disappearing almost entirely up his own arse. The Human Centipede III is a lot of things, but what it is mostly, is the one thing a Human Centipede movie should never be: boring.