Friday, November 6, 2015

My gross destiny

A lot of people would have gotten off the Human Centipede train after the first movie.

Everyone else, after the reviled second installment, Full Sequence.

Me? I'm back for thirds.

Yes, that's right, I'll be watching The Human Centipede 3: Final Sequence at some point this weekend, now that it has appeared on Netflix streaming. Long, long after everyone else in my house has gone to bed.

Having liked the first two movies -- yes, even the second one -- I consider it kind of my gross destiny.

I may not really be in a Human Centipede place in my life anymore -- as if anyone is ever in such a place -- but I feel compelled to finish out the series. I mean, people told me the second one was shit. And even though it involved a lot of shit, I gave it 3.5 stars on Letterboxd. So I'm not going to let the high probability of the awfulness of this third movie deter me. Especially since in this case, I do really feel like I can trust that this will be the last one.

If you don't know what the Human Centipede movies are about, well ... where have you been, anyway? In fact, this may be the grossest part of the zeitgeist to come along in a long time. Like, a far greater number of people know about these movies than any sense of decency should allow. I'm not going to say that my five-year-old son knows what a human centipede is, but it would not totally shock me if he did. It's kind of like how more people than should know what 2 Girls 1 Cup is.

Yeah, it's about a mad scientist who sews together asses and mouths of a chain of human beings -- the length of which changes by movie -- to create one long intestinal tract.

Now you know. But come on, you already did.

The first movie was a bit of mad genius. It was truly horrifying and also truly funny, in terrible taste but also somehow legitimate. It pushed the envelope, for sure, but did not overstep its exploitation. It was just scarring enough to stick with you, not enough to offend you with its very existence. I ranked it in my top 20 that year.

The second movie went way past any lines of decency that the first movie tiptoed toward. But there was also something undeniably artsy about it. I mean, the thing was in black and white. (Though that was apparently an act of restraint, to make the numerous bodily fluids in this movie somehow slightly more palatable.) It was also an ambitiously meta story in whose world the first movie was actually a movie, not an event that happened to some of these same characters. (Though there is one returning cast member.) It's gross as hell and many people hate it, but I was at first even more impressed and scarred by it than the original, before it went off the rails in the third act. I still ranked it somewhere in the 40s, or possibly the 50s, that year.

This third one? We'll see.

You might wonder why I don't just wait a day and write this post after I've already watched it. And you might have a point.

But I do what I do for two reasons:

1) I don't know how much of a chance I'll get to write this weekend, and by Monday I may already have something different to tell you about.

2) I'm kind of horrified by the implications of possibly actually liking this movie. Now I can just leave you in a semi-permanent state of suspense as to what I feel about it ... unless, of course, I feel compelled to actually write a follow-up post. Until, of course, my end-of-year rankings come out, and you can see where it falls on the spectrum from #1 to #100-something.

Hey, just because something is horribly indecent and offends most regular senses of propriety does not mean it can't be a disgusting kind of fun and have some value.

We'll see.

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