A lot of sadness in me today – apparently in others as well, because all my usual hangouts on the web have had tributes to the man.
Later tonight, I’ll get myself some Viking food and rewatch The Naked Gun one more time…
The short version – two American tourists (Ashley C. Williams and Ashlynn Yennie, who I hope to Hell got their salaries in advance for appearing in the film) are touring Germany. Their car breaks down at night while they’re on their way to a club, and, after being grossed out by a perv in a car, walk to a nearby efficient German ranch house, owned by Dr. Heiter (Dieter Laser – yes, his name is Dieter Laser – this film must be taken seriously simply due to this fact. And that Mr. Laser has a pretty impressive list of past credits, if IMDB is to be believed – not to mention that he looks like the German version of Christopher Walken), who is in the midst of creating a surgical monster by attaching three humans together on all fours. Of course, what nationality would be best for creating the “head” of such a monstrosity? A Japanese man of course (Akihiro Kitamura).
For a film I found ultimately repellent, it plays out quite clean. it could be that director Tom Six realized that in order to release the film at all, he’d have to downplay some of the more graphic implications of the story. Thus, either due to self-censorship or due to the actresses refusing to put their noses in someone else’s butt-crack, the Centipede wears what for all the world look like adult diapers. The gore quotient here is also relatively tame, nothing at all like the over-the-top-and-crawling-around-on-the-roof level a Japanese splatter movie like Machine Girl would have.
While I was watching this, I was struck by something. Six had been aiming the film at a very specific target audience. As if he had said to himself, “Who would spend money on a film such as this? I know – Americans, Japanese, and Germans.” And maybe that’s the ultimate problem I had with the film – it seemed like a marketing ploy. (Always make your first movie with an eye on making a second, is the saying.) At least with Japanese splatter, one gets the sense that they’re trying to top the last movie. Not recommended.