Chocolate ice cream? No, thanks.
Damn, this is one seriously nuts flick. I’m going to assume that anyone reading this has either already seen the film, or decided not to. With that in mind I will freely discuss what happens (side note: that’ll be a running theme throughout these posts, unless I specifically say otherwise).
Points have to be given to writer/director Tom Six for the sense of dread building through the first half of the movie, but I think his biggest and best contribution to the whole enterprise was the casting of Dieter Laser as the archetypal and potentially cliche-ridden mad scientist, Dr Heiter. This man just looks terrifying, with a jaw that would shame David Coulthard. His presentation to his three patients – where in true Bond-villain fashion he explains precisely what he intends to do, with the aid of an overhead projector and some quickly knocked up acetates – will stick in my mind as one of the most truly frightening scenes I’ve ever suffered through.
The surgery takes place at the half-way point and is in itself relatively tame compared to what you might watch on any cop or medical show on any night of the week (yes CSI and Nip/Tuck, I’m looking at you) but it’s the build up and the aftermath that will get to you.
The rest of the cast do a good job within the limits imposed on them by the story. Ashley Williams and Ashlynn Yennie are believable as the two girls on a cross-Europe road trip, but I had a moment of “you fucking IDIOT!” when Williams’ Lindsay had an opportunity to save everyone but tried running away instead. The two spend the second half of the flick acting with nothing but their eyes and muffled cries, and the occasional hand-holding. Akihiro Kitamura (as the non-English-speaking mouthpiece of the Centipede) can only rail against Heiter and the gods for the situation he finds himself in. His sudden turnaround at the climax did leave me scratching my head a little though.
The movie has its plot holes of course: how did Heiter get the Centipede in and out of the basement, when the staircase clearly caused so much difficulty; why did the two crack detectives not bring back-up when returning with their search warrant; but it’s still a very effective little mind-fuck, if you’ve got the stomach for it.