Six brings back his baddies from the first two instalments – now as new characters who are still as depraved as before – as well as an even larger cast to be used for the same predictably sadistic enterprise that gives the film its title. Six has reached as fantastic level of self-reflexivity and metatextuality of self that, at this point, only seems to inhibit the possibility of greatness (if there was ever a chance for this to be achieved in the first place).
In this final go-round, the setting is a prison, the big bad is Warden Bill Boss (Dieter Laser). Boss is a maniacal, racist, sexist and ultimately stressed man who simply wants to get his prisoners under control. Facing rising prison costs and the threats of professional repercussions from the Governor (Eric Roberts), Boss decides the major measure must be taken if he wants to get his prisoners in line. How? By turning to the previous “Human Centipede” films and deciding to up the ante by creating a extreme version of the titular bestial abomination with all of his prisoners.
Unless there is a searing desire or curiosity to see how this trilogy ends, there is no reason it should be actively sought out. It’s a film the comes with a warning label at its outset; one of many bad omens that can be read in these first moments. The writing is choppy, the plot is thin and nearly every actor performs as if they are gunpoint, delivering their lines with wooden aplomb. Gratuitous in its treatment of sex and violence (poor Bree Olsen gets the shortest stick, merely serving as a sex toy secretary for the cringe-inducing Boss), there is no moment left unstained with a visual or turn of phrase that conjures horrific images in the viewer’s minds.
Apart from being nearly unwatchable, with Laser’s histrionics-as-acting flooding the screen at every turn and the (as expected) extremely graphic, torture porn flourishes, its a film that fancies itself to be a social commentary, too. Six labors under the delusion that his latest film could actually mean something, with its attempts to tackle a fractured prison system and comment on its failings by providing a narrative solution. But social commentary it is not. If anything, its the epitome of the torture porn genre, fulfilling every possible sadistic wish a director of this category could have. Between rape, castration, ingestion of certain body parts and a plethora of other very creative fates to be enacted upon the human form, this film is utterly stomach-churning.
Even it its self-reflexivity, where the previous films are constantly referenced and Six even appears as himself to give his blessing for Boss’ plan, there is little to redeem the ambitions this film has. Where the “Scream” franchise succeeds in its own reflexive commentary, in trying to transfer that method to this arena it only comes off as hollow, a method deadened over the drone of the nauseating horror tactics. Ultimately, The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) is an abomination. To some, that is a compliment. For others, such as this writer (in case you couldn’t tell) it is an insult.