Human Centipede III
The Chain Gang
by Glenn Lovell
Not to be outdone by Francis Ford Coppola, Tom Six, the Dutch Godfather of torture porn, returns with the third link in his gastrointestinal daisy chain. Titled “The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence),” this straight to VOD is, as if you had any doubt, a stomach-churning mess, both self-reflexive comment on the “HC” phenom and a failed attempt at parodying same.
And if that isn’t queasy guarantee enough, Six shows up as a cult director named Six to high-five his own handiwork.
Viewing an improvement on his basement experiment ‒ originally described as a means of punishing pedophiles ‒ Six as Six groans, “Oh, man, this is so wrong!” then barfs.
Pretty cheeky, no? Six has built in his own seal of approval.
Taking his cue from Tobe Hooper and the more-crazed-than-scary “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2,” Six this time around has fashioned a sun-baked Grand Guignol farce wherein the villains of the first two sequences ‒ the cadaverous Deter Laser and porcine Laurence R. Harvey ‒ are reunited to make history with “the first human prison centipede,” which features more than 500 links.
German actor Laser, genuinely creepy as the scientist in the original “HC,” returns as a fascistic Texas warden whose apoplectic rants have something to do with “the final solution” and “medieval torture” (castration, water-boarding with boiling water). I haven’t made a study of it, but Laser’s howling, spittle-flying performance could very well qualify as one of the screen’s worst. Most of his obviously improvised tirades are delivered in an accent so thick they’re unintelligible. Harvey, the sweaty, beady-eyed fanboy in “II,” plays the warden’s accountant, a sort of mustachioed Igor/Renfield who badgers his boss about cutting costs by creating the world’s first surgically connected chain gang.
To get the prisoners in the mood, Laser treats them to a “HC” retrospective on movie night. Not surprisingly, the double bill brings the captive audience to its feet.
The heavily tattooed Robert LaSardo, also now in “Anarchy Parlor,” appears as the mouthy leader of a cell-block insurrection. LaSardo earned his paycheck ‒ by participating in the most nauseating acts of violence.
Eric Roberts receives for-what-it’s-worth top billing as Governor Hughes, who continuously rides Laser’s ass. Roberts has three scenes, including the not-so-riotous kicker. The straight-to-video king has appeared in what may be a record number of bad films, but this is the first time I can recall seeing him red-faced from embarrassment.
THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE III (FINAL SEQUENCE) With Dieter Laser, Laurence R. Harvey, Eric Roberts, Robert LaSardo. Written, directed by Tom Six. 102 minutes. Unrated (would be NC-17 for profanity, graphic violence and makeup effects)