When the lunatic who makes a film called Human Centipede (Monster) promises that its sequel will make the original look like ‘My Little Pony,’ then it’s time to have fear. When said film is banned in Australia, then that fear is only reinforced. When the clearly unhinged director, who writes this filth with his sister no less, laughs gleefully in the extra features about the Schindler’s List moment in this sadistic black and white (and during one moment brown) monstrosity, well that’s when you lose your lunch.
The Human Centipede II (Monster) is appallingly gruesome, unrelentingly bloodthirsty and sickeningly twisted. Sure you can hide behind the notion that it’s a comment on copycat movie violence, yet the filmmakers are enjoying delving into the taboo and the extremity way too much to remain credible. So when our short, fat, mentally challenged hero watches the original film for the umpteenth time and begins to construct his own 12 person human centipede, with, yes, ass to mouth staples and laxative injections, it’s over the top barbaric coprophilia on a scale you have never seen before no matter how perverted you are. The problem is that despite its vile unrepentant desire to shock, it’s extremely well shot, cleverly scripted with a bleak pitch black humour and looks amazing, particularly on Blue Ray. Believe the hype, this film, which takes extremity too far, is disgusting and not fit for human consumption.
Gantz (Eastern Eye) is Manga nerdom heaven, with two super cool Japanese guys in skin-tight leathers and improbable comic book guns on the cover. A live action adaptation, it’s both high concept and high octane. When our two cover stars die after being hit by a train they find themselves in an empty apartment with a giant black orb. It’s from here that things start to get interesting, and to delve any further into the plot would be disingenuous, as the filmmakers excel in the slow reveal between over the top bouts of almost video game action. Just trust me when I say they’re saving the world. From the producers of the similarly great Death Note, both Gantz and its sequel Gantz: Perfect Answer (Eastern Eye) builds the interpersonal relationships between the protagonists within this strange new world into a quite shocking and unexpected conclusion.
If you think about drug baron films, they’re all like Blow and Scareface, i.e. about cocaine. Why? Because nose candy turns ugly things sexy, making it tolerable to live in the US. But where are all the uplifting stories about a regular guy who makes his fortune slinging crack or pushing heroin? Nowhere, because those films focus on the street hustlers, your Drugstore Cowboy’s or Panic In Needle Park. Then of course there’s marijuana, and whilst Weeds gets an honourable mention, you couldn’t exactly accuse Mary Louise Parker of being a drug baroness. Mr Nice (Eagle) is the tale of Oxford educated Howard Marks who made a fortune importing and dealing cannabis during the 80’s. At the height of his powers he was importing consignments of up to 30 tonnes. Played impeccably by Rhys Ifans, you know the trajectory. It’s the same as all drug baron films. Up with fun and debauchery, then down down down, where he realises amidst the sweet pungent haze of greed, he’s lost the most important things in life. All that’s left is to enjoy the ride.