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The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence)

Year: 2015
Production Co: Six Entertainment Company
Director: Tom Six
Producer: Ilona Six
Writer: Tom Six
Cast: Dieter Laser, Laurence R Harvey, Bree Olson, Eric Roberts, Tommy Tiny Lister, Tom Six

Once again the Human Centipede films expand into a new universe – this time both the first films exist and serve as the inspiration for some unique circumstances, just like The Human Centipede did in The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) .

It's said writer/director Tom Six wanted to make a Human Centipede movie in America, and he's not only chosen one of the most familiar and evocative settings from Hollywood movies in a heat-blasted maximum security prison somewhere in the southern panhandle, it's named after George W Bush, one of history's least favourably remembered politicians. Each element – as well as the story in general – can be taken as a sweeping critique of America's culture of incarceration and treatment of the underclass.

Nerdy prison accountant Dwight (Laurence Harvey, a nod to self-satire after playing the villain Martin in the second film), nervous about the expense of dealing with the riots, terror and violence among the inmate population, is trying to convince the psychotic warden Bill Boss (Dieter Laser) that making a giant human centipede out of them – as depicted in the first two films - will quell unrest and save money.

But Bill is barely interested in anything more than terrorising the prisoners in turn, molesting his secretary Daisy (porn actress Bree Olsen) and indulging his endless grotesque tastes.

Laser is so off the chain it looks as though he snorted a line of coke off a stripper's thigh before every scene. He screams profanity, demands sexual access to his put-upon secretary in the most vulgar way, tortures, maims and kills prisoners, waves guns around and generally lets the rage and power carry him away to a degree that would be scary if it weren't so funny.

That's actually the biggest surprise about THC3. After the merely disturbing First Sequence and the truly scary Full Sequence, The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) is an out and out comedy, both in the deeper satirical sense and on the surface because of Laser's larger than life villain.

The 73-year-old German actor initially walked off the project back in preproduction, prompting a lawsuit by Six and a lot of bile in the press. They obviously reconciled, but considering Laser left over script concerns, one wonders just what the original draft had – or didn't.

It's not a great film. Even though Laser's cartoonishness is appropriate to the material, nobody else can act. Of the comparatively big names Six has assembled now his films have a higher profile, Eric Roberts has the most experience – but he's usually cast for his B movie credentials rather than any acting talent.

Despite the broadly comic style there are still plenty of scenes to make you wince, squirm and turn away. The human centipede itself that you've seen in the trailer isn't even the worst aspect, though it has its moments (you've never seen mouths sewn to arses before and you'll never want to again).

There's a castration scene with a denouement more revolting than you could make up, a man revived after being choked to be choked again and the sexual assault of a comatose woman in a hospital bed after she's been beaten (mercifully more implied than seen).

The first film makes it obvious Six can point a camera and make us nearly sick, the second that he can wrangle a distinct horror movie look and mood, and THC3 proves he can do parody and comedy, however ungainly. Even though the notorious subject matter makes him seem like a one trick pony he's not one, so it'll be interesting to see what else he can do.

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