Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Human Centipede 2/Lawrence Harvey Q and A (2011)


Hosted by Andrew Leavold 23/11/11

From the Trash Video Emailout November 2011: “Join Tribal Theatre on November 23rd for an evening of UNCUT Centipede Madness on Wednesday, November 23 from 6:30pm - 9:30pm. Screening is the briefly banned (in the UK) and very much uncut Human Centipede 2 with a Q&A session with the Centipede himself, actor Laurence R. Harvey. Join us for a discussion on film censorship, new horror, and well what ever else you like! Tickets $16 for Adults and $13.50 for Concession are available from Tribal.”

Weeks before the BIFF premiere of Human Centipede 2, I was quoted in the Brisbane Times and Sydney Morning Herald about the film:

“Brisbane genre film director and cult movie expert Andrew Leavold said the inclusion of Tom Six's movie was a worrying sign that ultra-violence had penetrated the mainstream.

“Leavold, whose 2003 short film Lesbo-A-Go-Go chronicled the ‘degradation, drug addiction, delirium and ultimately damnation’ of a sexploitation filmmaker Doris Wishman [it doess???], said the Human Centipede films were part of a disturbing new genre trend.

“‘There's a new movement in horror where it's so far over the top it becomes abstract,’ he said. “Human Centipede is just an exercise in the grim, new nihilism that began with Saw and careered off into Hostel territory and other really out-there stuff like Irreversible.’” 


Then I actually SAW the film, and this is what I wrote for the Monster Pictures newsletter:

Scanning around Tribal's seedy opulence the BIFF crowd are a vocal lot, similar to The Room groupies but without the bags of plastic spoons. Opening comments by BIFF's Richard Moore and Lars Nilsen from Fantastic Film Fest are greeted with whoops from the shock jocks who had clearly shot their loads over the manipulative, mean-spirited nature of HC1 and are ready to party.

Ten minutes in: guffaws and cheering. Laurence R. Harvey as Martin, the balding, paunched and crowbar-weilding amateur surgeon, is irredeemably compelling to watch.

Half hour mark: nervous titters. Martin is already down to his Reg Grundies and racking up a sizable menagerie. One walkout midway through the film during a fecal-related moment.

After an hour: silence, punctuated with the odd "eeeewww!!!" There is no escape from the film's downward sucking motion into its grey and godless, rain-streaked, shit-caked universe.

End credits: the crowd shuffles out without a word. In the men's, six guys pee avoiding eye contact or comment. Far from the party film the shock jocks were hoping for, you can just tell, for better or worse, the film's a genuinely affecting experience. For me at least, in this cynical post-modern dog's breakfast we call film culture these days, this is the greatest shock of all.

After HC1 I called Tom Six an artless Dutch c***. I now stand corrected: you, sir, are a madman and a poet, and while still a c***, your film is a work of bloated, misguided genius. For the rest of you, you have been warned. 


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