Saturday, February 25, 2012

Blackthorn and Human Centipede 2: The Ultimate Double Bill!

Get sick, watch some movies. Grabbing whatever was on top of the stack, first up was BLACKTHORN, starring Sam Shepherd as an older and wiser Butch Cassidy. When Butch is sort-of robbed by a charismatic Spanish thief, the two form a friendship while being chased by a same version of the "who ARE those guys?" posse that tracked the original Butch and Sundance in the brilliant William Goldman/George Hill movie. It would be very tough to measure up to that film, but Blackthorn is less homage to the old hit than a throwback to the Randolph Scott/Budd Boetticher "loner" movies like THE TALL T. It's deliberately paced (which is different than "slow") and I could watch a), almost any Western and b) Sam Shepherd read the phone book, so it worked for me.

HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 is more or less everything BLACKTHORN is not. Bizarre, raunchy, grotesque, repulsive, and that's just the poster. I'll be honest, I didn't actually wade through the entire movie. Sometimes fast forward can be your friend. I am assuming most reader know the original was about some loon mad scientist stitching together victims to form one long "digestive track." Suffice to say part two is about a creepy little man who grows obsessed with the original Centipede film and decides to replicate the surgical procedure, except sans the "medical accuracy" of the original. It is endlessly, gratuitously violent, degrading and taboo breaking (hello there, pregnant Centipede part!) -- but other than appreciating that someone would actually get out of bed to film a guy smashing out someone's teeth with a hammer and chisel, there ain't much there there. Frankly I was more interested in the special features, which show some of the make-up and FX involved in suturing/stapling ten people face to butt. With some relief I can report that each chunk of Centipede is equipped with a fake bottom. And that the actors seem to be enjoying themselves, though being on your hands and knees for hours can't be THAT fun. Director Tom Six claims he wanted part 2 to make the original look like "My Little Pony", and I guess if that's the bar he more or less succeeded. He also claims to be working on part 3. Go for it, buddy, but I think I'll sit the next one out...

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