One might bristle at the notion that all influence is a negative thing. After all, every piece of art stands as a criticism, a commentary on the art that came before it. Literary critic Harold Bloom referred to this as the Anxiety of Influence. Six seems to be criticizing something far more specific. He is targeting a media landscape full of reboots, regurgitations, and re-visitation. Younger generations are constantly being dictated to. Hey, kids. You know what we liked? “Ghostbusters.” Here’s a brand new “Ghostbusters” that is 100% for us and not for you, but you better consume it anyway. We’re recycling every idea and every visual cue, and we’re exploiting the image of a dead actor. Enjoy!
Tom Six merely applied a revolting metaphor. An extreme political cartoon. Oh God, is “The Human Centipede 2” … important?
And, just as “Star Wars” once came to influence actual American war activities — Ronald Reagan’s fantastical spacebound Strategic Defense Initiative was nicknamed “Star Wars” — so too would “The Human Centipede” come to inform American institutions.
The most revolting of the series, “The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence)” pulled back another layer of reality, and saw Dieter Laser and Laurence R. Harvey playing prison wardens in a universe where the first two films are both but films. The characters in “(Final Sequence)” are monsters. They torture and mutilate the prisoners in their care, all under a waving star-spangled banner.