'The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence)': Film Review

Courtesy of IFC Films
Strictly for fans of its deranged predecessors, and you know who you are

The third installment of Tom Six's horror trilogy ups the ante by expanding its titular creation to hundreds of pathetic victims.

Horrendous enough to make even a gainfully employed film critic seriously ponder career alternatives, Tom Six's threequel to his deranged 2009 cult hit ups the meta angle of the previous installment to ever diminishing effect. Positioning itself as the last entry in the series (Oh God, please let it be so!), The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) strains mightily for camp. Instead, this determinedly shocking gross-out horror film commits the cardinal sin of being tedious.

Set in the "George H.W. Bush State Prison," the film features the stars of the previous installments in different roles. Dieter Laser, who played the maniacal German doctor in the first film, is the equally maniacal prison warden Bill Boss, while Laurence R. Harvey, the doctor's slavish imitator in the B&W sequel, is his Hitler-mustached, Human Centipede film-obsessed right hand man who suggests that the perfect method of disciplining the inmates is sewing them up ass-to-mouth.

Read More Mel Brooks to Honor Steve Martin at AFI Gala

Unfortunately for those sick viewers who get a kick out of the concept, it takes an awfully long time for that stitchery to occur. But not to worry: Along the way, we're treated to such highlights as the warden castrating a prisoner and eating his cooked testicles for lunch; the rape of a prisoner through the soft tissue of his kidney; another rape, this time of a female coma victim; and a waterboarding performed with boiling water.

Straining for comedy — mostly through Laser's bug-eyed, tiresomely manic performance as the heavily accented warden constantly spewing profane racial epithets — the film attempts to make fun of itself in such moments as the warden denigrating the first two films as "shit" and a prisoner, after attending a forced screening of them, shouting, "These films risk causing harm…they should be banned!"

Read more 'Love': Cannes Review

If only. Upping the wink-wink quotient is an appearance by the aptly named director, playing himself and assuring the warden and the prison doctor that the procedure is "100 percent medically accurate," echoing the original's promotional tagline. (Hey, at least it's catchier than this one's, "100 percent politically incorrect"). Serving as his own de facto film critic, he throws up while watching the graphic proceedings.

Among the better-known performers participating in the lurid goings-on are Tommy "Tiny" Lister; former porn star Bree Olson, as the secretary to whom the warden comments, "By the way, I need my ball sac emptied before lunch"; and Eric Roberts, who just for this should be required to return his Oscar nomination for Runaway Train.

Production: Six Entertainment Company
Cast: Dieter Laser, Laurence R. Harvey, Eric Roberts, Robert LaSardo, Tommy "Tiny" Lister, Jay Tavare, Clayton Rohner, Bree Olson
Director-screenwriter: Tom Six
Producers: Ilona Six, Tom Six
Executive producer: Ilona Six
Director of photography: David Meadows
Production designer: Rodrigo Cabral

Editor: Nigel de Hond
Costume designer: Ca-Trece Mas'Sey
Composer: Misha Segal

Not rated, 103 minutes