The Human Centipede
With fewer new films being released, the art house theater was doing a retrospective of artsy/indie horror films. I had the Saturday off. We’re in a pandemic in which there’s not that much to do, so I was willing to go to whatever they’d be showing. It happened to be The Human Centipede for a 8 p.m. screening.
With little else to do, I wondered how full the theater would be. But, I knew too, The Human Centipede isn’t a movie for everybody.
The film began and it was just me and one other guy in the theater. Of course, I couldn’t help but wonder if he knew what he was in for. And there was a part of me that was strangely comforted by the realization that, in a metro area of over 2 million people, it was only us two degenerates subjecting ourselves to The Human Centipede on that Saturday night.
I stole some looks at the guy. He was around my age. A black guy. Completely inconspicuous. Reminded me of the thousands of other dudes I’d seen on a bus or a train and thought absolutely nothing about. But what was I expecting? I suppose, if anything, I was expecting some kinda culturally/fashionably elite hipster-type dude. The same kind of douche/asshole that stood up during the opening credits of Eraserhead and cheered and applauded just to let everybody know just how awesome he thought the film was. Or one of those film geek kinda guys like the ones in Chicago that had to act out Mystery Science Theater 3000 to John Carpenter’s The Fog when nothing those self-absorbed fuckfaces had to say was a bit more entertaining than what was happening on the screen.
Anyway, as The Human Centipede began, I could hear this guy on the other side of the theater digging into his bag of popcorn. His digging made lots of noise and it just kept going. It filled the mostly empty theater. I decided to make a mental note.
The film advanced. It got to the parts about “mouth connected to anus”. I went back to that mental note. I kept waiting for the sound of my fellow theatergoer digging into his bag of popcorn. But the noise never returned. Maybe he got his fill in the first 30 minutes. Or was he too engrossed in the narrative to think about snacking? Or too grossed for sticking anything in his mouth during those salacious “mouth connected to anus” scenes?
After the movie, I took a piss and had to hang around to get my parking pass stamped. As I lingered around the lobby, so did the guy who had the popcorn. Of course, I was curious about what he thought of the movie. But it seemed like a weird thing to ask about. He was a stranger, after all. Then again, it was just me and him watching The Human Centipede on a Saturday night during a pandemic. It sorta seemed like we’d shared something.
I tossed those thoughts around as I waited. The attendant finally came out a door marked Employees Only. I think we were waiting while he was fucking around – either smoking or drinking or jacking off in a broom closet. I finally got the parking pass stamped and left without saying anything.