Monday, October 10, 2011

ANARCHY IN THE U.K.?





TOM SIX'S HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 and MICHAEL SAVAGE'S ABUSE OF POWER
(review by William Wheaton)



My friend the painter Paul Richard made the joke which I've stolen and referenced a few times is that since Human Centipede 2 was initially banned in the U.K. and the right wing radio host Michael Savage was banned from entering the U.K., that listening to the Michael Savage show and then going to see Human Centipede 2 would go really well on a first date. I don't know for sure that wouldn't get you laid, because in a certain it way it would put you at a cultural forefront. "Torture porn", extreme right wing "hate" radio- go straight for the meaty subject matter, right? Actually, to be totally honest I think the problem with that is that those are actually both cases of overzealousness on the part of the British officials. I don't find either Human Centipede 2 or Michael Savage's new book Abuse of Power all that shocking. I wrote about the British ban on Human Centipede 2 on here when it happened, but having seen the film now I think it's absolutely insane that they took that film seriously enough to ban it. I wouldn't cry for either Tom Six or Michael Savage. Whatever Tom Six is doing he's got something figured out because I saw the premier at a theater in Philadelphia, and I bought the ticket several hours before the film was supposed to screen, and was told to come at least half an hour early to get seats and Michael Savage's new book, which is his first novel, is on the New York Times bestseller list.
The version of Human Centipede 2 IFC has released for U.S. markets is substantially cut, but the nature of violence in that film is so completely fake and the scatological and sexual material in that film is so over the top I just considered the film a joke. The audience was laughing the entire time. The first Human Centipede film a mad scientist captures three people and stitches them together anus to mouth. The plot of the sequel is a mentally retarded security guard in a bad part of London is sexually infatuated with the first film, so he recreates the first film by stitching twelve people together anus to mouth. The retarded security guard Martin is almost kind of cute, and a few of the people he kills and tortures during the film probably deserve it. The original Human Centipede film was less violent, but this film's violence lacks any kind of realism. It's not family entertainment but I just couldn't believe I was watching Human Centipede 2 when I was watching it because it cracked me up more then disturbed me.

The extreme irony of Human Centipede 2 is that the same week it was released the number 1 iTunes app has been the live stream of the trial of Conrad Murray for the involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson. It's every bit as grotesque as a scene from Human Centipede 2 with the catch being that it is absolutely real. The live feed of Conrad Murray has gone into minutia regarding issues such as when Michael Jackson's body turned the color blue exactly. If that's the number one iTunes app and Human Centipede 2 is a cult film, then the mainstream is far more hardcore then the underground.
Michael Savage's Abuse of Power is effectively a spy thriller perfect for an airport bookstore, although very clearly written by someone of the political right. Film critics are going on and on about the "meta" element of Human Centipede 2, but Abuse of Power actually has perhaps even more intriguing "meta" elements. Michael Savage made his main character a right-wing journalist whose been banned from entering the U.K for statements he made about Islam in a blatant autobiographical reference. Jack Hatfield, a kind of self-aggrandized version of Michael Savage as a James Bond type uncovers a Muslim terrorist plot. A car bomb terrorist plot is botched when a young black thug carjacks the car, and Jack Hatfield's best friend, a bomb squad expert, is killed in the debacle. The government tries to cover-up Muslim involvement in the attack, but Jack Hatfield is determined to uncover the truth, even if he has to sneak inside England to do it. It turns out to be a conspiracy involving Islamic terrorists and leftists.
It's actually a fairly readable book, a nice little piece of war on terror-era paranoia that plays on fears of Islamic terrorism and WMDs. Michael Savage has flipped out on air about gays and Muslims a few times, at one point losing his MSNBC show for homophobia, and that's about the short and long of his "hate speech" .He apologized for the homophobic statements that got him fired from MSNBC. Michael Savage was careful to incorporate "good guy" Muslim characters into Abuse of Power as if in penance for his accused bigotry. The subject of homosexuality is not explored at length in Abuse of Power either way.

2 comments:

  1. ...then the mainstream is far more hardcore then the underground.

    hahahahaHA

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