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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence)

Where Are the Women The Human Centipede III Final Sequence

There is only one woman in this movie, and she is present only so that we can be “amused” by how she is mistreated and demeaned by the male protagonist.

Warning! Some of the details here may constitute spoilers for those not familiar with the story. They might also make you want to vomit.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: 0

0
Does the film take place in a primarily all-male environment (ie, prison, historical military)? [why this matters]

FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: 0

[no significant representation of women in authority]

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: -45

-5
Is there a female character with significant screen time who dresses less appropriately for the environment than her male counterparts do? [why this matters]


-5
Is a woman or women used as decorative objects/set dressing? [why this matters]
-10
Are one or more either a protagonist or significant supporting character? [why this matters]
-20
Is this a major recurring visual motif? [why this matters]
-5
Does this include gratuitous “booty” shots? [why this matters]

GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: -20

-5
Is femininity used as a joke (ie, a man crossdressing for humorous intent) in passing? [why this matters]


-5
Is there a female character who is primarily defined by her emotional and/or sexual relationship with a man or men? [why this matters]


-10
Is there a female character who is sexually manipulated or abused by a male protagonist as a way to advance his story? [why this matters]

WILDCARD SCORE: -20

Is there anything either positive or negative in the film’s representation of women not already accounted for here? (points will vary)

This is so sadistic and woman-hating that I can hardly bear to write it: A joke is made of how the male protagonist has a jar on his desk that contains — Jesus fucking Christ — dried human clitorises that he has imported from Africa, which he eats believing that they will impart him with strength (during the act of which he shouts, “Thank God for female circumcision!”). Later, his female secretary will mistake the contents of the jar for candy and eat one.

TOTAL SCORE: -85

IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)

IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)

BOTTOM LINE: There is only one woman in this movie, and she is present only so that we can be “amused” by how she is mistreated and demeaned by the male protagonist. He treats her body like his private property, including raping her while she is in a coma after being beaten up. The protagonist is meant to be evil and twisted, but the camera delights in her too-tight, too-revealing clothing and in her abuse in exactly the same way he does, and invites us to do the same.


Click here for the ongoing ranking of 2015’s films for female representation.

NOTE: This is not a “review” of The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence)! It is simply an examination of how well or how poorly it represents women. (A movie that represents women well can still be a terrible film; a movie that represents women poorly can still be a great film.) Read my review of The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence).

See the full rating criteria. (Criteria that do not apply to this film have been deleted in this rating for maximum readability.)


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posted in:
where are the women
  • Constable

    So is this officially the basement of your series? I cannot fathom anything worse than what you describe here.

  • Jurgan

    I read the “wildcard” section, and now I want to vomit.

  • I did warn you… :-/

  • Son of a Gun is still worse.

    You can see all the films rated so far on the ongoing-ranking page.

  • Danielm80

    They should sell barf bags in the lobby as a marketing gimmick, the same way that, decades back, publicists used to have medical care waiting for people who fainted during a horror movie.

  • squich

    SPOILER ALERT:

    I thought that the reason that she was there was much heavier than that the audience be “amused.”
    It’s common in movies and novels where the themes are dominated by men or toxic masculinity (prison, war, etc) to use female characters to reflect those themes. Just as frequently, we see women being utilized as a metaphor for innocence because seeing a woman be beaten and tortured on screen or in text is different than when you make that character a man. The dialogue in the film specifically talks about how Daisy is the only pure and decent thing in that prison. Every single part of this movie is important and it’s a great piece of work if you’ve got the eye to appreciate it and the stomach to tolerate it.

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