Lessons Learned Watching The Human Centipede With My Grandma

Old people are great. I’ll bet my entire stack of Pokemon cards that anyone over the age of 50 is more interesting than a room full of Gen Y’s. That’s probably because I’m from Gen Y and old people are foreign to me, but whatever the reason, they’re great. For example, when they smoke weed.

Last week I had the opportunity to watch The Human Centipede with my gran, who is a lovely old lady that shares the same traits as most elderly relatives: loving you unconditionally, providing you with baked goods and cleaning things off your face after you enjoy a meal. It goes without saying watching such a confronting film with an 83-year-old was interesting. Here’s a few things it taught me.

The older generation are hard-asses.

Despite my grandma’s inability to understand why the focal point of the movie was a person who liked seeing other people eat other people’s shit, she remained unflinching throughout the entire film. When a scene was particularly graphic or disturbing, she would let out a slight chuckle- which does pander to the unintentional comedic value of a film so bizarre- though there were no noteworthy reactions beyond that. Meanwhile, I grew increasingly squeamish.

No level of discomfort will stop old people from eating scones.

My grandma fucking loves scones. I’ve always thought scones were just hard nuggets of stale bread with a bit of sweetener. It turns out I’m right. That’s all they are, and those traits somehow makes them crack for old people. So while I shifted around uncomfortably and tried to think as little as possible about mouths sewed onto anuses and poo flowing seamlessly between them, gran sat there shoveling nuggets of stale bread down her gullet like it ain’t no thang.

The way horror movies have evolved is nothing to be proud of.

A year or two ago, grandma got me to watch See No Evil, a 1971 horror/thriller film about a blind woman (played by Mia Farrow) who travels to a country manor in which all of the occupants are dead. She’s pursued by a maniac and it’s really fucking terrifying, especially for its age. Since then, CGI and all that jazz has allowed horror films to adapt in a way that hasn’t exactly benefited them. There is no sole reliance on compelling and frightening plot anymore, because gore can carry a film into the spotlight. What a shame.

My grandmother drinks a lot of tea.

Six cups in 92 minutes.

Old People Recounting Experiences Is Both Strange And Amusing

That night at dinner, grandma explained to my mum what The Human Centipede was about. Her explanation was laden with sympathy for Dr. Heiter, whom she had created an intricate back story for. My best summary:

“(the movie) was about a very lost, unstable and sad surgeon who was struggling and had a lot of crazy, wild ideas that meant he didn’t fit in with normal people. I would say he had a bad upbringing. He kidnapped a bunch of people and used them to live out his fantasies but was eventually caught, thank God!”

Really, Gran? 80% of your explanation sounded like it was justifying the motives behind sewing mouth to ass. Speaking of sewing mouth to ass, that’s what the movie was about. Mouth. To. Ass.
Words by Kelsey Davies. Photo by Jacob Seaton. Grandma in photo is not my Grandma.


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