The Human Centipede is a horror film that is much talked about among gore movie connoisseurs. The Human Centipede worked on by Tom Six, who doubled as director, story writer, and producer. The film itself tells the story of ‘human centipedes’, namely several humans who combined brutally by sewing their mouths to their anuses.
The Human Centipede series consists of 3 films, namely The Human Centipede (First Sequence), which released in 2009, The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence), which released in 2011, and The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence), which released in 2015. All three of them, including a controversial film because it considered too sadistic, But it cannot denied that this film also has its own loyal fans.
Behind the film, which has pros and cons, The Human Centipede has several interesting facts that the audience may not know. Starting from the idea of making a film to a lawsuit against the actor. So, here are 13 facts about The Human Centipede film, from the first to the third:
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1. Starting from the director’s joke
The idea for the film The Human Centipede came from Tom Six’s thoughts about punishment for child predators. At that time, Tom Six saw the news on television about cases of child abuse, but the perpetrators only received light sentences. Tom Six then blurted out that the culprit should punished by having his mouth sewn up on a fat truck driver’s ass.
From this joke, Tom Six began to develop his idea to make a horror film about centipedes. Even though the original idea was to punish criminals, Tom Six slightly changed his idea and made clichéd stories in the style of Hollywood horror films.
He also made up a story about an American girl who got lost while on vacation in Germany and finally met the criminal. The initial idea about new criminals really applied by Tom Six in the third film, which has a prison background.
2. “Man Centipede” Is Medically Possible
Even though he is making a fictional film, Tom Six still wants to ensure that the concept of a human centipede is not something that is impossible in the real world. Because of that, this Dutch director consulted a professional surgeon. When Tom Six revealed his idea, the doctor immediately felt disgusted and thought Tom Six was weird.
However, the doctor later agreed to continue the consultation about the human centipede on the condition that his name not made public. But in an interview, Tom Six once said that the surgeon was actually the father of his girlfriend at the time.
The doctor then made a full report on the human centipede fusion operation and concluded that the concept was medically possible. As a note, people who become human centipedes must routinely receive injections of nutrients in order to survive.
3. Dozens of Actresses Refuse Casting Because of Disgust
Tom Six flies to America to find roles for Lindsay and Jenny. When holding the auditions, Tom Six deliberately did not mention the mouth-to-anus aspect. He only announced that the auditions were for a controversial European horror film. This audition also attracted the attention of many actresses, and not a few wanted to take part in the casting.
But when Tom Six leaked the centipede concept image, nearly 70 actresses opted out of auditions and deemed Tom’s film pornographic. Among those who survived, many also opted out when asked to pose on all fours. In the end, only a few actresses remained and actually agreed to cast.
But things like this only happened during the first film auditions. At the audition for the sequel, the auditionees already knew about the film The Human Centipede, which at that time was quite popular thanks to its controversial story idea.
4. The director keeps the contents of the film secret while looking for investors.
Not only when holding casting auditions, Tom Six also kept the contents of the film a secret and did not reveal the concept of the centipede when looking for investors for the film. In order for investors to want to fund his film, Tom Six simply explained that he was making an international horror film.
Investors were told that the horror film would involve several humans stitched together but did not elaborate on which parts were stitched. Tom Six is apparently concerned that the idea of mouth-to-anus sutures will make investors ‘run away’. Investors only found out about Tom’s crazy idea after the film finished, but according to the director, investors were happy with the results of the film.
5. Several Cast Members Reappear in the Sequel
One of the unique aspects of the Human Centipede film series is that several actors and actresses appear again in the sequels with different roles. The only core player in the first film who did not star in the sequel was Ashley C. Williams, who played Lindsay’s character.
For more details, here are some of The Human Centipede’s actors who are back in the second or third film:
- Dieter Laser, Josef Heiter (The Human Centipede 1), and Bill Boss (The Human Centipede 3),
- Ashlynn Yennie is Jennie (The Human Centipede 1) and herself (The Human Centipede 2).
- Akihiro Kitamura is Katsuro (The Human Centipede 1) and prisoner no.333 (The Human Centipede 3).
- Peter Blankenstein appears in all three films, namely as Detective Voller (The Human Centipede 1), Alan (The Human Centipede 2), and as prisoner no. 106 (The Human Centipede 3).
- Laurence R. Harvey plays Martin Lomax in The Human Centipede 2) and Dwight Butler in The Human Centipede 3).
- Bill Hutchens as Dr. Sebring (The Human Centipede 2) and prisoner no. 488 (The Human Centipede 3).
6. The Idea for a Second Film Came From the Anxiety of the Audience
The appearance of the first film created concern for some people. They fear that the film The Human Centipede will actually inspire real-life psychopaths to create centipede humans. This fear reached Tom Six’s ears until the director made it a core idea in the second film.
According to Tom Six, most of the sequels just continue or are even similar to the story in the first film. He wanted a sequel that was much different. So instead of making a doctor who is perfect physically, intelligently, and careerically, Tom chose the opposite character.
7. Martin Lomax’s character in the second film is almost without dialogue.
As you know, Tom Cruise wants a main character that is much different from the first film. He also created the character Martin Lomax, a man who is obese, short in stature, suffers from asthma, and has mental retardation. With his nature, Martin rarely talks to other people.
In the second film, this character barely has any dialogue. He only makes sounds of laughter or sighs and never actually utters a sentence. Martin only expresses his feelings through certain facial expressions or actions.
8. The Second Film Was Made in Black and White
Unlike the first or third film, The Human Centipede 2 released in black and white. Tom Six was actually working on his film in color, but ultimately decided to change it to black and white. This led to much speculation about why the second film not made in color.
There was an assumption that this film was too ‘bloody’ and made in black and white to pass the censors. On the other hand, Tom Six revealed that he chose the black-and-white format so that the film feels darker and seems more horrific.
But in 2015, Tom Six released the Blu-ray set The Human Centipede: The Complete Sequence, which included the second film in color.
9. Banned in Several Countries
The Human Centipede film not only displays sadistic violence and blood-filled torture but also contains pornography with several vulgar scenes. This made the film made by Tom Six banned in several countries, especially the second film, which considered to have the highest level of sadness compared to the first and third films.
The second film banned by the British Board of Film Censors (BBFC), which demanded to cut 32 scenes to pass the censorship. After passing censorship, the BBFC will include a rating of 18+ for the film because it considered too vulgar.
Apart from England, this film also banned in Germany, Australia, and New Zealand. When the film was released in America, Tom Six reportedly received death threats because of the film. Meanwhile, in Australia, it reported that the premiere of the film interrupted by a demonstration by religious groups who accused the film of inspired by Satan.
10. Dieter Laser was almost sued for refusing to play the third film.
After the release of the second film, director Tom Six and producer Ilona Six immediately offered Dieter Laser the chance to return to play in the third film. At that time, Dieter Laser agreed and signed the contract. He also promised to receive the script in a few weeks.
However, Dieter Laser was very surprised after receiving and reading the script in its entirety. Seven weeks into filming, Dieter Laser turned down the role of Bill Boss and delayed production on the film. The actor admitted that he didn’t like the character he would play in the third film.
This led Tom Six to threaten to file lawsuits against Dieter Laser. Tom Six himself continues to try to influence Dieter Laser to want to play Bill Boss. In the end, the disagreements between Tom Six and Dieter Laser were successfully resolved. The actor also agreed to be involved in the third film, and the lawsuit was cancelled.
11. The Cocoon Man Appearing in the Third Film and Plans for Making the Film
If the human centipede isn’t sadistic and disgusting enough, Tom Six makes a new ‘innovation’ by creating a human cocoon in The Human Centipede 3. In the film, the main character, Bill Boss, deliberately creates a special human cocoon for prisoners sentenced to death or life imprisonment.
The concept remains the same as the human centipede, namely, uniting several prisoners by sewing the mouth to the anus. The difference is that the hands and feet of the prisoners will be completely amputated so that they will have difficulty moving.
After the release of the third film, Tom Six said there would be no more films about the centipede. However, he promised that one day he would make a film about the human caterpillar or the human cocoon. He also revealed that the film will feature a female antagonist and that it will be shot in Japan.
12. The rating and revenue of the third film are worse than the others.
Sometimes a sequel to a film is unable to match the achievements of the first film; this also happened to The Human Centipede. Even though the second film is more sadistic and has a fairly strong main character, it received bad reviews from film connoisseurs.
On several film sites, such as IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes, the second film has a lower rating than the first film. But the film The Human Centipede 3 seems to have an even worse fate. The rating is really bad; even the income of this film is far below that of the first and second films.
If the two predecessor films were still able to collect revenues of up to hundreds of thousands of dollars, the third film only earned around 16 thousand dollars during its run. Not only that, of the three films, only The Final Sequence was nominated for the Golden Raspberry Awards, or Razzie Awards, an award for the worst films.
13. The Antagonist Only Wins in the Third Film
In the first film, Josef Heiter shot dead, while two of his victims died after becoming human centipedes. In the second film, all the human centipedes killed, while Martin Lomax’s fate remains unknown after he escapes in agony. But the ending of the film hints that Martin is still alive and that everything that happened in the second film was just a dream or fantasy.
Meanwhile, in the third film, the main antagonist, Bill Boss, lives on until the end. The human centipedes also said to still alive, and no one has died. In addition, the governor approved the idea of punishing convicts by making centipedes human beings. Thus, the villain in the third film can considered victorious.
Those are 13 facts related to the three films of The Human Centipede. Regardless of the controversy that has arisen, it seems that this film will continue to be talked about among horror connoisseurs for years to come. If you’ve watched it before, which movie do you prefer?