13 Fun Facts about The Human Centipede Movie
The Human Centipede is a frequently discussed horror film among fans of the gore genre. It's the brainchild of Tom Six, who took on multiple roles, including director, writer, and producer. The plot revolves around a 'human centipede,' a disturbing creation resulting from multiple individuals being stitched together in a grotesque manner, mouth to anus.
The Human Centipede series comprises three films: The Human Centipede (2009), The Human Centipede 2 (2011), and The Human Centipede 3 (2015). These films have stirred controversy due to their perceived sadism, yet they have also gained a dedicated fan base.
Despite sparking heated debates, The Human Centipede has several intriguing aspects that viewers may not be aware of. These range from the initial conception of the movie to legal disputes with its actors. Here are 13 lesser-known facts about The Human Centipede films, from the first installment to the last.
1. The Director's Joke Sparked the Idea
The concept of The Human Centipede originated from a joke made by Tom Six regarding the punishment of child predators. Upon watching a news story about a child molestation case where the offender received a light sentence, Six quipped that the criminal's punishment should involve being surgically attached, mouth to the rear end, of an overweight truck driver.
Inspired by this dark humor, Six began to mold his thoughts into a horror film concept about a human centipede. While his initial idea centered around punishing criminals, Six opted for a more conventional Hollywood horror approach.
He crafted a narrative about an American girl who loses her way while vacationing in Germany and subsequently encounters the villain. Six's original concept of a novel antagonist was fully realized in the third film, set in a prison.
2. The Human Centipede is Medically Plausible
While creating a work of fiction, Tom Six was keen to ensure the human centipede concept wasn't entirely implausible in reality. To this end, the Dutch director consulted with a professional surgeon. Upon hearing Six's idea, the doctor was initially appalled and considered Six peculiar.
Despite his initial reaction, the doctor agreed to provide further consultation regarding the human centipede concept, on the condition of anonymity. In an interview, Six revealed that the surgeon was in fact his girlfriend's father.
Following the consultation, the doctor prepared a comprehensive report detailing the feasibility of the surgical procedure to create a human centipede. He concluded that, while the concept was medically possible, the individual subjected to this would require regular nutrient injections to survive.
3. Many Actresses Declined Roles Due to Disgust
Tom Six traveled to America to cast the roles of Lindsay and Jenny. During the auditions, Six intentionally omitted details about the graphic mouth-to-anus connection, merely stating that the casting was for a controversial European horror film. The audition attracted numerous actresses, many of whom were eager to take part.
However, when Six revealed the concept image of the human centipede, approximately 70 actresses withdrew from the auditions, perceiving the film as pornographic. Many of the remaining actresses also quit upon being asked to pose on all fours. In the end, only a handful of actresses were genuinely prepared to take on the roles.
However, this issue was exclusive to the auditions for the first film. During the casting for the sequels, the applicants were already familiar with The Human Centipede, which had by then gained popularity due to its controversial premise.
4. Director Keeps Movie Content Secret While Seeking Investors
Tom Six not only kept the auditions under wraps but also concealed the film's content and the human centipede concept when he was seeking investors for his film. In order to secure funding, Six simply mentioned that he was creating an international horror movie.
The investors were informed that the film would portray several individuals stitched together, but no specific details were provided regarding which parts would be joined.
Six was evidently concerned that the shocking notion of connecting mouth to anus might deter potential investors. The investors only discovered Six's unconventional idea after the film was completed. However, according to the director, they were pleased with the outcome of the movie.
5. Several Actors Reappear in the Sequel
One of the unique traits of The Human Centipede film series is that numerous actors and actresses reappear in the sequels but in different roles. The only main actor from the first film who did not participate in the sequel is Ashley C. Williams, who portrayed Lindsay.
For more details, here are some of The Human Centipede cast members who returned to play roles in the second or third film:
- Dieter Laser starred as Josef Heiter in The Human Centipede 1 and Bill Boss in The Human Centipede 3.
- Ashlynn Yennie played Jennie in The Human Centipede 1 and then portrayed herself in The Human Centipede 2.
- Akihiro Kitamura was Katsuro in The Human Centipede 1 and prisoner no. 333 in The Human Centipede 3.
- Peter Blankenstein featured in all three films, as Detective Voller in The Human Centipede 1, Alan in The Human Centipede 2, and prisoner no. 106 in The Human Centipede 3.
- Laurence R. Harvey acted as Martin Lomax in The Human Centipede 2 and Dwight Butler in The Human Centipede 3.
- Bill Hutchens was Dr. Sebring in The Human Centipede 2 and prisoner no. 488 in The Human Centipede 3.
6. The Second Movie Concept Originated from Audience Fears
The release of the first film instilled fear in some viewers, as they worried that The Human Centipede could inspire real-world psychopaths to mimic the grotesque procedures depicted. Upon hearing these concerns, director Tom Six decided to make them the central theme of the second movie.
Six noted that most sequels tend to continue or even replicate the narrative of the first film, but he aimed for a stark contrast. Rather than portraying a character who is perfect physically, intellectually, and in his career like the doctor in the first movie, Six opted for a completely contrasting character in the sequel.
7. The Character of Martin Lomax Has Almost No Dialogue
As part of his intention to introduce a much different protagonist from the first movie, Tom Six created the character of Martin Lomax. Lomax is depicted as an obese, short-statured man suffering from asthma and intellectual disabilities. Owing to his traits, Martin rarely communicates with others.
In the second film, this character almost entirely lacks dialogue. His communication is restricted to laughter or sighing sounds, without uttering any full sentences. Martin's emotions are primarily conveyed through his facial expressions and actions.
8. The Second Movie Was Released in Black and White
Unlike the first and third films, The Human Centipede 2 was presented in black and white. While Tom Six originally produced the film in color, he decided to convert it to black and white, sparking widespread speculation about why the second film wasn't released in color.
Some think that the movie was excessively gruesome and the switch to black and white was a strategy to pass censorship. However, Tom Six clarified that he opted for the black-and-white format to lend the film a darker and more horrific feel.
Nevertheless, in 2015, Tom Six released The Human Centipede: The Complete Sequence Blu-ray set, which included a color version of the second film.
9. The Film Was Banned in Several Countries
The Human Centipede series, filled with violent, sadistic torture and bloody scenes, as well as explicit content, was banned in several countries. The second film in particular, which is deemed to be the most sadistic of the trilogy, faced significant backlash.
The British Board of Film Censors (BBFC) banned the second film unless 32 scenes were cut to pass censorship. Once these changes were made, the BBFC still classified the movie as suitable for viewers over 18 due to its explicit nature.
The film was also prohibited in countries like Germany, Australia, and New Zealand. During its release in the United States, director Tom Six reportedly received death threats due to the movie's content. Meanwhile, in Australia, religious groups reportedly protested the film's premiere, accusing it of being inspired by the devil.
10. Dieter Laser Almost Faced a Lawsuit for Refusing to Act in the Third Film
Following the release of the second movie, director Tom Six and producer Ilona Six promptly proposed Dieter Laser to reprise his role in the third film. Laser agreed and signed the contract, expecting to receive the script within a few weeks.
However, after fully reading the script, Laser was taken aback and, seven weeks into filming, he refused to portray the character Bill Boss and delayed production. The actor confessed his dislike for the character he was supposed to play in the third film.
As a result, Tom Six threatened to sue Dieter Laser for his refusal. Despite this, Six kept trying to persuade Laser to take on the role of Bill Boss. Eventually, the dispute between Six and Laser was resolved, with Laser agreeing to participate in the third film, thus canceling the planned lawsuit.
11. The Concept of a 'Human Caterpillar' Appears in the Third Movie and Future Filming Plans
In case the 'human centipede' concept wasn't disturbing and grotesque enough, Tom Six introduced a new innovation in The Human Centipede 3 – the human caterpillar. In the movie, the protagonist, Bill Boss, deliberately creates a unique human cocoon for inmates serving life sentences or facing the death penalty.
The concept remains consistent with the human centipede theme, which involves connecting several prisoners by sewing their mouths to the anus of another. The difference lies in the amputation of the prisoners' limbs, resulting in their severe mobility impairment.
Following the release of the third movie, Tom Six stated that there would be no more movies about the human centipede. However, he did promise that he would one day create a film about the human caterpillar. He further revealed that the film would feature a female antagonist and would be filmed in Japan.
12. The Third Film's Ratings and Earnings are the Worst Compared to the Others
Sequels often struggle to live up to the success of their predecessors, and The Human Centipede series is no exception. Despite the second film's enhanced sadism and strong central character, it received negative reviews from moviegoers.
On several film review websites, such as IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes, the second film scored lower than the first. However, The Human Centipede 3 had an even worse fate. Its rating significantly dropped, and the film's earnings were much lower than those of the first two films.
While the first two films managed to garner hundreds of thousands of dollars, the third film only earned approximately 16 thousand dollars during its run. Moreover, among the three films, only The Human Centipede 3 was nominated for the Golden Raspberry Awards, also known as the Razzie Awards, a ceremony honoring the worst films of the year.
13. The Villain Only Win in the Third Movie
In the first film, Josef Heiter gets shot dead, while two of his victims perish after their transformation into a human centipede. In the second film, all the human centipedes are killed, and Martin Lomax's fate remains uncertain after his painful escape. However, the movie's conclusion suggests that Martin is still alive, and the events of the second film may just be a dream or hallucination.
On the other hand, in the third film, the main antagonist, Bill Boss, survives till the end. The human centipedes are also depicted as surviving with none of them dying.
Moreover, the governor finally approves of the idea of punishing prisoners by turning them into a human centipede. Therefore, it can be concluded that the villain in the third film manages to succeed, unlike in the previous two sequels.
These are 13 intriguing facts about the trilogy of The Human Centipede films. Despite sparking controversies, these movies are likely to remain a topic of conversation among horror enthusiasts for many years to come. If you've watched them, which one did you like the most?