As the latest in the sickening HUMAN CENTIPEDE series slithers into UK homes (uncut, to boot!), we got the chance to quiz writer/director TOM SIX about his controversial films…
STARBURST: The first Human Centipede film was inspired by a punishment you thought of for child molesters, so was it a natural progression for you to set the third film in a prison?
Tom Six: Absolutely. I used innocent victims in the human centipede, and this time I wanted to make the circle round and use my original punishment idea for part three, and that’s why I came up with the idea of doing it in a prison.
This film is much more of a satire, even though there were elements of that in the previous films, how important was it for you to end the trilogy making such a potent statement?
Not really a statement, what happens is, each film is a reaction to the other. And the film got so big, it was a pop culture phenomenon, and people wanted more: a bigger centipede, helicopters and things… it had to be bigger and bigger. And what I did, I used the idea and almost made a parody on the human centipede films itself. I made the films deliberately larger than life; the acting, myself – I wanted to go out in a glorious bang! And that’s what I did.
The character of Bill Boss is completely over the top and very sadistic, how did you go about writing that role?
I wanted to have the complete opposite of Dr Heiter, who was researched and very meticulous. And this time I wanted a complete asshole! A vile, sadistic guy who screams, who has no holdbacks whatsoever! It was a very big joy to write all that and Dieter gave it everything! We loved creating that together. He’s a very annoying character as well, and that’s what I love.
Both sequels have been ‘meta’ in approach; it’s quite a bold way of filmmaking, almost deconstructing cinema and the audiences, each film digesting the previous, at what point did you hatch that plan?
When I was writing part two, I was travelling all over the world to film festivals. People reacted so strongly to the films, they came up with ideas and plans for new films, so I wanted to integrate that in the story. Everyone said ‘what if a maniac out there makes a human centipede?’ And I thought that was a great idea! I was playing with that already, and I thought that guy must not have any medical knowledge, which makes it worse. So that film was based on a guy watching the first Human Centipede, and then in the end, what I wanted to do was make a movie centipede. Each film can literally be connected and be digested by each film. So part two begins with the ending of part one, part three begins with the ending of part two, so you can literally connect the films. I thought that was a very cool idea.
It looked like a very hot shoot, did that cause any problems?
Oh yeah! It was a tough film to make, as you can imagine, putting so many people on their hands and knees in the desert. We had so many extras who begged me to be in the Human Centipede! We had buses full, and there was a lot of older people in there who wanted to be in it. It was blazing hot, and people had to be on their hands and knees. There was doctors there to check on them, and I felt really like a megalomaniac filmmaker when I was doing those things, but it was worthwhile.
But we imagine they’re glad to see themselves on the screen?
Oh yes they are! ‘That’s me number 49!’
Has there ever been anything you’d think of that would be ‘too much’ to film?
No, nothing! When I write my scripts, I enjoy them so much, I see the comedy in there. A film is all fake; latex and such. In my opinion, all three films are comedies, so I never think that things are going too far. Because I know it’s all fake! I enjoy pranking with the audience, I love that people are upset. I see my films as uppercuts! I love it when people hate my movies or absolutely love my movies. I would be offended if people reacted in a mediocre way, ‘oh, they were alright, what’s for dinner?’ I hate that!
The Human Centipede III seems to have breezed through the BBFC, is that a little surprising since the second one had so much trouble?
Absolutely! They gave us such a hard time with part two, but under a lot of pressure; I think the whole world was looking at them ‘what will they do with part three?’ Part three is not as gory, I think and maybe the head of the board has changed, I don’t know. But it came through without any cuts, and that’s pretty surprising. I’m very happy with that as well, of course because now people can see the film as it was intended, but it was surprising!
Does it bother you that some people don’t get the humour behind the films and think that you’re just all out to shock?
A lot of critics, what I saw in America, are paid to do the critique, but didn’t like the first two films. Then I think ‘why are you sitting there, then? You hate the films already, before you see them!’ They are very sour. I make the films for the fans and lovers of this kind of films. I don’t make the films for the critics. But again, I enjoy to see those sour faces watch my films. They have to sit through them, and I love that! And their reviews make great marketing. They think ‘I’ve made this great piece where I break down Mr Tom Six’… and it only helps me!
What’s next for you, now that the Centipede’s finished?
I am working on The Onania Club. That will be a film again with dark comedy and very horrifying stuff. It’s just the way I write my films so it will be an uppercut again for the audience, and I think people will either love it or hate it. But the most important thing, it’s very original; that’s what I aim for. I don’t want to make films that I’ve already seen before. I can’t tell you the premise yet, because it’s so simple again, and I’m sure South Park will easily use it again for their work . We’re going to shoot it at the end of this year, so hopefully it all goes right, and we’ll have it next year.
Providing there’s no delay with the distributors again!
Absolutely, yeah! Hopefully, and the delays are always based on other people not us!
If you had to be stitched into a Human Centipede, who would be the worst person you could think of to be behind, and who would you want to be behind you?
I always want to be the front guy, as you can imagine. I would hate it to be in the middle! Hmm… who would I hate? Oh, those ISIS idiots! If you had a centipede with those guys, I’d love to be on the front of them!
THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE III (FINAL SEQUENCE) is screened at selected UK cinemas from July 10th, and released on DVD/Blu-ray and VOD on July 20th.