Disgust Discussed: A Q&A With The Director Of This Year's Foulest Horror Flick

Tom Six talks about "The Human Centipede," his tale of a mad German doctor who sews three victims together, end to end.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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Think you live in a world of sh*t? Try being the second and third link in a human centipede.

Dutch writer-director Tom Six is the man behind the foul (yet funny) new horror flick The Human Centipede (First Sequence). That makes him the man behind the woman who's behind the woman who's behind the man, all of them attached ass-to-mouth by a disturbed German surgeon (veteran German actor Dieter Laser). After watching the movie you'll probably be looking forward to food about as much as the human centipede's third link facing a feces feast. Foul enough for you? Complex spoke to Six to figure out what inspired this nauseating tale, how a "human centipede" could survive, and how the hell he got beautiful young actresses to spend their days topless with their faces buried in some butt. Go inside the grossness and watch the trailer after the jump...

Complex: What inspired you to make this film?

Tom Six: It all started with a very sick joke I always made to friends. We were watching television and there was a child molester or something like that and I said, "They should stick his mouth to the ass of a very fat truck driver. That would be a good punishment for him." Everybody said, "That's horrible." And that was the basic idea for this film, just a joke.

Complex: How did you find actors willing to spend so much time on their hands and knees, lined up ass-to-mouth?

Tom Six: That was, of course, pretty difficult. We cast in New York for actresses and we were looking for very daring and very good-looking actresses as well. We made storyboard drawings of the human centipede construction. A picture is worth more than 1,000 words, so I showed the drawing to actresses and a lot of them went crazy, they thought I was a maniac, and they didn't want to work with me on this film. The smart ones stayed and [allowed me to] explain how the film was going to look like and how it was gonna be shot. Then I put them on their hands and knees to see if they were up for that, and I put them really close, their mouth to the ass of the person in front. A lot of girls couldn't do that. They couldn't handle it. At first they'd think they could but they couldn't. And then eventually I ended up with the really daring Ashley [C. Williams] and Ashlynn [Yennie].

Complex: Dieter Laser was perfect as the evil surgeon, Dr. Heiter.

Tom Six: I saw him in a couple German movies and I thought, He's the one I want in this film. So we flew to Berlin, I explained the story in detail to him, and he absolutely loved it. Dieter is an amazing actor because he has an incredible face and charisma and he can really portray pure evil, so I'm really lucky with this guy.

Complex: You consulted a surgeon in the construction of the "human centipede" and have said that it could survive for years in reality with an IV. Wouldn't infection kill people?

Tom Six: Of course it's horrible to live like that, but you could live for a long time if you keep out the bacteria and treat the infections. You can actually eat feces; of course it's not really healthy for you, so you need vitamins via the IV.

Complex: My own shit, maybe, but I think I'd die just from the thought of eating someone else's.

Tom Six: It's a horrible idea! [Laughs.]

Complex: You've said that your sequel, The Human Centipede (Full Sequence), is somehow going to be more disgusting and disturbing.

Tom Six: Oh yeah. It's going to be a 12-person centipede. At festivals, when I show part one, I always tell people that part one is My Little Pony compared to part two. I really wanted people to be used to this sick idea first and then I can really make a film that's horrific, like real horror films should be. They should make you uncomfortable.

Complex: Given that discomfort you were going for, was it really tense on set?

Tom Six: Oh yeah, lots of times, of course. The situations the girls are in, in the film, are really tense. You're on your hands and knees and you're naked, so you're very vulnerable. So sometimes when they had to play fear and sadness, it came almost naturally. The relief moments, when everybody had fun, were really necessary, the massages we gave them after the shoot. You can imagine how ridiculous it is if you say, "We're gonna start shooting again. Take your positions. Everybody get on your hands and knees." The actors, to relieve themselves, they invented this little synchronous centipede dance. It will be on the DVD.

Complex: Was there a lot of bathroom humor to keep it light?

Tom Six: Oh yeah, all the time. "Please don't fart in my mouth!" "What did you have for dinner?" Everybody was laughing about it all the time. We had so much fun on the set.


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