Interview: Tom Six, director of The Human Centipede 2by David Cook
at University of London, Queen Mary 01st November 2011 14:44:56
We don't quite know what to expect at the proposition of coming face-to-face with a man who has written and created some of the most gory and gruesome cinema of our time. We're half expecting to be gagged, beaten and kidnapped and used as an extra in ‘The Human Centipede 3 (The Interviewers Sequence)’.
But chatting to Tom Six, the man and mind behind The Human Centipede films, we found an intelligent, interesting and above all surprisingly sane filmmaker with a simple love of creating controversial and unique films that promote debate - and not some sick minded maniac who perversely ‘gets off’ on blood, shit and gore. Sat in a room with him and Laurence R Harvey who plays out the sickness as the lead role in the new The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence).
Having moved away from a very successful career in TV - namely producing ‘Big Brother’ and introducing it to countries like USA, Holland and Germany - Six began making films. Looking over his past productions it becomes clear he has a real love of controversial and eyebrow raising productions, which brought me to ask whether it was just a case of wanting to shock or if there was something a bit deeper...
TS: As a filmmaker - that’s where all the fun is. I like it when I make a film and people talk about it. You have so many filmmakers that make a film and you think “yeah that’s a nice film”. I want my films to be part of discussions, and when people see my films they really experience something. It’s also about debate, and promoting debate.
TNS: So what was it that first gave you the idea for The Human Centipede and decide to make it?
TS: Well, what I was seeing in horror was all very unoriginal; a guy with an axe...a guy with a knife...no originality. And when I came up with the idea for Human Centipede I thought this is a great idea for a horror film, and I’ve never seen anything like it before. It came when I was watching TV with friends and something about a really nasty child molester came on, and I said out loud “his punishment should be to stitch his mouth to the anus of a fat truck driver”. Everybody was disgusted at this horrifying idea and it kept coming back into my head, and thought it would make a great horror movie - so I started writing.
TNS: At first the BBFC banned, and deemed Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)’uncuttable - did you truly believe that when you first submitted it, that it would be classified with no problems?
TS: We were surprised that they totally banned it, and said it was uncuttable - which is very strange.
LRH: I think we expected them to suggest a few cuts, we understood they had problems with sexual violence. But we didn’t expect a blanket ban.
TNS: Do you think the reaction of the BBFC was more a help rather than a hindrance?
TS: Of course. I was jumping for joy - it’s great marketing. We’re now up there with other films that have been deemed uncuttable like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. But I also got very angry because they [the BBFC] can decide what grown-ups can watch - and that I don’t think is a good thing.
TNS: It said at the end of a Human Centipede 2 trailer, “Has Horror Gone Too Far?” What do you think?
TS: No. Film is an art form, and art can never go too far because it’s all make believe, it’s all fake. And we’re out there in the art world to cross boundaries and that’s where all the fun is I think. So in that sense, horror can never go too far.
TNS: We noticed there are plans in the pipeline for Human Centipede 3, how far along is that and are there any other projects on the horizon?
TS: Definitely. I’ve finished the script for Human Centipede 3 (The Final Sequence) and we’re going to Shoot it next year. Part three is going to be the final sequence - the three films will literally be connected into one four and a half hour film...then no more centipedes! In terms of other projects I’m soon to be filming in LA a film called The Onania Club - that will make people forget all about the Human Centipede!
So it’s official, he’s not just crazy. But this interview does beg the question, what on earth is The Onania Club going to involve? As far as I can gather ‘onania’ is a disorder whereby sufferers are addicted to masturbation - so I’m sure we’ll be in for another Tom Six visual treat!