The Human Centipede is very original - Without giving away too many spoilers, how did the idea come about?
Well it all started out very simply from a sick joke I made. When somebody is evil, they should stitch his/her mouth to the ass of a fat truck driver - that would be a big punishment for him/her. That horrible idea became the basic concept for the film.
Was it easy to get Dieter Laser for the lead role?
I saw Dieter in a couple of American and German films and I thought he was the perfect character to play Dr. Heiter.
We (Ilona and myself) went to Berlin to meet him. He read the script and he absolutely loved the controversial story.
I think Dieter Laser is a brilliant actor and no one could have played the part better (he won the jury award for best actor in THC at Fantastic Fest in the US).
How has the public reacted to your movie?
It seemed the crowd in the UK, US and Spain really loved the film and as a filmmaker, to see hundreds of people getting all sorts of strong emotions (applauding, screaming, laughing, in shock) for your film is the biggest thing I could wish for. During the first test screenings of the film some people could not handle it and walked out. One girl was very angry with the concept and was even afraid to talk to me afterwards. At Fantastic Fest in the US I saw a guy vomiting out his snack during a certain scene!
The actors were extremely brave - how did they prepare for their roles and how did they feel seeing the end product?
The THC actors had to be great actors in very good physical condition as well. During the film shoot Akihiro, Ashley and Ashlynn were in very compromising positions and practically naked for almost two weeks. Everyone can imagine how mentally and physically tough it was for them. We had a masseuse on the set to relieve stress and pain. I'm really proud of them because they did a terrific job. They had no idea what the finished film would look like, because during filming their view was obscured almost all of the time. When they saw the finished film they found the impact really emotional. They loved every second of it.
How did you choose the location?
I wanted a real scary feeling bungalow isolated in the forest. And luckily we found a great location.
What were the biggest challenges in making the movie?
The biggest challenge for me was to make the "human centipede" look real. I wanted THC construction in the film to be 100% medically accurate. So I designed it together with a real life surgeon. I think we succeeded with making it also look real on film.
While it is difficult labeling this an out-right "horror" film, how would you classify it?
Well I think the basic idea has mayor horror elements (the idea is "horrible"), it has got (for those who get it) some pitch black humor in it and it has got drama in it. It is a mixture of genres in it, but I would generally classify it as being a "horror" film.
What do you think the Horror genre needs to sustain itself (after the Saw and Hostel clones of recent years)?
I think the horror genre needs more originality. There are a lot of copycat writers out there with a lack of fresh ideas.
The first Saw and Hostel movies I liked very much (because of its originality). I hope my film spices things up and inspires people to think broader than the usual chain-saw and axe horror stuff.
We are big fans of David Cronenberg, are you?
I love the early work of David Cronenburg with his great body horror biological stuff. (Existenz!) His films were definitely an influence and I am very fascinated by the literary work of de Sade.
Can you reveal much about the other Sequences?
THC (first sequence) is part one of a double feature. Part 2 is called THC (full sequence). In part one the audience gets to know the "shocking" concept of the film. In part two I can go further, because the audience is used to the idea, with slasher elements, and way more medical elements / sickness. Part 1 will be "my little pony" compared to the "full sequence"! For now there are no concrete plans for a third part.
THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE will make its African debut at the South African HORRORFEST
- Paul Blom