The Human Centipede (First Sequence) is a 2009 Dutch independent body horror film written, directed and co-produced by Tom Six. The film concerns a deranged German surgeon who kidnaps three tourists and conjoins them surgically, mouth to anus, forming the eponymous \"human centipede\". It stars Dieter Laser as Josef Heiter, the creator of the centipede; and Ashley C. Williams, Ashlynn Yennie, and Akihiro Kitamura as Heiter's victims.
Lindsay and Jenny, tourists from New York visiting Germany, get a flat tire on their way to a night club and seek help at the house of misanthropic, psychopathic surgeon Dr. Josef Heiter. He drugs the women with Rohypnol and kidnaps them to a makeshift medical ward. Heiter kills a kidnapped truck driver after Heiter informs him he is \"not a match\". Heiter also abducts Japanese tourist Katsuro. Heiter is a retired world-renowned expert at separating Siamese twins, but dreams of making new creatures by sewing humans together. He says he will surgically connect his three victims mouth-to-anus, so that they share a single digestive system. His prior experiment, the 3Dog, conjoined three Rottweilers into a \"Siamese triplet\"; all three dogs died following the operation. Heiter has moved on to using human subjects.
After Lindsay tries to escape and fails, Heiter decides to make her the middle part of the centipede, the most painful position for the healing process, as punishment. Heiter performs the surgery, placing Katsuro at the lead, Lindsay at the middle and Jenny at the rear; he removes both the upper and lower front teeth and lips of Lindsay and Jenny, and mutilates the buttocks of Katsuro and Lindsay to provide access to the rectums. He severs the ligaments of his victims' knees to prevent leg extension, forcing his victims to crawl.
Once the operation is complete, Heiter takes the centipede to his living room, takes photos, and passes a mirror around for the segments of the centipede to view their new form. Heiter attempts to train his centipede as a pet by caging the centipede in a dog kennel, letting Katsuro eat dog food at dinner, and belittling Katsuro with racist insults and beating him with a crop when he becomes rebellious. When Katsuro defecates after apologizing to the girls, Lindsay is forced to swallow his excrement. Heiter becomes irritated after being kept awake by the screaming of a caged Katsuro (who, as the front part of the centipede, has his mouth free and is still able to speak, but in Japanese) and by the constant moaning of the women, threatening to remove their vocal cords. When the centipede attempts to escape while Heiter is swimming, all three segments are beaten with the crop. Heiter is displeased with the realization that Lindsay is constipated. He proposes to use laxatives on Lindsay. However, before he can do this, he discovers that Jenny is dying from sepsis (suggesting that Lindsay may have already defecated into her mouth off-camera, which led to infection).
Two detectives, Kranz and Voller, visit the house to investigate the disappearance of the three tourists. Heiter comes up with an idea to add them as replacements for Jenny in a new creation: a four-segment centipede. He offers the detectives water spiked with Rohypnol. After being given the drugged water, the detectives become suspicious and obtain a search warrant for his home. When the detectives leave Heiter's home, the victims attempt to escape. Katsuro attacks Heiter. Their attempt to escape fails. Katsuro confesses to Heiter that he deserves this fate because he treated his family poorly, then takes his own life by slitting his throat with a glass shard.
Six placed a Japanese male at the front of the centipede to create a language barrier between the doctor and the centipede. Throughout the film the characters (with the exception of Heiter who for the most part speaks to the centipede in English) speak in their native languages only (subtitled for the viewer into English where necessary). Katsuro, as the front part of the centipede, can only speak Japanese and therefore cannot speak with either the doctor or Jenny and Lindsay. Secondly, Katsuro's position in the centipede sets up the opportunity for the doctor and the male victim of the centipede to fight toward the climax of the film. Six stated in the director's commentary for The Human Centipede that he has a personal fear of hospitals and doctors, so he stretched out the scene where Heiter explains how he will create the centipede and the subsequent procedure to create his \"own nightmare.\"
While seeking funding for the film, Six pitched the idea of a surgeon who sewed people together. He did not initially reveal that the victims would be joined mouth-to-anus, as he believed this idea would stand no chance of receiving investments. His backers felt that the idea of a surgeon sewing people together was original and Six received funding. However, they did not learn the exact details of the film until it had been completed. Six claimed that they were very happy with the finished film. Before signing on, the actors were given an outline of the storyboard rather than a complete script. They were also shown sketches of how the centipede would be formed.
Laser remained in character as Heiter throughout the filming process, often shouting at the rest of the cast on set, and wherever possible staying away from the other actors and crew between scenes to preserve a level of separation. He only ate food he had brought onto the set himself, eating mostly fruit. He contributed dialogue for his character and selected many of his character's outfits from his personal wardrobe. Six claims that the jacket Heiter wore, which was bought by Laser, was a genuine jacket worn by real Nazi doctors. Laser was also happy for the other actors in The Human Centipede to add their own ideas to the film. For example, when Heiter is explaining his procedure to his victims, Katsuro's dialogue was improvised, which pleased Laser. During filming Laser accidentally kicked Kitamura (Katsuro), leading to a fight on set between the actors. The incident contributed to the tension and anger throughout the scene they were filming, in which Heiter sits at his dining table eating while the centipede eats dog food from the floor alongside him. Laser also unintentionally hurt Williams during the scene where Heiter roughly grabs and injects Lindsay, which caused a pause in shooting.
The Nazi influence behind Heiter led to the use of classical music when the doctor is \"training\" his centipede. The music was deliberately played at low quality to simulate the music coming from a loudspeaker, in much the same way as music was sometimes played in Nazi concentration camps. Many of the sound effects in The Human Centipede were created by manipulating meat. For example, the sound of a nose being broken was made by snapping bones within cuts of raw meat. Due to the discomfort of spending long periods on their hands and knees, the actors playing the centipede were given massages at the end of each day of filming. Yennie stated that she and Williams experienced jaw pain from holding a bit in their mouths during filming, but overall she did not feel that the physical side of filming had been excessively difficult.
The Human Centipede contains relatively few gory images; little of the surgical procedure is depicted directly, no excrement is shown on screen, and according to Kim Newman in Empire, it is \"never quite as outrageous as it threatens to be.\" Six stated that he wanted the film to be as authentic as possible and claimed to have consulted a Dutch surgeon during the creation and filming process, resulting in the film being \"100% medically accurate.\" Six said that the surgeon initially wanted nothing to do with his film, as he felt Six was \"crazy\" and the idea had \"nothing to do with medical science.\" However, the surgeon changed his mind and decided that he liked the idea, and so came up with a method of creating a human centipede. Six has claimed that the central and rear members of the centipede could survive for years by supplementing their diet with an IV drip. The special effects team was led by Rob and Erik Hillenbrink, father and son. They designed the final composition of the centipede from sketches provided by the consulting surgeon. The actors who made up the centipede wore hardened underwear, compared by Yennie to shorts, which had a rubber grip for the actors to wear, and for the actor behind to bite, creating the illusion of the mouth-to-anus connection. Six kept secret how the centipede would be formed as long as possible, and Yennie claimed that even her make-up artist did not know, asking Yennie what kind of \"suit\" the actors would be wearing.
Critics and a doctor have dismissed Six's claim that the film was \"100 percent medically accurate\" as \"ludicrous\" and \"rubbish\". Dr John Cameron, speaking to TV3 News in New Zealand, gave an interview about the feasibility of a human centipede, stating how he believed it would be difficult for a join between different people to heal and form a connection, and how the centipede would quickly die from lack of nutrition. John Martin, a former Hollywood film executive and CEO of Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas, said Six's claims of 100 percent medical accuracy should be viewed with reference to the kind of shock gimmicks that film producers had long used to attract attention. Martin compared Six's claims to those of Kroger Babb and William Castle, who had also made \"grand promises\" about what they were putting on screen, in a bid to lure audiences.
When Tom Six began creating the Human Centipede sequels, he envisioned a trilogy that works as a \"movie centipede\". Each sequel opens with the ending of the previous film, as the events of that film influence said sequel. Although every film works as a standalone movie, they can all be connected to form a single 4.5-hour-long film. 59ce067264