Tom Six Interview

Tom Six is the controversy courting director of mouth to anus, medically accurate-a-rama: The Human Centipede. His latest film The Human Centipede: Full Sequence recently made the BBFC wet themselves and decline to give it a certificate, declaring it “obscene”.

It’s an overcast but hot one as I pick my way through the sightseeing hordes toward The London Bridge Experience and Tombs. I’m meeting Tom in one of the tombs for a chat and fully expect a man who deals in such extreme, nasty and extremely nasty subject matter to fit right in. The folk behind the attraction clearly do too – I’m excitably informed that, come Halloween, a section of the tombs will become the set of The Human Centipede; complete with a diabolical Doctor and three unfortunately grafted together centipede segments. It sounds horrible. I can’t wait.

I’m glad to say that though his horrific creation will be at home in “the UK’s scariest attraction”, the man himself is not. He turns out to be a thoroughly lovely, polite and attentive fella; resplendent in beige suit, straw Stetson and awesome cowboy boots.

We both pull up a pew, coffin actually, and I ask him how much input he’s getting in the area dedicated to his film, “they told me what they are going to do. They are going to create a human centipede, with actors, and a Dr. Heiter”. But will it be a three man centipede a la the original or a twelve person “full sequence”? “That won’t fit, I think”.

He seems genuinely delighted at the burrowing into the collective consciousness of his horrible baby, “it’s amazing. This. South Park. Beavis and Butthead. It’s incredible. It’s a film maker’s dream. It’s spread like a fire, like an aggressive virus, all over the world. The idea is so horrible that people can’t help but talk about it. I knew I’d made a sick idea, but for it to take off like this? No idea”.

But when talk turns to the BBFC’s treatment of it’s second part, the delight turns to surprise and shock, “it’s totally banned! They say they cannot even cut it! They think it might cause harm to viewers. I think it’s totally ridiculous.” This is no act. He is actually hurt and taken aback at what he sees as a slight against his film and a terrible misreading of The Human Centipede: Full Sequence, “this film has a lot of dark humour in it and I’m really disappointed that a country that gave us Monty Python and Little Britain can’t see the humour in this. They say the guy is “sexually obsessed by The Human Centipede”: that’s absolutely not true, he’s just obsessed. I wrote the story. I know”.

This dismay and disbelief is exasperated by the fact that the notoriously picky American ratings board have granted it a certificate, as have their Australian counterparts, “Australia is OK. America is fine. So it’s really upsetting that the BBFC is not. The BBFC let through a lot of films, like Antichrist and A Serbian Film. Crazy”.

So what is next? What can he do? “We now have to go to court. It’s been rejected two times, so this is our last chance. We have to have them say that it is not obscene, that it’s not illegal”. If the film’s UK release does not materialise, or does – but much later than elsewhere, how will this harm the movie’s returns? “By doing this, the BBFC are promoting illegal download. If people want to see it, they will. They are really hurting me as a film maker”. I ask what message he would like to give to any UK fans tempted by an illegal download, in their eagerness to watch The Full Sequence and his reply is simple and honest, “Please. Wait. The UK is such a big market, it will do us a lot of harm. We are fighting our ass off to get to show it here. We will somehow show it here. Even if I have to rent a cinema and show it and get arrested”.

On a lighter, sort of, note; what are his plans for the third and concluding part of The Human Centipede? And will it be The Human Centipede 3D? “Well, part two is totally different from part 1 – you’re going to be really surprised, and part three is going to be totally different again. It’ll be from a totally different perspective again. It’s going to be called The Final Sequence. I have joked about 3D, but the films have more to do with the idea and story, rather than visualising it with bombastic things. It doesn’t need that. I’m not into that Hollywood craziness right now”.

I’m interested to know if there have been any American studio approaches regarding a remake and he kind of dodges the question with a nervous laugh. Instead he tells me who he would cast in an American remake, “I would have Tom Cruise, as the head of the human centipede. Jennifer Lopez in the middle. Paris Hilton in the back. I would choose Christopher Walken as the doctor”. That I would pay to see, and I’m sure I wouldn’t be alone.

He says that Hollywood have come a knocking, but what they have punted him he has no interest in, “I get sent scripts. They are so unoriginal. I would never, ever do that. I have crazy ideas and want to do my own films, as there is still uncharted territory. So many people lack ideas, or they copy each other all the time. I don’t want to be part of that. Yeah, a guy changes into a wolf – I’ve seen that a hundred times. They lack ideas.”

But what of the future? What comes next? “I am going to make a horror film in LA. A psychological horror film which will definitely top The Human Centipede. It’s very original, people haven’t seen it and they are going to be really upset by it”. I press for any names that may be attached but he’s a wily one and is only willing to give me the title: The Onania Club. When I seek clarification on the spelling of “Onania” he instantly makes for my notebook and writes it out for me – as I said: thoroughly lovely.

I hope he manages to secure a UK certificate and release for The Human Centipede: Full Sequence. I also hope that if that release is delayed, and anyone’s tempted to do a dodgy download, they remember what the polite, Dutch, gentleman in the cowboy hat said: “Please. Wait.”

Who knows when we may or may not get to see Full Sequence, but I can tell you that the Human Centipeded area of The London Bridge Experience and Tombs will be ready to greet you, and then scare the pants off you, this Halloween.

2 Comments on “Tom Six Interview”

  1. Alexys B says:

    Brilliant interview Al!!!!!

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