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The Human Centipede
(First Sequence)
A dark-blue tinted image montage featuring a photograph of a stern-faced man in a white doctor's coat in the foreground at the bottom-right. The man has short dark hair, appears to be in his sixties and is wearing dark aviator sunglasses and carrying a metal rod under his right arm. A photograph of a girl in her twenties appears at the top of the image, in the background. She has a traumatised expression, her cheeks bear large surgical scars and her face and neck are held tightly by bandages between another person's buttocks. In the background, at the bottom of the image, three people can be seen crawling in a line, with the second and third persons' faces between the buttocks of the person in front of them. The names of the leading actors appear in small, bold white upper-case text along the top of the poster. The film's title appears in larger text in the centre of the image and production credits are written at the bottom.
Promotional poster
Directed by Tom Six
Produced by Tom Six
Ilona Six
Written by Tom Six
Starring Dieter Laser
Ashley C. Williams
Ashlynn Yennie
Music by Patrick Savage
Holeg Spies
Cinematography Goof de Koning
Editing by Tom Six
Studio Six Entertainment
Distributed by IFC Films
Release date(s) 27 August 2009
Running time 90 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The Human Centipede (First Sequence) is a 2009 horror film starring Ashley C. Williams, Ashlynn Yennie, Akihiro Kitamura and Dieter Laser, directed by Tom Six.[1] It tells the story of a crazed doctor who surgically joins three victims together, mouth to anus, to create a "human centipede". The film has won several awards at international horror film festivals, but has received mixed reviews from critics.



The film begins with the antagonist, Dr Heiter (Dieter Laser), kidnapping a truck driver by the side of a road. Later, two American tourists, Lindsay (Ashley C. Williams) and Jenny (Ashlynn Yennie), arrive at Heiter's house as they search for help after puncturing their car tire. Heiter drugs the girls and they awake along with the kidnapped trucker in a makeshift hospital ward in the cellar. Heiter informs the trucker that he is "not a match" and kills him. When the girls next wake, they are joined by a new captive, Japanese tourist Katsuro (Akihiro Kitamura).

The doctor explains that he is a world renowned expert at separating conjoined twins, but dreams of creating new beings that share a single digestive system by joining separate individuals via their mouths and anuses. He explains that his previous experiment, a "3-dog", died. However, he explains how he will attach the three human subjects to each other to create a "human centipede". Once the operation is complete, the doctor begins training the centipede to perform tasks. Katsuro, as the front part of the centipede, refuses to do as he is told, and the doctor beats him. When Katsuro has to defecate, Lindsay is forced to swallow his excrement and the doctor watches with great delight. However, Heiter eventually becomes irritated after being kept awake by the centipede's constant screaming and realising that Jenny is dying from blood poisoning.

A man and two women lie on a sofa in a living room with soft lighting and an abstract painting of conjoined twins upon the wall. They lie in a line on their left side, facing the viewer, with the man at the front and the two women behind him. They wear only their underwear and have bloody bandages on their knees. The man's upper body is out of shot beyond the right edge of the image. The first woman behind the man has her face obscured behind the man's buttocks and her hands are on his legs. The second woman lies in an identical pose behind the first woman. Behind the sofa is a man in his sixties with short dark hair, wearing a dark suit and red tie. He leans over the three, looking at the first woman's head.
Dr. Heiter surveys his completed "human centipede"

Two police detectives, Kranz and Voller, visit Heiter to investigate the disappearance of tourists in the area. After the detectives leave, Heiter informs his centipede that Jenny will soon be replaced by two new parts. Katsuro stabs him with a scalpel and the centipede attempts to escape as Heiter crawls after it. Katsuro faces the doctor with a piece of broken glass in his hand and tells the doctor he "deserved" to become an insect, due to prior ill treatment of his family, and then commits suicide with the glass. At this point, the police break into the house and Heiter crawls away to hide in his swimming pool room. Kranz is shocked as he discovers the centipede, and soon finds Voller dead in the swimming pool near an armed Dr. Heiter. Heiter and Kranz shoot and kill each other. Jenny finally dies from her blood poisoning, leaving Lindsay alone in the house, trapped between her deceased fellow captives.




Tom Six has stated that the inspiration for the film came from a joke he always made to friends about punishing people who were "nasty or annoying or a child molester" by stitching their mouths to "the ass of a fat truck driver".[7] From here came what he saw as the concept for "a great horror movie"[8] and he began to develop the idea. The inclusion of a German villain was a conscious decision, based upon the German invasion of the Netherlands during World War Two and the subsequent Nazi medical experiments.[8] World War Two also played an influence on the nationality of the other main characters (American and Japanese).[9]


Casting for the film initially took place in New York City, with filming being undertaken in the Netherlands.[10] Six has said that during the casting process, a lot of actresses walked out of readings with disgust upon hearing the full nature of the role.[8] Having acted and written for a number of films and TV shows previously,[11] Akihiro Kitamuro was a relatively experienced cast member, as was Dieter Laser who had previously starred in the TV series Lexx[12], when compared with Ashlynn Yennie and Ashley C. Williams, for whom the feature was a first major film role.


When seeking funding for the film, Tom Six did not initially let on that the victims of The Human Centipede would be joined by mouth to anus, fearing that it would put off potential investors, and his backers did not find out the exact details of the film until it had been completed.[8] Additionally, the actors themselves were not presented with a completed script prior to signing onto the film, instead only being given an outline of the film's storyboard.[13]


Throughout the production process Tom Six stated his intention to create a film that was "100% medically accurate",[13] consulting a real-life surgeon during the creation and filming process.[14] Six has claimed that whilst initially reluctant to take part in the film because of professional reputation, after reading the script the surgeon consulted took a very strong interest in the procedure, devising a method that he believed would work in real life. Six claims that by using an IV drip to supplement the diet of the middle and back parts, the centipede would be able to survive for "years".[7][15]

Promotion and release

The Human Centipede was included in several film festivals around the world, including the 2009 London FrightFest Film Festival[16] Leeds International Film Festival,[17] Sitges Film Festival[18] and Screamfest Horror Film Festival.[3] In an interview with, Tom Six claimed that the 'buzz' surrounding the film lead several studios to approach him with regard to distributing the film.[8] IFC Films will distribute the film in 2010 with a simultaneous theatrical and Video on Demand release in the United States.[19][20] The company has a history of releasing 'unconventional' horror films, having previously distributed the Norwegian 'Nazi-Zombie' feature Dead Snow and the surreal 2009 release Antichrist.[21] The film will run in a limited theatrical release on 30 April 2010 in New York City.[22]


The Human Centipede has only received a small number of reviews, based upon its showings at a number of film festivals. Among more mainstream publications, Total Film described the film as a 'disappointment' which 'proved itself to be a slow-moving, repetitive affair that has nowhere left to go by the hour mark.'[16] Whilst Variety was critical of the film's lack of any form of 'social commentary', stating that "[it couldn't] be bothered to expand upon its unpleasant premise, inviting auds to revel in its sick humor by favoring Dr. Heiter... and characterizing the victims as shallow expendables".[23] Due to the nature of the film, more attention has been given to the film by Horror blogs; among these, FEARnet gave the film a positive review, stating that it was 'a horror import that actually has the confidence and audacity to deliver something disturbingly different.'[24] Cinematical stated that, whilst a potential cult film, 'all in all it's really not a very good film.'[25]

However, in spite of negative reviews, the film won several awards at various international film festivals, including:



On 19 October 2009 it was announced a sequel, titled The Human Centipede (Full Sequence) has been planned for cinemas in 2010. 'Full Sequence' will supposedly include a centipede composed of twelve individuals.[31] Six has said how it had always been his intention to make two Centipede films, with the first film existing to get his audience "used to the sick idea" in order that the second could be much more "nasty, with way more medical experiments" in a way that would have been "impossible" in the original, and would have "destroyed" any chance of the film being made.[8]


  1. ^ Gareth Jones (2009-09-03), "Human Centipede (First Sequence), The (2009)", Dread Central,, retrieved 2009-11-11 
  2. ^ Uncle Creepy (2009-07-06), "Human Centipede Stills Slither Out", Dread Central,, retrieved 2009-11-11 
  3. ^ a b Uncle Creepy (2009-09-04), "The Human Centipede Slithers to Screamfest LA '09", Dread Central,, retrieved 2009-11-11 
  4. ^ Sean Decker (2009-10-19), "Dread Chats with the Stars of The Human Centipede", Dread Central,, retrieved 2009-11-11 
  5. ^ Uncle Creepy (2009-10-19), "The Human Centipede (First Sequence) Clip", Dread Central,, retrieved 2009-11-11 
  6. ^ BC (2009-10-17), "Ashlynn Yennie and Ashley C. Williams talk 'Human Centipede'", Bloody Disgusting,, retrieved 2009-11-11 
  7. ^ a b fantasticfest (2009-07-09), "HUMAN CENTIPEDE @ FANTASTIC FEST 2009", youtube,, retrieved 2009-11-13 
  8. ^ a b c d e f "SITGES 09 INTERVIEW - Tom Six/Human Centipede",, 2009-10-22,, retrieved 2009-11-13 
  9. ^ screenjabber (2009-09-01), "The Human Centipede writer, director Tom Six", youtube,, retrieved 2009-11-13 
  10. ^ MrDisgusting (2009), "Human Centipede: The First Sequence Star Ashlynn Yennie", Bloody Disgusting,, retrieved 2009-11-11 
  11. ^ "Akihiro Kitamura", IMDB,, retrieved 2009-11-11 
  12. ^ Peter Jolly (2009-07-07), "Human Centipede", Morningstarr*,, retrieved 2009-11-12 
  13. ^ a b "Human Centipede: The First Sequence Star Ashley C. Williams", Bloody Disgusting, 2009,, retrieved 2009-11-11 
  14. ^ Alison (2009-09-06), "The Human Centipede: First Sequence", Screamstress,, retrieved 2009-11-11 
  15. ^ Steve Dollar (2009-11-10), "Sitges Film Festival 2009: A Q&A with Tom Six About His Barf-Bag Classic, The Human Centipede", Paste Magazine,, retrieved 2009-11-18 
  16. ^ a b Jamie Graham (2009-08-31), "Film News FrightFest 2009: The Human Centipede Review", Total Film,, retrieved 2009-11-14 
  17. ^ Leeds Film Festival, The Human Centipede (First Sequence) - 23rd Leeds International Film Festival,, retrieved 2009-11-17 
  18. ^ Sitges Film Festival, The Human Centipede (First Sequence) - Sitges Film Festival,, retrieved 2009-11-17 
  19. ^ Uncle Creepy (2010-01-08), "IFC Films Acquires The Human Centipede: First Sequence", Dread Central,, retrieved 2010-01-12 
  20. ^ "IFC Films Acquires Knuckle-Biter 'Human Centipede'", Bloody Disgusting, 2010,, retrieved 2010-01-12 
  21. ^ The Human Centipede: First Sequence Slithers to Limited Theatrtcal Release
  22. ^ dates for “LAST EXORCISM” and “HUMAN
  23. ^ Peter Debruge (2009-10-05), "The Human Centipede: First Sequence", Variety,, retrieved 2009-11-17 
  24. ^ Scott Weinberg (2009-10-15), "Review: 'The Human Centipede (First Sequence)'", FEARnet,, retrieved 2009-11-17 
  25. ^ Todd Gilchrist (2009-10-27), "Screamfest Review: The Human Centipede (First Sequence)", Cinematic,, retrieved 2009-11-17 
  26. ^ a b "Feast your eyes on Fantastic Awards 2009!", Fantastic Fest, 2009-09-29,, retrieved 2009-11-17 
  27. ^ BC (2009-10-26), "Human Centipede' Wins Best Film At Screamfest", Bloody Disgusting,, retrieved 2009-11-17 
  28. ^ Palmarès 2009, 2009-11-05,, retrieved 2009-11-17 
  29. ^ Alessio Gradogna, A Ravenna trionfa "Human Centipede",, retrieved 2009-11-17 
  30. ^ "2009 South African HORRORFEST WINNERS", South African Horrorfest, 2009,, retrieved 2009-12-10 
  31. ^ Uncle Creepy (2009-10-19), "Human Centipede Sequel Chatter: The Human Centipede II - The Full Sequence in 2010", Dread Central,, retrieved 2009-11-17 

External links

Simple English

The Human Centipede (First Sequence) is a 2010 horror film. It is written and directed by Tom Six. The film is about a mad doctor who wants to stick people together so they become what he calls his 'human centipede'.

The Human Centipede did not get very many good reviews[1], but Tom Six says he is making a sequel to the film called The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence).[2]



The insane doctor kidnaps two women and one man. He then sews them together with their mouths joined to each others anuses. Once the operation is finished he feeds the person at the front food. They then go to the toilet in the other persons mouth.

The police arrive at the Doctor's house to look for the kidnapped people. But the doctor kills them. The person at the front of the centipede and the person at the back also die, leaving the person in the middle on their own. The film ends so the viewer does not know what happens to her.


  • Akihiro Kitamura as Katsuro
  • Dieter Laser as Dr. Heiter
  • Andreas Leupold as Detective Kranz
  • Ashley C. Williams as Lindsay
  • Ashlynn Yennie as Jenny


Most reviews said the Human Centipede was not very good.[3] However some Horror blogs liked the idea and thought it was funny.[4]

The film won some awards at Film Festivals.[5]



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