The Human Centipede films are always a touchy subject for horror fans. With a concept so disgusting and outrageous, conversations always tend to get heated when discussing them. Some people (like myself) can appreciate them for what they are : provocative, boundary-pushing pieces of exploitation.
Other people get very angry and self-righteous at the mere mention of these films, calling them disgusting trash and sick perversions IN ALL CAPS!
Trust me, I know. I run a horror page on Facebook, and every time we post an image from the series, the haters come out in droves to bash it. In my opinion, this is the perfect example that Tom Six has created a masterpiece of incendiary film. The haters have spread the word more than the fans.
That being said, I get a lot of people asking about details for the upcoming third film in the series. It is obvious that a lot of us horror fans are greatly anticipating the release of this film. Details have been admittedly scarce, and I am just as excited as the rest of you sickos to finally see the finished product, but as of this writing we still have no release date or trailer.
It is my opinion that director Tom Six is holding out for a good distribution deal. He knows he has the demand, and he is confident in his film (as he should be). The first two got very limited theatrical runs, and then direct to video releases. I believe that Mr. Six is planning for world domination with this release, the final chapter in his series.
As he has unceremoniously disappeared from Twitter, and little word is coming out for this highly anticipated film, horror fans have been left guessing as to when they will ever get to see this future classic.
Although this may be taboo, I am going to tell you guys today a little about my experience on the set and what you can expect when the film finally gets released. I hope it does not offend the director or anyone involved, and only serves to make the already rabid audience hunger more for the film.
So, let’s start with what is “general knowledge” about the film.
It is pretty widely known that the film is set in a prison and includes a 500 (!) person centipede, but further details have been scarce and well-guarded.
Back in March, this photo was released to the public, confirming that both Dieter Laser and Laurence Harvey would be returning for the sequel. Other cast members include Eric Roberts, Tiny Lister, Robert LaSardo, and Bree Olsen.
In April, an interview with Eric Roberts was published in Entertainment Weekly, where he notes that he is sworn to secrecy but says “It’s REALLY horrible”.
Then a thoughtful piece showed up in the Huffington Post last month, speculating on the plot and possibilities of the sequel.
And most recently, this interview with Robert LaSardo popped up on the Fangoria channel, where he talks about the loftier intentions of the film.
As I was just on set as an extra, I was never “sworn to secrecy”, as the stars were, so I am going to go ahead and spill the figurative beans here. If this is over-stepping any boundaries with the film-makers, I will be glad to remove the post at their request. To be clear, I am not writing this to ruin anything for anyone. Rather, to share my experience with my readers, and get some more people excited for this film.
It has been over a year since I wrote this post detailing the opportunity for some lucky fans to be an extra in the upcoming sequel. After writing that, it occurred to me that I was close enough to L.A. to give it a shot, and managed to get an invite to the set, in an abandoned prison.
It was my first time ever on a movie set, and a fascinating experience.
After signing in and waiting around in the front room of an abandoned prison, a large group of dangerous-looking men (myself included) were fitted with orange jumpsuits and led through some dirty forgotten corridors. A quiet prison is very creepy.
We were led into a cafeteria filled with large cameras and bustling workers, and some smoky effects. I was situated at a long table opposite Tiny Lister (Deebo himself!) and got to listen to him tell amusing stories as we waited for action.
In the scene, we the prisoners were being forced to watch the first two Centipede films, and made to act disgusted and outraged. The great part of this was that many of my fellow extras actually had no idea what this film was even about! Some of them had never even actually seen the first two films, they were merely full time extras who got called for a random job! So, needless to say, some of those guys were not feigning disgust.
The scene ends with some violence and a riot in the cafeteria when the warden, played by part 1′s Deiter Laser, shows up to insult all of us lowly prisoners.
So yes, the plot obviously concerns a large group of prisoners under the rule of a deranged warden, and exists in a world seperate from both previous films, proving even more “meta” than the previous sequel.
My time as an extra was only meant to be for that one day, but at the end of shooting, I managed to weasel my way into the next week of the production. Perhaps due to my criminally good looks, possibly because they just needed as many rough-looking male extras to convincingly pull off a 500-person human centipede. Either way, it was a win-win to me.
The next week was to be the final week of principal photography, and I managed to get the time off from my real job and headed into a different empty prison an hour north in the desert in June.
Yeah, it was warm.
One major scene involved a huge group of us prisoners out in the yard, chanting “Death Rape!” repeatedly at a guard tower. In fact, those were pretty much the only words I said that day.
But most of the week comprised of us creating the actual centipede, on our hands and knees in the rocky desert under a burning afternoon sun. The crew provided us with knee pads and a custom made contraption with a face mask which was to be velcroed to the bottom of the prisoner in front of us. There were 100 of us on our hands and knees in the prison yard, and they used overhead crane shots of us in various specific positions to create the effect of a 500-strong centipede!
It was grueling, uncivilized work, but still more enjoyable than my day job.
The final day of shooting proved to be a more intimate and fascinating day. Well, not necessarily more intimate than spending a few hours with your face velcroed to another man’s ass, but I digress. Only a few extras were on set that last day, and we did some short scenes, including running (I never signed on for running!), trying to escape, and I even had a secondary role as a nurse wheeling a gurney.
The best part of this day was being up close and personal with the real actors.
Eric Roberts stole my lighter.
I got to chat with Robert LaSarda about that awesome flick he did back in the 90′s with Andrew Dice Clay for “Favorite Deadly Sins”.
It was fascinating to watch Dieter Laser, method actor extraordinare, getting into character.
I even got to chat up my new pal, Laurence Harvey, who is a very sweet and down-to-earth fellow.
All in all, it was a great experience, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Now, Tom Six, can we please see this movie!
Your audience is waiting, hungry with anticipation.
Art by Alex Pardee