Tom Six was the winner of the Ravenna Nightmare Film Festival 2009. With his THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE he realized a deliberately aseptic and weird film. You can read the discussion below, and some preview about his next movie, the complete human sequence … a centipede shaped by twelve bodies.
What is the situation about horror movies in Netherland? Is there an underground “movement” or not?
No, there have been a few horror films made and most flopped at the box-office. It seems like audience in the Netherlands don’t like Dutch made horrorfilms. There is of course a group of die hard horrorfans, but they prefer the superior foreign made stuff.
What was the background you moved through for becoming a director? What were the episodes of your life influenced in the choice of growing as a fantastic/horror director?
Well I started doing television. I was one of the pioneer directors of the original Big Brother show which started in Holland. But I always wanted to make films. So together with my sister Ilona Six I started a film company and we made three films in the Netherlands. Two comedies and a children’s film. But my real passion is writing and directing horror films. But what I said above, the Netherlands is not a good place to start with the genre. So this was the chance to create our first international film. I think I have a big imagination and in stories I am usually attracted to the dark sides of human beings. Of course I also watched a lot of horror films and the films I liked most were Salo and the early work of David Cronenberg so this created the base for THC I think.
Could you tell us something about the films you’ve done before THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE?
Back in Holland we have produced three films. Something completely different from THC. We made Gay in Amsterdam, a comedy about the famous gay scene in Amsterdam.We made Honeyz, a children’s film and finally we made I love dries. A black comedy with a famous dutch singer in it. All nice challenges but nothing like making my real “baby” THC.
The idea behind THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE is so weird: have you been inspired by real fact or is this a sort of bizarre dream you put into concrete form?
Well it started all very simple from a sick joke I told friends. When somebody is evil, a child molestor or something. I said they should stitch his mouth to the ass of a fat truck driver that would be a big punishment for him. Everybody thought that was so horrible. It became the basic idea for THC
What do you think about the economic situation in the whole world? Are we all becoming worms (or a sort of centipede) to be shattered by the foot of everyone who thinks to be powerful?
People are in fact following each-other blindly, but then more like sheep. The ones who don’t are the most fascinating people. I think it would be a great idea to create prison camps where heavy criminals would be operated to form a massive human centipede chain. I think knowing that that would be your punishment, the worldwide crime rate would drastically go down.
I know you are working on a second episode (THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE Second sequence), could you give us some preview about? Will be the sequence longer than the first (made of three bodies)?
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”. Part two will have a human centipede chain of 12 people where part 1 had three.
You “built” the Six Entertainment together with your sister (Miss Ilona Six), are you out to produce works done by other directors or to produce only your own films?
No, our intension is only to produce our own work. The work I write myself, because that is the work we have the most feeling with and gives us all the strength to produce. And usually I try to create stories that are not done like a thousand times before. So I try to be original and push boundaries and there are not many scripts we sometimes get that do that.
Recently you won the Ravenna Nightmare Film Fest 2009, what do you think about this Italian festival? Are you receiving good feedbacks from European festivals?
I really loved the Ravenna film festival. It is held in a great cinema with really nice people who organized it and a great audience. I was really lucky and honored Valerio Evangelisti presented our film and it was also an honor to win the Ravenna fest competing with other great films. THC is doing really well in Europe and worldwide. We won two best picture awards in the US (screamfest, Hollywood and fantastic fest,Austin) and we won best picture at the Sainte Maxime fest in France and now in Ravenna, Italy.
… and what about the “slice” of Italy you could see?
I have to Rome before and had never been to Ravenna before. I am a real fan of Italy, because of your great “old” culture and your legendary filmmakers like Pasolini, Ferreri and actors Mastrioanni and the beautiful Claudia Cardinale.
These last lines are free to give some suggestions to Italian independent directors.
What I find strange is that back in the days Italy was the king of creating daring and genius controversial stuff. Maybe this generation is more afraid of distributors or investors. Write new daring stuff and make the old Italian filmmakers generation proud, I would say.