Friday, May 22, 2015

The GenreOnline Interview - Writer and Director Tom Six

The GenreOnline Interview - Writer and Director Tom Six
By Mark A. Rivera
Mark A. Rivera) Mr. Six I think you are a great artist especially after seeing The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence. In my opinion you were almost satirizing the original film, especially when you brought back Ashlynn Yennie as herself, an actress going to a garage looking to audition for Quentin Tarantino and so for me it was absurd and yet at the same time if he did decide to do an audition in a garage, people would show up. So I thought that was pretty funny and I am very happy that you brought back Lawrence R. Harvey, Dieter Laser, Akhiro Kitamura, Bill Hutchens, and Peter Blankenstein if I am missing anyone else. There probably are other people. At this point, do you think the journey from The Human Centipede: First Sequence to The Human Centipede 3: Final Sequence was going from horror to dark comedy satire and what inspired you to draw the parallels to the American myth as personified in the new film by the iconic music, the flag, the famous President reference and setting the story in Texas?

Tom Six) Yes, yes, yes. Well I consider all my films, one, two and three, dark, pitch black comedies with horrific elements. Some people consider them to be pure horror films, but I don't. I do think that the last one is the most comical of the three because I really wanted to go out with a bang and it is definitely the most funny of the three and the fun thing is the three films can actually  be connected and form one movie centipede. A four and a half hour movie and that is a great idea. I shot the first two movies in Europe and since I wanted to go out with a big bang, I wanted I wanted the Centipede and the locations and everything to be extra, extra large so we went to America, we shot it here in LA, the whole film with American Actors and, like you say, very "Hollywood" kind of style of filmmaking so there it is very different than part one and two. 

Rivera) In the film were the Actors performances improvisational or was everything taken from the original script?

Six) No. Everything is taken from the original script I had written down completely. On the set the Actors come up with extra lines or stuff. I am very open to that because these Actors bring in great things.

Rivera) I have to ask you, how do you direct talent like Dieter Laser or even Lawrence Harvey because Laser gives a performance in this film that is in my opinion on par with Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet in terms of fearlessness by giving an over the top characterization. I mean the guy makes the movie. He"s awesome. 

Six) Yeah that's so true. Both Dieter and I wanted to create a totally different character than Dr. Heiter in the first one and we wanted to create the ultimate asshole. It is very cool that you mention Dennis Hopper from Blue Velvet because he is kind of an inspiration for us.

Rivera) Sure. That's the most over the top villain I think ever before Human Centipede 3 and like I said before I think you truly are an artist with your films. I don't consider your movies to be what some people have unfortunately called them "splatter porn" or "torture porn" when actually while the situation of it actually happening is frightening, the films are not even as graphic as the Saw and Hostel films. Not even as graphic as Clive Barker's Hellraiser. Do you feel that people have been unfair to categorize your film in that context?

Six) That's a big compliment Sir. Yes absolutely. There are people who see these films and they each react in another way. Some call it torture porn. They only see the torture and the mouth to ass pieces, but the good thing is there are people who see all the layers that are intended and they see the intelligence and the humor so it's entertainment for a lot of people. Each has their own opinion about them. I am very happy that people see as the way you see it and see it as comedies. You also have people that only see the horrific stuff and don't care about it other than that. As an artist you try to get a reaction. Either people absolutely love it or they absolutely hate it. There is nothing in between. People are not indifferent to my work and that makes me proud. 

Rivera) That's great. Now that you are done with the trilogy, do you plan on continuing to make genre films or would you like to go to a different genre?

Six) We want to keep exploring the dark side of humanity. I would never make romantic comedies or something. So we keep making pitch black comedies with horrific elements and intelligent layers. We have a couple of projects out there. One is called The Onania Club. I can't tell you about what the premise is yet, but it is going to be a film that could easily be copied bySouth Park again and it is a project that a lot of people will talk about again. 

Rivera) Was it hard for you to get new talent not previously associated with the film series like Eric Roberts or Bree Olsen or Tommy "Tiny" Lister?

Six) Well for the first one it was very hard to find talent. This time because the films became so popular, everybody knew about it when we contacted Eric Roberts, he was a big fan of the films. So we sent him the script. He already knew us. Same as Bree Olsen, she loves the films. Tommy "Tiny" loves the films. Jay Tavare, Robert LaSardo All big fans and they are all Actors with big balls to be in my films.

I laughed out loud when Tom Six said that.

Rivera) I love your cameo in the film. Everything down to the music that plays upon your entrance driving through the prison gate when you first appear. What made you decide to actually appear in the film because your character... The characterized version of yourself as the Director is actually central to the storyline because you're the one that ultimately sells the Dieter Laser character on the idea that this is medically accurate according to the first film. What made you decide to put yourself in the film? Have you acted in films before?

Six) No, no, no. When I was promoting number two, so many people said to me, "You should be in the third one and you should make the human centipede." I am not an Actor, but I like to play with the idea that I am in the film as myself, but I wanted to make a complete asshole out of myself. I don't want to take myself very seriously because I'm not an Actor. So it's kind of a method to use myself in the story as the father of the human centipede concept. This way it worked. 

Rivera) You work with your sister Ilona. I hope I am pronouncing the name correctly. As a production team have you always worked on films together and do you find that works best for you because, you know, blood is thicker than water.

Six) Absolutely. Yeah we work from when we were very young we already worked together in the Six Entertainment Company. She does all the business things and I do the creative things. We are a team made in Hell.

Once again I could not help but laugh out loud again. Actually he made me laugh out loud with  several of his answers collectively. I felt very comfortable talking with Mr. Six and he seemed to be very relaxed talking to me.

Rivera) I don't consider it Hell at all. I mean your concepts that are very, very dark, etc. the first one you do suspend the disbelief and go along with it as this really terrifying horror film, but then when you see the second one and by the time you get to the third, it was almost like a parody of the entire series in some ways. Was that correct?

Six) Absolutely. You saw it very good. Absolutely. I've taken a piss on the whole series. That's true. 

Rivera) I love how you are totally direct on it. That's really cool. Have you ever meant any of the people you satirized or referenced like Quentin Tarantino? I mean not to talk about him because you're both Filmmakers and you made that little reference to him in the second film and you are an established Filmmaker now and you are definitely part of that new generation of Filmmakers and you are also very creative. 
Six) I never met him directly, but I know Quentin Tarantino saw my first film in his own cinema here in LA.He said to one of the Actors in the film that he is a fan of The Human Centipede series and I know that John Waters is a big fan. He mentions The Human Centipede quite a lot in his interviews so it is very well known here in the Hollywood community and I am very proud of that that, but I am from Europe so I don't meet those guys very often. 

Rivera) How do you find the difference between American audiences and European audiences or even audiences in the Far East see your films like do you find that Americans are more up tight... No that is not a good word to use. Would you say they are more open to it or are audiences pretty much the same wherever you go? 

Six) There are differences like in Japan for example, people see them as straight out comedies so they love all the way all through the graphic moments and in America I did a radio interview and you can't use the word "Shit" on the radio. People are a little afraid of that kind of thing. Some people are upset by these movies. About the language and stuff, but in England for example they have this censoring system that is really hard to work with and in Germany part two was totally banned out so each country has it's own reaction to it. In general, audiences are all the same. They love it.

Rivera) Was there a delay in the making of the third film or was there a reason to release it in May of 2015 as opposed to earlier?

Six) Yeah it took some time with negotiating this picture and getting the film on time. We had some delay in the whole process. We knew this would be the best time to release it so now all hats were in the same direction. We couldn't release it earlier. 

Rivera) How did you discover Lawrence Harvey?

Six) Well he is quite a newcomer. When I browsed the Internet for new talent I found him just like found Dieter on a website. We did the auditions in London and I met Lawrence and I thought he is the perfect gentleman for my films and since then his career took off and he has done like nine films already. The guy is becoming a Star.

Rivera) I hope if you have a role that you feel would be good for them that you will bring back Dieter and Lawrence for a future project, but not to reveal spoilers or anything, but the end with Dieter, was that scripted too?

Six) It's all scripted. The ending as well. But Dieter's performance is so amazing that he brings so much life to the character. It's amazing.
Rivera) Thank you very much for this opportunity to speak with you Mr. Six. Please keep making more movies. I love them. The genre film fans love them. We support you. You truly are an artist and one of the best filmmakers of your generation. So it's truly been an honor to speak with you. 

Six) Thank you very much.

Read my review of The Human Centipede 3: Final Sequence here at at the URL below.

(C) Copyright 2015 By Mark A. Rivera
All Rights Reserved.