If you haven't heard of this movie, you missed what was probably the most buzz-worthy flick of 2010. On horror and scifi blogs, everyone was talking about this one, in no small part thanks to the fucked-up-spooky movie poster (at right).
The concept is simple: evil doctor gets three people, sews them ass-to-mouth, so that they share a digestive tract. Yeah, that's it. Scary enough for you? If it is, you might like the flick.
What's far more impressive than the movie itself, however, is seeing yet another low-budget horror flick designed to get someone on the movie-making map. I watch these things carefully when I see them, because I'm actively trying to do the same thing. Here's the formula:
- One-location shoot: Most of, if not all, of your movie needs to take place in one location. In HUMAN CENTIPEDE's case, it's a single house. A one-location shoot reduces your budget, because you don't have to pay to move cast, crew and equipment to many different places. See also: PRIMER and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY.
- Limited special effects: All of the CENTIPEDE effects were simple make-up -- latex, fake blood, etc. They did a great job with these, but the point is that they created a plot that didn't require explosions, monsters, CGI, gallons of splattering blood, etc. See also, SAW, BLAIR WITCH PROJECT.
- Limited plot, limited scope: They specifically wrote the movie with one-location and limited FX in mind. Basically, the strategy is you figure out how much you can spend, what your resources are, and then you write the plot to fit what's available. See also: DOG SOLDIERS.
- Cool concept: A great idea that hasn't been done before is worth its weight in gold when you're trying to make a name for yourself in the movie biz. With limited budgets, you're not going to pack people into theaters to see realistic giant robots or the White House blowing up in a cloud of fire and splinters. Producers Tom and Illona Six created a plot that -- at least for some sickos like me -- makes you say "well, hell, I gotta see how they did that."
I can't find out if the producers made their money back. Reports are the budget for the movie was $2.5 million, and The-Numbers.com shows they made $1.5 million of that back on US DVD sales alone. My guess is they made at least a little money. Most important, however, is they didn't lose a lot (if any at all) and they got their movie made. It's quite the home run for them, considering the exposure makes them a known brand name in the horror space. You can bet that with one successful project in the bag, Tom and Ilona will be moving on to a bigger-budget production the next time around.
SHOULD YOU SEE IT:
There is some serious cringe-worthy action in this one. It's really not that bad, but the weak-stomached of you should avoid. From a film-making perspective, what they did with the lmited budget and the aesthetic choices they made to get their movie made are quite impressive.