So far, The Human Centipede (First Sequence) has taken numerous film festivals by storm, having premiered at the London FrightFest, Lees International and Screamfest circuits.
Tom Six noted that thanks to the high amount of word of mouth, numerous studios approached him with offers to distribute the film.
In the end, IFC Films snapped up the rights for distribution in the USA and Canada, and The Human Centipede was given a limited release in the States on 30 April.
“The Human Centipede is more artfully done than you think,” says Williams. “Its horrifying but also medically accurate, intelligent and not a slasher movie! There are a lot of fans out there who have seen it that said ‘This is the grossest, craziest movie I have ever seen’, at the same time they give it 5 out of 5 stars.”
Reviews have been mixed. “The Human Centipede is not what it's cracked up to be,” we reported last August from FrightFest 2009. “it is not, actually, nearly as vomit-inducing and the hype suggests. Far from being this year's Irreversible, Martyrs or Inside, films that push boundaries, it is (relatively speaking) a rather tame affair.”
Still, others have lapped it up, with Entertainment Weekly favourably reviewing the film and saying that Six "has put together his nightmare yarn with Cronenbergian care and precision”.
The flick has also received a fair few awards, having taken home Best Picture prizes from Fantastic Fest, ScreamFest, Sainte Maxime and Ravenna Nightmare Film Festivals.
Roger Ebert perhaps surmised the film’s divisive nature best: “I am required to award stars to movies I review. This time, I refuse to do it. The star rating system is unsuited to this film. Is the movie good? Is it bad? Does it matter? It is what it is and occupies a world where the stars don't shine.”