Josef Heiter
Dr Heiter


Josef Heiter




3Dog (Pets, deceased)
Lindsay (victim)
Jenny (victim)
Katsuro (victim)


The Human Centipede (First Sequence)
The Human Centipede 3 alternative ending


Villainous Antagonist, Mad Doctor

"I'm Doctor Josef Heiter, retired but still very well known as the leading surgeon in separating Siamese twins."
Josef Heiter[src]

Dr. Josef Heiter is the main antagonist of the first film, The Human Centipede (First Sequence) and played by actor Dieter Laser.



Much of Josef Heiter's background prior to creating the Human Centipede is unknown. However he was a well- skilled surgeon and was successful for separating Siamese twins. But he had a vision, instead of separating a Siamese person, but to create one. After retiring, he had turned his three rottweilers into a 3Dog, by joining them mouth to anus, to create a Siamese Triplit. But the dogs had died sometime after the operation, and Heiter buried it in his garden.[1] Following the death of the 3Dog, Heiter had a dream in which he sewed five hundred people together with their digestive tracks connected, rather than dogs. This prompted him to carry out this fantasy, in order to create a "human centipede."[2]

The Human Centipede (First Sequence)Edit

"I'll explain this spectacular operation only once. We start with cutting the ligamentum patella, the ligaments of the kneecaps, so knee extension is no longer possible. Pulling from "B" and "C" the central incisors, lateral incisors and canines from the upper and lower jaws, the lips from "B" and "C," and the anus of "A" and "B," are cut circular along the border between skin and mucosa, the mucus cutaneous zone. Two pedicelated grafts are prepared and lifted from the underlying tissue. The shaped incisions below the chins of "B" and "C" up to their cheeks connecting the circular mucosa and skin parts of anus and mouth, from "A" to "B," and "B" to "C," connecting the pedicelated grafts to the chin-cheek incisions from "A" to "B," and "B" to "C," creating a Siamese triplet, connected via the gastric system. Ingestion by A, passing through B, to the excretion of C. The human centipede, first sequence."
Josef Heiter[src]

Josef began to get to work on his human centipede and began to kidnap people. He first kidnapped a truck driver by a road side, and had him sedated in his basement and tied to a bed. One night, two girls who had broken down, Jenny and Lindsay, arrived at his house asking for a phone. After finding out they where traveling, he had drugged two glasses of water for them, and made up that he was making a phone call for help. When the girls began to get creeped out by his attitude (especially when he shouted at Lindsay for spilling her glass of water) they wanted to leave, but he refused to let them go. He then drugged the two girls, and tied them to a hospital bed in his cellar alongside the truck driver. However he killed the truck driver due to him not having the same matching DNA as the two girls, and then buried him in the garden. Heiter then kidnapped a Japanese tourist Katsuro and tied him to the bed. When he made sure he had the same matching blood as the other girls, he then demonstrated his plans in turning them into the Human Centipede. He then drugged both Katsuro and Jenny and put them out, but Lindsay attempted to escape, but he managed to capture her when she attempted to rescue Jenny. After having his three victims, he began surgically putting them together mouth to anus, with Katsuro at the front, Lindsay in the middle (as he wanted her to feel twice the pain, as punishment for her attempted escape) and Jenny at the end. Heiter was delighted at his finished creation, and began taking photos of it in his living room.

Heiter death

Dr. Heiter's death.

Heiter then began keeping his new Human Centipede as a pet, and tried to train "it" in his garden, but Katsuro wasn't making it easy for Heiter. Jenny began to get ill due to blood poisoning, and Heiter came to a decision that she will have to be replaced. But two Detectives, Kranz and Voller, came to Heiter's home to question him about the disappearances of tourists near his home. Heiter plotted to drug the two detectives, so he can add them to his centipede after disposing of Jenny. But the officers became suspicious, and left to get a warrant as they wanted to know what he was keeping in the cellar. Heiter attempted to dispose of the evidence, but when he went to get the centipede, Katsuro stabbed Heiter in the knee, and bit into his neck. The Centipede escaped into Heiter's room, with Heiter crawling after it. But Katsuro killed himself by slitting his throat, after telling Heiter he believed what was happening to him was punishment for leaving his child and distancing himself from his friends. A distressed Heiter crawled away to the pool he had when the detectives return, and attacked Voller with a scalpel.

After killing Voller, he retrieved his gun and waited for the other detective. When Kranz entered and stared in shock at Voller's body in the pool, Heiter took a shot at him. He managed to shoot Kranz, who in return shot Heiter in the head, killing him.[1]

Behind the scenesEdit

220px-Dieter Laser cropped

Dieter Laser portrays Josef Heiter in The Human Centipede (First Sequence).

"Human beings are very difficult for [Doctor Heiter], so he has to create stuff to get out of that complete isolation and loneliness and sadness and anger he has inside of himself."
Dieter Laser

When writer/director Tom Six began developing the story for The Human Centipede (First Sequence), he quickly came up with the idea of a German surgeon as the antagonist, as a homage to the real life doctors that participated in the now infamous Nazi human experimentation. According to Six, "I immediately came up with the idea that a [German] surgeon should stich them together, which related to the famous Nazi doctors during World War II. I didn't have any Doctor Frankenstein or things in my head when I wrote the script. It was really inspired by the Nazi doctors."[3][4]

As Tom Six began searching for images of German actors, he stumbled across an image of Dieter Laser on Google Images. Six was impressed with Laser's facial features, recognising potential for the actor as a horror villain.[3] After watching a film that Dieter Laser had appeared in, Fuehrer Ex, Tom Six had Ilona Six of Six Entertainment Company email Laser an invitation to a meeting in the Berlin Hilton in order to discuss the role.[5] The only information that Laser received about the role prior to the meeting was that the character was a "scientist." When Laser arrived at the Berlin Hilton, he expected to see a number of other actors waiting in the lobby to discuss the same role with Tom Six. To his surprise, he was the only actor that Six had contacted.[6] After Tom Six told the entire story of the film to Dieter Laser in full detail, Laser became impressed with Six's passion for the project and agreed to star in the film. When the script for First Sequence arrived at his house, Dieter Laser became shocked at the subject matter, having not fully realised the graphic implications of the film when Six described it to him. After a period of regret, Laser began contemplating the character, eventually appreciating the layers in Tom Six's script and the backstory of the antagonist.[5]

The name "Josef Heiter" is derived from various Nazi scientists. "Heiter" (which means "bright" in the German language) is an amalgamation of the surnames of the doctors Fetter and Richter, while "Josef" is a reference to Josef Mengele.[7] According to Tom Six, the lab coat that Josef Heiter wears in the film is a genuine jacket that Dieter Laser brought to the set, which was worn by real Nazi scientists.[8]


Dr Heiter photograph Human Centipede II

Martin holding a photograph of Dr. Heiter in Full Sequence.

  • Josef Heiter's name is alternatively spelt as "Joseph Heiter".
  • In The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence), Heiter is a fictional character and his actions in the film inspire the second film's antagonist Martin Lomax to create a human centipede himself, although unlike Heiter he does not have any medical knowledge or abilities, relying upon hammers, knives, duct tape and other household tools. Heiter is seen on footage from the Human Centipede on Martin's computer, and his photo is also in a scrapbook of memorabilia that Martin created from the film.
  • Martin views Josef Heiter (despite being a fictional character) as a father figure who he wants to make proud. This could be due to Martin being abused by his own parents and treated terribly by a lot of people. When Martin watches Dr Heiter he seems to enjoy his actions in the film. When Martin's mother tears up his scrap book, Martin cries and holds a picture of Heiter to his chest. 
  • Dieter Laser returned in The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence) but as a new character called Bill Boss. In an alternative ending available on the DVD of the third film, it is revealed that the events of the film were just a dream by Heiter.