Based on a Basque folk tale, ”Patxi herrementaria,” collected by priest, archaeologist and anthropologist José Migel de Barandiarán in 1903, the story is set in the Basque region in 1845, in a universe inhabited by mythological diabolic creatures, battling to capture the souls of the unwitting.
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During a stopover in Germany in the middle of a carefree road trip through Europe, two American girls find themselves alone at night when their car breaks down in the woods. Searching for help at a nearby villa, they are wooed into the clutches of a deranged retired surgeon who explains his mad scientific vision to his captives’ utter horror. They are to be the subjects of his sick lifetime fantasy: to be the first to connect people, one to the next, and in doing so bring to life “the human centipede.”
Looking for some peace and quiet, Tom rents out a small and isolated lakehouse, one marked by a local legend of a woman who, after drowning, haunts the surrounding woods and drowns anyone she encounters. That myth particularly intrigues Tom’s new neighbor, Al, who’s mourning the recent death of his husband. Starting off rather friendly, Tom and Al’s rapport slowly changes as the former befriends a mysterious woman named Nina, for whom Al can’t shake his negative suspicions.