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An Interview with Juval Marlon, Director of Sturmgewehr

by Mike Haberfelner

September 2019

Films directed by Juval Marlon on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie Sturmgewehr - in a few words, what is it about?


Sturmgewehr is about a leader of an underground company who sells snuff videos to rich customers. It’s about greed, betrayal and violence.

What were your sources of inspiration when writing Sturmgewehr? And what got you interested in the topic of snuff filmmaking in the first place, and did you do any research on it?


Actually, this is the first film I wrote a script for. I guess my main inspiration was the thought to explore the snuff theme more than in my previous work. I did a few short films in which snuff plays a role as well but this time I wanted to show it in a more organised way. In Sturmgewehr the killers wouldn’t just kill for the sake of killing but because there is a full organisation behind them who’d pay them high amounts of money.


Killing on camera has become a major horror for modern society and shows how primitive humanity is even though humans consider themselves as something higher than for example animals.


When it comes to violence, Sturmgewehr doesn't exactly hold back - so do talk about the gore effects in your film for a bit, and how were they achieved? And was there ever a red line regarding blood and guts you refused to cross?


The gore effects needed a lot of preparation in advance and every scene could only be done once because there was hardly enough material for a second try. The only “red line” are technical aspects which sometimes limited me while doing the effects. The film has many mistakes and many scenes couldn’t be used after filming due to some problems.


Do talk about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand!


I tried to work as efficiently as possible because I didn’t have a lot of time and had no chance to reshoot many of the scenes. The cast received parts of the script so they knew what to say. However, they were just meant like a guideline, therefore they could also change some vocabulary, and this is what happened during the shoot. Some speaking parts were spontaneous.


You've also created the score for Sturmgewehr - so do talk about the music in your movie for a bit, and your musical influences?


I try to avoid using too much different tracks in my films because I am not very experienced with doing music. Most of the music could be considered as dark ambient/synth tracks I guess. Some tracks are quite repetitive and they have the task to get the audience in trance. 


What can you tell us about your key cast, and why exactly these people? And how easy or hard was it to actually find actors willing to appear in a film as disturbing as yours?


The whole cast, except Thomas Goersch, were friends of mine who I knew before I even had the idea of shooting Sturmgewehr. I chose them because I thought they would fit the roles, but also because I prefer to work with people I know. For example Tabea the girl in the wheelchair had to be played by someone very young looking, so Tanja doing the job was the right choice. I met Thomas on social media when I had already shot some scenes for the movie, and he gladly joined the cast when he heard about the film. He is very reliable and did a great job.


A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


The scenes in the forest were very exhausting because it was an extremely hot summer with temperatures up to nearly 40 degrees. Shooting hours in dirt, blood and sweat led to many insects following us. I felt like a cow which has to fight flies every few seconds because they want to land on it’s eye. The other scenes were more comfortable. The atmosphere was mostly good and focused.


The $64-question, where can Sturmgewehr be seen?


At the moment, Sturmgewehr can only be seen on the DVD from Beheading Films, which is limited to 100 copies.


Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Sturmgewehr?


I’ve seen many reviews popping up in the last weeks and they were mostly really positive. Some people contacted me personally and told me they really liked the movie as well, so I’d say that people who saw it overall enjoyed it. 


Any future projects you'd like to share?


I'm currently not working on any project but I have some small ideas in mind and we’ll see, maybe next year.


What got you into filmmaking in the first place?


In my opinion, films are the highest form of art. They combine visuals and sound. Every single individual has their own perceptions and movies are a way to look into the conception of someone else.


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Sturmgewehr?


I did many short films in the past with different people, however they won’t be released due to different reasons. In 2015 I released two short films and now, four years later you can find more shorts, a documentary about drug abuse and Sturmgewehr. By the way, I decided to release an old short film called STGW90 from 2016, which can be found as an extra on the Sturmgewehr DVD.


Going through your filmography, you seem to repeatedly pick rather controversial topics for your films - so why is that?


In my opinion, the greatest danger to humanity is the human beings themselves. I explore different ways of thinking and worldviews in my films, with morality aside. What's okay for someone can be a limit for someone else, and that's exactly how it is with people in my films. Brand, for example, played by Thomas Goersch, has no problem killing people because they are the goods for him. Another individual may prefer to starve instead of harming someone. People create their own reality and everyone experiences the world through their own view, linked to personal beliefs. Additionally, I am interested in the destruction and decomposition of the human body and also the bodies of animals.


How would you describe yourself as a director?


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I put a lot of energy in the things I do and try to manifest my thoughts and stories in my films. As an underground filmmaker I have the possibility to record the films I want and don’t need to be afraid of anyone else who couldn’t like what I do. My films aren’t meant for a huge public and I don't intend to change that.


Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?


Infos about my projects can be found here:


Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


Thank you for your interest and for the interview.


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD