Your new movie Zeckenkommando
vs. Cthulhu - in a few words, what is it about?
It's about a small town punk band, a bunch of losers who didn't make it
out of their town, don't do much but hang around and make music together,
and how they try to save the world from a cult that wants to summon the
ancient god Cthulhu in their rehearsal room.
vs. Cthulhu's main characters being punk musicians - is that at
all a music and lifestyle that appeals to you? And was any of the movie
taken from personal experiences/anecdotes?
it is. Couldn't have written and produced a whole album of that music if I
didn't find it interesting. The album and the movie are, of course, to a
certain degree parodies of said music and lifestyle. But I used to play in
punk bands myself when I was a teenager and punk and DIY culture have
always been an important part of my life.
movie is actually inspired by the band I was playing in when I was 17, a
really bad but funny punk band. The whole thing about them getting high in
the forest is inspired by a similar experience me and my friends had when
we were teenagers. And the town the movie takes place in, Buchholz, is
where I actually lived back then. There are a few inside jokes about that
town in the movie. Buchholz used to be a hot spot for a very violent neo-Nazi scene
a couple of years ago and the administration did nothing
against that, so the whole Nazi-Cthulhu conspiracy thing can be read as a
comment on that, I guess.
main focus of your movie is of course the Cthulhu-myth - did you at
all do any special research on this, and are you actually a fan of H.P.
Lovecraft's work as such?
I did. Most of the really crazy stuff Albert
Höhensteiger is explaining in his second scene is taken directly from the
Cthulhu myth. Except the song, I made that up. But it makes sense in the
context of the myth, if anything in that context ever made any sense.
I am a huge fan of H. P. Lovecraft's work
and there are hints of that to be found in most of my movies. I think that
it's a crazy, fun myth that offers a lot of freedom for storytellers,
espacially filmmakers. It doesn't always need to be taken completely
seriously, though. It's very, very crazy and that can be funny at times.
(Other) sources of inspiration
when writing Zeckenkommando
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure was
an inspiration. Slacker comedy mixed with crazy fantasy – I love it.
Before I began writing Zeckenkommando
vs. Cthulhu, I
watched a lot of slacker comedies from the nineties to get a feeling for
Also, Amblin Entertainment films from the
80's, like The Goonies, Scooby Doo and classic German audiobook franchises
like TKKG and Die Drei ??? that are about gangs of nosy teenagers
solving mysteries were all huge influences.
What made you choose the
mockumentary approach for Zeckenkommando
first idea for this movie came to me when I was watching old, embarassing
YouTube videos of my former band. I kept thinking „This is kind of
entertaining. You could tell a story this way. A slacker comedy about a
punk band.“ So, the mockumentary approach was really the first idea to
Do talk about your movie's brand of
comedy for a bit!
Well, as I said, it's inspired by 90s
slacker comedies. This movie sort of has two different kinds of humour in
it. On one hand, there's the dialogue which can be randomly funny at
times, on the other hand, there is the whole sillyness of the
Cthulhu-plot, that doesn't try to be taken seriously for one second. All
that stuff is really silly, there's a lot of slapstick on the side of the
bad guys. I like how these larger than life caricatures of movie villains
enter the scene and the whole movie goes crazy. We did that in my first
movie Warum Hans Wagner den Sternenhimmel hasst too, but in a more
horror-oriented way. I just like to let the Lovecraftian elements come in,
kidnap the movie and drive it insane. To me, that's what the whole Cthulhu
myth is all about. Insanity.
What can you tell us about the music
in your movie? And the titular Zeckenkommando of the movie are a
real band, right? So what came first, the band or the movie?
The movie came first. I had written the
whole script when I was still thinking about a name for the band. When the
script was finished, I immediately started to write songs for the album. I
wrote, recorded and produced it all by myself. Lea, who is playing Xena,
came in for two days and rapped her parts. She was great. She had never
been rapping before and she did an amazing job.
We cast musicians for the band who could
actually play their instruments, because it was my plan from the
beginning, to go on tour with this band to promote the movie.
We played a concert at the premiere and it
was awesome. We've played more shows after that and we're planning to go
on doing so – even a second album and maybe a second movie are possible.
play the lead in Zeckenkommando
vs. Cthulhu - so do talk about your character for a bit, and did
you write him with yourself in mind?
Kalle is a loser, pretty much, a manchild,
not the most likeable person alive. He's rude, sexist, lazy and an
egomaniac. He's more or less good hearted, though, and I think he's pretty
I did, indeed, write him with myself in
mind. I need to say that he's nothing like me! It was a practical decision
to play the character behind the camera myself. He's also the singer in
the band, and I wanted to make that punkrock album they record in the
movie and sing the songs myself.
album is, much like the film and the character of Kalle, a loving parody
of German punk clichés.
What can you tell
us about the rest of your cast, and why exactly these people?
It wasn't easy casting this film. We needed
actors who could pass as punkrockers, who had the right attitude, and who
could also play the instruments of their characters. Not an easy task. Lea
was the first one to join the cast. She had originally auditioned for
another movie that we couldn't make, but we were blown away by her
audition and as soon as the script for Zeckenkommando
vs. Cthulhu was written, I
asked her if she wanted to play the part of Xena. Especially her work on
the album, where she's rapping, is really impressive.
I found Niklas and Philip really late in the
process and they fit the parts perfectly. Many of the others are people we
worked with before and will work with over and over again in the future,
because they are great.
talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere!
was really wild. The schedule was hectic, as always, and it was really
hard being the director and lead actor in one person. During production,
my phone broke, I lost my wallet during a night shoot deep in the woods,
had to go look for it at three in the morning, far away from any streets
or anything, sunk into quicksand and almost died, hurt my eye really bad
while riding through the forest on my bike … It was fun!
$64-question of course, where can the movie be seen?
future projects you'd like to share?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Many! We finished our
first movie in English – the indie/punk musical How to be a
Homewrecker, made a sci-fi comedy film called Leon muss sterben
(Leon Must Die) and we're going to make another movie in English
this September, a romantic comedy with fantasy-elements, called Isaac
website, Facebook, whatever else?
Radikal & Arrogant on Facebook:
Me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/larskokemueller/
Me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RadikalArrogant
Anything else you're
dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
for the interview!