Your new film King
Munsa's Cookery Book - in a few words, what is it about?
The film is about Patrizia, a young woman who once had been very fat
and all her classmates made fun of her.
One day she finds a book on the legendary King Munsa, the King of
She decides to lose weight, become pretty and take horrible revenge. One
after the other she kidnaps her former
beautiful classmates to torture them and force them to eat meat, actually
the flesh of her boyfriends whom Patrizia
has killed before.
were your inspirations when writing King
Munsa's Cookery Book?
I love to read books - any kind, and many years ago I found a book on
the first Europeans to explore Africa, and
there I found the story on the infamous King Munsa, a legendary King who
lived with his tribe in darkest jungle
but was a very cultivated, friendly man, having a splendid orchestra.
Actually, the Europeans finally discovered,
King Munsa had slaugtered children to eat them for breakfast! When I
researched Munsa in the web, I discovered
there are people who consider Munsa even today an idol. Hmm...
So Munsa is a very real person - and this shows how horribly strange human
I also work with Joerg Moehring, who is a very good set designer who worked
on the movie Der Kannibale von
Rothenburg starring Keri Russell. I watched the movie some years ago
and found it disappointing, I mean you
have Keri Russell as the beautiful journalist investigating the case and
NOTHING happens!!!!! She is never in
danger, not once. Where is the scene when she actually is taken prisoner
by another cannibal who wants to
have dinner with her? I couldn't believe Senator did miss this chance.
Dina Babajic, who also
plays the lead in King
Munsa's Cookery Book, is credited with co-writing the film. So
what was your collaboration like, and how big was her creative input?
already worked with us in The 7 Nightmares Girl 1, and Dina and I
met several times to discuss some new
projects we could do together. I finally mailed her the King Munsa script
which by then ended with the
We shot in may 2011 and Dina right from the start played it very, very
fast, so the picture in the end was
way too short, only about 30 minutes, so we decided to add some more scenes
with two new victims. As
Joerg in the meantime spent some weeks in Vancouver, he came back with
some material we could
use for the outdoor shots in Canada. I made some suggestions for the new
scenes and Dina re-wrote the
script, usally making it faster. We then shot the second part in July.
I love slow, Hitchcockian, scenes that never seem to end, which is great for
horror when you have the beautiful
victim in the clutches of the evil maniac, but Dina's approach was
totally different, more like Howard Hawks,
making everything faster than I intented. I thought it worked very well
and so we continued, so Munsa became
twice the budget I had planned, but actually the pace worked so great that
I will use this style more in future
Dina Babajic and a tied up Roswitha Kockro
since we're at it, what can you tell us about Dina Babajic, the actress?
I found Dina's website in the internet when we shot part 1 of The 7
Nightmares Girl, Dina played the blond
girl who is drowned by Samantha´s mother. Right after shooting Dina went to Los Angeles
with Til Schweiger
to shoot a TV show and later had parts in some German soaps and shows. We
never lost touch and phoned,
mailed and met several times to discuss a new project and finally agreed
Munsa's Cookery Book. I thought Dina
would be perfect playing a psycho, but in fact she was really very, very
few words about the other girls in your film?
I found Kim and Fleur on a model website. Kim is an actress, Fleur did
some modeling and this was her first bigger part as an actress. She had almost no experience in acting but I think she did a very
good job especially when she is breaking down at the end,
all in tears after she had knocked out Pat.
Vicky is an actress-model, I did not know her before. Mandy who did the
make-up in the Vancouver scenes recommended her
and she was great.
Munsa's Cookery Book is about cannibalism (among other things),
you treat the subject in a rather discreet way. Would you like to
elaborate on your approach?
We only used cannibalism once before in the Unhappy End!
Abendessen starring Katja Bienert [Katja
Bienert interview - click here] and Vonny where Katja plays a wife
kills her husband´s lover and serves her for dinner. I actually do not
like too much blood. I like horror movies, but the old black & white
ones of the
likes of James Whale and the great (color) Hammer
horror movies starring
Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Terence Fisher [Terence
Fisher bio - click here] always had very
beautiful shots and his great DPs like Arthur Grant always made beautiful
shots, nothing disgusting, so I did not want to show violence, actually
my idea was to shoot a horrible horror-cannibal movie WITHOUT showing the
actual violence. In fact you NEVER see any killing scene in the
whole picture, so there is no actual killing onscreen in the whole movie
and almost no blood. Even when Vicky is killed in the bathtub you
do not SEE it, the camera stays on Fleur who is tied to the post and
gagged and we only see her reaction - she is totally afraid and
shocked when she listens to Vicky´s screams when she is killed by
Patrizia in the bathroom.
In fact we shot the killing scene showing Dina killing Vicky with that big
knife, but we did not edit it into the video. Some shots of the killing are
in the making-of but I intented right from the start to not actually show the killings. I only shot the scenes in case the picture would be
boring, but actually thanks to the pace Dina did set, we did not use more
violent scenes and it's still a very frightening picture. To watch
Fleur being totally helpless and desparate and not able to do anything when
she listens to Vicky's scream in my eyes is actually even more
horror than if we would have shown the actual killing. This would have
been probably gore and disgusting but not really the kind of horror I
wanted to create.
Dina Babajic and a tied up Kim Kahnert
Speaking about cannibalism,
your take on the depiction of cannibalism in movies, and maybe some of
your genre favourites?
Actually I hate cannibal movies,
they are so disgusting and I really do not like them at all. However I
like thrillers on the subject, I consider
Silence of the Lambs a very good movie. As cannibalism is part of
this world I think it should be used in movies. The most frightinging
cannibalism scenes in my eyes are the ones in Romero's Night of the
Living Dead when the zombies eat human flesh - this is the horror of it
all and in black and white it looks terrific.
Munsa's Cookery Book also features a running gag about forcing
vegetarians to eat meat. Now where did this come from, and are you a
vegetarian yourself ... and, to ask something irrelevant for a change,
your favourite food?
I think it MUST be horror to force a vegatrian to eat meat or
anyone to eat something he does not want to eat, look at the horrible
tv show jungle camp where the people are forced to eat all kinds of LIVING
insects or cockroaches or so.
I am not really a vegetarian,
I usually do not eat meat, especially since there are always those reports
on meat which is stored for years. But in fact I always
liked steak and I have to admit some days ago, I even ordered a
cheeseburger at McDonalds. But usually I rarely eat meat.
My favorite food is pizza and the very best pizza in my eyes you get in a
lovely restaurant in Los Angeles on Hollywood Blvd/La Brea.
Whenever I am in Hollywood I am there almost every second day.
King Munsa's book itself implies to
have an interesting backstory to it which is only superficially touched
upon in King Munsa's
Cookery Book, and a great many possibilities for future stories.
Any chance you'll ever get back to the good King Munsa in the future?
certainly, King Munsa is a great story and we should use that again.
hilarious title card at the end of the movie that depicts the further fate
of your lead character - now where did that come from?
Dragnet of course, I watched the series when I was a child and
would like to rewatch it some day - the movie was great as well.
Now this is done in almost every reality soap, but I made it in memoriam
Dragnett series but also to show what I think of our judges
whom I consider corrupt and incompetent. In fact there are so many
verdicts I consider more injustice than justice. There are criminals who
killed and who are set free by totally corrupt judges. So I thought if Pat
would have to appear in a court room they would let her go and
condemn society. I also included a friendly hommage to my friends from
Santa Monica Court of course.
me at least, King
Munsa's Cookery Book seems to feature some of the blackest humour
of all your movies. Would you agree to that, and would you like to
elaborate on it?
Yes, of course, I always liked black humor
and we used it already in earlier productions. However, I think we
are simply getting better with
the years and of course I want to go into this direction some more - however you
always depend on your talent.
You have recently also released a revamped version of one of your
very early films, Die
Schulfeindin. What has changed in the new version, and why of all
your films Die
was one of the first projects I produced - and
I made so many mistakes. We shot analog with the great Panasonic
MS 4. As I did not have much money we had to post-mix the
stereo-recorded sound with the other tracks onto a mono track.
I also felt I never had used the best shots possible.
We had great actresses and a very good story, so I felt the version I
edited first was not the best we could do and in fact I re-edited the
picture half a dozen times and finally with all the new computers and
Magix and all I digitally transferred the original analog material
to my computer and edited the whole picture all new, also using new
music, and finally I could also use ther original recorded stereo
soundtrack. I think the 2011 version is the first real good one.
Actually I'd also like to do a remake.
Will there be more recuts of old
films of yours in the future?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Whenever I have the time I will do that. For now we only digitally transfer older
films and use new music and the stereo sound tracks.
I already transferred the first couple of Unhappy End!
episodes this way.
Any other future projects
you'd like to talk about?
I am just editing
Nightmares Girl, episode 6 which is shot in Honolulu and Vancouver, and
I prepare some new thrillers,
one entitled Satan Also Has Wings about a nice old man who kills a
child and tells the police God ordered him to do so.
Your website, Facebook,
Anything else you are dying to mention
and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Well thanks for asking.
I think I never mentioned this before, but I think we really do need a
Kaiser Wilhelm memorial in every town. Hurra, hurra, hurra!
Thanks for the
Munsa's Cookery Book-photographies copyright by Diana Beppler