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An Interview with Rahel Kapsaski, Creator of Curse of the Black Shuck

by Mike Haberfelner

December 2020

Rahel Kapsaski on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new movie Curse of the Black Shuck - in a few words, what is it about?

 

The Curse of the Black Shuck is based on a British folklore legend which originated in East Anglia. It's a mysterious black dog that brings bad luck to everyone who encounters him and causes death and destruction.

 

How did you stumble upon the legend of the Black Shuck in the first place, how much research did you do on the subject, and how much artistic license did you allow yourself?

 

While I was already aware of the basic story of the Black Shuck, I started to study his mythology more thoroughly while researching for a graphic novel that I am working on, and became completely fascinated with the lore. My short story is based on many accounts of sightings as well as digging into its roots within Norse Mythology originating to the hounds of Odin.

 

(Other) sources of inspiration when writing Curse of the Black Shuck?

 

Everything from Soviet animation to gothic Hammer horror movies. I found inspiration in the works of  Czech stop motion animator Jan Švankmajer as well as the works of Russian stop motion pioneer Ladislas Starevich.

 

Why did you choose to make Curse of the Black Shuck a stop motion movie in the first place, and why do you think the story at hand has lent itself so well to this approach?

 

Being always fascinated with stop motion animation, I've already been experimenting with it for several years. I was looking for the perfect story to finally make a longer stop motion project. The ghostly uncanny tales of the Black Shuck blend themselves perfectly to the surreal and Gothic atmosphere I had in mind.

 

So while we're at it, do take us through the process of making your movie, and how long did it take from first shot to final product?

 

I was working on it daily for half a year. Creating sets, puppets and special effects, as well as the final animation was a lengthy process.

 

What can you tell us about Curse of the Black Shuck's approach to horror?

 

As a fan of Herschell Gordon Lewis [Herschell Gordon Lewis bio - click here], a lot of the gore effects paid tribute to his cinematic style. Since stop motion animation is often associated these days with children's films, I wanted to bring it to its darker roots and also wanted to see how much I can push the gore elements in this medium. As a surrealist painter I also enjoyed exploring my nightmarish world in a new medium.

 

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

 

After painstaking long nights of animating my puppets, eventually I broke down and started to yell at them.

 

The $64-question of course, where can Curse of the Black Shuck be seen?

 

I am very excited to announce Curse of the Black Shuck is premiering on Troma Now this month.

 

Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Curse of the Black Shuck?

 

Early reviews have been extremely positive so far but I'm intrigued what a wider audience thinks once they get to see the film. People have commented to me that they have found it darker than they expected it to be.

 

After your experiences with Curse of the Black Shuck, could you ever be persuaded to do another stop-motion movie? And/or other future projects you'd like to share?

 

I have already began work on a stop motion feature film project ,however the film is still at an very early stage of the production so I cannot share any details yet. I have also started production on a new sci-fi feature film called The Moon is a Hologram by Selene Kapsaski, where I make the special effects as well as being a producer and actor on the project.

 

Before going into stop-motion moviemaking, you actually started out as an actress - so what made you want to become an actress in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?

 

As a creative I have always enjoyed to be behind and in front of the camera, I have started as an actress primarily on the stage. I trained for several years with Theatre of Change in Athens and hold a BA in Theatre from the University of Worcester. I was also lucky to train with Victor Sobchak and to tour for several years with his theatre ensemble Act Provocateur. In film I have only navigated towards roles that interest me, I am lucky that in the last few years I have had several great horror projects signed up including Bundy and the Green River Killer, Robert Reborn and Spidarlings.

 

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Curse of the Black Shuck, in whatever position?

 

Besides working as an actor and stop motion filmmaker I have a great passion for practical special effects. I first started to make gore effects when I was 9 in my mothers kitchen. I am honored that now get to do it professionally for both film and TV productions. I did all the gore effects for Troma's Spidarlings. My biggest challenge so far for practical effects will be in The Moon is a Hologram.

 

Filmmakers, animators, actresses, whoever else who inspire you?

 

For my special effects work my biggest inspiration is Tom Savini. Other inspirations for my art and my world are Austin Osman Spare, Frida Kahlo, Ithell Colquhoun and Aleister Crowley.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

Ms. 45, The Last House on the Left, Vampyros Lesbos, Santa Sangre, Valerie and her Week of Wonders.

 

... and of course, films you really deplore?

 

Anything by Quentin Tarantino and Forrest Gump.

 

Feeling lucky ?
Want to
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any of my partnershops yourself
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The links below
will take you
just there!!!

Find Rahel Kapsaski
at the amazons ...

USA  amazon.com

Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)  amazon.co.uk

Germany (East AND West)  amazon.de

Looking for imports ?
Find Rahel Kapsaski here ...

Thailand  eThaiCD.com
Your shop for all things Thai

Your/your movie's website, social media, whoever else?

 

https://www.facebook.com/Curse-of-the-Black-Shuck-111468823941728

https://www.instagram.com/rahelkapsaski/

https://twitter.com/RahelKapsaski

 

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

 

Watch Spidarlings on www.troma.com

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
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WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
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directed by
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written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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out now on DVD