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The Silschede Gore Chronicles: An Interview with Crippler Criss Print E-mail
Written by Richard Taylor   
Saturday, 25 June 2016

 The Silschede Gore Chronicles: A Severed Cinema Interview with Psycho Productions Crippler Criss. By Richard Taylor.

One of the "master" minds behind Psycho Productions, Crippler Criss is a creative force in a new wave of German horror/comedy/gore films that are emerging from the bowels of Silschede. The Crippler and crew take great pride in delivering sharp and witty gore chronicles that are like no other. Interested in what makes him tick, I had to deliver these questions and pick apart his brain to find out the devious truth about P.S.Y.C.H.O. Productions. The truth of the matter is, there is nothing remotely strange about him or his counterparts. They are a group of dedicated professionals who use their spare time to craft these wonderful heart felt journey's of discovery, friendships and anal ripping innards.

You and Master W are a formidable duo, an onscreen German Laurel and Hardy. You play off each other well. The comedy is strong and it works well when you two are interacting on screen. How did you two meet? Were you good friends before deciding to make films?

"A German laurel and hardy?" Wow, that's a great compliment and the first time ever somebody called us that. Thank you! Master W and I went to the same school. We met there when we were 14 or 15 years old and became friends. We liked the same music and started two bands together -- A Death Metal band using mostly German lyrics called Die Psychopaten (The Psychopaths in English but in German we spelled it incorrectly on purpose, the correct spelling is Psychopathen.) which still exists today in some way. It's now my one-man-combo and from time to time you hear a song in one of our movies. Cannibal Messiah has Im Land der Kannibalen (In the Land of the Cannibals in English) in it when I'm sitting on that tree trunk, listening to my walkman and banging my head. The other band was called Pisse & Scheisse (Piss & Shit in English) which was a Punk band. We had a song about the kind of dump you have to take in the morning after having a lot of beer the night before. One year Master W bought a Hi8 camera during a summer vacation and the whole movie making thing started. That was in 1998 when we both were 16 years old. We started making really high-class stuff like Spasti II - Der Krüppel (Retard II - The Cripple in English). Some of there early "classics" are available on YouTube.

Psycho Productions has four movies under your belt right? Secret Of the Magic Mushrooms, Der Letzte Kannibale, Konig Der Kannibalen and A Christmas Carol In Gore? What is your favourite you've made out of all these? What was the most fun to shoot?

There's also a short film called Der letzte Sklave (The Last Slave in English) which is only available on YouTube and not on DVD and some other old short films that exist here and there, but the four movies you mentioned are the only ones available on DVD so far. I like A Christmas Carol in Gore a lot because it's straight to the point, funny and short. I also like Cannibal Messiah a lot because it's our most epic piece and all the gags we put in worked (we were very glad when we noticed that during the premiere, because you never really know if a gag will work or not), but I don't really have a favorite one. I like it when we create something funny that people like to watch. Shooting The Secret of the Magic Mushrooms was fun to shoot because we were only three people most of the time -- One guy operating the camera and Master W and me in front of it. Having only a few people keeps everything pretty simple. You get things done pretty fast. Nobody has to wait for extended periods of time and such things.

From watching some of the extra footage on Konig Der Kannibalen it seems like you guys had one Hell of a good time making the movie and it shows. How did the idea for Cannibal Messiah start?

Yes, we had a good time shooting the movie. I can't really tell you how the idea started. Master W is the one who comes up with such crazy and weird stories. He's also the writer of The Secret of the Magic Mushrooms, Der letzte Kannibale and A Christmas Carol in Gore. So there are a lot of crazy and great ideas coming out of his mind.

How did you get into making movies? Your inspiration?

I grew up watching movies and I've loved them my whole life. I think the first time I watched Rambo II I was still in kindergarten. All the Schwarzenegger and Stallone movies, I watched them over and over again. Also Eastwood, Bronson, Seagal, Dudikoff, Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee, Bud Spencer & Terence Hill, John Woo films. All the classics. And when I got the chance to make movies myself (because Master W bought that Hi8 camera), I did it. Later on I was thinking about going to film school but back at the time the film schools in Germany were expensive while the normal universities had no tuition fees at all. So I didn't do it and studied something completely different instead. But in hindsight this might have been a good decision because the German film industry is not like the American one. There are not many films getting made here and the ones getting made are bad in most cases. Really bad. So after film school in Germany you might end up shooting or editing some stupid TV series with completely untalented German actors in it. So having a job outside of the film industry and shooting my own movies in my free time is definitely better.

Your movies always have a lot of comedy, they never take themselves too seriously and you love to poke fun and use different gags. It also seems like a lot of the characters in the movies you've made re-appear in each one, such as in The Secret of the Magic Mushrooms, we get a soldier like in Cannibal Messiah, you and Master W are the two bumblers, and the hermit is always in there plus everything takes place in Silschede forest. Are each one related, following a story line?

The soldier from The Secret of the Magic Mushrooms was a one-time thing, so far, while the Pathfinder from Cannibal Messiah has appeared before. The first time he can be seen in Disposal of the Body, which is a short film from around 2000, which is available on YouTube. After that, he appeared in Der letzte Kannibale and then in Cannibal Messiah. But yes, you're absolutely right, all our characters seem to re-appear. We didn't really plan on creating our own little universe, it just happened somehow. If there's a character we created that we like and that the audience likes, we'll probably put him in another movie again. Maybe it's a bit like Bud Spencer & Terence Hill. I think they are not as popular in North America as they are in Germany and other parts of Europe, but these two guys made a lot of movies together in which they basically always play the same characters. They are just Bud Spencer & Terence Hill. Sometimes in the Wild West, sometimes as motorcycle cops in Florida.

You seem like you lose your temper with Master W constantly. Is he really a big pain in the ass off screen like he is on screen? Are you the serious angry one as you appear to be onscreen?

Yeah, that son of a bitch! I hate that little bastard, he never stops talking! He's a real pain in the ass. No, just kidding! We're definitely two totally different kinds of personalities in real life, but in real life I'm most of the time a really calm person and I rarely lose my temper. Almost never. But yes, I'm more of a serious person off-screen.

The Secret of the Magic Mushrooms is basically you and Master W. He acts out all the different characters. Was this due to budget restraints? I understand it was made for 1000 Euros?

Yes, we made the mushrooms for around 1,000 € but it was not due to the budget that we played all the parts ourselves. We just wanted to do that. I can't remember exactly why, but we just did it.

You recently scored North American distribution with SRS Cinema. Congratulations. I understand you have been touring Konnig Der Kannibalen at some different festivals?

Thanks! We submitted the movie to some North American festivals, but so far only The Second Annual Vault of Horror Film Festival in Staten Island, NY said they will show it. We also submitted it to some festivals in Europe and some might show it, but the submission deadlines have not been reached yet so we don't know for sure.

There is a certain scene featured in The Secret of the Magic Mushrooms. What is it like cutting a piece of bread, filling it with chocolate sprinkles and stuffing it into your mouth all at one time? Did you actually eat it?

Of course I ate it! Tasty stuff. I think it was a craving Master W did have for a long time -- seeing me eat a slice of bread all at once. But don't ask me where his craving came from. I got no idea!

Cannibal Messiah had a long run time. It is very ambitious but it works. It's like this German underground Apocalypse Now, like I mentioned in my review. We get lots of humor, gore and crazy characters. Has the movie been getting a good response?

The response is awesome! We didn't expect the response to be that good but almost everybody likes the movie. People think it's totally funny and they just love it. Like I mentioned before, we got lucky that all the gags worked. Some with a delay though -- during the premiere, at the beginning of the movie, I knock on Master W's window. He stands up, opens it, and you see me standing around 4 stories further down on the street. It took a few seconds till the audience got it, but then the laughter started. Or the train near the end of the movie. Most people think it's the best gag in the whole film. I would never have expected that.

What is next for the P.S.Y.C.H.O. productions team? Any upcoming projects?

We're currently shooting for our new feature film Nocta. I won't tell you much right now but we'll try to deliver something gory and funny. The usual P.S.Y.C.H.O. Productions blend so to say.

Is Cannibal Messiah basically what you wanted to do with Letzte Kannibale but on a bigger scale or would you call it a sequel?

I'd rather call it a sequel.

How did the idea for A Christmas Carol in Gore happen? Did you guys say to yourself, let's do a retelling of The Charlies Dickens classic and make it a gore rendition?

Yes, something like that. But again, that idea was born in Master W's mind and who knows what's all in there and where it comes from. It turned out to be a good short film though and it was even nominated for a price at a festival. Although it didn't win in the end. Those bastards in the jury.

Cannibal Messiah features a cannibal cult and A Christmas Carol in Gore has you playing a guy who detests christmas after his "christmas" is stolen. It's apparent your loathing for annoying christian practice. What is your opinion on religion related to such things as cults and christian practices during the holidays?

I don't believe in God or something like that but I like christmas because the family comes together and you can have a good time. Religion is not for me but I don't dislike religious people. But what I really don't like is religious people trying to evangelize others and shit like that.

Cannibal Messiah features a cannibal cult. Where you inspired by any real life cults such as Jim Jones, Charles Manson or David Koresh in telling the story of Alan Jates?

I couldn't tell who or what Master W might have had in mind when coming up with the cannibal cult in the movie.

Is Silschede an actual forest in Germany? Have you guys hung out there and taken part in sacrificial or cannibalistic rituals?

Silschede is the town or village where we grew up and where I still live. We shot almost all of our movies there. It's a suburb of a town called Gevelsberg. And we just call the forest in Silschede the Silschede forest. And yes, of course, every Sunday at midnight we pray to Satan there and sacrifice some chicken or cat so that our movies will be successful. Just kidding.

Finally, what does P.S.Y.C.H.O in Psycho Productions stand for?

Short answer -- Nothing really. It's just PSYCHO with some periods between the letters.

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions and sending me the Konig Der Kannibalen movie to review and for the merchandise I have purchased. All the best to P.S.Y.C.H.O. Productions in their future endeavours!

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