Umheimliche Geschichten

Cesare in your Garage

Thomas Kuntz, Conrad Veidt fan, has been sculpting 'garage kits' for over 20 years. In that time he's created two versions of Cesare from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and has just recently finished Gwynplaine from The Man Who Laughs.

Part One of the interview with Kuntz.

KUNTZ: I finally finished the Veidt piece and its been well received. It's a little surprising to me since I doubt that most figure collectors have actually seen the film. To further obscure the image I chose to do it inthe ''nobility clothing,'' which to me is far more surreal and disturbing usually than the peasant version.

You know back in the late 1980's people thought I was bonkers when I did the first Cesare figure. ''Why did you do a guy in tights?'' was a comomon question since it was unfashionable - unheard of - to do a subject that wasn't a ''rubber monster'' type. I didn't care.

I've always (since the age of 8 or 9) loved Cesare's image via ''Famous Monsters'' and old horror film books and once I looked into Veidt's life and career I was hooked. Jerry Allen, was very helpful as well as the C.V.S. and F.J. Ackerman (publisher of Famous Monsters in the 80's, web editor).

These two versions of Cesare
from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
are reproduced with the kind permission of
Gremlins in the Garage. Check out their website at Gremlins in the Garage.

KUNTZ: At one point I will definitely make a 1:1 scale bronze bust of Veidt for my home. To me he embodied all the great characteristics of a dark leadaing man. The best qualities of Lugosi, Karloff, Valentino, Lorre rolled into a visually unbeatable package. Sinister and stylish yet gentlemanly. It seems somehow (perhaps because he was mainly cast as a Nazi in the U.S.) that he's been overlooked but then again his atypical star personality lends itself to such a mystery.

Strangely, he and I share the same height, weight, and even month of birth and yes my car did break down on Camden & Sunset Ave (right near his old house) last April but all coincidences aside I just truly admire him as an artist.

I hope to some day see Januskopf and some of his other old ''lost efforts.''

If, by doing some of these figures, I can help bring any awareness to Veidt perhaps (in some way) it may help in the cause to preserve his films for future generations.

These films have certainly enriched my life and inspired me artistically, it would be a shame if they got ''brushed under the carpet.''

PART TWO TO FOLLOW soon.

This model of The Man Who Laughs
can be seen at:
The Doll-Hobby Shop.

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