A Hyper-Gothic Badtime Halloween Horror Story: The Mascot

A Hyper-Gothic Badtime Halloween Horror Story: The Mascot

Since we’re just a week away from Halloween, let’s take a moment here, since watching movies is what many of us do on Halloween, to view this classic Middle-European badtime puppet-animated short film, complete with a fake forest awash in fake dry ice mist harboring fake subhuman atrociousness. Yes, this little film summons forth a frightening return to the dark corners of childhood, to a time of being that young kid shivering before, yet utterly fascinated by old-timey horror cobwebbiness.

The Mascot (Fetiche Mascotte) (1934) is a surreal old-school Goth-horror stop-motion puppet-animated short film created by Ladislaw Starewicz, a Lithuanian-born animator. Starewicz’ childhood passion for entomology led him to began producing short documentaries in Moscow around 1909-1910, beginning with a documentary about insects in Lithuania. In his spare time, he experimented with stop-action films using beetles, which led to his big breakthrough,The Battle of the Stag Beetles,said to be  the first puppet-animated film. The Russian Revolution caused Ladislaw to emigrate; he fled to France in 1920, where he spent the rest of his life producing surreal, lyrical animations.

The Mascot, also known as The Devil’s Ball or Puppy Love, was created using toys and demonic vegetables. The film tells a long and very strange story about a loving dog puppet, who practically goes through Hell trying to get an orange to a little girl who is dying of scurvy. The Mascot follows the adventures of errant toys lost in the frightening shadows of a dark city, climaxing with a windblown, Satan-haunted oratorio that is sure to get right under your skin.

A Hyper-Gothic Badtime Halloween Horror Story: The Mascot

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