Little Shop of Horrors, Russian Style
By Oleg Liakhovich The Moscow News
On the heels of the XXVI Moscow International Film Festival came an event even more pompous and widely publicized – the premiere of a movie meant to spark a revival of Russia’s popular cinema while giving Hollywood a battle royale on its own terms
Night Watch (Nochnoy Dozor in original Russian) depicts the on-going struggle between the magical forces of good and evil in present-day Moscow. The movie was eagerly awaited by fans and became an object of an intense advertising campaign in all media. Its US $3mln budget – an incredible sum for a local movie – and plentiful special effects, also a novelty for Russian cinema with its established traditions of inexpensive quality dramas and solid adaptations of literary classics, were to make Night Watch Russia’s equivalent of an American summer blockbuster. The producers actually went as far as officially calling it “the first Russian blockbuster” long before it had the chance to appear on screen. Even Russia’s own Oscar winner and self-styled national sage director Nikita Mikhalkov, while admitting that the film “wasn’t his thing”, said that it was “cool” and called it Russia’s “answer to Quentin Tarantino”. Serious praise indeed – after all, only a dirty mind would suspect Mikhalkov of still being sore at old Quentin for “stealing” his Palme d’Or in Cannes back in 1994.
Lightsaber, Anyone? Continue reading
’1806 Saint-Peterburg: Herman Suvorin (Anton Walbrook) approaches middle-age as a bitterly disappointed man. Outranked by young bucks in more fashionable regiments – men from aristocratic families who can afford to waste money on gambling, drinking and wenching – he envies the meritocratic rise of Napoleon. When he learns that old Countess Ranevskaya (Edith Evans) – the grandmother of one of the officers he envies – allegedly sold her soul to the Devil in exchange for learning an infallible way of winning at Faro, he sees a chance of advancement. But how can he, a mere Captain of Engineers, and a commoner, get access to the old lady’s household to learn her secret? The Countess has a pretty, downtrodden young companion Lizaveta (Yvonne Mitchell) – sure to be easily beguiled by his attentions…
However, Andrei (Ronald Howard), an aristocratic officer and friend of the Countess’s grandson, begins to see through Herman’s schemes. Can Liza be saved from seduction? And can Herman himself escape the curse of the cards?’
- silverwhistle (IMDb)
Fleeing for their lives, a small party abandon their Civil War confederates and escape through an overgrown field. Thinking only of what lay behind, they are ambushed by two dangerous men and made to search the field. Psychedelia, madness and chaotic forces slowly overtake the group as they question what treasure lies within the malignant field. Continue reading
Plot: A biker comes upon a girl with a flat tire and offers her a ride home. He winds up at a drug party with the girl’s sister, then follows her to a turkey farm owned by her father, a mad scientist. The father turns the biker into a giant turkey monster who goes after drug dealers. Continue reading
Story of a slave revolt on a 19th-century Caribbean island. Continue reading
An ancient mummy is revived to destroy those that would invade the 3,000 year old tomb of an Egyptian princess.
A wealthy heiress and landowner dies under mysterious circumstances (her husband did it, but don’t worry, he was done in too), and anyone with a minute claim to her property shows up to collect. The would-be heirs and heiresses start offing each other in increasingly creative and graphic ways, along with some dimwitted teenagers that stop by the bay looking for a party. Basically, it’s Ten Little Indians on the bay.