Well… I know… it’s been another couple of weeks… (Bad kitty!! Baaaad, bad kitty!!). So that means it’s most definitely time, long overdue, for another review here at the ol’ Litterbox, and this time out, it’s another visit to the grim world of the Zombie Apocalypse, Russian style, with the 2012 film “Meteletsa: Winter of the Dead”. Did somebody say… “Zombies”? Yep… you all know a certain wee Catlady can never get enough of those… 😉
Synopsis? Well, “The Russian Winter is a terrible thing…… especially if it arrives in mid-July. It was the hottest Russian summer on record until a freak snowstorm breaks that heat and heralds the arrival of a flesh-hungry army of the undead. They seem hell bent on destroying a sleepy Russian town and ruining the day of intrepid Moscow TV reporter, Kosta and the sexy rollerblading girl he ran into while running for his life. Now all he has to do is somehow avoid the zombies, get the girl, stop from being shot by her father, and stay away of the sharp end of a mad Russian Orthodox Priest’s axe while still making his deadline!”
This one’s been out for a while now, and it’s another of those odd foreign films that stubbornly avoided falling into my clutches. No DVD… until recently… and then only a Spanish release missing those ever so handy English subtitles I want. But finally it popped up. On steaming video release…. hey… wait a minute that’s new. But… since I’ve got an Amazon account, I’m all set I guess. Wanna know how it all went? Then ya know what ya gotta do, eh, Gentle Visitors? 😉
Psst! This way for more!
Seeing as I’m finally back on track from a looooonnng dry spell, how about we get back to things with a movie that’s been a looooonnng time in making it’s way to my DVD player? Sound good? Well then I guess that means it’s finally time for another trip to the Gothic wilderlands of old Russia and a look at the super late to actually get released, long, long, looonnng delayed, always just out of reach, never thought I’d actually ever see it, Russian remake of the 1967 classic fantasy film, “Viy 3D”.
Our synopsis? OK… OK… it goes sorta along these lines: “Early 18th century. Cartographer Jonathan Green undertakes a scientific voyage from Europe to the East. Having passed through Transylvania and crossed the Carpathian Mountains, he finds himself in a small village lost in impassible woods somewhere in the hinterlands of the Ukraine. Nothing but chance and heavy fog could bring him to this cursed place. People who live here do not resemble any other people which the traveler saw before that. The villagers, having dug a deep moat to fend themselves from the rest of the world, share a naive belief that they could save themselves from evil, failing to understand that evil has made its nest in their souls and is waiting for an opportunity to gush out upon the world.”
Can’t tell you how long this one has teased me from afar. How about since waaaay the heck back around 2005 or so? Yep. This particular film has been kicking around in some fashion or another for well near a decade before finally seeing a release in it’s home country of Russia, let alone any sort of DVD that yours truly could lay her hands on. I had figured that would eventually turn out to be China, Thailand, or maybe Malaysia…. but nope. Just when I’d about forgotten to keep checking around for it, it turns up at my local Walmart under the somewhat goofy and WTF? title, “Forbidden Empire”. Oh well… no passing up a gift of the Movie Fairies… But was it worth the wait to see? One way to know, right? 😉
Psst! This way for more!
So.. our “Thrilling Adventures!!” March 2015 Movie Review Festival is officially underway, and in the spirit of all Globe-Trotting Adventurers, we head waaaay waaaay to the other side of Terra Incognito. Well… Russia actually… for our first cinematic adventure gem. It’s 2007’s “Tomb Raider” wannabe “Skalolazka and the Last of the Seventh Cradle”. Neko’s been on the prowl for this one for quite a while. Russian film can be remarkably stubborn when it comes to getting any kind of English friendly DVD release, and this one is no exception. In fact… the only release outside of the Russian Region 5 unsubtitled one is… weirdly enough… a French Region 2 that came with no subtitles at all… and no Russian audio language track either! Yep. It was a straight “dubbed into French” release that was about as worthless for this wee kitten as you might get. D’ohh!!
Synopsis? Sketchy at best, but here goes: “An exciting story about incredible adventures of Alena Ovchinnikova a female rock climber, expert in ancient languages who comes into possession of an ancient artifact of enormous unknown power and by the fate’s will, becomes the savior of human civilization.”
Yep. It took a bit of prowling about to locate some Russian subtitles… in Cyrillic script… that yours truly could work her obsessive Catgirl magic upon to give me some reasonably workable English translated ones to make watching this one possible. Whew!! Yep… my lovely “dorogaya” thinks I’m crazy… and maybe she’s right. 😉 The only way you’ll know for certain is to “Read On” o’ Gentle Visitors and see for yourself…
Psst! This way for more!
This time out your Favorite Catgirl is tickled to report that yet another of those reeeeally hard to capture cinema goodies that’s been on my “most wanted list” for a few years is… at last… finally mine!! It’s “Den’ D” aka “День Д”, the 2008 Russian rip-off remake of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1985 testosterone overdosed combat action epic, “Commando”.
Our synopsis? Seriously? I mean… didn’t you see “Commando”? If you did, then basically you’ve got the plot already, but if you haven’t, then how about this: “Former paratrooper Major Ivan Vanya (Mikhail Porechenkov) is forced by a renegade ex-member of his old Spetsnaz team into their plot to assassinate the Estonian president or his kidnapped daughter Zhenya (Mikhail’s real life daughter Varvara Porechenkova) will die. Tricking his captors, he escapes and begins to hunt for his daughter along with the help of plucky stewardess Aliya (Aleksandra Ursuliak) and plan a violent revenge against her kidnappers.”
Never released outside Russia itself… for obvious reasons 😉… it’s only been available on a Region 5 PAL formatted Russian disc… with no subtitles, English or otherwise. I’ve been just itching to see it, as I’ve heard oodles of fun things about this one, but have never found any sort of fan subs to enlighten this kitten as to exactly what’s happening plot wise. Still…. thanks to my incessant prowling about the far recesses of the Internet, I finally scored those illusive lil’ subs… in reasonably passable English, and a wee bit more searching nabbed a copy of the DVD itself, so I could at last satisfy my goofy curiosity.
Intrigued enough to wonder if you’d want to see if this odd lil’ film just might be a “must see” for you too? Then c’mon!! Don’t be shy…. Let your Favorite Movie Lovin’ Catgirl tell you all about it!!
Ever wonder what a movie like “The Bad Seed” crossed with “The Belles of St Trinians” and seasoned with more than a heaping helping of “Psycho” just might be like if it were done with an all Russian cast? Well wonder no more…. From the land of Borsht and Vodka comes “Yulenka: Deadly Lessons”. Neko’s been aware of this one for some time now, but it’s taken me a while to hunt down some decent English subtitles…. until now.
The simple synopsis goes: “Professor Andriy Belov moves to a small town from the capital, and from his university to a woman’s high school, so that his wife can get the treatment and air she needs. After a short time a the school, he begins to notice strange things happening to his students. The students in the fifth class don’t play with dolls, they delight in making a toy of human lives.
One day he finds a note reading ‘Save Us,’ and he begins to take action. As he investigates, his life degenerates into a nightmare, and his only hope is a lone little girl, Yulenka….. or does something evil hide behind her innocent eyes?”
This is another of those odd little films for which your Favorite Catgirl ends up spending her odd hours searching high and low for subtitles when the original DVD lacks them. Sometimes I find them right away… other times it take a while… sometime it takes an excruciatingly looonnggg time. These ones required me to delve into some fairly odd places in the former Soviet Union, but my perseverance has finally paid off, and so now…. with some fairly accurate fan-translated subtitles in hand and a copy of the Region 5 DVD…. “Yulenka” is finally mine!!
Was it worth all my silly efforts (not to mention a fair amount of Bablefish translation of Cyrillic Russian)? Guess you’ll have to “Read On” to find out!!
It’s amazing what you can get from Thailand…. their own DVD’s these days are almost completely without English subtitles for reasons and logic that just escapes this lil’ Catgirl.
However, be that as it may,… it actually is a pretty good place to get Russian or European films with English subtitles that somehow missed receiving them in their own country.
My latest such acquisition is the Russian Sword & Sorcery epic “Wolfhound”. I watched it just the other evening, and so now it’s time to wade in with my review….
Our synopsis reads: “The last remaining member of a slaughtered tribe escapes his enslavement and grows up to become a fearless warrior. As he pursues revenge against all odds for his family’s murder, his quest intertwines with a princess’s larger war against a brutal tyrant who would destroy everyone in his path.”
Hmmmmm? It sounds all “Conan-ish” alright, but do the Russians know didddly about that whole barbarian ethos thingee? Will we get sufficient sword swinging testosterone fueled vengeance to satisfy our need for bloody and vicarious thrills? I guess it’s up to your Favorite Catgirl Princess to find out!
So… whatcha waitin’ for? “Read On”, o’ gentle reader!!