Sunday, October 11, 2015

477. VIY (1967)

Running Time: 78 minutes
Directed By: Georgi Kropachyov, Konstantin Yershov
Written By: Georgi Kropachyov, Aleksandr Ptushko, Konstantin Yershov, from story by Nikolai Gogol
Main Cast: Leonid Kuravlyov, Natalya Varley, Aleksei Glazyrin, Vadim Zakharchenko, Nikolai Kutuzov


Figured I might as well get this Halloween-ish stuff out of the way while it still makes sense to do so. I'm giving myself the night off tonight from movies, but since I watched this last night, I'm still due here to review it for your viewing pleasure.

Not really a lot of plot to discuss here. The film is a mix of horror and comedy and we open on a seminary, where a student of the faith, Khomo Brutus (Kuravlyov), and his pals are on holiday. When they get lost, they hit up the farm of an elderly woman, begging for a place to stay. She eventually agrees, however, in the middle of the night she comes to Khomo Brutus and reveals herself to be a witch and then preceding to ride him around like a human broomstick. Eventually, they land and Brutus beats the old woman until she turns into a lovely, young woman. He then awakes and assumes that it was all a dream. Days later, upon his return to the seminary, he is called to meet with the head master, who informs him that he has been requested personally to preside over the coffin of a deceased local, praying with her for three nights. When he arrives at the home of the deceased, he finds that the corpse is that of the young woman, whom the witch turned into. He spends the next three nights praying over her, just he and the corpse in a room alone. As he does so, he is visited by evil spirits which try to lure him to the darkside...or something like that...


You know, I actually had semi high hopes for this going in, as I expected it to be like The Evil Dead, which is exactly what it should have been like. Instead the film relies too much on comedy and not enough on horror and the final result is something that simply isn't scary OR funny. THE BOOK jokingly refers to Viy as a "genuinely frightening film" and I'm wondering if that piece was written by an incredibly articulate five year old, as there is absolutely nothing frightening about this film. However, it did have potential which went completely untapped.

The premise is that Khomo Brutus must spend three nights with the corpse of this witch, praying over her. Once there, he realizes that demons coming after him is going to be a THING, so he draws a circle around himself in chalk and blesses it so the demons cannot cross it. Okay, I'm in so far. However, nothing is really done with this premise until the final night, when the spirit of the demon Viy is summoned and a lot of stupid special effects are used to lackluster effect. The Viy demon looks more like the poop monster from Kevin Smith's Dogma than any sort of real, viable, frightening threat. Even having the young witch (played by the beautiful Natalya Varley) just standing outside the circle taunting him and saying demonisms to him, would've been better than what we got. I don't it a pass for this reviewer and clearly NOT a must see.

RATING: 2.5/10  Yeah, not really worthy of anything higher than a '3'. Hey, at least it was super short, right?


October 11, 2015  4:37pm


  1. Sorry - a disagree

    " I expected it to be like The Evil Dead, which is exactly what it should have been like. "
    Oh gosh no .. being totally unlike The Evil Dead is what makes this OK!
    Well, sort of. I'm not wild about this, but, and I know this is purely personal, I'd happily watch Viy again rather than Evil Dead..

    1. See, I liked The Evil Dead - the first one anyway. I thought it was a genuinely creepy horror movie, made on a shoestring budget to success. I liked Bruce Campbell, I liked the effects...but a respectful disagree. No worries...


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