Blood Capsule #41

VIY (1967)

Yes, that's an actual screen grab from Viy (a.k.a. Spirit of Evil).  What is Viy?  It's a Russian horror fairy tale based on a short story written by Nikolai Gogol.  A cassock is sent to pray over the corpse of a beautiful girl for three nights.  The injunction comes from her father, and his wishes are very specific.  Khoma, our hesitant lead, must absolve the unfortunate doxy and remain by her coffin's side in the pelvis of a dank monastery.  Tattered witches, giant hands and misshapen goblin sightings ensue.  Parts of Viy are incredibly eerie; other parts are clunky.  It's a mixed bag, but I honestly can't believe how damn obscure it is.  It may be an inaccessible import, but that hasn't stopped Jigoku or Fascination from becoming cult classics.

Extensive make-up effects and confounding camera tricks exhibit a stirring level of ingenuity.  The third act is awash with more creepy shit than the most gleaming CGI could ever hope to replicate.  I have proof.  Using YouTube as your reference guide, check out the trailer for the recently refurbished remake (or just click HERE, you lazy gimp).  It's meant for Russian audiences, but it looks American to me.  I don't mean to suggest that Viy is an exemplary showpiece.  I didn't care for the bits of nincompoop humor, and the "epilogue" is wholly useless.  For real, yo.  It feels like an afterthought.  I frown on afterthoughts.

Oh, I recommend the movie, by the way.

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