CyberHolocaust 2200 (2007)
A post-apocalyptic action/musical/comedy/WTF movie today! It's Russian, it's confusing, it's bad, it's cheesy, and it's shot on Super 8mm, which means that it's also borderline unwatchable. The dialogue is only in Russian, shockingly sans subtitles, so I had to make informed guesses about what was happening on screen based on such subtle nonverbal clues as "he seems to be stabbing that guy" and "is she wearing penguin fur?". Still, with the near-universal themes of cybers and holocausts and 2200s all running rampant through the film, actually understanding the dialogue seems secondary, am I right? Right?
On to the show...
We open with a snapshot collage of arctic animals and snowy tundra-esque landscapes of Antarctica (I know it's there because of several maps). Sprinkled in there are numerous post-apocalyptic ruined cities and stock footage nuclear explosions. Played over all these snapshots is an old Revolution-era patriotic marching dirge, which may be from The Battleship Potemkin, which is stirring enough to make me want to collectivize my local Wal-Mart store. So, from all that we can glean that it's the year 2200 after WWIII, and that seals are surprisingly ugly when they're not being clubbed.
Ahhhh! Kill it!
The first character we meet is CyborgDude, some maniacally deranged half-man/half-robot guy who twitches around in a black t-shirt and surplus Red Army camo pants. He's got what appears to be an egg timer duct taped to his arm and wears a pair of mostest awesomest Steampunk goggles.
CyborgDude has a couple of human slaves tied up in his lair (which appears to be one corner of a cow stable or something, do they have cows in Russia?). The slaves are building cyborgy stuff, as evidenced by an oft-looped shot of them pounding away at random pieces of electronic junk with hammers. They are also being mildly tortured by CyborgDude (he seems interested in their teeth for some reason), though we see nothing gory. I'm going out on a creaky green limb here and say that the slaves are making the cybernetic components that make up CyborgDude's metal half.
CyborgDude takes some time off from bobbing his head to the punk rock soundtrack to call RedheadChick on his oldschool Space: 1999 videophone. The videophone oddly only shows her mouth and lips, which is fine, she's nothing to look at. They talk for what seems like an eternity, back and forth, rambling on about something (again, Russian, me no speakie the language of the Rooskie).
CyborgDude: Hey, what's up?
RedheadChick: Not much, you?
CyborgDude: Just chillin'. So, you been watching Dexter on Showtime?
RedheadChick: No. Should I, is it funny?
CyborgDude: Eh, not really funny, but extremely well-written and engrossing. My new favorite show.
RedheadChick: Awesome, I'll have to check it out. Hey, how's that whole cyborg thing working out for you?
CyborgDude: Ah, you know, it's alright, I guess. Replaced my spleen with a fission compressor today, still stings a bit.
RedheadChick: Ouch, well, they make a cream for that.
RedheadChick has two male slaves who drag her around in what looks like a child's little red wagon covered with a babuska quilt. She flogs weakly at their asses with a riding whip when they slow down, but her heart isn't really in it. I have absolutely no proof of this, and the dialogue is no help, of course, but it seems like RedheadChick is some sort of post-apocalyptic queen. Or maybe she's a peasant goat herder, who knows.
Whip it good!
RedheadChick then starts singing along to a bowel-shaking punk rock song blasting on the soundtrack (well, you can't really "sing" punk rock as it's mostly just drunken Ukrainian teenagers trying to murder their guitars). Perhaps offended by the offensive song, the two slaves revolt and kick RedheadChick down and run off. This, of course, is clearly representative of the Russian middle class sloughing off the oppressive restraints of Stalinist Communism and embracing the freedoms and liberties of Western-style capitalism. Yeah.
"We demand private ownership of commercial property!"
They don't get far before they run into NinjaMonk. This stocky, shaved-head guy, wearing faded peach-colored nylon robes (which actually look nice against the green grass), is out wandering around the countryside alone. He has a rucksack full of random stuff like space-age food in a tube/shaving cream and rosary beads, and a two-way radio that appears to be a set of TV rabbit ears glued to a section of PVC plumbing joint. Earlier we saw NinjaMonk leaving his one-room monastery to go on some sort of religious quest (totally guessing on that, he might just as well be out looking for a Starbucks).
The two escaped slaves are itching for a fight, and NinjaMonk gives it to them for free. Well, maybe "fight" is too strong a term, more like waving and flailing lamely to the pounding beat of another tacky Russian punk rock power ballad. Oiy, this is indeed a comedy goldmine, like Three Stooges stuff, with tickling and wedgies and wet-willies and everything. Tucking their metaphorical tails between their legs, the two slaves run off, never to be seen again. NinjaMonk throws a kettle drum at them as they depart, seriously.
Now, pay attention, CyborgDude is somehow aware that NinjaMonk is coming into his territory (maybe RedheadChick told him?) and he's not happy about it. As to why the animosity, I have no idea. Frankly, I have no idea about 95% of what's happening here, but that's never stopped me from writing a review before and it won't now. CyborgDude takes a great deal of time and energy to fashion some sort of quad-barreled weapon (which he never ends up using) that looks like four hollow legs off a table welded together.
CyborgDude with his gun.
After a few more shots of them meandering around the taiga, the two warriors meet up in an abandoned building (which I think is the only way they come in Russia). They stare each other down a bit and then CyborgDude breaks out into (yet another) hardcore punk song! I wasn't aware that punk rock was still even relevant, even in 2007, but I have it on good authority that Russia is culturally at least 35 years behind the rest of Western civilization. I suspect that big band swing music is coming to Moscow in 2013, followed in 2024 by effeminate boy bands and Hannah Montana.
Breaking down the tunes.
Anyway, CyborgDude and NinjaMonk exchange a few (presumed) insults and threats, and...they fight. Punching, you ask? Oh yes, there is punching. And some kicking, though neither guy can get his leg up very high, which is kinda sad. And this one time CyborgDude bear-hugs NinjaMonk, but in a purely platonic way.
They are not facebook friends anymore.
In the end, they mortally wound each other while monkeying around. NinjaMonk lies down and dies quietly, but CyborgDude grunts out a prolonged Boromir-like death scene before finally expiring. As he croaks he pulls out a handful of frayed electrical wires from inside his shirt, symbolizing the reemerging of his long-suppressed humanity. Or something, I kinda stopped paying attention after a while.
Postscript: Intrigued by the raw awesomeness that was CyberHolocaust 2200, I decided to find out more. Sadly, all the closing credits are in Cyrillic and I couldn't make out any names. A thorough google search turned up virtually nothing except the archive.org page where I got the movie from to begin with. The only English-language contact listed there is the producer (Alexey Shvedov). As there's no email addy for him there, I googled his name for an hour before I realized that there are probably a hundred thousand people with that name. So, if anyone out there can tell me anything more about this movie, let me know!
Written in March 2010 by Nathan Decker and edited by Pam Burda.
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that's between you and the vengeful wrath of your personal god...