Cinepocalypse 2018 Review: The Russian Bride
Director: Michael S. Ojeda
Writer: Michael S. Ojeda
Stars: Corbin Bernsen, Kristina Pimenova, Oksana Orlan, Gregory O'Gallagher
Playing as part of Cinepocalypse 2018, The Russian Bride starts of with a bunch of Russian women selling themselves (not in that way) to their potential American husbands, when Nina (Orlan) and Dasha (Pimenova) catch the eye of Karl (Bernsen). After Karl sends for Nina and Dasha, they arrive at Karl's stately manor. Immediately there is something slightly off with the situation but when something is to good to be true, it generally is... and boy is something wrong at Karl's property and with Karl. The house has its issues too. An unreliable elevator and some intermittent power surges and outages, that keeps Dasha and Nina on alert.
After a weird wedding celebration dinner that leads to some secrets being spilt about Karl's former medical practice at the house, the door to more of what has been happening in Karl's past but also his present opens. We are given bits and pieces of Karl's issues but also the issues that the house servants have and after an incident involving Dasha, Nina starts to suspect what we already know - Karl ain't right.
The Russian Bride is nicely shot by Jim Orr, using the shadows inside the house and the snowy setting to the film's advantage. Ojeda directs the film with an assured hand, even though there are a few shots that fall into trope territory. As Karl spirals out of control, there are some really great visuals that emerge and as the film enters its climax, it also enters into fucking cuckoo-bananas-wearing-sunglasses-inside-batshit-crazy territory!
The film, for the most part plays like a very well shot early 90's horror/thriller and I am here for that. Slowly giving you glimpses into Karl's fucked up mental state but when the films revelation hits, it switches gears and becomes a very whacky film. Point blank shotgun shootings with fingers blown off, heads hollowed out, gouged eyes, dog maulings, cocaine fueled revenge rampages and even a ghost are all part of the happenings! One thing is for sure however - It. Is. Fucking. Glorious. With Bernsen in full on nutso mode, The Russian Bride is a pulpy thriller that is saved and rides high on the back of one of the craziest last twenty minutes you will see in any film, given the huge tonal shift.
The Russian Bride is totally a beer and friends kind of film, entertaining, outrageous and fun.
The Russian Bride played as part of Cinepocalypse 2018
Ryan Morrissey-Smith | Twitter: @TigersMS78