Necrorealism (or late Soviet death)

The necrorealists were an experimental group from St. Petersburg in the 80's. Two anecdotes as to why they were epic brilliance:

They used a quite realistic medical dummy stolen from a university. In one "performance" (before they were filming their spectacles and before they thought of themselves as artists, or at least they claimed), they staged a fight in an abandoned parking garage a few stories up, a building with the facing wall missing. Pedestrians on the sidewalk and drivers passing by watched the sloppy, brutal fight. At a climax, they threw the medical dummy (which from that distance looked like a soon-to-be dead body) from the garage to the street. I can only fathom the degree to which those watching collectively shit themselves in terror.

In the provinces, where a train ran everyday, through the snowy meadows and empty towns, the necrorealists set up a diversion. On each side of the track, on wooden posts, they had men dressed as sailors stripped partially naked in the drifting snow. Beside them stood others dressed as soldiers whipping them and dancing about. Imagine the train passengers as they whipped by: trees, snow, trees, snow, snow, naked sailors getting sadistically tortured by other sailors in dirty bloody uniforms, trees snow.

This is just one of their great horror-inflected, oddball macabre shorts (from 1985) called Werewolf Orderlies. I see it as part of a lost tradition of genuinely horrifying films - not within the genre but films concerned with confronting little instances of mordantly funny horror - that moves from Wampyr through Freaks and on toward Begotten and late Svankmaijer. Enjoy.

1 comment:

katie said...

Great clip. The ones I want to see are the films "Urine-Crazed Body Snatchers" and "Destroyer of Sphincters."