Project Horror, Day 12: Visions of Suffering (Russia)


I really do not recommend that you watch this movie.

What?  I've got to write more than that?  OK...

I was intrigued by the cover and the description of this movie, as well as the fact that it was from Russia.  Aside from Battleship Potemkin, I can't really think of any other Russian movies I've seen, and that one's 85 years old!

Inception was such an interesting movie, all about the nature of dreams, and when I saw that this movie was about somebody gradually pulled further into disturbing dreams and unable to escape, I hoped that it may go someplace interesting, too.  It didn't.

I don't want to paint with too broad and culturally insensitive a brush here, but you know when something is popular in the US, and then you see it surface someplace else in the world a couple of years later, only much lamer?  Kind of like how disco is still a legitimate, non-ironic part of the culture in certain parts of the world?  That is what's wrong with this movie.  It's like the director had a birthday, and somebody gave him iMovie, and somebody else gave him DVDs of every music video that played on MTV from 1981 to 1985.

I feel like I'm not giving out too many positive ratings so far in Project Horror.  I want to!  I just haven't chosen that great a line-up, maybe.  Well, here's hoping the remainder gets better.  In the meantime, I have to give this movie one hypodermic out of five.


Unknown said...

Danny, I understand the physical limitations of your titles are based on certain factors (speed of USPS and Netflix turnaround time, as well as Netflix's instant watch selections, etc.), but I'm wondering if these factors are hampering your choices to the point of sacrificing the spirit of Project Horror in the interest of convenience. If you were free of limits would you really choose Visions of Suffering for your project?

The Danny I knew in college (the one without a wife, kids, career, responsibilities...) would have driven all the way to Bryan to get a grainy VHS copy of Cannibal Holocaust for Project Horror. That is, assuming it wasn't too late in the evening, and he didn't have a test the next day, and he didn't have a really sweet parking space right outside Moore Hall, and it wasn't Sunday night (you know, because of the Simpsons)...I need more of THAT Danny!

Danny said...

Kyle, your words force me to examine myself and my project. I knew going in that I would probably only see this through to the end as long as I could keep it reasonably convenient. I also didn't want to add a movie to the list only to drive to one of the few rental places left and find that the only copy was checked out, and then have to scramble to make a new plan. Rigid adherence to a set schedule is also a big part of the Danny you have always known!

But to be honest, no, I probably would not have included Visions of Suffering in Project Horror if I could remove all limits from it. I did actually include it for a reason other than just convenience, though! When I decided to break the project into separate blocks, I knew that I wanted one block of foreign horror, and I didn't want to set up camp in Japanese films and just stay there for five days. When I saw one from Russia, well, I rolled the dice. Upon reflection, though, I probably could have done some more research and made a better choice.

I'm reconsidering whether the arbitrary rule about not including anything I've seen before was a good one, too. That cut out a lot of really good choices. The next few weeks have some really good selections, though, including at least one of your recommendations! (And just maybe one that you mentioned right here in your comment...)

Anonymous said...

Watch Come and See ( when you can. Not a horror movie, but a Russian war movie and brutal, just a thick lump of something that will always sit with you.

I have no real say in this, but I applaud your efforts to not only keep watching movies you've not seen before - or else what's the point? - but to lash in sequence such an ecclectic bunch of them. That's a path to real discovery. And of course convenience is paramount - that's why Netflix is such genius. Without conveniece you may not be able to do this at all. All hail convenience.

That said, I sort of hope you include Cannibal Holocaust. And for a recent Russian horror film, Night Watch is well regarded, although I didn't get too far into it.


Danny said...

Thanks, Eric! I appreciate the feedback, and I think you'll be pleased with tonight's entry.

I'll have to check out both of those. Despite your warning a while back, I added Dear Zachary to my instant queue, and I've been bracing myself for a while to actually watch it.

Anonymous said...

I was actually thinking about Dear Zachary the other day, as I was adding documentaries to my queue (old Werner Herzog, after watching Little Dieter Needs To Fly), and again as I mentioned Come and See. They're very different movies, but have a similar gut-impact. I don't want to fetishize these kinds of movies you can't get away from after you see them - they're prodding a wound of our existence, that there is a horrid pain of life we will never get away from. I like those things (among reams of escapism) on occasion, but certainly not everyone does.


Unknown said...


I earnestly hope that you were able to take my above comment with the right sized grain of salt. See, I'm not in a position where I could actually pull off a "Project Horror" of my own so I am living vicariously through yours. So any critiques should be recognized for what they are...sour grapes.

Also, the very fact that you watched Cannibal Holocaust betrays my hypocrisy all the more. Because while I'm hip enough to reference it, sadly, I'm not hip enough to have actually seen it. My shame overcomes me.

However, all that being said, I would encourage you to stick with the "No previously viewed" rule. Or perhaps incorporate it into one of the themes. Perhaps a Revisited Week or something (I'm assuming you're already looking to 2011?).

Regardless, I've thoroughly enjoyed Project Horror to this point and look forward to your selections for the remainder of the month.

Danny said...

Don't even think twice about it, Kyle! I knew where you were coming from - for observers' sakes, Kyle and I have a long and cherished smartass and lummox relationship. I was yes-anding you a little and using the chance to expand on my choices some. Besides, I loved the picture you drew of College Danny. Him and College Kyle would have mocked the crap out of Present Danny. But it's cool, because Present Danny would have the knowledge that he gets laid way more than College Danny.

I'm glad you're enjoying it - I've had a lot of fun with this. Next week when I get to my Creatures block, I'm actually going to bend my rule for one day to include a favorite already-seen. I'm also planning to watch one that you suggested when I asked for recommendations!

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