Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

April 21, 2020

Why Don’t You Just Die!

Filed under: Film — louisproyect @ 7:31 pm

Unless you are one of those fat slobs wearing a MAGA cap out on the street demanding that Chick-fil-A’s be re-opened immediately, you’re like me—under house arrest from COVID-19. Assuming that you’ve run out of things to watch on Netflix, I have great news. I just watched “Why Don’t You Just Die!”, a Russian film originally slated for theatrical opening in N.Y. but re-packaged as VOD yesterday (availability below).

This is a film that has a few things in common with Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight”. It takes place under a single roof, features morally deficient characters, and has enough blood pouring from their veins to fill a hot tub. Tarantino intended that his film be enjoyed for its grand guignol humor. Unfortunately, like most of his recent films, the gags fell flat.

The good news is that Kirill Sokolov, a 30-year old Russian, has out-mastered Tarantino at his own game. Rotten Tomatoes has a brief profile on the wunderkind:

Born in 1989 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. In 2012, he received a master’s degree in the Physics and Technology of Nanostructures. However, even as he worked to complete his degree in Physics, he began making short films with his friends, initially using just ketchup as blood. Inspired by films such as “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,” “Evil Dead 2,” “Oldboy,” and “Kill Bill” Volumes 1 and 2, Sokolov discovered that he had both a love and a talent for dark comedy, a genre which has yet to gain popularity in Russia.

In the opening scene of “Why Don’t You Just Die!”, a young man with the body and face of a veteran mixed-martial-arts fighter stands outside the door of a Russian apartment with a hammer clutched in one hand behind his back. With the other, he is just about to ring the apartment’s doorbell but hesitates for a minute or so. He is there to use the hammer on the man who lives there, a middle-aged cop named Andrey, whom his girlfriend wants killed. The cop is her father, and rapist continuously from the age of 12. At least that is what he has been told.

Welcomed into the apartment, Matvey continues to keep the hammer concealed. He sits down opposite the scowling father at the dining table where he is in the middle of his lunch. (No matter the gladiator ring violence that goes on in the apartment, Andrey continues to eat, raiding the refrigerator at one point after drilling holes in Matvey’s leg with a power tool.)

Andrey is totally bald, bull-headed and built like a door. In the course of asking Matvey what brings him there, the hammer falls from his trousers and sets into motion about ten minutes worth of bloody mayhem that will leave you laughing out loud. Although film buffs will recognize the Tarantino influence, for me there is just much of a trail of bread crumbs that lead you to classic Warner Brothers cartoons. For all practical purposes, the blood that comes pouring out the veins of both Matvey and Andrey evokes the coyote and the roadrunner just as much as Tarantino’s early classics.

This is Sokolov’s first film and a most auspicious one. I urge you to spend the modest rental fee to see it. It will get your mind off this fucking pandemic and the failure of the political establishment to act in our interests.

Availability:

Apple TV US – https://apple.co/2yhBkhi

Google Play US – https://bit.ly/3cys9rG

Microsoft US – https://bit.ly/3eAnVBP

 

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