A group of hunters enters a ghost town in Central Asia with a mission to kill packs of abandoned, and now wild cannibal dogs. But tables turn and there seems to be no way for the hunters to survive the horrific battle.

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Credited cast:
Sergey Kokovkin
Aleksey Krychenkov
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A group of hunters enters a ghost town in Central Asia with a mission to kill packs of abandoned, and now wild cannibal dogs. But tables turn and there seems to be no way for the hunters to survive the horrific battle.

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hunter | dog | blood | desert | cannibalism | See All (5) »

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Thriller

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1989 (Soviet Union)  »

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Stray Dogs  »

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It hits the golden niche of Russian cinema
20 May 2015 | by (Archangel, Russia) – See all my reviews

Let's be realistic, Russian cinema cannot create something like the original "RoboCop" or "Alien". And it always hurts to see something like "Okhota na Piranyu" – an example of Russian cinema trying to pull off something like "Die Hard" with a-la "matrix" stunts plus the happy nicey-nicey ending. But the Russians can easily carry out something that the others cannot. Every nation has its own traditions, and in cinema it really pays off well when a talented director follows them. "Psy" follows the traditions step by step and goes further. Beware… A minimalistic approach. An oppressive atmosphere of doom without hope in almost every single shot. Weird characters that play very weird tricks, spitting out most weird phrases and uttering apocalyptic speeches.

It delivers a strange adult spooky story in the way only Russian cinema can do. Can a reliable horror be done with minimum funds, unknown actors, bad equipment, etc.? This is the answer. The talent can deliver and it does here. Where the others would fail, the Russian film spreads its wings, pecks your eyes out, and crawls under your skin. Too bad such examples are rare ("Gongofer" comes to my mind as another weird story, though much inferior in depth, but also impressively told on the screen).

Will try to dish a few lines out, without actually revealing the plot.

The topics touched upon in this movie are quite interesting. 1) Frustration of human science (the wretched scientist in the film tells something like "The science is great, we'll get the water back!" but you see quite well that science lost its battle. 2) The revolt of nature vs. man (cities turn to deserts, water leaves man, the domestic animals attack people in most ferocious ways). 3) Man on the verge of breakdown (everything loses its worth in the midst of catastrophe). 4) Insanity and poetry as a couple of weird ways to escape the "dead end" of human existence (one character shoots his fellow man and then himself, another is talking in poems and drinks hard, still another tries to get all the valuable items with him before certain death). 5) The place is "no-name", the characters are "no-name", and the mission is a total wacko right from the start, but you can clearly see that mankind has returned to something like stone age, living in filthy conditions, and having no hope at all. The "wild dogs" can be just a metaphor for something that man has triggered and cannot operate any more. Like a nuclear world war.

The following episodes stand out in this feature, both technically and emotionally. 1) A dancing man who gets drunk and tries to get all the precious things onto him, as if it could save him (my favourite scene in this film, brilliantly executed, and the soundtrack fits the scene like nothing else). 2) A man in a gas mask with a torch in one hand and an AK in another, howling and stalking about like madman (just a perfect bit in this picture of a total disaster). 3) A man with his hands up, coming up to the insane shooter whispering "Don't shoot. It's me. It's me. Don't." (being minimalistic to the core, the scene is very intense and lets you experience the whole psychotic action as if in slow-mo, though it's in actual speed). 4) Two strong men wailing like stray dogs near the fire. 5) Every time the leader is about to give orders, the atmosphere of incompetence captures all people present, though he tries really hard to act like the commander. The acting of this almost unknown person is unique.

And most importantly, the director does not disappoint during the whole production, sticking to the fine line of a weird and tough thriller, never stepping aside to brighter genres (even the jokes are VERY dark).

This comment will be changing. Not because the movie is of doubtful quality, but because it's so multi-layered and unique, that it deserves a much more detailed analysis.

A 10 out of 10, quite an achievement. Thank you for attention.


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