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Da! The Russian MST3K Exists!

Some of the Brains were talking about this in a recent interview, but I was having trouble finding it. Well, here it is (the theme song at least).

Update: Thanks to “wotunw5o” who found this full episode. Apparently the secret to finding it online was cutting and pasting the actual cyrillic.

Further update: Alert commenter Amelik has provided us with a translation of the theme song (thanks to our obsessed pal Bill for the heads up):

In a science institute, there’s an experiment,
They’re testing the effect of movie reels on people.
How will consciousness be affected by a movie.
Of questionable quality and made long ago
A nice guy, Stephen is in need of some money
He got a job as a test subject, threw caution to the wind
He didn’t know that the process is supervised by
Professor Zamishlavkin, a bad guy [something]
Stephen watches movies, he’s now imprisoned
If it’s wasn’t for his friends, he’d be miserable
Mutants, saboteurs: a dog and a penguin
Rescue his psychie and watch along with him
:::Fidel::: [penguin’s name]
:::Ketchup::: [dog’s name]
:::the greatest achievement of national defense!:::
When the friends are all together, they don’t fear the bad guy
They make comments on everything, so that it’s more fun
In the face of scientific theories,
They giggle and laugh, as they watch Project Popcorn

145 Replies to “Da! The Russian MST3K Exists!”

  1. BeefStumpKnob says:

    imitation is the most sincere form of flattery–or something like that! Like others have said, its not like official mst will work in any other country, they won’t “get it”!

       1 likes

  2. losingmydignity says:

    Official MST works fine in other countries. I know many people from other countries who love the show.

       0 likes

  3. wotunw5o says:

    Thanks for the video link. I copypastaed into google and found http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2988947153633950316#

       0 likes

  4. This has seriously warped my mind (all right — warped it MORE).

    And it begs the question — why don’t we find some great Russian show and make a complete rip off here (okay, I know the obvious answer, but let’s stipulate for just a minute there IS such a beast).

       0 likes

  5. wotunw5o says:

    also, I really, really, really want to see subs of this.

       0 likes

  6. Twitterhitter says:

    Is it better with Vodka and BBQ’D Yak?

       0 likes

  7. TarlCabot says:

    Oh wow. I think I had a fever dream like this once.

       0 likes

  8. ck says:

    A country where movie riffing evolved from America?

    They did it! They finally did it!

       0 likes

  9. bad wolf says:

    #39–i’m with you, i think it would be interesting and probably play in at least some countries.

    #51–which countries? english-speaking or ESL? i have wanted to try MST to my ESL friends but it seems like a lot to handle.

    Let’s keep in mind there are international versions of ALL KINDS of tv shows. Wikipedia lists 7 national variants of The Office and i can’t even count all the Sesame Street co-productions.

       0 likes

  10. Richard the Lion-Footed says:

    There is even a “movie sign” button on the desk. LOL

    The last words of the song sound like they are referring to “Bob Dole.”

    Was he THAT popular in Russia???

    Does he make esoteric references to “American authors”?
    (Everyone there would get the Russian ones)

    So, this is another example of them ripping us off and claiming that
    MST3K was a “Russian” invention.

       0 likes

  11. Kenneth Morgan says:

    I’m just wondering what movies they riff on. Russian dubs of bad American flicks, or home-grown bad Russian movies?

       0 likes

  12. Amelik says:

    In a science institute, there’s an experiment,

    They’re testing the effect of movie reels on people.

    How will consciousness be affected by a movie.

    Of questionable quality and made long ago

    A nice guy, Stephen is in need of some money

    He got a job as a test subject, threw caution to the wind

    He didn’t know that the process is supervised by

    Professor Zamishlavkin, a bad guy [something]

    Stephen watches movies, he’s now imprisoned

    If it’s wasn’t for his friends, he’d be miserable

    Mutants, saboteurs: a dog and a penguin

    Rescue his psychie and watch along with him

    :::Fidel::: [penguin’s name]

    :::Ketchup::: [dog’s name]

    :::the greatest achievement of national defense!:::

    When the friends are all together, they don’t fear the bad guy

    They make comments on everything, so that it’s more fun

    In the face of scientific theories,

    They giggle and laugh, as they watch Project Popcorn

       0 likes

  13. Jose Chung says:

    Oh My God. They have a letter reading segment and a stinger. Its’s perfect.

       1 likes

  14. Joseph Nebus says:

    So did anyone else find the riffing in that episode kind of funny without having any idea what’s being said? It’s something in the rhythms and the inflections, clearly. Well, and that you can recognize _The Godfather_ theme in whatever language it’s hummed.

       0 likes

  15. Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    I MUST BREAK YOU.

       0 likes

  16. Thomas K. Dye says:

    #64: When the guy leaves the building and they say “Taxi!” I cracked up. Also the various sound effects jokes transcend language barriers.

       0 likes

  17. wotunw5o says:

    >>64
    Yeah, I was watching part of it with my buddy who’s also a big MST fan, and we were discussing how much of it is in the delivery, and you can get a feel for the sort of jokes to a vague degree.

       0 likes

  18. Charles says:

    Where’s the interview where the Brains talk about this? I think it’s great, honestly.

       0 likes

  19. Operation Weasel-Snitch says:

    #64
    I’m glad I wasn’t alone laughing at parts of that episode.
    I hope it is as funny as it seems, and that Russian fans get to enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed MST. Lucky Russians, they get everything.

       0 likes

  20. Tom Ketchup says:

    @64 During the scene where they show a street corner with railings along the sidewalk, I was certain that Stephen and the puppets were calling it like a horse race. I couldn’t stop laughing.
    When is Shout! Factory going to start selling the box sets?

       0 likes

  21. McBoddhi says:

    Hope the Brains get royalties for this. Amusing, but it is, no doubt, blatant theft.

       0 likes

  22. Gorn Captain says:

    And I thought “Apt. 51” was the only MST knockoff in existence.

       0 likes

  23. Laura says:

    At least there’s someone here who partially agrees with me. If they are going to crap all over my favorite show, then have better looking bots and not stuffed animals. I’m going to watch the real MST3K later tonight to get this abomination out of my head.

       0 likes

  24. Sampo says:

    Thank you so much #62 Amelik!

       0 likes

  25. happyjack says:

    Just watched it…funny stuff…you can hear them snickering at the jokes. Wish I spoke french so I could understand it.

       0 likes

  26. Dan in WI says:

    I have to believe that government sponsered/sanctioned/control propaganda films of the Soviet era would make excellent riffing material if you have the cultural background to get the riffs they are going to toss at it. Just think of the fun the Brains had with the handful of message movies they’ve tackled. I can’t think of a better country to have a MST knock off than Russia for that fact.

       1 likes

  27. steve vil says:

    @64- Yes! I was cracking up despite not understanding a lick of Russian. Know what? Ah-heh-heh-HEEEEM…

    SHOUT FACTORY- A DOCUMENTARY ON PROJECT POPCORN WOULD BE A GREAT EXTRA IN ANY MST DVD SET.

       0 likes

  28. steve vil says:

    PS- By the waaaaaaay- don’t forget the two German guys who scrubbed the MST movie soundtrack and dubbed in THEIR own jokes. It was the only way you could get the dvd of the movie for a long time. I would love to see the legacy of MST live on in other countries. Oh, God- imagine a Spanish version.

    Ketchup and Fidel look a LOT like Servo and Crow.

       0 likes

  29. steve vil says:

    One more thing: It’s very easy to translate Russian. Just hold a mirror up to the screen. English!

       0 likes

  30. TheDON3k says:

    Looks like a fun knock-off with enough fun differences that I’d enjoy seeing it, I think.

    Funny that the penguin appears to be smoking in the first host segment. He appears to be dressed in a Russian Navy-style pull-over and cap. The red one is wearing a Russian army style cap. Wonder how that relates to their back story?

    And at least the puppets are pretty comical and cute looking.

    I love the Chip Hitler evil overlord, too. A great choice, rather than just a typical mad scientist. It’s changes like this that make this knock-off more than just another weak impersonation of MST3k.

    It’s unique enough to be its own entity.

       0 likes

  31. Dirk Squarejaw says:

    I’m with those here that found this weirdly charming and would also be interested in more info and/or subs.

    And #77 has a great suggestion that I heartily second: A mini-doc on MST variants/knock-offs would be wildly entertaining!

       0 likes

  32. Richard the Lion-Footed says:

    I love the fact that there is an FBI Warning after the theme song.

    “Yes, we know we ripped this off from a beloved American program,
    AND we have no intention of paying for the rights,
    but YOU had better not do the same to US or we will sic the FBI on you.”

       0 likes

  33. bad wolf says:

    Hooray for Amelik! Fan of the week!

       0 likes

  34. Creepygirl says:

    I found the episode charming and surprisingly easy to follow. I have to admit they have the format and style of the show down. It certainly did a better job than a lot of fan videos I’ve seen in the past. I hope the show is a hit and those fans also have as much fun as we have with the original.

    A mini-doc is a great idea.

       0 likes

  35. Sarah says:

    I’d like to know who the MST fans behind Project Popcorn are–bring on the mini-doc!

       0 likes

  36. Geode says:

    Absolutely hilarious, and I think it’s great. It reminds me of the “Simpsons” episode where Krusty brought in a Russian cat-and-mouse cartoon to replace Itchy & Scratchy that turned out to be an over-the-top communist manifesto completely lacking in charm or humor.

    Apparently even in the post-Soviet 21st Century you can’t have a TV show that doesn’t have political overtones, and the Russian people are still quite obviously scarred by Adolf Hitler.

    I would love to see a subtitled version of the show on a future DVD release.

    And, Laura (#31), take it easy. First of all, cross-pollination of TV concepts occurs all the time. Two of our greatest sitcoms ever, “All In The Family” and “Sanford & Son” (among others), were closely based on British shows. There have been many European versions of US shows as well.

    For someone who loves MST3K, you don’t seem to have much of a sense of humor about things. Maybe it would help if you repeat to yourself, “It’s just a show, I should really just relax”.

       1 likes

  37. Max Keller says:

    “…………the Sputnik?”

       0 likes

  38. Mr. B(ob) says:

    As Sanford & Son was an acknowledged adaptation of a British show, Steptoe & Son, there was also most likely a licensing or similar fee paid. Borrowing ideas or abstract concepts is one thing, blatantly ripping off a show in detail is another. So I’d leave it to the owners of the show, Jim and Joel, to decide whether or not to be good humored about this ersatz-MST3K from Russia. It’s really not for the fans to decide either way is it, so how about avoiding attacking others for their opinion? One can have their own opinion without trying to squash someone else for theirs.

       0 likes

  39. bad wolf says:

    They probably got paid as much from this as they did from the tape-traders, DAP downloads or youtube views.

       0 likes

  40. Edge says:

    This appears to be another episode where the movie is in Color!:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-228762758084086168#

       0 likes

  41. Mr. B(ob) says:

    @ #90: And that episode has an FBI Warning, one would assume about unauthorized duplication, at the end of the opening titles. How’s that for irony?

       0 likes

  42. Mr. B(ob) says:

    The Russian show is split into 3 roughly 15 minute parts. At the end of Part I of the episode I’m currently watching it says, “In Loving Memory of MST 3000. Peace.”

       0 likes

  43. Laura says:

    I’ve watched that theme song at least 10 times already. It’s like a car wreck; just can’t look away. I just wish there were subs so I can understand what’s being said.

       0 likes

  44. Creeping Terror says:

    Wow. Catchy theme song, though.

    As a copyright owner myself, I hope that the Joel and Jim some money from this. Since the Brains are already aware of it, it would be interesting to see what happens. These Ruskies might not be making enough money from Joel’s idea to be worth suing.

    I watched the first ten minutes of the episode. There seem to be more riffs per minute than you find in seasons 1 and 2 of MST3K. Also, I think that the host has more Mike-ish mannerisms. That (plus the color of the jumpsuit) makes me wonder if they’re more consciously imitating the later seasons of the show. But he doesn’t interact with the puppets the way Joel and Mike do. (No eye contact, etc.)

    The song playing at 14:00 in the episode link is “Wir setzen uns mit Tranen nieder” from Bach’s “St. Matthew’s Passion.” A Mozart piece is playing at 18:50. (Wow, I’m a nerd.)

    Their puppets are UGLY, though.

    Wow, this sure beat working!

       0 likes

  45. MikeK says:

    McBoddhi says:
    January 28, 2011 at 6:34 am

    Hope the Brains get royalties for this. Amusing, but it is, no doubt, blatant theft.

    There’s only one Brain, just Jim Mallon. As we’ve been told on other occasions, he’s the only one who actually holds the rights to the MST3K.

       0 likes

  46. JCC says:

    The dog puppet thing kind of sounds like Bill Corbett’s Crow at his most agitated (I know it’s not him).

       0 likes

  47. Mr. B(ob) says:

    @ # 96: Incorrect I do believe. Jim Mallon holds the control over the name and use of images from the show, Joel has made it clear he kept his piece of the pie and gets royalties from DVDs, etc. and from when the show was still on the air after he left.

       0 likes

  48. Jettison Bobby says:

    @#91

    The “FBI Warning” simply says that the show should be watched with beer and chips, and in the company of friends. It may or may not be an actual FBI warning.

    I would also like to say that this is the most awesome thing I’ve seen in years! Excellent way to practice my rusty Russian. And yes, it’s a rip off, but from what I understand of the riffing, these guys “get it”.

       0 likes

  49. Mr. B(ob) says:

    @ # 99: Thanks, that’s hilarious, a gag FBI Warning, and in Russia yet. Reminiscent of “keep circulating the tapes”.

       0 likes

  50. MPSh says:

    Hilarious! Reminds of a sketch from that old SCTV episode CCCP1!

    Maybe this aired between Uposcrabblenyk and What Fits into Russia….

       0 likes

Comments are closed.