Today I am going to discuss Tanks for Stalin (2018)
As it happens there was a pandemic that put the ki-bosh on the renovation plans for my beloved home, the Hollywood Theater in scenic Northeast Minneapolis. As I understand it, this pandemic was a big ol’ effin’ deal for those of you on the far side of what some have poetically called the veil. Fuck if I know why that old kook called it a veil, last I checked you could see through a goddamn veil just a wee bit. I can tell you one thing for damn sure and that is ain’t many of you water bags seeing through this veil. No sirreee.
Anyway, as I’ve explained, I am not real good at keeping time. Mostly because time doesn’t exist for me. Shit, time doesn’t exist for you either but at least I know it. I could get all spiritually wise and shit and tell you all about how things just kind of happen in one way and then they happen in another. However, that crap is just boring. Because in the end it doesn’t matter and like another wise kook once said hell is other people. Alive OR dead.
Goddamn! You know what bugs the be-shits out of me? Goddamn ghost chasers, busters, hunters, or wankers. Ghost wankers don’t do much more than walk around making all kinds of racket and making me feel unwelcome in my own damn home. I don’t care much for them. I like things to be…a certain way. When ghost wankers are in the building I can’t have things a certain way. Sometimes I throw them a little something or other like a slamming door and that’s all they need. Sometimes they just don’t take the hint and I have to settle into one of these many DVDs that have piled up over the last, well, pandemic.
You may ask yourself is Hollywood Henry aware of current events. The answer is yes!
I ain’t gonna explain much more than that.
As a result, you may not be surprised at my selection for this edition of Dollar Store DVDs. I have plucked “Tanks for Stalin” from the pile of snapcased cinematic classics and I have watched it in its entirety. Now, I can’t say things like “that’s two hours of my life I will never get back” because I am already fucking dead and there aren’t any hours of my life I am going to get back. However, I wouldn’t say it anyway because I would say I got my nine tenths of a cent per minute out of this one. I can’t say I would go much higher, mind you.
So in this completely objective and neutral representation of events leading up to the Second World War, courtesy of the Russian Ministry of Culture, a group of renegade Russian tank engineers are a rushin’ to get their groundbreaking new tank (T-34) out of the workshop and into a demonstration of new armor for Josef Stalin who happens to be considering his options for a forceful rebuff should his best buddy Hitler decided maybe they weren’t bros after all. AS IF THAT WOULD EVER HAPPEN!
Ah, I jest. Anyway on the way to the parade the adventurous troupe of engineers confront Nazi spies on horseback, cossacks on horseback, the Russian army (who act like they’ve seen an alien, lol) and the nasty implications of a love triangle among comrades. Don’t get your hopes up lads and lassies, all we get for this Soviet seduction is a shapely naked back and a few smooches in a tank. THAT SHIT IS HOTTER THAN A PANZER COOKING OFF AT KURSK. As I understand it, the T-34 was most comfortably operated from a prone position and this movie did nothing with that little tidbit of historical trivia. If the pirozhok is a rockin’ don’t bother knockin’!
Tanks for Stalin was made in the grand old year of 2018. Yes, three years ago. So what? So, you may find it odd that this movie has someone travelled back in time eighty years to present to us, through the magic of movies, the kindly “Uncle Joe” Stalin who holds the fate of his Soviet brothers and sisters foremost in his giant red heart. Shit, I guess I was wrong about the 20,000,000 people that were murdered in one way or another during his thirty-one years of outstanding Soviet leadership. That must’ve been some of what those kids call fake news. L oh fucking L.
As annoying as those last few minutes were, they were far from the most annoying thing in this effort. (It was an effort, don’t you forget that!) I have no problems with subtitles, if for no other reason than I don’t have to listen to some voice-actor mangle the original performance of an actor who, for better or worse, is working with a goddamn director on a goddamn set somewhere. This DVD doesn’t offer me such an option. Nope. There is not even the option to turn off the goddamn terrible dubbing and just listen to the Russian and try and figure out what is happening. (Some other old kook said that the best films can be watched with the sound off.) No, the best whoever made this DVD could offer was a lackluster script reading with occasional embellishments like Cossacks with American Southern accents.
Goddamn if I didn’t think about giving those Ghost Buttsters another run for their money several times whilst enjoying this cinema.
I mean if you like looking at what is perhaps the pinnacle of Soviet engineering for ninety minutes you could do worse. The film cast and crew were talented enough and it looks like Tanks for Stalin was more expensive to make than it probably was. Just don’t go in expecting “Fury” or even “Tank”. I expect vodka might help. I don’t know. I can’t drink. BECAUSE I AM DEAD.
Toodles, sunshine! May all your strutting and fretting last more than an hour and a half!