The sinister movie hearse "Knife" under the permanent patronage of Garik Osipov sets off on another journey through the most terrible areas of darkness, captured in Soviet films about all kinds of villains, spies, traitors and their unfortunate victims. Today, we will be primarily interested in those who, by the will of fate, parted with a limb or limbs, but not only did not calm down, but with redoubled zeal are trying to reach at least someone with a crutch or a hook replacing a hand. You don't have to buckle up, the next stop is Inferno.

The seventies started out differently. The significance of one event, insignificant for others, seemed to someone historical and grandiose. The most important date, of course, was the centenary of V.I. Lenin, who allegedly commanded to transport the head of the last emperor to London for magical experiments.

In fact, the writer Kuznetsov remained in London, not justifying the trust of the authorities, whose vigilance he had put to sleep for years. Evgeny Yevtushenko, who had no problems with entering and leaving, gave a picturesque assessment of the act of his peer and colleague:

"Yes, there were dudes and mold in our generation, but they did not represent our generation as a whole, just as today the sticky, ingratiating face of Dickensian Uriah Hippus under the pseudonym of Monsieur Anatole cannot represent it."

It was said in 1971, when the English group of the same name was already well-known in the USSR and did not evoke a direct association with Dickens's novel. But everyone knew the head of the deceased on the cover of the first disc of Uriah Heep, one of the most terrible in the history of rock music. The free world presented itself to the Komsomol members in the form of a stranger's head floating out of the darkness, who died an obviously violent death. Most likely buried alive.

Nevertheless, the group took root and did not lose fans.

Looking at the disgusting photo, some believed that this is how Shurik, walled up by his partner in the first episode of Gaidai's comedy, should look like this: music will play in your house, but you will not hear it ...

Brave dreamers argued that Hollywood filmed a sequel, buying the rights to the picture, as in the case of the film "Planet of Storms", in which the hero of Alexander Demyanenko emerges from the grave.

The seventies started out horrible.

Within two years, Dario Argento completed his bloody trilogy, releasing one by one three films with long titles and ingenious music by Morricone. The latter, somewhat tortured, was to be played by Deep Purple. Had this happened and “Four flies on gray velvet” got into the Soviet release instead of, say, “Oh, the lucky one” - the picture would have grossed billions, plugging “Yesenia” itself into the belt, for the sake of which hordes of collective farmers trudged to the cities through the frost.

The Seventies began with failures. It was not possible to invite Argento's "Ashes", Monsieur Anatole, once in the West, did not write anything significant, continuing to indulge the Soviet audience with conversations on Radio Liberty. They had fans, but no sensations happened.

The Soviet teenager had nowhere to watch the horrors of Argento. If you remove sadism and nudity from them, the footage will remain about forty minutes. But the screens released "The Liberation of Lord Byron Jones", where a black nymphomaniac is played by the unique Lola Falana, and a racist sheriff is fed to a mowing machine by a boy who has served time, to whom this honest farmer has ruined his whole life. As usual, we decided that for the filming of this scene the local "prisoner", sentenced to death, was used.

The seventies began with adaptations and publications. "Byron Jones" is based on the novel by Jesse Hill Ford, where everything is far from being as unambiguous as in Hollywood propaganda. A lot of space is devoted to African American Gothic and folklore. One of my favorite passages reads like this:

Can't nothing stop old Death because He carries a railroad watch in His vest pocket and He's always on time to the tick. He's always on the job and He never takes no rest. He rides the black paddyroll wagon day and night, and when you hear it thunder, that's Him, crossing a bridge somewhere!

Death comes to everyone without hindrance and on schedule, because the station clock is ticking in her vest Death is constantly busy and does not know a minute of rest, driving around in a black compartment car. And if it rumbles somewhere, it is Death rushing after one of us across the bridge!

Sinister amputees in Soviet cinema

It is noteworthy that the tragedy of a black undertaker by the name of Byron was filmed by none other than William Wyler, who is well known to the Soviet audience for such masterpieces of film-lyric poetry as "The Best Years of Our Lives", "Roman Holiday", "Sister Kerry" and, of course. "Funny girl".

Among the characters in Dario Argento's Inferno, the antiquarian Kazanyan stands out, unlike an antique dealer. He is played by the character actor Sasha Pitoeff, who looks more like a Soviet man with a prison or military background. The same cannot be said about the son of the great Chaliapin, who is irresistible in the image of a typical representative of the gloomy aristocracy.

Sinister amputees in Soviet cinema

When the gloomy invalid Kazanyan opens his shop, I immediately hear "Knocking on the restaurant door" performed by Arkady Severny, who in turn could have played all the heroes of Edgar Poe up to Gordon Pym.

The seventies began with publications and film adaptations. Buñuel again took on Perez Galdos, immortalizing the one-legged Tristana, admired by Alfred Hitchcock, who filmed piles of prostheses in Auschwitz liberated by the Red Army.

In the anthology of fairy-tale fiction, "The Hand of Getz von Berlichingen" flashed - the story of an immortal limb obsessed with the thirst for murder:

A shadow swept across the curtain — the shadow of a hideous giant spider.

The creature was running up and down, spinning madly in one place and suddenly disappeared from my eyes.

And right there from the opposite side of the street, heartbreaking calls for help were heard ...

Sinister amputees in Soviet cinema

The screen version of the adventure story "Green Chains", made by Heliy Aronov at "Lenfilm", was noticed only by middle school students, anxious to find their one-year-old heroes.

Meanwhile, we are talking about a production, whose individual positions and faces have no equal in world cinema, or at least are not inferior to the most daring examples of foreign horrors.

On the other side of the street, the sound of crutches is heard as Monsieur Pitoeff leaves the shop. Let's wait until he merges with the crowd of future blockades in the extras of "Green Chains" ...

Paul Richter's claw

September 1941 - the black train of Death reached peaceful Leningrad. In addition to bombing and shelling, the city is haunted by pests. Sabotage at the bakery - the boiler room was blown up ...

But the film starts off harmlessly, like Buñuel's The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie. Schoolchildren are walking along the highway. A tall man in a cap asks the guys to bring a suitcase, which is difficult for him, one-handed, to carry. The second he lost either on Lake Hasan or in Finland.

"Uncle Petya" sprinkles riddles and sayings, inspiring sympathy and trust in the pioneers. Noticing a patrol checking documents, he hides in the bushes "where the king went on foot." German planes appear. Children escape in a passing car, taking Uncle Petit's heavy suitcase. Among the city ruins, they open a suitcase, in which instead of rare minerals, an arsenal of signal cartridges and a rocket launcher are found. The most impudent kid shoots. In broad daylight, five green chains spread across the sky. With their help, a handful of possessed during night raids indicate objects of destruction to the enemy. Noticing a smoke claw in the sky, the security officers immediately come running, the guys are detained ...

Outwardly, the further plot revolves around the capture of a gang of saboteurs led by demonic Uncle Petya, but what episodes this stereotyped plot is full of! There is also a nervous lone pest (among the Americans, Elisha Cook Jr. played such personalities). And the "dog of the Baskervilles", which the monster master feeds with bones of unknown origin. And a fight unprecedented in cruelty and dynamism in Chick's apartment. I would compare this carnage to the scene of the arrest of an agent named Catholic in the spy film "Shot in the Fog". And the watch of Death, which keeps ticking when the rest of the chronometers fell silent.

The subject of special attention is the search for an amputee spy in the siege bath. This is perhaps the most shocking scene in cinema for middle school children.

Pavel Luspekaev plays the guardian angel, as in "The Secret of Two Oceans" and "Cast to the Long Side". The wonderful actor did not have long to live. By the time of filming, the feet of both legs were removed, and in separate frames he moves with a stick.

The most terrible thing in this children's film is the obvious desire for self-destruction, the "will to death" of the terrible and pitiful accomplices of Uncle Petit. These zombie volunteers methodically bring on the inevitable on themselves, trying to inflict maximum harm on their surroundings. Each of these types is, in essence, a little "Hitler", passionately playing his tragic life of prolonged suicide.

The champion in this extreme sport is undoubtedly the young criminal-molester Knave in the brilliant performance of Aristarkh Livanov, whom we have yet to compare with another great artist of the Soviet screen and theater.

"Green Chains" is the first part of the trilogy by German Matveyev, whose film "Tarantula" we remembered with a kind word in one of the previous essays. Unfortunately, "The Secret Fight" - the connecting link between "Chains" and "Tarantula" - did not wait for the film adaptation, while it could still be carried out without distorting the characters and color.

For attentive readers, we often allow ourselves deviations, which at first glance are far from the main topic. Returning to "Tarantula" performed by Vladimir Golovin, it should be noted that this actor is close to Wolfgang Grese (his colleague from the GDR), Supreme Cagular Blanchard in the film "Shadows over Notre Dame". Among other successes of Comrade Grese are the detectives “Project“ Aqua ”,“ The Timo Rinelt case ”and“ The boss will come at twelve o'clock ”, where he is dubbed by Mikhail Gluzsky.

Fanatical professional Paul Richter, having donated an arm to the Fuehrer, replaced it with a deadly prosthetic in the form of a green pincer, summoning vultures to a night feast. But the cold-blooded humanist Luspekaev will win in this battle with the enemy.

The final phrase of Green Chains has become a childish aphorism. To pronounce it, they looked for an excuse in yard games, sometimes quite cruel. It sounds like this:

Shoot! I am a dead man.

An ingenious way to disguise

"Water, water ... all around - water" - the hypnotic refrain of a Soviet song to the verses of Konstantin Vanshenkin is recalled when you read with your eyes Hitchcock's enthusiastic review of Bunuel's "Tristan".

"Leg! Leg! Oh, this leg! " - seemingly the simplest words, but it is tempting to flip through the entire book to see them again.

"Tristana" was shown here rarely and by no means to everyone. But the film itself, frankly, is for the fan of screen adaptations of the classics of now the century before last.

But if you wanted, you could sneak on to "Hit it first, Freddie!" - Danish "adult film", making fun of the work of Western intelligence services. The team of killers in this funny story is led by the gloomy subject Kollek with a mechanical knife in a black prosthetic arm. The actor playing the stupid chief is at times the spitting image of Schirwindt, parodying Reichsmarschall Goering in anger, and the silent bandits in leather cloaks resemble the Gestapo. However, one of them utters a picturesque cry, pierced by the terrible prosthesis of his boss.

Simpleton Freddie is not so simple, and the picture itself is a Swingin 'Sixties buffet of delicacies. From the iconic instrumental in the style of The Shadows to the charms of gymnast Sonya, for the sake of which married citizens have watched this film eight times.

Sinister amputees in Soviet cinema

In the secret language of telepaths, the number 88 means the viewer's intention to "join the community" or "join the organization" - is it worth it?

This is how the medium Stanton Carlisle instructs his partner in the pages of Nightmare Alley.

A criminal group or a link in a spy network necessarily involves a disabled person, be it the character of George Kennedy in Stanley Donnen's wonderful "Charade" or Sheikh Abu Hamza, who turned the hook into a kind of Fred Astaire's cane. True, the music for his escapades was not composed by Irwin Berlin or Cole Porter, but by the electronic favorite of the lumpen-bohemian, nicknamed Mazlimhaus.

Sinister amputees in Soviet cinema

So, 88 is the willingness to join the movement or fraternity and the Rocket 88 car, praised by Jackie Brenston exactly seventy years ago in the rock and roll of the same name. But for us it is, first of all, millions of corpses and hundreds of thousands of cripples who have nothing to dance post-war dances on.

Remember the hand of Getz von Berlichingen - it fell into the water with a loud splash and now hunts at the bottom, throwing underwater ridges in impotent rage to the layman, who does not suspect what evil is stirring at his healthy legs. And in the St. Petersburg sky from time to time there are green fingers of Uncle Petit in the form of a game of imagination and optical illusion.

Sinister amputees in Soviet cinema

The expression "ingenious way of disguise" sounds in the second episode of the epic "Shield and Sword". The case concerns the dispatch of a disabled intelligence officer to the Soviet rear after the corresponding operation. Cadet Nail turns out to be suitable for this role. He is played by Vsevolod Safonov, who knows no rivals in terms of fatalism, sarcasm and bitterness.

Agent Nail does not embark on the path of treason, unlike other traitors brilliantly played by Safonov in the series "Conscience" and the masterpiece of decadence "Without a statute of limitations" based on the script by Vladimir Kuznetsov, whose "Man Without a Passport" belongs to centuries.

Shield and Sword, magnum opus by Vladimir Basov, is blasphemous to retell in your own words. As soon as the brain gets tired of the overly tangible details of psychology and everyday life, Uncle Willie instantly appears, each phrase of which is an aphorism.

Algimantas Masiulis became the nation's number one Nazi after this picture - a cross between Lord Henry and a petty demon in an SS uniform. Instead of an ampoule of poison, this fanatic buffoon carries in himself a drop of Jewish blood, incompatible with the life of a devout Nazi. In addition, the uncle turns a blind eye to the ardent relationship of nephew Heinrich with Johannon Weiss, whose dark side on the screen is symbolized by Alla Demidova and Valentina Titova.

From this point of view, even the title of the first series reads no less symbolically: "Without the right to be yourself." However, enough same-sex speculation, the topic we have chosen is quite wild without them.

Your invalid Gvozd acts impeccably - I have to admit, the deputy Reichsfuehrer Himmler, deceived by the Russians.

The fight continues.

Sinister amputees in Soviet cinema

Oh, this leg! - the Catholic Hitchcock, a tireless researcher of "sinful thoughts", admires what the "atheist by the grace of God" Bunuel showed him. And we admired the prostheses in the garbage, not distinguishing between male and female. And who is "Nail" and who is "Tristana". Someone did not have such. Just a crutch to knock on the door of the Inferno restaurant.

Sinister amputees in Soviet cinema

Tristana and her brothers, or Kuragin without anesthesia

Green Chains is a much more violent film than Buñuel's film about the transformation of an orphan into a one-legged despot. I would compare Aronov's production to Kurt Sjodmak's "Rats", which miraculously leaked into Soviet distribution and just as quickly disappeared into the ruins of defeated Berlin, where someone was also correcting the Allied air strikes.

Blond Tristana suppresses the will of everyone - from a voluptuous uncle-aristocrat to a feeble-minded kid-gardener. The number one molester in Green Chains is not the amputee Nazi, but the dandy scum Jack - the trump card in Paul Richter's pack of petty demons, brought to life by rumors of cannibalism in the besieged city. Chick's visit to a night cemetery bears all the signs of initiation into some kind of unhealthy cult.

The social origin of Knave is unknown, we do not even know what his real name is and how Richter came to him, who also appeared out of nowhere in the crowd of vacationers being driven back.

Before us is another "son" of Dracula, programmed to sow evil and damnatio - immortality without hope for the salvation of the soul.

Aristarkh Livanov's character is handsome and tastefully dressed, but instead of being sympathetic, he radiates snobbery and threat. The Knave behaves like an evil spirit, and the blame for his appearance lies with the one to whom he came. This is the question of the "sinfulness of thought" that Sir Alfred Hitchcock tried to solve in such inconvenient dramas as "I Confess" and "Under the Sign of Capricorn."

Both Knave and the young actor who played him deserve separate reflection.

In the genre of military adventures, children's "Chains" had much more sophisticated competitors in the person of "One of Us", "White Sun of the Desert", "Red Square" and, first of all, "Officers".

Twin actors of different generations are a common phenomenon. Leonid Gubanov in "Cossacks" can be easily mistaken for the well-preserved Nikolai Gritsenko.

The similarity with Gary Cooper did not forget to note the witty Gennady Poloka in the spy spoof "One of Us".

Jack can be confused with Vasily Lanov, as at first Mironov was confused with Smirnitsky. But, unlike the unforgettable Lanovoy, Aristarkh Livanov is able to play villains, forgetting about his reputation. After all, the viewer remembers the name of the actor, and not the evil done by his character.

Livanov is equally incorrigible and convincing in "Chains", and in the role of the Zionist-mephistophele Misha Brisch, and in the luxurious "Death Line" by Vsevolod Shilovsky, who also has a lot of scoundrels and neurasthenics.

Meanwhile, Lanovoy is not a full-fledged Solaris, not adapted for an "arthouse", it is the first (before Nikolai Volkov Jr.) television Sherlock Holmes, as well as Inspector Brummell from the TV-Noir "Complicity in Murder".

Lanovoy's negative hero is not an ideological conductor of evil, but rather a victim of his own weaknesses and superstitions. People of this type are sure that they are going ahead, dodging around the bush.

Sinister amputees in Soviet cinema

Such are his Satanist baron in The Devil's Tear, and Prince Anatol Kuragin is the most charming amputee of the Soviet screen after Evgeny Matveyev (The House I Live In): cynical children mimicked the chirping of his prosthesis with passion. Fed up with a military theme instead of gum and Coca-Cola.

The eerie, unacceptably vivid scene of the amputation of the Kuraginsky leg in front of Andrei Bolkonsky became possible solely thanks to the authority of Sergei Bondarchuk and Leo Tolstoy. When viewed widescreen, these shots are more shocking than Herschel Lewis and Argento.

It is curious that the theme of Hitchcock's leg is not bypassed in the text of the novel.

Quelle pied! Quelle bouche! - What a leg! What a mouth! - mutters the dashing Anatole, not knowing that the fate of Tristana is in store for him: he will be turned into a cripple by those in whose language this young rake drives his lust.

Sinister amputees in Soviet cinema

Greetings from Kopeikin

In fact, the inscription read "Greetings from Semyonov!" - The White Guard chieftain sent the enemy a whole carriage of Reds tortured by him. In the school where I studied drawing and drawing were taught by the disabled Semenov.

The topic, overshadowed by the stigma of irreparability, demanded a release of laughter.

Judging by works of art, there were more cripples in the post-war world than those who had everything intact.

Shurik pretends to be blind in order to drive out the bully, who is going to hand over the bottles. Parallel to this scene at Gaidai, with a cry "Tová ... !!!!" the character of Oleg Borisov in the drama "Workers' Village" falls into the mine.

The collective farm is headed by the one-armed Mikhail Ulyanov, who is being fouled by the Chekist Kaloev, the prototype of Comrade Saakhov. This is already the "Chairman" - the fruit of the imagination of Nagibin, obsessed with anomalies with a taste of "Bunin". This frantic paranoid misanthrope will devote a whole story to the problem of monstrous "irons" and "samovars", which will safely bypass censorship despite "scenes of violence and sex." It is even filmed, pretty embellishing the images of "not people, but some completely new creatures."

A person deprived of something will be reflected in Vysotsky's song guignol: “I lived with my mother and father”, Galich: “So give me, friend, at a table”, “Over there at Ninka's - without a leg and with an ulcer” and on the waves of "Radio Liberty" at the legendary Leonid Pylaev:

In Sevastopol, sitting on a bench,
addressing a young boy,
I ask him: give me a pretty penny, brother,
help, brother, the sailor hero.
I, brother, I also had little legs,
I, like you, in the same velvet silence,
along the same path
I was in a hurry to see my girlfriend ...

Plus "Scream and Scream Again" by the British group Amen Corner in the horror of the same name about the forcible deprivation of limbs for the production of completely different creatures that Adolf raved about. Interesting, prophetic film, pay attention.

One of my favorite film-disabled people was and remains the unnamed "Frenchman" - the opera singer Lucien, whose tongue was removed by the Nazis because he sang "Marseillaise" in the camp.

In Bulganin's masterpiece “The Missing One” he is played by Lev Bordukov, the future super spy Hawk, he is also “Mr. Medicine”, he is also agent 012, Baltimora, 42nd Avenue, 32. This is “The Investigation Continues” - a cult Baku thriller with music Polada Bulbul-oglu.

Martyrdom and heroism became the object of parody long before Battalion Scout. The patriarch of this dubious subgenre is undoubtedly Captain Kopeikin, who can in no way be removed from Russian literature:

... one invented wooden legs in such a way that with one touch of an imperceptible spring, these legs of a person were carried away, God knows what places, so that afterwards it was impossible to find him anywhere.

God knows what places ... It is curious that the founder of the myth about Kopeikin, the Gogol postmaster, is ridiculing the lovers of freebies with the murderous argument “you know what places you visit with your fingers”.

So we visited today a freak show, arranged by filmmakers at the dump of broken destinies. And it is not known which of its exhibits is more terrible - Matveyev's chirping prosthesis, or the guttural sounds made by a Frenchman leading the convicted provocateur Kukhta to be shot.

Kopeikin's story was finalized by Dostoevsky in the novel The Idiot.

“They say you can dance with a Cherno-Svitov leg,” - not everyone will dream of such a phrase.

Lebedev, the official, buries his meat leg at the Vagankovskoye cemetery after having performed a requiem for it. Moreover, he leads excursions to the Kremlin, demonstrating the captured cannon (eleventh from the gate), with a shot from which he, a child, was mutilated by the Napoleonic bombardier.

It is strange that the project “Children of Captain Kopeikin” did not appear on the wave of Russian punk, although this name fits all performers of this direction as a postscript “oglu” or “zade”.