The 1991 Russian Lord of The Rings movie reappears on YouTube with hilariously wicked special effects
A hilariously wicked 1991 Soviet TV adaptation of The Lord of the Rings has reappeared on YouTube years after it was thought to have been lost.
Based on the first part of JRR Tolkien’s trilogy, Khranietli was a TV movie complete with horrible special effects, bizarre costumes and cheap production.
Despite being released just ten years before Peter Jackson’s first epic movie in the trilogy, Khraniteli couldn’t have looked any different.
They’re taking the hobbits to Stalingrad! A hilariously wicked 1991 Soviet TV adaptation of The Lord of the Rings has re-appeared on YouTube with Frodo Baggins (right) and Tom Bombadil (left)
Based on the first part of JRR Tolkien’s trilogy, Khranietli was a movie made for TV, complete with horrible special effects
It was reportedly only broadcast on TV once before disappearing into the archives of Leningrad Television, according to the report The Guardian
Fans of the English-language book and movie series will recognize a number of scenes and characters in the Soviet version uploaded in two parts.
The film opens with a song by composer Andrei Romanov of the rock band Akvarium to a montage of the ring, Bilbo and Frodo Baggins.
One commentator wrote: “It is as absurd and monstrous as it is divine and magnificent. The opening song is very beautiful. Thanks to the one who found this rarity. ‘
Bilbo (right) is seen at his birthday party in the Shire with Frodo by his side in the TV movie
The Soviet version (pictured, Frodo and Bilbo Baggins) wasn’t made until a decade before the Hollywood adaptation
Elijah Wood and Ian Holm starred as Frodo and Bilbo in the successful Peter Jackson trilogy
Gandalf the Gray and his questionable hair and beard and purple tunic in the Soviet version are almost unrecognizable from Sir Ian McKellen’s depiction
The 2001 film won four Oscars and grossed $ 887.8 million worldwide, and was praised by fans and critics
After five minutes, Bilbo arrives at his birthday party in the Shire with Gandalf the Gray to cheers from the hobbits as rudimentary white fireworks appear on the screen, far from Peter Jackson’s $ 93 million production.
When Bilbo first uses the ring, a robotic sound effect reminiscent of an early episode of Doctor Who is heard as the hobbit disappears, much to his audience’s ill-acted expressions of surprise.
Viewers later meet Smeagol as he tries the ring for the first time and turns into Gollum with a face painted green and what looks like hay around his neck.
But avid fans of the series will notice the character of Tom Bombadil, a forest dweller cut from the Percy Jackson movies, in the Soviet version.
Smeagol with sideburns and an archer’s hat finds the ring and dramatically places it around his finger
As he transforms into Gollum, a shimmering silver blur appears on the screen in the low-budget special effects
Gollum then appears on the screen with a face painted dark green and a bizarre hat with hay coming out of the back
Motion capture was used in Peter Jackson’s version because Andy Serkis played the part of the creature
Few Russians knew of the film’s existence, which was thought to have been lost until Leningrad Television’s successor 5TV posted it to YouTube last week.
It has been viewed more than 800,000 times in a few days.
World of Fantasy, a Russian-language publication, said, “Fans searched the archives but couldn’t find this movie for decades.”
There are few other adaptations or translations of Lord of the Rings in the Soviet Union, which some believe was censored because of the story of an alliance of men fighting against a totalitarian force.
Few Russians knew of the film’s existence that was thought to have been lost until Leningrad Television’s successor 5TV posted to YouTube this last week
It was reportedly only broadcast on TV once before disappearing into the archives of Leningrad Television
Fans of the English-language book and movie series will recognize a number of scenes and characters in the Soviet version
World of Fantasy, a Russian-language publication, said: ‘Fans searched the archives but couldn’t find this film for decades’
Peter Jackson’s films proved more successful in Russia after being dubbed into an expletive version
There are some other adaptations or translations of Lord of the Rings in the USSR
The first clandestine Soviet translation of the Fellowship of the Ring appeared in 1966, while fans had to wait until 1982 for the first published translation.
The Two Towers and The Return of the King weren’t released until many years later.
Leningrad Television made another low-budget adaptation of The Hobbit in 1985 with ballet dancing in a version entitled The Fantastic Journey of Mister Bilbo Baggins, the Hobbit.
The version was believed to be the only completed Tolkien adaptation made during the Soviet Union.
Peter Jackson’s films proved more successful in Russia after being dubbed into an expletive-laden version.