I have a deep love of ILYA MUROMETS aka The Sword and the Dragon. I love the crazy fantasy of the story that has a human pyramid, vast armies, super strength, wind demons and of course a dragon. It’s a crazy ass story about a hero saving Mother Russia and his kidnapped from the Tugar hordes the likes of which you’ve never seen unless you’ve seen some of the other films from director Aleksandr Ptushko.
I love the film so much that I have various copies of the film from around the world. I even have a copy from Russia that was dubbed into English by having every line of dialog read by a person with a heavily accented voice in English. They give no inflection they simply read the lines as if they were reading a news report.
This is the sort of grand fantasy they only made overseas and don’t make any more. It has an innocence that is lacking in today’s films. It’s the sort of film that makes me want to sit on a couch on a rainy day and get lost in it with a big bowl of popcorn and a soda.
Yea the film can be seen as so goofy that it’s been riffed by Mystery Science Theater 3000 and others. The trouble is it’s one of those films that’s actually better than you would think, especially if you see the film with out the trims made for TV time.
Odds are most of you have never seen this film uncut so unless you’ve seen the Russico restoration from almost 20 years ago years ago you’ve only seen the scratchy version MST3K used. Then again even if you've seen the Russico release you really haven't seen it either. Trust me I know.
The reason I'm saying this is that Deaf Crocodile is releasing a version of the film that is beyond stunning. How good is the restoration? It looks like a film that was made today. I don't think the colors were ever this good nor the images this sharp. Watching the film I found I was seeing it for the first time and talking to the screen. This is hands down the best restoration of any film I've ever run across.
This is as good as film restoration gets. Its so good I am dying to see it on a big screen- and Deaf Crocodile has a digital print for anyone who want to screen it in their theater- so please someone program it.
This is a film you have to see, especially if you only know the jokey version of MST3K.
While the film has been out on Blu Ray for a few weeks now it's hitting VOD today so splurge and get it because you are going to fall so deeply in love with this film you're gonna buy the Blu Ray after you see. it.