“I summon the vampires! I summon the werewolves!… I summon Viy!” You’d think spending three nights with a witch’s corpse would be enough of a trial. Join this episode’s Grue Crew – Chad Hunt, Whitney Collazo, and Jeff Mohr along with special guest Doc Rotten – for a trip to Ukraine to take in Viy (1967), the Russian, folk-horror classic based on a Nikolai Gogol tale.
Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 64 – Viy (1967)
A young priest is ordered to preside over the wake of witch in a small old wooden church of a remote village. This means spending three nights alone with the corpse with only his faith to protect him.IMDb
- Directors: Konstantin Ershov, Georgiy Kropachyov
- Writers: Konstantin Ershov, Georgiy Kropachyov, Aleksandr Ptushko, (story by) Nikolay Gogol (as Nikolai Gogol)
- Music: Karen Khachaturyan
- Featured Cast:
- Leonid Kuravlyov as Khoma Brutus
- Natalya Varley as Pannochka
- Alexei Glazyrin as Sotnik
- Vadim Zakharchenko as Khalyava
- Nikolai Kutuzov as Vedma
- Pyotr Vesklyarov as Rektor / Dorosh
- Dmitri Kapka as Overko
- Stepan Shkurat as Yavtukh
- Georgiy Sochevko as Stepan
- Nikolai Yakovchenko as Spirid
- Nikolai Panasyev as Uteshitel
- Vladimir Salnikov as Gorobets
Your Decades of Horror: The Classic Era Grue-Crew has been trying to cover Viy for 2 years. When it finally showed up on the Shudder streaming service and a new Blu-ray was issued by Severin, they knew the time had come. The Blu-ray and Shudder streaming picture quality far exceed that previously available. Their general recommendation is you should see this film!
Doc tipped off the Grue-Crew to this film so it seems only natural that he join them to discuss Viy and he goes into detail about his love for the film. From beginning to end, he is fascinated by the culture, the Gogol-created folklore, the cinematography, the special effects, and the unique visuals present in Viy. Whitney is entranced by the magical quality of the film and admits she sometimes gets sucked-in by stories built around witches and folk tales. Chad really, really, really, really loves this film and his interest was aroused by the framework of the lead character having to spend 3 days locked in a church with a witches’ corpse. He also dives into Gogol’s source story and its genesis. Viy is a must-own for Jeff, having stayed up late into the night on the release date to be sure to get a copy of Severin’s new Blu-ray edition. The entire Grue-Crew discusses the escalation of the witch’s efforts over the three days and what they liked about each day.
Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era is part of the Decades of Horror 3-week rotation with the 1970s and 1980s. In three weeks, the next episode in their very flexible schedule will be The Body Snatcher (1945), a Val Lewton production directed by Robert Wise and starring Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, and Henry Daniell.
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