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The Russian Bride

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The Russian Bride is an American horror thriller motion picture written and directed by Michael S. Ojeda, starring Corbin Bernsen, Kristina Pimenova and Oksana Orlan.[2][3] Producers include Jeff Miller and Philip J Day.[3]

Principal photography on location in Lake Orion, Michigan occurred in March 2017. Post-production was entered in May[4] and completed in December, following the release of the official trailer. After market screenings in Berlin and Cannes, The Russian Bride had it's world premiere 26 June 2018 at the Cinepocalypse genre film festival in Chicago.[1]

Plot

Karl Frederick, an American billionaire living in a mansion outside Detroit, browses the internet for a new bride. He finds Nina, a beautiful Russian woman, and invites her and her 11-year old daughter Dasha to come to America.

After the marriage, it transpires that Karl has sinister plans with Dasha. In a haunted house,[5] Nina has to fight for her daughter's life.[2][3][6]

Theme

The film exposes the dark side of the internet bride phenomenon,[7] considered a resource to 'the most desperate, lonely people'.[8]

Every year, men entice Internet brides to a foreign land, only to treat their new wives as slaves. Behind tightly closed doors, neighbors, and even police, often ignore their cries for help. It’s a huge problem that needs light to be focused on to it.[9]
Like the best exploitation films of forty-five years ago, Ojeda, whether intentionally or unintentionally, taps into relevant social commentary. In this case, it’s the immigrant’s experience in America, a country built on the very concept of open arms as long as you know your place and don’t get ahead of those who inherently deserve it for one reason or another.[10]

In response, The Russian Bride promotes the empowerment of women (girl power).[6]

According to one reporter, the script may have been inspired by the candidacy of newly elected US president billionaire Donald Trump.[11]

Production

The Russian Bride is a low-budget film by independent film company Reigning Entertainment.[2][6] A limited liability company was set up in Michigan to facilitate its production.[12] Most of the film's budget has been funded by private investors.[13]

The film counts a number of producers and executive producers, none associated with larger film studios.[2] Ojeda has teamed up with Day (The Amityville Terror), Gurvitz (Avenged), Curtis and Zulkowski (53206: Milwaukee) before. Miller wrote and produced The Burning Dead. One of the executive producers is Wikisage owner Guido den Broeder, making the movie an international co-production.

Director Michael S. Ojeda with actresses Oksana Orlan (Nina) and Kristina Pimenova (Dasha)
Corbin Bernsen as billionaire Karl Frederick

Casting

The film features child model Kristina Pimenova in her first lead role as Dasha.[3] Oksana Orlan, Ojeda's award-winning star in Lana's Rain, plays Nina, the bride. Corbin Bernsen, known for his role as Arnold Becker in L.A. Law, is billionaire Karl Frederick.[2]

Pimenova declared her continued desire to become a professional actress in an interview for Posh Kids Magazine.[14] Director Michael Ojeda, in the teaser trailer's press release:

Kristina Pimenova is a talented and beautiful young model, and with the support of fans we hope this movie is the stepping stone to a huge career as an actress.[15]

And upon the release of the official movie trailer:

With over 6 million social media followers, many fans will see the future star in her first major acting role.[16]

Supporting characters include Karl's maid Maria, his driver Hagen, and uncle Yuri.[17] The teaser trailer shows cameo appearances by producer Jeff Miller (clergyman) and Kristina's mother Glikeriya Pimenova (bride picture).[2]

Cast overview

  • Corbin Bernsen as Karl Frederick
  • Oksana Orlan as Nina
  • Kristina Pimenova as Dasha
  • Ken Beaudin as Doctor and Priest
  • Michael Robert Brandon as Hagen
  • John Paul Brandt as Cranston
  • Guido den Broeder as Doctor
  • Blake Brown as Tyler
  • Lisa Goodman as Maria
  • Natasha Goubskaya as Anya
  • Keenan Johnston as Buchanan
  • Alison Korman as Olga
  • Maryanne Nagel as Cousin Blanche
  • Justin Nelson as Relative
  • Gregory O'Gallagher as Keller
  • Yefim Somin as Uncle Yuri
  • Nica Sorokine as Mean Girl
  • Emmanuel Todorov - Anatoli
  • Clement Valentine as The Surgeon
  • Lyudmila Velikaya as Nina's Mother
  • Yuliya Zelenskaya as Lucia
  • Zeus as Reign

Filming

Most of the film has been shot at the historic Scripps Mansion in Lake Orion, Michigan.[17] The Tudor-style location increases the movie's production value, according to director Ojeda.[7]

Principal production of The Russian Bride took place in March 2017.[13][18][7][19]

Music

The soundtrack of the movie contains compositions from John Murphy's album Anonymous Rejected. It was this compilation of unused scores that inspired Ojeda to write and direct The Russian Bride.[20] Additional tracks were composed by César Benito, who also contributed to Ojeda's previous production Avenged.

Marketing

Pre-production saw the release of a 3-minute promotional trailer on January 18, 2017.[2] This was followed by a crowdfunding action for additional financial support. Donations amounted to over $15,000 in exchange for a variety of perks.[6]

The teaser trailer, frequently shared and watched on social media, brought additional investors to the film.[18]

Release

An official movie trailer was released 3 December 2017. One journalist called the film one of the most anticipated movies for 2018, stressing that director Ojeda had the full support of the producers.[21]

In 2018, sales agent VMI Worldwide[22] presented The Russian Bride at the film markets of Berlin[23][20] and Cannes.[10] The movie had its public opening night 26 June 2018 at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago, as part of the Cinepocalypse film festival.[1] Orlan, Ojeda, and various other cast and crew members attended.

A date for the theatrical distribution of the film has not yet been set. The crowdfunding page also indicates a release on DVD.[6]

Reception

Reviews that appeared upon the premiere in Chicago mostly varied from mixed to positive, often praising the performances of Orlan and Bernsen as well as the cinematography by Orr.[24] For the genre, The Russian Bride has an unusually timid start.[25] It is trope-rich[26] and presents the audience with 'Gothic twists'[27] that make them think in different directions until the real story is revealed and an action-packed third act follows.

Bernsen’s maniacal performance adds a strong sense of danger to the film. Even when there’s little action onscreen, it regularly feels as though he is seconds away from lashing out violently.[25]
She is terrific throughout, wonderfully portraying a loving, protective mother and a woman trying to adjust to a new life in a different set of circumstances, but her furious, frantic turn in the final third of the film is absolutely top notch.[26]
Just what is going on is revealed through a series of small clues so discretely placed that you may not notice them until you watch it a second time.[27]

Quotes

Would you kill me and eat me, for Dasha's sake? (Karl to Nina)
Is there any way in which we can make this marriage work? (Karl to Nina)

External links

References

References:
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Cinepocalypse 2018, Music Box Theatre, Chicago (retrieved 20180706)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 "The Russian Bride", Reigning Entertainment (retrieved 20170114)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Amanda N'Duka, "Corbin Bernsen To Star In Indie Thriller 'The Russian Bride'", 22 February 2017, Deadline Hollywood
  4. Ogidius, "The Russian Bride is going to be epic", Paraduin Nieuws, 14 July 2017
  5. Frank Mulder, "'Kill Me And Eat Me' – Trailer The Russian Bride" (in Dutch), De Nachtvlinders, 6 December 2017
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 "The Russian Bride - girl power, suspense thriller", Indiegogo (retrieved 20170130)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Jonathan Barkan, "Filming Begins on The Russian Bride and We’ve Got Exclusive Photos", Dread Central, 22 March 2017
  8. Tracy Allen, "Mother/daughter survival thriller 'The Russian Bride' gets a trailer", PopHorror, 4 December 2017
  9. Stacy Cox, "Russian Bride; Indie Thriller Mirrors Reality - Crowdfunding", Decay Magazine, 26 January 2017
  10. 10.0 10.1 Chuck Foster, "The Russian Bride", Film Threat, 11 May 2018
  11. David Gelmini, "Michael S. Ojeda’s The Russian Bride Comes to Indiegogo", Dread Central, 23 January 2017
  12. "The Russian Bride Movie LLC", Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (retrieved 20170228)
  13. 13.0 13.1 The Russian Bride official newsletter, 9 February 2017
  14. Anny Mejia, "Kristina Pimenova, The Humble Little Supermodel", Posh Kids Magazine, 27 November 2016
  15. Chris Savage, "The Russian Bride", Horror Movies CA, 18 January 2017
  16. Kelli Marchman McNeely, "A Mother Gets Bloody In The Supernatural Thriller 'The Russian Bride'", Horror Fuel, 4 December 2017
  17. 17.0 17.1 "The Russian Bride", Backstage (retrieved 20170228)
  18. 18.0 18.1 Ogidius, "Filming of The Russian Bride to take place in March", Paraduin Nieuws, 1 March 2017
  19. Brad Miska, "‘Avenged’ Director Battles ‘The Russian Bride’!!", Bloody Disgusting, 22 March 2017
  20. 20.0 20.1 Chris Savage, "New official Artwork has arrived for 'The Russian Bride'", Horror Movies CA, 7 March 2018
  21. Bob Rock, "The Russian Bride. Nupcias infernales" (in Spanish) ("The Russian Bride. Hellish nuptials"), Almas Oscuras, 8 December 2017
  22. "The Russian Bride", VMI Worldwide (retrieved 20180706)
  23. Brad Miska, "The Russian Bride Slashes Into the EFM", Bloody Disgusting, 18 February 2018
  24. "The Russian Bride, Reviews", Rotten Tomatoes (retrieved 20180708)
  25. 25.0 25.1 Blair Hoyle, "The Russian Bride Review", Cinema Slasher, 28 June 2018
  26. 26.0 26.1 Joseph Perry, "Neo Exploitation Flick The Russian Bride Pushes Past Hokey And Becomes Engaging", Ghastly Grinning, 1 July 2018
  27. 27.0 27.1 Jenny Kermode, "The Russian Bride", Eye For Film, 27 June 2018