The Stoker

Film, Drama
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The Stoker

It’s a real shame that the films of Russia’s Alexei Balabanov rarely receive distribution in the UK – but thankfully that's been remedied with the limited release of 'The Stoker', his third grimy gem in a row after 2008’s ‘Cargo 200’ and 2009’s ‘Morphia’. Here, we’re given a contemporary gangster yarn whose bleak and brutal mechanics are given an ironic tinge with the aid of a bizarre and omnipresent techno/calypso/Latin score.

The stoker of the title is an elderly Yakut, once a major in the Soviet army, whose furnace is used to dispose of corpses by local gangsters. Beneath lashings of hardcore sex and violence, the film offers a sad lament for the lot of the disenfranchised and elderly, but it also says that sometimes all it takes to improve that lot is an assiduously thrust ski pole to the chest.

By: David Jenkins


Release details

Release date: Friday May 17 2013
Duration: 87 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Alexei Balabanov
Cast: Mikhail Skryabin
Yuril Matveyev
1 person listening

See this film at your peril......AFTER I saw it (by mistake.....I thought it was Stoker, starring Nicole Kidman!) I heard it was meant to be a black comedy....well, you could've fooled me. There was nothing to laugh at, no tension (even though numerous people get killed), no interesting characters and an unbelievable "plot" BUT there are many long, very tedious scenes of different characters just walking along the streets of some Russian town/city. Don't say you weren't warned. Instead, spend your money seeing 'The Place Beyond the Pines'.