Russian Terminator (aka Russian Ninja)

The following is my review/preview of Russian Terminator, followed immediately by its translation into the loosely gripped English of the movie. 

I worked in a call center for one long year, the last six months of which were spent with no downtime between calls. By the time I got done with a shift I barely had the will power to microwave hot dogs and drool obscenities at the eager fools on Wheel of Fortune who solve too quickly.  But I fought the good fight and slew the pastel happiness of each and every 400 or $600 winner with the half chewed chunks of my O. S. C. A. R. The point is, I was what I ate and I dreamt the same way: with a nutrition-less pink sponge, soggy with stress and sodium and the mundane.

It was the same dream every night. I was stuck in a stop-and-go commute and every time I tried to stop my breaks failed, or threatened to fail, barely catching, giving, and sliding. I’d white knuckle the wheel with held breath, foot slammed to the floor, only to tap the back bumper of a fellow commuter at a speed that threatened damage without offering the respite of either hopelessness or assurance. And then it would begin all over again, or continue, or whatever it is dreams of this nature wish to do.

Russian Terminator is just such a dream. Writer/director Mats Helge must have worked in a call center. His figurative dreams of being a photographer dashed. Sexually frustrated; considered the dreaded “friend” to his buxom, cross-aisle cube mate. Constantly harassed, alternately, by his male and female managers for the files they had assigned him. Get the files! Get the files! And in the meantime asking the same four questions of his on-the-phone script. Amongst this god damn insipid friction hold music was his friend. “Can I put you on hold?”, you have no idea. Then the muzak variants of Chopin in a Jefferson Airplane would blur his eyes into another calender daydream. An oasis of compartmentalization hovering just over the monitor. Red days scheduled on, Blue days scheduled off. But never enough blue to swallow the red. It was all bruised into a string of purple, of trying to relieve the stress. Rubbing the band where his headset rests. Black days, snow, randomly appearing. True friend. Snow. Draped in black.

Not sure how he filmed his own dream but cheers! We get a mildly dusty movie with just enough continuity to really baffle you; an opening shootout that brings tears of joy; plenty of celebrity look-a-likes (from Kenny Rogers to Rocky Rococo); a refreshing lack of sexual exploitation; a chase scene more convoluted than the Scooby-Doo doors; and to top it all off, dialogue written as by a multilingual 3rd grader. Hey, that’s still one hell of a third grader. I’d be proud. Here you go Timmy, here’s a pterodactyl sticker of a run-on review!


I worked on phones for twelve months. It was busy. When I got home, I was tired. Almost too tired to eat the hot dog, and fuck you Wheel of Fortune! But I still did. I did eat the hot dog, Oscar. The hot dog was in my brain. 

Every night I am dreaming about driving. The breaks in my car are not good. I had white knuckles and couldn’t breath. I would kick the floor and tap my friend the computer quickly. I threatened him with speed. I had this dream over and over, of this nature. 

Russian Neen-yah is just a dream. Writer/director Mats Helge also worked on the phones. He couldn’t be a picture taker. He had an angry penis, thought his co-worker with breasts. His managers annoyed him with files. “Get us the files! How do we say, they are important!” He kept asking his four questions on the phones. He loved to be held while on the phone. “You don’t know how to hold me”, he would say about being held on the phone. Chopin’s music and airplanes from Jefferson each made his eyes water. There were red days and blue but black was better. Black was a snow day. If you saw his face you were his enemy, unless you were a woman. 

I don’t know how he filmed his dream but cheers! A dusty movie that is confusing; the gun shots at the start will make you happy; people look like celebrities (from Kenneth Rogers to Stony Pizza); the Gatorade of exploitations; and on top, me. I’m a hell of a third grader. I be proud. I am Timmy, I have a dinosaur sticker to prove it. Boyfriends can walk themselves home!



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