The Soviets Review Star Wars: "Cine-Horrors in Space"

02.20.12 Marina Galperina

“This summer, a new wave of cinematic psychosis washed over American movie theaters,” starts off this film review from 1977. Oh boy. Want more? See what else comrade Yu. Varshavskaya thought of Star Wars, it’s “primitive plot” and “Artu-Detu” that “looks like an automobile and expresses himself with ‘space’ signals.”

Pure, sad gold. Here it is in its entirety, graciously translated by the new Editor in Chief of GQ Russia Michael Idov and authenticated by some Rusky Gen X’ers who definitely remember this being published. Perhaps willingly, the suspected Galactic Empire/Soviet Union parallel is missed, also, apparently, Star Wars was a horror film:

“And thus, after demons, mass catastrophes and giant sharks, the American screens are now home to a horror of truly cosmic proportions: monstrous tyrants terrorizing our galaxy… to scare the denizen even further, the film’s creators deploy the perfect weapon – a laser beam that the characters use in battle like a rapier.”

Oh, those blasted terrifying rapiers, more offensive than the “nightmarish monsters” filling the screen or the “mass-culture” sickness of endless, endless merchandize peddled by this abominable franchise. Ok, I’m also stealing the kicker at the end, for it’s priceless social commentary:

“The mass audience willingly ‘gobbles up’ such pieces of ‘art,’ all in order to leave the theater feeling that the life outside is nice after all.”