Directed by: Svetlana Baskova
Starring: Sergey Pakhomov (Fat madman), Vladimir Epifantsev (cellmate), Anatoly Osmolovsky (Captain), Alexander Maslaev (Colonel)
Language: Russian (English subtitles)
Genres: Captivity-Kidnapping, Gore-Gruesome-Splatter, Necrophilia, Psychological Thrillers, Rape-Sexual-Violence against Men, Scat, Torture, Military
Plot – Spoilers:
Two men are being imprisoned in a dirty cellar with sewer pipes running through it. The reason for their imprisonment isn’t clear but there is a mention of impending execution. There are two other characters who appear later, the Captain holding them and his mentally broken slave who claims to be a Colonel.
The first half of the film is mostly dialogue driven and hilarious as the older fat prisoner deliriously drifts from one anecdote to another, driving the younger guy to despair. Keeping time with the incessant talk is a constant drip from a leaky pipe that offers no letup in a scenario where you’d normally imagine silence is a freely available commodity.
The fat one seems to be genuinely insane, a fact the younger guy takes a while to comprehend. He kind of represents hope as he tries to keep it together while the fat guy rambles on and on even indulges in some scat fun. It could well be that they are really not guilty of any crime but are merely objects in some perverse fantasy of the Captain. Eventually, it’s the second half that throws up extreme gore action as the younger prisoner finally snaps.
The Green Elephant is shot in a home video style. This initially confuses you into thinking there is a third presence recording the conversations especially when the fat prisoner talks about ‘people’ in their cellar. This though seems unlikely and the home-video style possibly was used to convey a certain mood and dysfunctionality of the whole situation.
1. The conversations in the first half are hilarious and brilliant. What makes it funnier is, though the younger prisoner is forever asking the fat guy to shut the fuck up, he occasionally ends up asking questions to clarify the rubbish that’s being spouted. It’s like he’s been drawn into the madness and can’t help but pay attention to his insane cellmate.
2. The scat scene:
Before he takes a dump, the fat prisoner sort of offers his plate to his sleeping partner and seems genuinely excited about what he’s about to indulge in.
3. The use of the Captain’s windpipe like a sort of trumpet as they break into song.