The Soviet film adaptation of Gogol’s Via was released in 1967.
Prior to that, the mystical story was screened three times – in 1909, 1912 and 1916, but none of these films have survived to this day. Despite the fact that in the USSR superstitions and stories about evil spirits were not welcomed, the audience was drawn to everything mysterious and forbidden. In the first year after the premiere of “Via” alone, 32.6 million people watched it, and later the film was purchased for rent in cinemas in the United States, France, Argentina and Finland.
“You begin to believe that the devil really exists”
Even today, the first Soviet horror film makes an indelible impression on viewers. Created in the second half of the last century without any computer technology and powerful special effects, “Viy” still scares domestic movie buffs to the core. It would seem that against the background of Hollywood horrors and screamers, he should have gotten lost and sunk into oblivion. However, Russian viewers, comparing “Via” with foreign horror films, come to the conclusion that Gogol’s film adaptation is much worse:
“Phenomenal horror for the Soviet era. And by the way, the American heresy with vampires just rests compared to this movie. “
One of the Internet users shared in her comments her thoughts on the success of Via. According to her, Hollywood special effects distract the viewer from reality – looking at the monsters created with the help of computer graphics, you clearly understand that in reality they do not exist. The power of “Via” is completely different.
“Everything here is surprisingly real, and it only works harder. Everything works: the acting, the lyrics, all these folk beliefs and fairy tales, and especially the terrifying music! – the spectator writes. – You begin to believe that there really is an evil spirit in this world! Terrible folk beliefs are not born out of nowhere! ”
“Six months with chalk in my pocket”
Many Russian viewers first heard about “Via” from their relatives who watched the film in the 1960s. On the Internet you can find many nostalgic stories about how shocked the first horror of the people of the USSR. Even adult men who had gone through the war were impressed by Via.
“As my father, a military retiree, said, when he returned home at night after watching the movie” Weeks “, he shied away from every bush,” one of the users shared his memories.
And what a shock Gogol’s horror film for a children’s audience was, you can judge by reading the comments of grown-up Soviet schoolchildren.
“I went with my friend as a child, for 10 kopecks, I still remember the horror I experienced then. I didn’t sleep at night, and now I’m 51, I look and admire, “said one of the viewers about her first acquaintance with” Viem. “
And the other remembered how she had adopted the methods of the protagonist’s struggle against evil spirits:
“Homa, well done, I guessed the circle around me. He had a good time until she grabbed him! Then for six months I went with a crayon in my pocket just in case. I dragged chalk from the classroom. ”
“Almost brought to a heart attack”
Most of all, young and adult viewers of “Via” were frightened by the young lady performed by Natalia Varley and her demonic beauty. According to one of the users, as a child he was afraid to watch the movie until the moment when the third night was shown. But, surprisingly, he was less impressed by the scene than expected.
But “the first two nights with Varley’s stony face and her crazy hands almost brought me to a heart attack at the age of eight.”
And another viewer, who watched the film for the first time at the age of four, forever remembered the fragments where a witch flew in a coffin and shouted: “Homa, Homa!” and “Oh, I can’t do this anymore!” That’s a scarecrow, I understand! “
By the way, Natalia Varley herself later regretted that she agreed to play a witch. After filming in “Via”, the actress suffered a series of misfortunes – a serious illness, divorce from her husband, lack of bright roles in movies. Varley even confessed and was baptized to be cleansed of her sinful role. Of course, unfavorable changes in the life of the actress can be considered a simple coincidence. On the other hand, Gogol’s works, like the writer’s personality, have always been shrouded in a mystical halo.