Srazhenie (1986)


So THAT’S what Russia was up to in 1986!

Director: Mikhail Titov

Of all the weird things I’ve seen, I have to include SRAZHENIE somewhere on that list.  It’s not that it’s necessarily weird weird, but it’s just…weird. You know? Maybe if I explain a little more.

SRAZHENIE is a 1986 adaptation of Stephen King’s short story Battleground.  Maybe not so weird on its own; there are hundreds of adaptations of Stephen King’s works.  But SRAZHENIE is a Russian adaptation, and it’s animated. Let that sink in for a minute: back in 1986, two Russian dudes, V. Goryachev, and M. Titov, wrote then hired four animators to draw this American short story about a squad of toy soldiers who attack a hired assassin after he’s taken out their creator. This is the greatness that YouTube has given the world.

The film runs about 10 minutes, the music is straight 1980s animated synth-pop cheese (the animation itself isn’t that great), and it’s just the weirdest thing.

I first discovered this short years ago when I was up way too late watching Stephen King short films online. I had watched THE WOMAN IN THE ROOM, THE BOOGEYMAN, and had even just discovered DISCIPLES OF THE CROW. I recognized all of these and enjoyed them, but I didn’t know what this other title, SRAZHENIE, was. So I clicked on it and realized what it was, an animated version of Battleground with Russian lettering in the credits, my mind was definitely blown.

The plot seems pretty faithful to the King short story. A hitman is hired to take out a rich businessman, and later on the hitman discovers a package has been left at his door.  When he opens it, he finds an entire squad of toy soldiers who then start attacking the hitman. They’ve got guns, bombs, helicopters, tanks, and they go at him with full force.

The hitman, surprised, understandably confused, fights back, but the soldiers seem to have the upper hand, despite the target’s expertise.

The hitman finally starts to gain the advantage but quickly realizes these soldiers weren’t just packing for battle, they were packing for victory, no matter what.

It’s a very interesting story, and probably one of King’s most famous shorts, but I really just never expected, of all the things I may find online, a Russian cartoon adaptation from 1986 would be one of those things.  Even now, the very fact of this thing’s existence boggles the mind.

SRAZHENIE is free to view on YouTube, and if you’re a Stephen King fan, or just a fan of bizarre things in general, this one’s worth watching.

King on Film

Carrie (1976)

‘Salem’s Lot (1979)

The Shining (1980)

Creepshow (1982)

The Boogeyman (1982)

Cujo (1983)

Disciples of the Crow (1983)

The Woman in the Room (1983)

The Dead Zone (1983)

Christine (1983)

Children of the Corn (1984)

Firestarter (1984)

Word Processor of the Gods (1984)

Cat’s Eye (1985)

Silver Bullet (1985)

The Dark Half (1993)

The Tommyknockers (1993)

Needful Things (1993)

The Stand (1994)

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest (1995)

The Mangler (1995)

Dolores Claiborne (1995)

The Langoliers (1995)

Sometimes They Comes Back … Again (1996)

Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering (1996)

Thinner (1996)

The Shining (1997)

Ghosts (1997)

Chattery Teeth (1997)

The Revelations of ‘Becka Paulson (1997)

Trucks (1997)

The Night Flier (1997)

Chinga (1997)

Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror (1998)

Gerald’s Game (2017)

1922 (2017)

The Stand (2021)

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