The Merits of Sin: Lyumi (1991) (Soviet Union)

Comedy and horror fail in unison in this boring ass riff on Little Red Riding Hood from the Soviet Union.

Keep cool

Lyumi is a giant hairy man (supposed to be more wolflike but instead looks like a lame Sasquatch) that wears human clothes and returns every one hundred years to take on a human warrior and gain leadership of a new tribe. At least, that’s what the folklore says. In this instance, Lyumi just wanders around the woods after a short stint hitchhiking and minimally terrorizes a small family.

Such terror awaits

Visiting the family is a famous writer who has just written a book concerning Lyumi and is hunting the beast. Apparently his bloodline is that of the Lyumi fighting warrior! Valeriy (our hero) wanders around the woods, constantly failing at nabbing his enemy.

The viewing public

Also wandering the woods is a bumbling idiot named Imond who is having an affair with Inga. Her husband, Yanis, is blind to the sexual shenanigans and seems a bit more focused on the arrival of Valeriy. There’s also a young girl, Marianna, in the house and she has become terrified after seeing an interview with Valeriy where he discusses Lyumi. Aunt Ester lives nearby with her soldier son and now we have all the characters introduced so we can watch them wander around the woods or sit around talking.

A window, Lyumi….and me

Characters ramble around, intersecting with others and Marianne dons a red cap so we don’t miss the point being hammered on home. It’s all in good fun but not really much fun at all. The goofy looking monster is barely seen (unless monstrous hands are your thing, you’ll be disappointed) and any attempt at comedy face dives like a blinded Russian walking into a bear trap. It’s not a total waste of time thanks to a nice odd vibe running through the whole thing but that’s about all to sink your teeth into. 4/10

Just a wink and a thank you

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