The Russian Bride (2018), Directed by Michael S. Ojeda
The Russian Bride Overview: A Russian woman (Oksana Orlan) travels to America with her daughter (Kristina Pimenova) to marry a reclusive billionaire (Corbin Bernsen). He turns out to be not quite what he seems and this sends all their lives spiraling into a living hell.
Director: Michael S. Ojeda
Writer: Michael S. Ojeda
Producers: Oksana Orlan, Jeff Miller, Philip Day
Starring: Corbin Bernsen, Oksana Orlan, Kristina Pimenova
Gavin’s Review: The Russian Bride
The first thing viewers are likely to notice about The Russian Bride (affiliate link) is the slightly lower production value, at least as far as the camera / lighting is concerned. And there is a scene early on involving flames that is obviously constructed with the use of CGI. But this budget constraint should not fool anyone into thinking this is any less of a good film – the cinematography (such as choosing angles), acting and everything else are more than adequate to entertain.
Some other minor nitpicks could be had. Despite allegedly being set in America, this is obviously false as soon as we see the doctor’s automobile: not only is the steering wheel on the wrong side (which could be explained away), but no attempt was made to hide what are clearly non-American license plates. This seems like a glaring oversight on someone’s point.
One last note on the negative side, viewers should be warned to steer clear of the film if you have any concerns about seeing Corbin Bernsen’s wrinkly old buttocks. Though, from the angle the shot was taken, it is quite likely these were stand-in wrinkly old buttocks and not the real thing. So, if you happen to be on the other side of the equation (someone actively seeking out Bernsen buttocks), this may also pose a problem for you.
Now, on the positive end of things, the general concept is quite good, and as noted above the cinematography and acting are top notch. Oksana Orlan (who was also a producer) is excellent in the title role, and audiences will no doubt be enamored with her. Likewise, this is Kristina Pimenova’s debut, but I would be quite surprised if she did not go on to bigger things. She has the talent, she has the look… she could be a child star or more.
Of course, this is really Corbin Bernsen’s show. He is the most established of the cast, and despite never being an A-lister, he has had a steady and admirable career. Most recently, he made a name for himself with “Psych”, (affiliate link) a largely comic role. Comparing that character (Henry) with this one (Karl) really shows his range. Bernsen expertly goes from loving to manipulative to bat-guano crazy (and back again). He really is something of a treasure.
The makeup and gore effects are spot on. Without giving too much away, there is plenty of blood and a few times where body parts receive some not-so-nice, downright-gruesome treatment. And the effects person / crew pulled it off perfectly.
“The Russian Bride” (affiliate link) played at Cinepocalypse 2018 in Chicago on June 26. While it is not the best film playing the festival, it is certainly not the worst. This is a great film for sharing with friends over a few drinks, and is really a must-see for anyone who enjoys Corbin Bernsen. He should be a bigger name than he is.