Amateur Russian low-budg Transformers short out-bad-asses Hollywood film

Transformers from repey815 on Vimeo.

A Russian amateur filmmaker called Alexander Semenov produced this 2.5 minute bootleg Transformers short with a couple of sub-$1,000 cameras, two hours' of footage and a month in the editing suite. It is insanely badass: a perfect vision of an alternate universe where shirtless Russian thugs go bot-to-bot on dusty distant roads; more fun that the big-budget Hollywood equivalent.

Russian Transformers short delivers more awesome than Hollywood version


  1. Cool effects. I have one of those cameras and recently made something similarish, feels great to have something with that kind of creative power!

    But TBH I was hoping the bike would transform and kick ass from the moment I saw the handlebars.

    1. “But TBH I was hoping the bike would transform and kick ass from the moment I saw the handlebars.”

      Yeah, I was expecting the car, but I thought the bike would do something similar.

      Still, seriously impressive. Especially given the time.

  2. Is anyone else clamoring for a “Who framed Roger Rabbit style” big budget film with the robots from the 80’s cartoon?

  3. From the end credits it looks like they used about 20 grand worth of software too. So it wasn’t really as low budget as one might think. But I guess it could have all been pirated so maybe it really was that cheap.

  4. Hollywood should pay attention. When 2 kids can make a movie with a few cameras and a computer that is more entertaining than a movie with a 200 million dollar budget Hollywood is quickly becoming obsolete. Best movies I have recently seen were from Sweden and Spain.

  5. so many jock jams! there is no more MALE a moment in music than the solo-guitar-before-the-drums-come-in moment.

    1. @magneticwheels
      Yeah… Not at all. I’ve known quite a few female guitarists who love a little guitar solo time. I got the impression you were trying to point out gender inequalities, but it’s sexist to claim something is only for a specific gender, whichever position you take. There are plenty of men who dislike guitar solos and plenty of women who enjoy them.

      The video was ok. I got a very pokemon vibe from it and the only thing that made me smile was when the third transformer appeared. I’m not sure how transformer pokemon is badass, but it WAS more badass than the films.

  6. Props for his animal-wrangling, too! How’d he convince the Red-tailed Hawk at 0:47 to fly all the way over from North America? Maybe a Beastmaster short is next up….

  7. What’s all the big to-do about this? Big whoop @_@ Two gay guys without shirts playing with little toys then a big “Transformer” comes outta the car and chases one of them. Wow, how great is that?? You people are to easily thrilled thats’ for sure. Anyways, this has copyright infringement written all over it, the poor bastards.

    1. Gay? I can’t imagine something less gay than this–two bros with terrible haircuts, baggy shorts, and sandals is about as straight boy as you can get. (FWIW, I thought the video was quite nice for what it is.)

  8. That was the Russian Red tailed hawk. Flies shirtless.

    I have red tailed hawks all over my neighborhood, and I never hear them make that noise. I think they just save it for dramatic tension.

  9. It was funny to see a Lada transform, though. The Siberian makes are almost indestructible. They’d make a great Transformer.
    I wonder how a Ural sidecar motorcycle would look?

    @theawesomerobot: Well, they are experiencing a very bad heat wave, what with the forest and peat bog fires adding to their troubles. They’re beginning to say it’s the longest they’ve had in a thousand years of Russian weather extremes, based on calculations made from the data from lake deposits.

  10. The sequel should have Die Antwoord show up with their pc computer, next level beats, and Pink Floyd trunks

  11. for some reason this reminds me of the short story Dogfight, by Michael Swanwick and William Gibson.

    also, a cell phone commercial.

    also, it is better than the movies and less seizure inducing as well.

  12. @Mr. Sleepy: Really? That’s all you can say? I don’t know what your impression of gay people is, but if not wearing a shirt is all it takes, you must have the worst gaydar. It’s extremely impressive for a piece of student work by a 20 year old. You try creating this captivating of a scene with no dialogue in under four minutes…then maybe you’ll have something constructive (or even interesting) to say.

  13. FYI, the song over the credits is “Pretty Handsome Awkward” by The Used. If it was credited in the credits, I missed it.

  14. Is Die Antwoord making movies now?

    Better than I expected, but still would like to see something amazing and original. You know who should hire these kids? The Sci-fi network. Let them do the CGI for their next “Piranasaur vs. Gowanadile” flick.

  15. They left out the part where the Ladabot simultaneously starts leaking brake fluid, overheats, and loses a door and half the trim.

    1. They left out the part where the Ladabot simultaneously starts leaking brake fluid, overheats, and loses a door and half the trim.

      And yet still runs. Forever

      1. Well, yes, provided you replace the oil, plugs, filters, rings, alternator and carburetor every week or so.

        They key to fighting a Ladabot is to stand very still about 20 meters away. What’s it going to do, lock its transmission at you?

  16. Interesting effects, and I also like the use of the old Soviet era car.

    Still, Transformers always makes my inner SF-pedant grouchy. They represent the complete opposite of PKD’s entropic, backward-in-time devolving devices from Ubik. They are mostly GM vehicles that attempt to maintain some semblance of value by changing into different shapes, but in reality are hopelessly out of fashion and obsolete the moment the CGI artist finishes with them. They all move as if they were morbidly obese and most of their machinery seems to be dedicated to their need to constantly change in the face of their impending doom as the end of the current car season ends.

  17. Great fun! Major digital gaffe at 3:07 when the arm in the image of the big transformer chasing the guy appears to be in front of him.

  18. I think it should have ended at 2:15. That’s where the badassness ends. But there’s a seed here for something that could be to Transformers what District 9 is to Independence Day.

  19. I like this piece for it’s ingenuity and hard work. More power to these guys and anyone like them wanting to create independent cinema.

    Sadly, “badass” is not a cinematic or artistic value in my book. Badass?, so what. Badass can join those other two meaningless and empty-minded terms, “action” and “classic, that get applied to art (and worse, life itself), signifying nothing.

    At the heart of “The Matrix” was a film that amazed me, one without the boring pornography of karate and bullets. I’d also like to add, Michael Bay is an idiot. I’m talking about stupid candy for the good of no-one.

    1. I couldn’t agree more – Bay, Bruckheimer, et al, are a buncha juvenile idiots from whom brainless, gratuitous eye candy is the best you’re gonna get.

      As Frank W. said, I’d love to see something that is to the crapfest “Transformers” what “District 9” was to “Independence Day.” I’ll plunk down my bucks for a movie that uses this sort of visuals to support a really good story, y’know something with plot, characters you can care about, etc.

  20. @ magneticwheels and mdh, easy, boys, you’ll have to go to your rooms if you don’t knock it off.
    That one dude looks like his lip rings have infected. No dough for makeup, I guess.

  21. A little disappointed that they didn’t shoot the transformation all the way, they seemed to be set up for it. Also, no kee-ker-ker-ker-ker? Other than that, really awesome :)

  22. I don’t think I have the right to complain that a treasured childhood memory is
    being shoehorned into a Pok̩mon styleРdoing that might just save the
    franchise. The two Transformers feature films were horrible beyond belief: the
    CGI was poorly integrated with the live footage to the point of distraction and
    the story seemed to wander in search of a point. A fatal mistake would seem to
    be that the studio was pandering to what they thought I wanted, a late-thirties
    American male who grew up watching the cartoon and buying the toys, when they
    should have been speaking to the kids that made this short. Tech-savvy kids that
    grew up in the Global Village with battle monsters (and, sadly, the implied
    “gotta catch them all” accumulation orgy of the form) as a staple in
    entertainment. Paradoxically, to keep the Transformers around, us fan-boys need
    to let them go.

    The overt sensuality of the piece suggests to me that the auteur is well versed
    in the form of the Action Movie. The way the perfect machines of young
    masculinity at its apex mirror their little killing machines, the question of
    final domination becoming that most masculine of obsessions– size. The whole
    short is very double-coded, very post-modern (is that still a thing?), maybe a
    bit rough in the narrative, but really more promising than any studio trailer
    I’ve seen in a long time.

    I have a big problem with the assumption that “looking kinda gay” is a flaw.
    Action movies are supposed to be homoerotic, so why not vamp it up
    without camping it up? Burroughs’s “Wild Boys” fighting with switchblade robots
    in a dust bowl Russia? Count me in! Hasbro would never allow this to happen, but
    if you can re-brand, scale up the budget and make a feature along those lines,
    there’s no way you could lose money. For example, ” The 300“.

  23. Go Lada, Go!

    Back in the gloomy Eighties my dad had a Lada 1600. I always suspected it could kick ass. I mean, it came with a small toolset, with which you could fix anything on it.

    Lada, built for durability, not comfort.

  24. Look, i did not love the transformers movies, didn’t hate them either. But the point is this is only being praised for not being made by a hollywood. This is not the godfather…this TOO is just eye candy, the only merit i find is that is looks good and was made really cheap, but its not like it has the biggest script of all time. Snap out of the hollywood hate for one second and youll see it too

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