Lunnaya Raduga: 1984 Russian science fiction film

Strange Attractor's Mark Pilkington pointed me toward this enticing taste of Lunnaya Raduga (Лунная радуга), a 1984 Russian science fiction that looks terrific! Here's a description from AllMovie:

In this watchable sci fi story based on a novel by Sergei Pavlov, the time is the 21st century, and the space security organization has a dangerous situation on its hands -- it seems four individuals from outer space have the ability to change form and to affect radio transmissions and magnetic fields. Their powers could threaten governments on earth and seem to derive from an unusual accident on one of the moons of Uranus shortly after four astronauts landed. Now the space police have to bring this potentially disastrous situation under control.


  1. Looks like a snoozer. Let me know if anyone distributes a 20 minute version of it.

    Maybe a good candidate to remake, ala Solaris.

    1. “Maybe a good candidate to remake, ala Solaris.”

      Heh. I liked the original Solaris much better than the remake. No accounting for taste.

    2. Regarding Solaris, the original film is incredible! Do you really think the remake was necessary?

    3. did you also see tarkovsky’s “stalker”?
      do you think that one is too long as well?
      (it is 2hr 43 min)
      just a thought, maybe the no budget aspect of solaris had some affect on your viewing pleasure.

    4. idiotic to compare a strange, ambient and disarming piece of filmmaking like this with a trite hollywood remake of a tarkovsky, don’t you think? if you snooze through this and awaken only to a soderburgh re-hash, god bless you my friend.

  2. An unusual accident on “Uranus” – is that nearly as funny in Russian?

    Also, advertising that this is “watchable” seems like faint praise.

  3. It looks like good ‘late night’ viewing – really excellent analog soup kinda soundtrack.

  4. “watchable” seems a bit.. uncertain as to quality. And of course, Uranus would be less funny if we actually pronounced the word correctly. but I digress. seems to follow the “slow and boring” school of science fiction- a school I had thought Lucas killed with a lightsaber.

    1. The “your-anus” pronunciation is far from incorrect. Both forms seem to have coexisted in English for a long time, but many people (myself included) report that when they were young the “your-anus” form was ubiquitous, with the YOUR-an-iss pronunciation becoming common more recently.

    1. +1 to this — Kin Dza Dza is hilarious and worth checking out. FYI, it’s also on youtube…

  5. There was a fair amount of decent Russian SF, with surprisingly good effects work for its time — good enough that some of the lower-budget US film companies swiped it wholesale. I’m thinking in particular of Planet Of Storms.

    Yeah, by today’s standards it’s dated. And the pace is different from what we’re used to, and the plots make slightly different assumptions about societal norms so some elements don’t translate well without some additional thought. But I really wish more of it was available.

  6. How much more seriously Russian could you be? And teh psuedo Tangerine Dream score places it squarely in the eighties.

    1. My thoughts exactly, I thought the soundtrack sounded a lot like TD’s Rubycon. It’s been a while since I’ve spaced out to Tangerine Dream, but my thoughts exactly.

  7. I somehow ended watching it in school and thought it boring. From the whole movie I remember exactly one special effect where a man’s clothes suddenly change.
    Tried to read the novel at the same age. Was also bored.

  8. If you want a good Eastern-European-feeling 80’s sci-fi film, I suggest Sexmission. It’s Polish and from 1984.

    You can see the whole thing on youtube, starting here.

    Actually, while it is science fiction, it’s primarily a comedy in case the title didn’t make that clear :)

  9. Is it not funny how we always explore the forbidden in fiction? In the athiest USSR sci-fi has people undergoing fundamental spiritual transformations. The technology is an afterthought. In Western sci-fi of the time, it’s all about the machines, and has almost no explorations of what it is to be human. An interesting switch.

  10. looks pretty good if a bit cheap and nasty sub-Blake’s seven, but music by Eduard Artemiev which makes it a must-see

    1. Oh, it’s Artemiev? I rather liked the music, in all it’s analogue soviet synth charm. Now that you say it, I’m not too surprised to hear that he wrote it. :)

  11. loved the book as a teenager. Don’t remember much of the film.
    +1 for Sexmission (hey, I was a teenage boy at the time)
    Kin Dza Dza is still a cult – a bit like Kurosawa’s Dodeska-Denn (surreal), but way funnier, IIRC.

  12. If you like Russian sci-fi fillums then I recommend Pisma myortvogo cheloveka ‘Letters from a dead man’ (note: the preview link has no English subtitles)

    I think it reminds me of ‘Testament’

    The trailer looks a little too surrealist ie off-putting but if you have seen the fillum it makes sense. You can find the English sub version on your usual neighbourhood torrent sites or maybe somewhere on youtube.

    I would love to here your thoughts if youst seen it.

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