Watch the deliciously schlocky Soviet version of Lord of the Rings

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YouTube screenshot by Gael Fashingbauer Cooper / CNET

While fans of The Lord of the Rings saga by JRR Tolkien wait for the Amazon mega dollar series, they can indulge in a camping version of the famous fantasy tale. If you like the nerdy movies that Mystery Science Theater 3000 ridiculed and RiffTrax, you’ll probably appreciate the wacky goodness of a 1991 Soviet TV version of the LOTR trilogy.

From school play-style costumes to home-computer-style special effects, it’s a bit of weird nostalgia that’s about as far removed from director Peter Jackson’s Hollywood trilogy as Moscow from Middle-earth. .

The TV movie was shown on Soviet television in 1991, then disappeared, not to be seen again until now, reports The Guardian newspaper. It was broadcast on Leningrad Television and was posted on YouTube by Leningrad Television’s successor, 5TV, the newspaper reports.

Tolkien fans who don’t understand Russian can still figure out who’s who and what. Some of the hobbits look like werewolves, Gandalf could use a bangs cut, and less can be said about Frodo’s hairy but hoof-shaped feet (scroll to 2:09 in the first video), the better it is. Sitting through it all seems like a punishment worthy of Gollum. But if you’re a LOTR completist, or just a campy movie fan, this is a must see.

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