Based on his novel, author Viktor Pelevin and director Victor Ginzburg deliver EMPIRE V, a twisted tale of succession, seduction, and social satire. Arriving at SCREAMFEST 2023, it sucks you in from the very first frame. Rama awakens to find a masked man holding him captive, briefly explaining that he is the new heir of something sinister. Our protagonist soon learns he is now a child of the night, a revered member of the vampire elite. But the rules of their society are not so simple, and life after death comes with certain sacrifices.
In EMPIRE V, the two primary notions of Vampirism are Glamour and Discourse. They essentially break down to look and influence. Blood holds all the memories of the human it comes from and arrives differently than we’ve become accustomed to.
The CGI transition pieces serve as history lessons and sexy vampire propaganda. I’ve never seen anything like it outside of high-tech, immersive video games. Even the closing credits have an elegance and visual splendor akin only to Netflix’s The Crown.
The fight choreography is Matrixlike. The entire film echoes Neo’s training. It holds equal complexities, no doubt captivating a similar audience. If I didn’t know any better, EMPIRE V would fit perfectly into the list of films featured in the new doc SO UNREAL. Had it not been for the pesky detail that it’s 22 years after the latest film in their lineup. With a delicious camp of The Fifth Element and all the hallmarks of an epic sci-fi franchise meets social satire, Ginzburg could seamlessly develop the film into a series or become the latest cult trilogy. Entirely original vampire canon melded with science fiction, EMPIRE V has a built-in audience filled with hungry genre fans waiting to sink their teeth into this story.
Russian-set sci-fi horror film EMPIRE V is set to hold its North American premiere at LA’s Screamfest. The controversial film is directed and written by Victor Ginzburg.
EMPIRE V is a social parody of modern Russian society being controlled by vampires. The film was set to be released by Sony on several thousand screens across Russia in 2022, making it one of the most hotly anticipated Russian releases of the year. After the start of the Ukrainian war and one week prior to the film’s release, it was pulled from theaters by the Kremlin, effectively making it a film without a country. The film stars popular Russian rapper Oxxymiron, whose anti-war stance has recently led to him being declared a “foreign agent” by the Kremlin, a designation used to attack the government’s critics and journalists.
Based on the satirical and incisive novel by Victor Pelevin, EMPIRE V was produced by Heartland Films/USA and Kvadrat/Russia, and Andrey Trubitsyn, Maria Kapralova, Alexei Tylevich and James Steele. The film also stars Pavel Tabakov, Taya Radchenko, Miron Fedorov and Vera Alentova. EMPIRE V recently held its world premiere at the Fantasia Film Festival in July and will debut to Los Angeles audiences at Screamfest this October.
In the film, a 19-year-old Moscow nobody is turned into a vampire, and thereby becomes part of an elite and powerful echelon of society who have controlled humanity since time immemorial. EMPIRE V is an astounding visual feast, featuring innovative and propulsive visual effects sequences that enhance and elevate its timely social commentary.