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Film / The Green Elephant

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The Green Elephant (Зеленый слоник), also known as Green Elephant Calf, is a 1999 Russian arthouse gore/splatter film. It tells a story of two unnamed junior officers of the Soviet army, court-martialled into a military prison cell, with unfortunate consequences. Not just exploring themes of humiliation, army violence, suicide and coprophilia, but actually showing these things in close up. The film is forbidden in its home country from mainstream distribution circuits, but not from film festivals. Nevertheless, it can be easily found on YouTube. However, the main appeal of this movie is not as much in its graphic disgustingness as it is in its weird dialogue and absurdist humor, which is mostly Lost in Translation. For this reason the film gained notoriety, and somewhat of a cult following, in Russian internet, particularly imageboards. Quotes and monologues from the film are often used as copypasta.

Contains examples of:

  • The Dog Bites Back: The captain gets beaten and sodomized by Bratishka for repeatedly abusing the detained officers.
  • Driven to Madness: This happens to Bratishka after a nervous breakdown caused by Poekhavshiy's behavior, and later being abused by the captain becomes the final straw.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Outside of work the officers are also usually referred to by nicknames they give each other - "Bratishka" ("Bro") and "Poyehavshiy" ("The Nutcase") respectively.
  • Gorn: Towards the end, the captain is beaten by the now-insane Bratishka with a pipe and had his face bitten off, before sodomizing him and tearing off his trachea. Bratishka then made Poekhavshiy blow into the captain's trachea, pretending it is an elephant's trunk.
  • Minimalist Cast: For the entirety of the movie, only four characters ever appear on screen - "Bratishka", "Poekhavshiy", the guard and the captain.
  • Nameless Narrative: None of the characters is ever named within the work. Outside the work, names of actors and military titles are often used.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: The guard, again. Not only his appearances are shot in deliberate monochrome, his speech is much more theatrical and hammy as opposed to mundane swearing of other characters, but he also wears a head full of curly hair, which is unrealistic for his apparently low military rank.
  • Tempting Fate: In the beginning, Bratishka worries that water dropping from sewage tubes will drive him crazy. It is the last thing to worry about.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Subverted, Poyehavshiy is the only one who survives at the end.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Шишка ("cone"/"lump"), as an euphemish for penis.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Poyehavshiy genuinely cares for his newfound friend and is ready to cheer him up with his amazing stories. He is also ready to sacrifice his last slice of "sweet bread" (or feces) for his friend. Sadly, Bratishka does not appreciate it.
  • Word Salad Title: Almost Makes Sense In Context. There is an eponymous song in the movie, although why the elephant is green, and what the song has to do with anything other in the movie, is never explained.

I'm fucking fed up with your stories, I can't listen to them anymore. One story is more fucking amazing than another. About tropes, about some other shit, squick, the fuck are you talking about? Can you shut up? Became popular on image boards — gained cult following. The fuck? What are you talking about? Shit.