Thursday, April 19, 2012

Captain Pronin, Superstar

Meet Captain Pronin, post-Soviet Russia’s equivalent of McBain.

The grandson of a famous Soviet pulp hero, Pronin fights to protect the new Russia with a combination of Soviet toughness and American machismo. The world he works and lives in is strange, with blue henchmen and mafioso with poker dice for teeth. A few years before, Captain Pronin would have been forced to protect the Communist way of life, and to do it with a lot less of a nod to Western culture.

But this is 1992, the Americans and British are his friends, so much so that Captain Pronin has to be helped by James Bond in order to save his wife. Instead of Ronald Reagan or Uncle Sam, Pronin has to later do battle against Don Corleone, and protect the cowering Bill Clinton from an evil cyborg out to get him. And let’s not forget about Pronin’s excursion into outer space, or his biggest challenge of them all: having to go undercover and perform Swan Lake.

All four episodes are available on YouTube, in varying degrees of quality. The entire Captain Pronin saga, save for an obscure Captain Pronin video game, lasts about a half an hour, and is a quick yet satisfying glimpse of early 90’s America through Russian eyes.

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