Watch the lost cheesy Soviet version of The Lord of the Rings


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YouTube screenshot of Gael Fashingbauer Cooper / CNET

While fans of The Lord of the Rings saga by JRR Tolkien wait for the mega-dollars of the Amazon series, they can enjoy a more hearty version of the famous fantasy tale. If you love cheesy movies made fun of by Mystery Science Theater 3000 and RiffTrax, you’ll probably appreciate the goodness of a 1991 Soviet TV version of the LOTR trilogy.

From the school play-style wardrobe to the computer special effects at home, this is a quirky bit of nostalgia that’s as far removed from director Peter Jackson’s Hollywood trilogy as Moscow is from Middle-earth.

The television movie aired on Soviet television in 1991, then disappeared and was not seen again until now, The Guardian newspaper reports. It aired 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’s what. Some of the hobbits look like werewolves, Gandalf could use a bang cut, and the less that can be said about Frodo’s furry but hoof-like feet (scroll to 2:09 in the first video) the better. Sitting through the whole thing seems like a punishment worthy of Gollum. But if you are a LOTR completist, or just a cheesy movie fanatic, this is a must see.

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