Believe it or not, there was actually a Russian ripoff of Mystery Science Theater 3000. No, I’m not kidding, even if the video above looks like a joke that some clever Youtuber with a background in Russian linguistics put together. Project Popcorn really was a Russian knock-off of MST3K, complete with puppets and an evil doctor character who forces the average joe protagonist to watch terrible films. Here’s the plot description, if you still don’t believe me:
Stephen the protagonist needs money, so he signs up for an experiment run by the nefarious Professor Zamishlavkin. The Professor imprisons Stephen and forces his captive to watch bad films to study the effect on his psyche. Fortunately, Stephen is joined by a duo of plucky puppets — Fidel the penguin and Ketchup the dog — who keep his sanity in check.
There’s very little info online about Project Popcorn, so I couldn’t tell you if the show is still running or even when it started airing. The best I can do is give you a translation of the theme song, which you can find under the cut!
In a science institute, there’s an experiment,
They’re testing the effect of movie reels on people.
How will consciousness be affected by a movie.
Of questionable quality and made long ago
A nice guy, Stephen is in need of some money
He got a job as a test subject, threw caution to the wind
He didn’t know that the process is supervised by
Professor Zamishlavkin, a bad guy [something]
Stephen watches movies, he’s now imprisoned
If it’s wasn’t for his friends, he’d be miserable
Mutants, saboteurs: a dog and a penguin
Rescue his psyche and watch along with him
The greatest achievement of national defense!
When the friends are all together, they don’t fear the bad guy
They make comments on everything, so that it’s more fun
In the face of scientific theories,
They giggle and laugh, as they watch Project Popcorn