I took 15 credits of Russian history and literature back in college, enough to minor in the subject if my University had offered a minor in it. The topic that intrigued me most about Russian history — besides Dostoevsky — was Gregori Rasputin. I was obsessed with the mad monk, and absolutely fascinated with the hold he had over the dying monarchy — a death that he had a hand in ushering. He was essentially an evil motherfucking con artist, who was awfully fond of the ladies, especially virgins (as I recall, he would convince women to have sex with him by claiming that it would rid them of their impurities).
Anyway, what fascinated me the very most about Rasputin was those eyes. Those wicked, evil fucking eyes.
If you see those eyes, you know you’re dealing with an evil asshole. See, for instance, Charles Manson.
I see them every once in a while. They have a way of haunting me, and what is it about people with that kind of eyes about their ability to hold sway over someone else. For instance, you know where I last saw those eyes?
I’m driving toward a point here, and it is this: There are now two competing biopics in development based on the final days of Rasputin. Man, they could not kill the fucker. He had survived a stabbing from a prostitute at one point, even though his innards had allegedly fallen out. And then, once those close to the Tsaritsa had concluded that Rasputin held too much power the family, they poisoned him, stabbed him, shot him in the back three times, castrated, and clubbed him to death before wrapping him up in a carpet and throwing him into an icy river. Autopsy reports showed that he drowned, meaning that he was still alive when they tossed him in (some reports even suggested that he freed himself from the carpet wrapped around him before drowning).
Anyway, he’s a compelling figure on which to base a movie. Variety is reporting that one of the movies set to shoot soon is Raspoutine, a $12 million French/Russian-language TV co-production starring Gerard Depardieu, who decidedly does not have Rasputin’s eyes. The other production is a bigger budgeted ($25 million) feature called, Rasputin: The Healer, which is meant for the movie screens and will be released in the fall of 2011. Both movies will focus on the last two years of Rasputin’s life.