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A Soviet cult sci-fi dystopian post-apocalyptic satirical 1986 Georgi Danelia movie about two soviet citizens getting stranded on another planet. They deal with telepathic human aliens, figure out how things are done there and try to get home.

Google Video has an English subtitled version.

Tropes used in Kin-dza-dza! include:

  • Batman Gambit: Literaly. Gidevan and the aliens play a game of chess, and Gidevan loses, because the aliens can read his thoughts. He starts deliberately thinking bad moves for them and wins.
  • Bilingual Bonus: "pepelats" (those flying ... things) means "butterfly" in Georgian (director's and script-writers' native tongue)
    • Etzikh (jail coffins) is derived from "tzikhe" - "jail" in Georgian.
  • Black Comedy
  • Blue and Orange Morality
    • Amusingly, it goes both ways. Just as the mindset of Pluckans is completely alien to the Earthlings, so the Pluckans cannot comprehend how a coherent society can survive without a system of colourful pants to indicate how many times should people squat before each other.
    • Alpha is in the same boat.
  • Butt Monkey: Fiddler
  • Creator Cameo: The director (Georgiy Daneliya) stars as Abradox on Alpha.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: in addition to the caste system there is a secondary hierarchy on Pluck based on the colour of your pants.
  • Crapsack World: Pluck and the entire galaxy of Kin-Dza-Dza. They make contrast with Crystal Spires and Togas below.
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: "If you think that this thingy isn't tranklucator, it'll be the last thought in your Chatlanian head!"
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: the Alpha Centauri people do the toga bit.
  • Cult Classic
  • Dystopia: it's funny! And half of it became true. It's still funny.
  • Ear Worm: the main theme and the "Mama" song.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: PJ's mother
  • Executive Meddling: originally Fiddler was supposed to give the music professor presents from his trip in Abkhazia along with the violin that he forgot because he got drunk. One of the presents was Chacha, Georgian brandy. Right when film was going to be released Gorbachev started his anti-alcohol campaign and they had to change Chacha to vinegar. Which didn't made sense, why would anyone send vinegar for a present? Curiously, the subtle reference that professor got drunk and forgot his violin stayed.
    • It does lead to the Running Joke of people trying to drink the vinegar and spitting it out. Finally an etsilop confiscates it from Fiddler and despite the characters warning him off, drinks the entire thing with no signs of distress.
    • The joke only became more acidic, because during the late Soviet Prohibition, unsurprisingly, drinking liquids previously considered undrinkable became a rather common occurence.
  • Fantastic Caste System: apart from Patsak/Chatlanian division (below) there is a caste system that regulates how many times one should squat before an owner of pants of various special colours and if you have pants of a colour lower than magenta you can be randomly beaten up by local police at nights.
  • Fantastic Racism: small device called "visator" determines if you are "Patsak" or "Chatlanian", and thus determines whether you will be oppressed or privileged. The difference between "Patsak" and "Chatlanian" is not racial, it's not genetic, it's not biological and it isn't ethnic. The only way to tell is to just use the device. Moreover, the planets in the galaxy are divided into chatlanean and patzkaen as well. Thus a same person will be a master on "his" planet and a slave on the "wrong" one. Both Chatlanians and Patzaks seem to be fine with that.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight
    • A film about the destroyed world due to predatory over-capitalistic behaviors looks too prophetic now. Actually, in light of the chaos of what happened in real life after the Soviet Union collapsed, it might just as well be a Funny Aneurysm Moment.
      • Raw resource trade was going on in Russia for centuries, with a few short pauses. The only difference are goods and destinations -- initially that was rope and wood sold to England.
    • The way Vova and Fiddler's crude vocal performances easily woo Pluck's audience looks like a parody of today's bad pop music.
    • In general, the movie managed to parody a lot of things that hadn't happened at the time.
  • Ho Yay: PJ's bathtub scenes.
    • and even before that - when we see PJ's hologram the Patsak near him is on his knees and acts like a dog around PJ. He is even referred as PJ's personal Patsak.
  • Human Aliens: all aliens look exactly like humans. Which is why Vova doesn't believe that they're not on Earth and thinks they're in one of those "dreaded capitalist countries" at first.
  • Idiot Ball: Vladimir Nikolaevich gives away all his matches (a huge fortune, as he's already aware) to a smuggler for a bottle of water and some plastic snacks, when, for all he knew, in a short while he'd be able to return home. Also, Gidevan, in the example stated below, attempts to steal a very heavy coffin with an Human Alien inside, when the local police is about to fall upon them, and when he already has a fully functional ray gun.
  • Indecisive Parody: in a very interesting and strange way, this film is satire of both Soviet AND capitalist states. The creators are not quite sure themselves.
  • Intimidation Demonstration: An etsilop performed Diagonal Cut on a faraway water... er, sand tower just to make a point.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: The Fiddler collects any "unknown alien metals" and technology he can get by barter or plain theft. For Science! Turned Up to Eleven when he tries to kidnap an alien prisoner.
  • Light Is Not Good: Might seem to be the case with the Alphians, but really subverted once you think about it. Oh, sure, they turn the tresspassers from Kin-Dza-Dza into cacti, but when you compare it with what the residents of KDD do to each other (and, in the script, what they attempted to do to Alpha thrice), i.e. exterminate whole planets just because fuck them, it looks pretty tame. They are also eager to help two complete strangers, who BTW are also tresspassing on their territory, return home FOR FREE, and willing to tolerate quite a bit of undeserved rudeness from them. Finally, seeing how Alpha is positioned exactly so as to prevent travel from KDD into Earth space, one might argue that Alphians are actually guarding our space against the invaders from KDD.
  • MacGuffin: The "gravitsappa".
  • Mary Suetopia: Alpha starts like a sterile place with very polite people and nice gardens.
  • Memetic Mutation: as happens with every single popular Soviet movie, phrases and entire dialogues became memes.
    • In 2008, Russian contestants for Eurovison sang "Mama" song from this movie.
    • "Koo!"
  • My Name Is Not Durwood: everyone calls Gedevan Fiddler, even if he says violin isn't his and he can't play it.
  • Naive Newcomer: Uncle Vova at first, although he eventually learns better.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: more or less the whole population of Kin-Dza-Dza (at least of two planets, and no reasons to believe others are any better).

 Gidevan: "Why did they [Pluckans] do it [destroyed the home planet of Bi and Uef]?"

Uef: "So that we don't do it to them first."

Gidevan: "And why would you do that?"

Uef: "So that they don't hang over our heads."

  • Only Electric Sheep Are Cheap: Pluck's inhabitants destroyed the ecology on their own world and converted every single drop of natural water on the planet to plastic lutz. Matchsticks (made of natural wood and sulfur) are incredibly valuable on Pluck.
  • Police State: law enforcement units called etsilopp are corrupt and can come to you at night to beat you up. Unless you are a proud owner of magenta pants (or higher).
  • Ray Gun: etsilopps have ray guns called trancklucators. While you can't see the beam, they're just as deadly. Also some random chatlanian had a trancklucator, though it was probably older and less compact model than what etsilopps have.
  • Scenery Gorn: the entire movie, image of (full scale) Ferris wheel half buried in the sands is probably the most impressive.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Phonetically, Etsilop is reversed Polizei
  • Those Two Guys: Wef and B
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Fiddler tries to give one to the Pluckians and fails.
  • Time Travel
  • Translation Convention: the inhabitants of the Kin-Dza-Dza galaxy are telepathic and usually have very little need to talk (which explains why there are only dozen of words in their vocabulary). Vova and Fiddler are not telepathic, but aliens scan their minds and learn Russian (or Georgian) and talk with them.
  • Trapped in Another World
  • Used Future
  • What Could Have Been: based on published script, there were a B-plot about a citizen of Pluck starting revolution, overthrowing PJ and becoming new tyrant of the planet.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: Matches are the most valuable currency on Pluck. When Uncle Vova forgets that and uses them to smoke, Wef and B get incredibly distressed. Pants of different colours are also in high demand, because they determine your social status.
    • Also subverted with actual money. After Gedevan mentions how many matches he can buy on his 50 rubles, Wef tells him to leave the money as he goes to the toilet catapult.
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