A Totally Demented Alternate History of a 21st Century Soviet Holdout

Illustration for article titled A Totally Demented Alternate History of a 21st Century Soviet Holdout

The fall of the Soviet Union feels like a ridiculously long time ago — so it's a weird thought experiment to imagine one last vestige of the U.S.S.R. holding on in the middle of Austria somewhere.


But this little venture into alternate history sounds like it's just the beginning of the science-fictional weirdness in Sierra Zulu, a full-length movie from veteran pranksters and event organizers Monochrom, which is seeking funding via Kickstarter.

Judging from the concept art and hints they've posted, this film will include cosmonauts, killer robot drones, and maybe something called the Hyper-Hegel, a product of Soviet engineering. The list of people involved includes Star Trek actors Robert Picardo and Max Grodenchick, Buffy the Vampire Slayer actors Amber Benson and Jeff Ricketts, Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh, the Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra, the MIT Media Lab's Joi Ito, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, and Lucasfilm/ILM veteran Aaron Muszalski.

Here's what they say about the project on their Kickstarter page:

Sierra Zulu wants to explore the perspectives of people who live on the fringes of what we would call "history" or "the world". This fringe area – surrounded by the European Union – is where we find the microstate Soviet Unterzoegersdorf, the almost forgotten ‘last autonomous republic of the Soviet Union' which has fallen victim to its geo-political, historical, cultural, and economical irrelevance. This village of 1,500 people is the last paragon of ideals which have been eradicated from the face of the earth with Soviet-Communism. Sierra Zulu is about implanting false memories into the political and cultural record of our modern world, simulating the effects of this partial and local rewriting of history through the initiation of an entire network of events caused by this transposition. Or to put it differently: how would our current reality react to a Soviet Unterzoegersdorf? And what does a "Soviet Hicksville" have to contribute to the betterment of humankind? In a time of global discussions about topics like internet censorship, leaked cables and robot killer drones, the world needs to hear the answers offered by a couple of Soviets in the middle of nowhere. Really, we mean it.

And here's a short prequel from a while back, called "Earthmoving":


All they need to make the full-length movie happen is $50,000 in support — although more money probably means a more ambitious production. For just $552 you can get a vintage Soviet Unterzoegersdorf propaganda poster, which is a pretty neat-sounding collectible. [Kickstarter via Laughing Squid]



Slightly off topic, but does anyone else wonder what things would be like today if the Cold War ended differently?

Like if the Pentagon tried to imprison the president (assume hypothetically this president wasn't Bush) and Congress shit itself and after the generals are arrested the south seceded again but this time the north was "Whatever, bitches."

Maybe it's because I'm old but I wonder about this all the time.