There are many iconic killers in the history of horror. From Freddy to Michael to Norman Bates, icons abound. Many of these infamous killers are based on true killers in the real world. Whether it is a straight up adaptation of their story, like in Gacy, or one’s that are a re-imagining the true story, as in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. They make great adaptation material because, well, they’re creepy as hell.
But there are tons of creeps that have not received the big screen treatment that seem ripe for an adaptation. In this series we explore some of the spooky kooks out there whose story would make for one hell of a horror adaptation. Help us cast our dream (or nightmare) hypotheticals.
Today we start with someone who definitely meets the description of creepy, but may need to be made a killer for the movie version. You decide. His name is Anatoly Moskvin and he wants to show you his doll collection.
Moskvin was a well-regarded linguist at Moscow State University. He was revered for his academics, but was also known for his eccentricities. He was obsessed with largely Celtic occultism, especially when it came to burial rituals. He compiled a personal library of over 60,000 books and documents on rituals and rites related to the occult.
A Russian linguist with an obsession for the occult and burial rites is already pretty good spook fodder, but we haven’t even come close to the peak of his spookiness. Why’s that? Well, he hasn’t shown you his dolls, has he? I guess at some point he decided to put his vast knowledge of occult burial practices to use and started exhuming bodies.
Perhaps the most off-putting of all Moskvin’s eccentricities among his friends and colleagues was his huge collection of life-sized dolls. The dolls could be found throughout his house, posed in each room in various ways. They’d be sitting on the couch in the living room, at the table in the dining room and so on. A grown-ass adult with life-sized dolls posed in every room of his house is, well, strange. Little did his friends and neighbors know it was much more than strange.
Turns out those dolls started as dead children buried in their graves. Moskvin would stalk local cemeteries waiting for child funerals. The children had to be certain ages, sizes and not be disfigured. He would wait until the evening following the funeral, sneak into the cemetery and exhume the body by hand. I used to work as a gravedigger (no, I’m not kidding) and let me tell you, that shit ain’t easy.
He would then clean and prepare the bodies through a process of mummification and glazing. He would pose them, dress them and give them things like dolls eyes, hair and makeup. Once authorities finally connected the grave robberies to Moskvin, they were initially unable to find the bodies. Little did they know the bodies were all around them the whole time. Once the jig was up, Moskvin lost his damn mind. He’s been locked in a mental institution ever since waiting until he gets an evaluation that psychologically clears him to stand trial.
So, to recap, an academic professor at a Moscow university becomes obsessed with occult burial practices and develops a practice of stalking children’s funerals, robbing them from their graves and turning them into dolls that he posed throughout his house. Think we could turn this into a horror movie? Ya think?!
I think this movie has a great chance for a Silence of the Lambs style flick. Maybe we have an investigator who is simply investigating the missing corpses. Maybe they consult with a local professor famous for knowing a ton of about the occult and grave robbing and whatnot. As the trail grows closer and closer to the perp, they realize who the monster really is, but perhaps it is too late.
I think lots of directors/writers would do this justice, but certainly two that come to mind are Jordan Peele and Sean Byrne who would both kill it. Maybe our investigator could be someone like Russian actress Margarita Levieva, who was great in things like Adventureland and The Lincoln Lawyer. As for Moskvin, for some reason Michael Fassbender comes to mind and I do think he’d be great. If we stick with Russian actors, I would think Konstantin Khabensky would be fantastic, as he was in things like Daywatch and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
What do you think? Who is creating the script for our adaptation? Who can bring the visuals to life? How would you structure the story for maximum scares? Let us know and you’re welcome for giving a new reason to be frightened of dolls.
Want more creepy reading? Just search below!