Posters for Letters from a Dead Man and Visitor to a Museum,
from 'The Apocalypse Quartet of Konstantin Lopushansky' at www.fright.com
The second, Visitor to a Museum (1989), has even been interpreted as a sequel of sorts to Stalker. Its main character travels through a vividly portrayed nightmarish wasteland (literally – it appears to be one vast rubbish dump) on a journey to visit the Museum of the title, which lies submerged under rising flood waters and can only be reached at low tide. In this blighted landscape, an underclass of mutated humans, known as Degenerates, are confined to reservations, where they persist in primitive forms of worship – their sole prayer is “let us out of here”. The central protagonist is disturbed by their plight and fascinated by their religious customs, later seemingly being adopted by them as a Messiah before continuing on his mission as a form of spiritual quest. The latter part of the film is particularly hallucinatory and harrowing; the ‘hero’ reaches the Museum, only to find that it is nothing more than a bleak island of ruins amidst the toxic sea. These evocations of a decayed civilisation, environmental ruin and social collapse are vividly portrayed throughout – a truly dystopian vision created at the very end of the era of Soviet Communism.