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Hagi-Tragger – Russian Evil doll

chucky_versus_hagi-2Hagi-Tragger is a 1994 mystical thriller/crime/action film that is known as the Russian take on evil puppet/doll subgenre. If Chucky is the most famous evil doll of the West, then Hagi is his Eastern counterpart.

The plot of Hagi-Tragger very remotely resembles Puppetmaster (1989). A medieval craftsman created an artificial intelligence and stored it into a doll. The doll, named Hagi-Tragger, wielded hypnosis, teleportation and was meant to serve its master in all his deeds. In the post-collapse Russia a doll-maker (the last role of the great comic actor Georgiy Vitsin) recreates Hagi-Tragger and sells it to a crime boss. Soon the doll gets out of hand and starts its own game.

However, don’t get too excited. The film’s opening sequence, with its brilliant lighting and set design, creates an awesome occult atmosphere and great expectations; but ten minutes into the film you will be really bored and struggling to follow the plot. I knew Hagi before I have seen any of the Child’s Play franchise films, and back then its tiny sharp teeth and high-pitched giggling used to terrify me. But in comparison with Chucky, Hagi is an almost harmless, neatly dressed hooligan. It’s a pity that Hagi-Tragger, having all the potential of becoming a great thriller, remained just a curiosity for film buffs.

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