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Savage Hunt of King Stakh (Dikaya okhota korolya Stakha)

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Savage Hunt of King Stakh
(Dikaya okhota korolya Stakha)
Dikaya okhota korolya Stakha Poster.jpg
Original Theatrical Poster
Country SOV.jpg USSR
Directed by Valeri Rubinchik
Release Date 1980
Language Russian
Studio Belarusfilm
Main Cast
Character Actor
Andrey Beloretskiy Boris Plotnikov
Nadezhda Yanovskaya Elena Dimitrova
Ignatiy Gatzevich Albert Filozov
Dubotovk Roman Filippov
Ales Vorona Boris Khmelnitskiy
Pani Kulsha Valentina Shendrikova
Andrey Svetilovich Aleksandr Kharitonov (II)
Rygor Igor Klass
Bazil Gatzevich Vladimir Fyodorov

Savage Hunt of King Stakh (Dikaya okhota korolya Stakha) is a Soviet 1980 (filmed 1979) mystical drama two-part movie directed by Valeri Rubinchik and based on the 1964 novel by Vladimir Korotkevich. In 1900, ethnographer and folklorist Andrey Beloretskiy (Boris Plotnikov) comes to the swampy, god-forgotten Belarusian outscirt of the Russian Empire to research local folk legends. Here he meets Nadezhda Yanovskaya (Elena Dimitrova), the last of a once rich and powerful noble family, and learns a dark legend about King Stakh, whom Nadezhda's ancestor once betrayed and killed, and who returned at the leader of the Wild Hunt, chasing all the descendants of his killer. At first, Beloretskiy perceives this story as nothing more than a fairy tale, but then a series of strange deaths occur, and Beloretskiy himself has to face the Wild Hunt.

Note: the American release title Savage Hunt... is obviously wrong, as the plot utilises the famous folklore motif of the Wild Hunt. Russian word "Dikaya" have meanings both "savage" and "wild", but of course "wild" is correct in this case (the original novel was released in English as King Stakh's Wild Hunt).

The following weapons were used in the film Savage Hunt of King Stakh (Dikaya okhota korolya Stakha):


Nagant M1895

Pristav (chief of local police) (Viktor Ilyichyov) and his subordinates carry Nagant M1895 revolvers in holsters.

Nagant M1895 - 7.62x38R Nagant. Note the angular front sight which was used from 1930s.
The heel of policeman's holstered Nagant is seen.
Pristav carries a Nagant in holster.

Percussion Dueling Pistol

During the duel between Andrey Beloretskiy (Boris Plotnikov) and the local nobleman Ales Vorona (Boris Khmelnitskiy), each duelist is armed with three Percussion Dueling Pistols. Three cased sets of dueling pistols with all necessary accessories are used. When the characters fire the pistols, the genuine percussion guns are replaced with visually modified Single Barreled Shotguns (see below).

For reference: Modern replica of Lepage percussion dueling pistol.
The first set of dueling pistols.
The second set of dueling pistols.
The third set of dueling pistols.
Beloretskiy's and Vorona's seconds prepare the pistols.
Beloretskiy's second cocks the hammer.
Beloretskiy holds one of the pistols; two more pistols are in his lowered left hand.
One of Vorona's pistols is seen at the background.

M1809 Cavalry Flintlock Pistol

A Russian M1809 cavalry flintlock pistol is seen on the wall in Dubotovk's estate.

Russian Cavalry Pistol M1809 - .70 cal
A flintlock pistol that looks like M1809 hangs on the wall together with a long gun.
One more view of the pistol.

Flintlock Pistol

A Flintlock Pistol is also seen in the wall in Dubotovk's estate. This is probably a kind of travel pistol, more compact than military models but larger than common pocket pistols.

The pistol is partially seen at the right.
Another view of the pistol.


Double Barreled Shotgun

Local hunter Rygor (Igor Klass) holds a Double Barreled Shotgun with exposed hammers in several scenes. In the climactic scene the landowner pan Dubotovk (Roman Filippov) fires a shotgun from a window in his estate.

For reference: Russian TOZ-B double barreled side by side shotgun - 16 Gauge
Rygor runs with the shotgun in hands in the climactic scene.
Rygor kneels over the dead body of pani Kulsha (Valentina Shendrikova).
Rygor leads the peasants against the Wild Hunt.
Dubotovk fires from a window on the attic.
Rygor in turn fires at Dubotovk.
Rygor holds the shotgun.

Single Barreled Shotgun (visually modified as percussion cap pistol)

When Andrey Beloretskiy (Boris Plotnikov) and Ales Vorona (Boris Khmelnitskiy) fires their pistols during the duel, the previously seen genuine Percussion Dueling Pistols are replaced with sawed-off, visually modified Single Barreled Shotguns. IZh-18 were most commonly used for such conversion, but the guns are seen in distance, and it's hard to say for sure.

Vorona fires one of his fake pistols.
Vorona holds discharged pistols. Despite the guns are seen in distance, their appearance allows to accurately identify the sawed-off, visually modified shotguns.
Beloretskiy holds one gun in his right hand and two more in the left hand, waiting until Vorona will spent all three of his shots.

Single Barreled Shotgun (visually modified as flintlock musket)

In the climactic scene Andrey Beloretskiy (Boris Plotnikov), Ales Vorona (Boris Khmelnitskiy) and one of the peasants hold Single Barreled Shotguns, visually modified as a kind of early versions of Flintlock Musket (like Doglock Musket). Only a single gun is seen in a time, so very likely a single prop is used throughout the scene. This gun is fitted with a wide buttstock with a shape characteristic for 16th-17th century muskets and with a large, massive muzzle cap. The lock itself is seen unclear.

For reference: A musket with dog lock or "English lock" of English Civil War era. The screen gun is supposed to look like this.
Beloretskiy and Rygor run with the guns in hands. The characteristic buttstock of the fake musket in Beloretskiy's hands is seen.
The muzzle cap of Beloretskiy's gun.
Vorona, dressed as the leader of the Wild Hunt, holds the fake musket. The buttstock is seen perfectly, which unfortunately cannot be said about the lock. In this scene Vorona fires his weapon.
A fake musket in hands of a peasant at the foreground. It can be seen that the "fins" are attached top and bottom to the buttstock of a common shotgun.
Another view of the same peasant's gun.
In the same scene, Andrey Beloretskiy's fake flintlock musket switches to a different gun (the abovementioned gun with the wide buttstock is in hands of a peasant in this moment). This gun also seems to be a mockup, and maybe even not a visually modified shotgun but a pretty crude dummy.

Percussion Cap Musket

A military style percussion cap musket hangs on the walls in Dubotovk's estate. While the general appearance resembles the Russian Infantry Musket M1845, the barrel bands are placed differently.

Russian percussion cap musket M1845 (1851 year produced, Tula) - .70
The musket hangs on the wall.

Unknown long guns

Several long guns hang on the walls in Dubotovk's estate.

An unknown long gun hangs on the wall at the left. The style of the buttstock is common for hunting and target flintlock and percussion cap rifles.
Another long gun hangs at the right. The buttstock is strongly inclined downwards that can be seen on hunting flintlock muskets.
One more view of the gun at the left.


Mosin Nagant Rifle

In the final scene soldiers who arrived to quell the riots are armed with Mosin Nagant rifles that may be M1891 or M1891/30.

Mosin Nagant M1891 Infantry Rifle, late configuration - 7.62x54mm R
The rifles stand near the sentry box.
A soldier carries a rifle with bayonet.

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