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From Russia, With Love

Like the Cold War’s nuclear arms race, or the Space Race at the second half of the 20th century, mankind is currently engaged in a contest to uncover the world’s most bad ass living Russian.  Step aside Ivan the Terrible.  Move over Grigori Rasputin.  Cossack dance home Ivan Drago, ‘cause it looks like ve have a vinner!  Comrades, please bow before the mighty Count Tarkan: Bad Ass Russian.

If you don’t recognize this face-punching, beast-beating, bearded Bolshevik, then you may want to put down the Vodka bottle and hit “replay”.  Anything now?  Well, if the Repo Man in the back of the bar doesn’t give it away, then surely the name Tarakan (Russian for cockroach) does.

Amusingly, I’ve been surprised by how many people have failed to recognize me in this rowdy Ruskie role.  I was floored by one encounter where I played the music video for a friend—after telling him that I was involved in the project—and then bit my lip when he innocently asked, “So, were you the Repo Man in the corner?”

This unpredicted beard-induced blindness inspired the video’s director, Spooky Dan Walker, and I to anonymously post the clip on YouTube, drop a few pointed hints, and then see where the icy trail led; we wanted to see if our musical short film could make its mark online without us screaming, “Please watch our video!”

It’s been three months and we’ve breached 30,000 views, including write-ups on pop culture sites like Topless Robot that inspired comments in the form of “What. The. Fuck. Did I just watch?  That was very cool, but very very very weird.  Even for the internet.”

So… now that the Yeti is out of the sack, please watch our video!  If you enjoy it, spread it like Chernobyl.

A big thanks to the crew of rogues who helped bring this project to life, especially Lisette Santana, whose make-up magic made me virtually unrecognizable, and Tammy and Spooky Dan Walker for producing and directing three-minutes of ice-cold badassery.  Stoy!

  • Genny

    I didn’t recognize you physically, but the voice is unmistakeably yours. 😛 How creepy am I?

    Love the video. LOVE the song (both this and the original). Great concept.

  • Ms.Mantis

    This video always reminds me of why I love you. Stoy!

  • HA! That was awesome. Also-WTF! Jareth from Labyrinth in the background?!

    LOVE IT!

  • Annie Nygma

    The general reaction from this corner of the world has been “What the fuck did I just watch? I have to see that again.” It’s usually followed by “Wait, that’s Terrance? This suddenly makes surprising amounts of sense.”
    Поздравления на вашем успехе, графе Таракане!

  • LindsayM

    I absolutely love this! I first saw it when Spooky Dan tweeted it some time ago (can’t remember when)

    The first viewing I didn’t recognize you in it. The second viewing I did and it made it all the more enjoyable for me. I promplty played it for all my friends at work, tweeted it and posted iton facebook. I was so enthralled by it! I have since bought the iTunes single too and anxiously wait for more!

    Your art never fails me, I love it!

  • Once you started to sing, it was very clear who you were! And this may sound creepy but at 1:45, I recognized your eyes.

  • shandi

    That was very cool! have to watch that a few times 🙂

  • Jessica (from New Mexico)

    Terrance: You never fail to amaze! I definitely recognized you at some point in the video, and your voice definitely gave you away! <3 it!

  • Haley

    oh wow. that was some of the funniest shit I have ever seen. I can’t say for sure I would have recognized you if you hadn’t told us, but I think you’re pretty obvious. funnily enough, it’s mostly the expressions made which are very familiar.

  • Lyra Porcasi

    Terrance,

    Despite the fact that you look like a sweaty buffalo here, you’re still the greatest, most brilliant, most bad-ass artist in your apartment building! I kid, of course.
    Anyway, did I see a Labyrinthine Jareth in the bar? I saw the huge codpiece first, then the bad wig and I swear it was Bowie after way too much moonshine!

  • Xenaris

    I don’t know if it is of interest, but Zirofax posted two making-of pics of the Yeti on dA: http://zirofax.deviantart.com/art/Istanbul-Yeti-257766086

    and http://zirofax.deviantart.com/art/Yeti-Makin-Time-257765732

    It’s really amazing how much work you guys put into this little gem of weirdness.

    And thanks for that ear-worm I got after I first watched it… you get really funny looks when humming “Istanbul not Konstantinopel” in a school where many pupils are of turkish decent. 😉

  • Yup, the voice. That’s when I caught on. Lisette did an excellent job on the make-up, I didn’t recognize Miss Courtney until recently. The ice maidens are also Badass:)

  • Maybe people expected the grave-robbing pretty boy, but I knew it was you the second Wolf show it to me.
    Face and voice are obvious.
    I loved the Bowie, both repo men and was puzzled by the baseball player. Your females as ice women were an interesting choice as well.

    Made me think a little of the Rasputin song (in the dark of the night) from the animated Anastasia film. Now that would interesting to see you cover….singing insects and all.

  • Johnna

    When I randomly received a postcard in the mail that had a burly man that looked awfully familiar standing by a fortune teller cart I was just spewing with anticipation (although the scribbled out Testify at the top kinda gave it me an inkling about who it was). Absolutely loved it, very enjoyable! I’ve been whoring it ever since.

  • Froggy

    Love his name.

  • Angela Black

    That was amazing! I swear, you can take any role and make it yours! You’re a genious Terrance. Stoy!

  • Kelerak Odo Niglor

    Stoy!!

  • How could anyone not recognize You?!?
    Everything about that video is bad-fucking-ass. Like REPO!, I’ve been showing it to people, who then show it to their friends, and so on and so forth. Spreadin’ the love.

    …by the way, I was delighted to receive that lovely from You–er–Count Tarakan.

  • *lovely postcard, that is.

  • Cathy the Aussie

    G’day Terrance!!
    After I hit replay, I realized it was you! I love all the baddies in the bar…I think I guessed most of them! I still want to know about that Nun though?? 🙂 Awesome video!! It’s just a romping good time!!!
    Look forward to the next single by Count Tarakan! 🙂

  • Little Mel

    I recognized you right away in the beginning. But the point you can REALLY tell it’s you is in the ice castle where it does the close up of your eyes.

  • Little Mel

    and OMG CJ! <3

  • Courtney

    What a bunch of weirdos. EVEN for the internet.

  • No one has mentioned how much you look like Spooky Dan in this video, Terrance!

    Excellent work from both of you guys and the whole crew involved on this video. Super proud of Spooky on his directing skills!

  • constance

    Loved the video so much!!!!!!! Especially the russian dancing!!!!

  • Graverobber’s Bitch

    I knew it was you. I’m really good at identifying people by their eyes. Don’t ask. I didn’t say anything cause I figured you wanted to keep it a secret. I love the video! It was pretty fun to try and pick out all the ‘cameos’.

    So, are we going to hear/see anymore from the bad ass Russian?

  • The Little One

    Pfft, I could tell it was you right away. Your eyes are a dead giveaway. 😉
    I think the video is magnificent and you can most definitely hold that powerful air of……power….Mercy me*Fans herself with her church fan*
    The Repo Man tidbit was nice as well. =)

    Sincerely,
    The Little (German) One 😉

  • kimberly

    cool video, btw one of my favorite songs. knew it was you right after the wolf howl (your eyes give you away).

    thinking you should compete in whisker wars ;-}

  • Aimee

    Very funny video! How could anyone not recognize you? I figured out it was you during the wolf scene and definetly knew it was you when you started to sing. Love the video, love you more and can’t wait until the next molting comes out or the movie project.

  • Jessica

    Even with beardface, it’d be pretty hard not to recognize you because of how low your voice goes. I haven’t heard many guys who can get that low but, holy shit, on a totally unrelated though somewhat related not, I was laughing my ass off as soon as I saw Jareth and the nun.

  • this made me want to see what you’re like drunk

  • CHEERS! You dirty Russian!

  • constance

    Yes, it was the eyes that gave you away and the voice is unmistakable! Please do more, please. I know it’s hard work, but you can do it!!

  • Surrylda

    Now I want to see the Russian do “Whip it” (devo) or “little girls” (oingo boingo).

  • Sirin

    Muahahahahahaha! At first glance it seemed like a catch-up sequel for the Borat movie, but now it doesn’t. Darn, it’s hilarious! And no offence taken, at least I, residing in Russia, find this shot awesome! XD I won’t ask why you decided to pick up a Russian theme, it’s a great deep well of things that can be laughed at and played with 🙂 Так что вперёд и с криками ура, граф Таракан! 😉
    BTW, count Tarakan…ain’t u in any way related to the Countess (princess) Tarakanova? 😉

  • madame de lazerne

    ” spread it like chernobyl ” sorry should that be funny
    i cant lough

  • Kate

    Bloody funny.
    I have been to Istanbul, Count. It’s as a mad a bag of spiders. But the baklava is gooooooood.

    By the by, very good to see that Jareth is able to hang out with his fantastic bros after *such* a disapointment in girls. he should try a willing lad: he’s got the moves.

    And for Mr Z, should the Count let him see this: nope, you are completely disguised by the facial bush. Nice one. And the baby ‘roaches at work are getting bigger and bolder, bless their little chitinous shells.

  • Marie Sharp

    I seem to be one of the few that found it on youtube while I was looking for something else, oddly I had the song in my head after catching the tail end of the original on the radio earlier and immediately laughed and then shared it everywhere to the tune of ‘look what the creator of Repo is up to now!’ and everyone looked at me like I lost my mind.

    ^^I’m gonna have to keep that ‘mad as a bag of spiders’ comment though I like that one

  • Countess Tarakan

    Ummmm… I don’t know why some people say you’re difficult to recognize in this vid. Your facial features are really strong and immediately identifiable, even before your voice. However, Count Tarakan, Tarakan, Tarakanische (sorry, had to throw a real Russian reference in there – most likely meaningless to most, but not to those in the know:-) – Russian? Why Russian, specifically? If it hadn’t been written everywhere I would have NEVER figured out you were a “Russian badass”. Killer voice, though. Luv ya!!!

  • K.

    Одобряем, особенно этот очаровательный акцент.

    Из России с любовью =)

  • K.

    Одобряем, особенно этот очаровательный акцент.

    Из России с любовью =)

  • Zydrate Queen

    I really don’t get how anybody could not recognize you, regardless of how you look or what you’re wearing or whatever. Because for me, anyway, I will always know right away when it’s you playing someone just by looking at the eyes, because your eyes to me are just like…they’re impossible not to recognize. You’ve just got this completely unmistakable eyes that are so unique, and it’s like no matter how many prosthetic they put on you or whatever else, I can just take one look at your eyes before you ever open your mouth and just throw up my hands and go, “Yep, that’s Terrance alright, I’d stake my life on it, case closed.”

    And besides, if the eyes somehow get overlooked, there is absolutely NO MISTAKING your baritone, even if you are putting on a Russian accent thicker than an unabridged copy of Les Miserables. I mean, there is just not a single other person on this planet that can get their voice that low as smoothly or as quickly as you can. (21st Century Cure; “lest it be you on the concrete be-LOW;” I rest my case.)

  • Zydrate Queen

    I really don’t get how anybody could not recognize you, regardless of how you look or what you’re wearing or whatever. Because for me, anyway, I will always know right away when it’s you playing someone just by looking at the eyes, because your eyes to me are just like…they’re impossible not to recognize. You’ve just got this completely unmistakable eyes that are so unique, and it’s like no matter how many prosthetic they put on you or whatever else, I can just take one look at your eyes before you ever open your mouth and just throw up my hands and go, “Yep, that’s Terrance alright, I’d stake my life on it, case closed.”

    And besides, if the eyes somehow get overlooked, there is absolutely NO MISTAKING your baritone, even if you are putting on a Russian accent thicker than an unabridged copy of Les Miserables. I mean, there is just not a single other person on this planet that can get their voice that low as smoothly or as quickly as you can. (21st Century Cure; “lest it be you on the concrete be-LOW;” I rest my case.)

  • Messr. Night

    Do we get to call you Count Cockroach, now?

  • Emily Greene

    You did a wonderful job singing/performing in the video and you looked suitably Russian.