After wandering off in the desert and being presumed dead in the previous film, Vladimir returns here, claiming to be the reincarnation of Moses, spouting scripture and purporting to be the leader of his people. The remaining band members don’t put up much of a fuss and begin the journey back, but not before Vladimir/Moses (who’s hardly as reformed as he claims) steals the nose of the Statue of Liberty. Subsequently, the band finds themselves trailed by a CIA agent (André Wilms), who will also try to claim the status of ancient prophet as a way to infiltrate the group.
More overtly bizarre in both subject matter and structure, Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses is nowhere near as cohesive as its predecessor, but it still yields some hilariously strange images, like a scene that features Moses and a band member engaging in a literary battle between the Old Testament and The Communist Manifesto.
The third disc in the set features Total Balalaika Show — a concert documentary of the Cowboys’ 1994 performance in Helsinki’s Senate Square, along with the Alexandrov Red Army Chorus and Dance Ensemble. Reportedly, 70,000 people attended the concert, and this straightforward, hour-long documentation of the event is surreally joyous, as traditional Russian songs intermingle with covers of Bob Dylan, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Turtles. Disc three also includes five music videos — the pre-feature film “Rocky VI,” “Thru the Wire” and “L.A. Woman” along with “Those Were the Days” and “These Boots.”
If you thought Spinal Tap was the only fictional band to achieve major real-world notoriety, think again. The blank-faced Leningrad Cowboys are a deadpan riot as this Eclipse set can handily attest to.