The Evil Empire Strikes Back, or, Why Russia is Hollywood's Filmic Nemesis...Again


After a short interlude when “Western” horror, suspense, and action films looked to sites other than Eastern Europe for its villain—think of the spectacular failure of the remake of Red Dawn (2012) with North Koreans instead of the Soviets—the Russian scourge is back (it never left) and its specter haunts the screens of the “civilized world” arguably more so now than during the Cold War. Why does the Eastern European foe endure in mass media? What use does the construed and especial “immanence” of the Other Europe have and enjoy in popular media today over twenty years after the fall of the “Evil Empire”?