Support The Moscow Times!

Now is the time to support independent reporting from Russia!

Contribute Today

Russian Ethno-Pop Band of Elderly Women Advertises ‘Mortal Kombat’

Sergey Ponomarev / AP

The ethno-pop Russian music group “Buranovskiye Babushki” granted Russian TV director Gavriil Gordeev a special wish this month, appearing in a commercial for “Mortal Kombat,” the 1995 American movie based on the famous arcade game. The film will air on Russian television in early May.

According to the website, the elderly women who make up the band say they were aware of the video game before being invited to Moscow to star in TNT4’s  advertisement.

“I knew that there was a video game. For the longest time, I didn’t understand what children meant when they screamed, ‘Back-back-forward-forward-X!’ I thought, ‘Isn’t that how a crab moves?’ It turns out to be a deadly blow,” one of the singers said.

Gordeev reportedly showed the women a few scenes from the film, to familiarize them with the material, but it apparently left them unimpressed. According to, they said the world would have been better protected by the bogatyrs, Russia’s legendary knights of old.

They even pooh-poohed Sub-Zero, Mortal Kombat’s ice-controlling ninja. “Our Morozko [King Frost] is cooler,” say said.

The Buranovskiye Babushki represented Russia at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, Azerbaijan, where they placed second. The band performs most of its songs in the Udmurt language.

Read more