“Killing us is taking an awfully long time,” remarks one character in “Bite the Dust,” and audiences are likely to feel a similar weary impatience with this leaden Russian black comedy. Revolving around a bunch of hicks in the sticks awaiting world’s end, Taisia Igumentseva’s feature debut is bogged down with both a literal flood and an ever-growing tide of overacting and undercooked gags, plus an overeager need to seem quirky and cute. Local viewers may smile more indulgently on this, but pic will bite the dust indeed beyond the fest circuit.
In a remote region, an unnamed township — composed of little more than eight adults, two kids, a cow and a dog — learns that an astronomical phenomenon is about to wipe out 90% of humanity. After some token keening and wrenching of garments, they settle in for the apocalypse in typically phlegmatic Russian fashion by getting drunk, having adulterous sex and telling blunt home truths before the end. What actually happens at the end remains unclear, but honestly, who cares? Art director Eldar Karhalev has an embarrassing style crush on “Delicatessen.”