Director – Srdjan Spasojevic (The ABC’s of Death)
Starring – Srdjan “Zika” Tordovic (Underground, The Fucking Dog), Sergej Trifunovic (Serbian Scars, Sleeper Cell), and Jelena Gavrilovic (The Outpost, Everly)
Release Date – 2010
Rating – 3/5
Blu Release – 4/5
There is very few films that are as polarizing and controversial as the 2010 horror comedy A Serbian Film. From it’s very release the film has gained a large cult following along with a dedicated base of genre fans that spend their spare time denouncing and ridiculing the film. I read the synopsis for this one when it was first released and it didn’t sound like it was something for me but I know plenty of people that praise this as their favorite film.
As a collector I was interested in adding the uncut release to my collection but I refused to pay those insane “eBay” prices for it. When Unearthed Films announced a blu release of the uncut version of the film I figured now was the best time to finally check it out to see which side of the horror genre was right. I want to thank MVD and Unearthed Films for sending this one my way to check out.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a former adult film star, Milo (Tordovic), who his now married with a son. As life’s expenses accrue he finds himself propositioned by a former colleague into work with a big name in the underground art film scene. Milo reluctantly agrees and meets with him where he is offered a large sum of money with no details revealed on the project. Milo’s life is then turned upset down when he is drugged and introduced to the world of snuff films. **Spoiler Alert**
I’ve heard from both sides of the argument on this one. Some of my closest genre films love it while others say it’s extreme for extreme sake. Regardless, after reading the synopsis I was inclined to beleive the extreme for extreme sake side but I was still open to the film. I found it to be beautifully shot and funny but most of the film was rather dull which is something I was not expecting to say. A film that uses the phrase “newborn porn” and features a woman as she suffocates on a penis wouldn’t normally be dull. I liked it for the most part but it’s not a film I could revisit.
The acting in this one is absolutely amazing. Tordovic is phenomenal in his role. His character has some very intense scenes and Tordovic delivers. His supporting cast is just as amazing. The characters are so well written and the cast has a lot to work with. They really get into their roles which only fuels the already insane story.
The story for this one is shock value upon shock value but I found a lot of the scenes that many love to be funny. I guess all these years of reviewing underground and extreme horror films has desensitized me but these scenes were extremely funny. Sure, they are for shock value sake but I laughed. My biggest complaint with the film is the run time. This cut of the film is almost two hours long when it doesn’t need to be. We get almost an hour of character and story development before anything memorable happens and then we spend another 20 minutes before the highlight of the film kicks in. It’s cool getting an uncut release of the film but a good portion of the opening of the film could be removed and the film would still have the same impact.
Finally, the film has some seriously impressive practical effects. We get some fun kills with some seriously bloody moments. I wouldn’t call these deaths extreme but they are fucking brutal. I would recommend this one on the kills alone. Overall, A Serbian Film has split the genre for a reason. Some people fail to see the humor but I do see where they are coming from when they say shock value just for the shock value. Did I like the movie? Yes, I did but I can’t say I see why anyone would call this one their favorite film. It’s funny, wonderfully acted, and beautifully shot but the story is just too long. The blu does look fantastic as well. I highly recommend snagging this release if you’ve never seen this film before. Just remember, don’t take it too seriously and you will have a good time.
A Serbian Documentary Preview
A Serbian Film Exhibition
Behind the scenes of NBP
Commentary with Joe Lynch & Adam Green of the Movie Crypt
Commentary with Srdjan Spasojevic & Stephen Biro
Q&A from Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival
Q&A with Srdjan Spasojevic & Jelena Gavrilovic