PDA

View Full Version : A Serbian Film



Ian Jane
10-19-2011, 09:20 AM
Has anyone else seen this yet?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddwrbcMmzlc

It's pretty fucked up. Amazon describes it this way:

"Milos, a retired adult film star, leads a normal family life with his wife Maria and six-year old son Petar in tumultuous Serbia, trying to make ends meet. A sudden call from his former colleague Layla will change everything. Aware of his financial problems, Layla introduces Milos to Vukmir - a mysterious, menacing and politically powerful figure in the adult film business. A leading role in Vukmir's production will provide financial support to Milos and his family for the rest of their lives. A contract insists on his absolute unawareness of a script they will shoot. From then on, Milos is drawn into a maelstrom of unbelievable cruelty and mayhem devised by his employer, "the director" of his destiny. Vukmir and his cohorts will stop at nothing to complete his vision. In order to escape the living cinematic hell he's put into, and save his family's life, Milos will have to sacrifice everything - his pride, his morality, his sanity, and maybe even his own life."

That's more or less a pretty accurate decription. There are, of course, a few very sick twists along the way. Watched it last night, it's got more style than I thought it would and some effective elements of what seemed like black humor in and amdist the sex and death that make up a lot of the movie. It's been decscribed as plotless torture porn but there's very definitely a story here and the film makes some interesting allegories in regards to the state of the country where it was made.

Strong stuff (*and the US Blu-ray I watched is supposedly cut by a little bit too*) and a lot of people just flat out will not like this movie. Can't fault anyone for that. I don't know that I 'enjoyed it' the same way I might enjoy lighter fare but I'm glad to have seen it. It's well acted and possibly a little bit smarter than a lot of its detractors are giving it credit for.

Robin Bougie
10-20-2011, 05:24 AM
I enjoyed it. Can't say I'm a HUGE fan, but it was worth seeing, and is worth some of (but not all of) the hype its getting. Didn't like it enough to buy it, but genre fans should certainly give it a watch. Basically the same way I felt about HUMAN CENTIPEDE.

Mostly I felt myself saying: "This is a good first movie. I can't wait to see what this director does next."

Ps: Anyone who calls this film "plotless" is a dolt.

Ian Jane
10-20-2011, 09:34 AM
Right, it's not plotless and I think a lot of people just can't look past the nastier side of the content to see that. The more I thought about it as I was writing it up the more I appreciated what they were doing here even if I know, as someone who doesn't live in Serbia, that I probably missed a fair bit of the allegory.

Alex K.
10-20-2011, 01:18 PM
I thought it was a great film. Well acted and shot. Very effective in it's use of violence. Just an overall black as night experience that sometimes you need to experience. I'd definitely put it up there in the sickest films of all time list. This is how you make a disturbing film for sure, and shit like Murder-Set-Pieces and Chaos is the opposite of this for obvious reasons.

*The version you may have watched Ian is cut right at the Newborn Porn scene where a guy fucks a baby. We don't see penetration though.

Ian Jane
10-20-2011, 01:22 PM
Yup, I found that out this morning. That's some pretty messed up stuff.

Alex K.
10-20-2011, 02:58 PM
Fucked up for sure, but brave. Brave in the same way that Aftermath or Man Behind the Sun was brave I think.

Ian Jane
10-20-2011, 03:32 PM
It also sort of reminded me of Irreversible, just in its hardsh nihilism and of Cannibal Holocaust in certain ways too. These guys really aren't afraid to push things but they did it with some intelligence behind it.

The Silly Swede
10-20-2011, 04:20 PM
I liked it somewhat, and (lo and behold!!) would have liked it more if it wasn't as graphic, and had a more toned down the nastiness for a bit more believability. Great score and nice setting though.

Alex K.
10-20-2011, 10:00 PM
Speaking of the score I have the main theme as my Ringtone:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtOEZl5MLU8

Ian Jane
10-21-2011, 09:10 AM
I liked it somewhat, and (lo and behold!!) would have liked it more if it wasn't as graphic, and had a more toned down the nastiness for a bit more believability.

I can see where you're coming from here BUT I don't know that what was shown really took the movie out of the realm of believability? It may have been more effective to go Hitchcock-style and maybe let our minds imagine how nasty things might be rather than show as much as they did but nothing really stood out to me, effects wise, as out of the realm of possibility.

Robin Bougie
10-21-2011, 10:52 AM
I think it is a matter of content, but even moreso a stylistic choice to show all the gore and shocks right front and center (instead of the more Hitchcockian angle that Ian posits), and I think most of the people who dislike the movie on those grounds don't really seem to get that.

I mean, no one would say "I would have liked PLATOON more if they hadn't shown so much war. I prefer war movies where the fighting happens off-screen." For what this director was going for, it made all the sense in the world to show everything.

Jens Thomsen
10-21-2011, 11:01 AM
I have seen it several times now and while I think it's far from perfect, it is definitely one of the most interesting pieces of cinema I have seen for a long time. I was lucky to catch a screening of it here in Copenhagen at a local film festival half a year ago and it has (finally) been released on BD and DVD last week. I believe we and the Swedes are just about the only ones who get a completely uncut version. There haven't even been any fuss about it like there has been so many other places. I know the program director of that film festival, I mentioned, and he was sort of disappointed they did not get a single complaint. And though the distributor postponed the release of the DVD and BD some six months after all the trouble in Sweden, it's out now and even available for rent in Blockbuster (though they have placed a 'warning sticker' on the cover).

Ian Jane
10-21-2011, 11:06 AM
it's out now and even available for rent in Blockbuster (though they have placed a 'warning sticker' on the cover).

That's kind of mind blowing, right there. There's no way in HELL Blockbuster would carry an uncut version of this in the US.

Jens Thomsen
10-21-2011, 11:20 AM
I think it is a matter of content, but even moreso a stylistic choice to show all the gore and shocks right front and center (instead of the more Hitchcockian angle that Ian posits), and I think most of the people who dislike the movie on those grounds don't really seem to get that.


I actually think it's quite restrained in its use of effects. Sure, the situations are gruesome, but much of it is implied by clever use of editing and sound. The gore is often only shown in brief insert shots and instead the camera tends to focus on Milos' reactions. That's why I have a hard time to take people serious who claim (as so many have done) that ASF is nothing but 'mere exploitation'. In my mind the visual strategies employed by the filmmakers are quite different from what one would usually see in exploitation movies.

Jens Thomsen
10-21-2011, 11:22 AM
That's kind of mind blowing, right there. There's no way in HELL Blockbuster would carry an uncut version of this in the US.

Haha, yeah, I know. I have been told that the Danish Blockbusters are also the only ones where you can rent porn. Apparently, we like our smut here. :)

Ian Jane
10-21-2011, 11:34 AM
Danish Blockbusters carry XXX? That's rad.

Jens Thomsen
10-29-2011, 10:19 AM
Yup. They are sort of hidden on a single shelve and behind some plastic cards that you have to lift to see what's behind. This is so the terrible images of naked people won't offend anyone. But at least they ARE available. If I remember correctly, Blockbuster was forced to do this when they entered the Danish market. They got too many complaints and lost too much business when they initially tried to remove the porn. ::biggrin:

Btw, I just interviewed the CEO of Blockbuster Denmark about that warning sticker they have attached to 'A Serbian Film'. A local newspaper reported last week that someone had rented it, ignored the sticker because he thought it was in regard to gore effects, and got so offended that he now wants to report the movie to the police and demands that Blockbuster stops renting it out.

The CEO told me they'd only gotten a couple of complaints in total and this was in no way special as they get complaints all the time for all kinds of movies (mainly in regards to the quality). He said they had answered all complaints that Blockbuster were not about to judge movies on a moralistic basis and would leave it up to the customers themselves to rent according to their own standards. He did admit that if they found themselves in a storm of protests they might consider pulling the movie, but he did not find that scenario plausible here.

I found him to be pretty cool and, as I told him, their warning sticker is probably the best solution. It's definitely not a film for everyone and I can understand why people might offended by it. On the other hand, seeing as it does not break any laws, it should absolutely be available to customers who want to check it out.

Ian Jane
10-29-2011, 10:33 AM
He said they had answered all complaints that Blockbuster were not about to judge movies on a moralistic basis and would leave it up to the customers themselves to rent according to their own standards. He did admit that if they found themselves in a storm of protests they might consider pulling the movie, but he did not find that scenario plausible here.

That's interesting as it lies in direct contrast to the Blockbusters here that were at one point not carrying unrated films and requiring that certain harsher movies be edited for content in order to get placement on their shelves. Of course, now Blockbuster is bleeding money left, right and center in the US, and while I never want to see someone go out of business as it means people are going to lose their jobs, I can't say I'll miss Blockbuster as a corporation.

While they've loosened up in recent years (I think because finances have forced them too), well, do a search on Blockbuster.com for A Serbian Film and see what you get. They're not carrying it here.

Alison Jane
10-29-2011, 11:26 AM
I still have not watched this. Nor have I read any of this thread. Nor do I know anything about the film.

We should watch it tonight. :funny:

Jimmy Simard
10-29-2011, 02:46 PM
It's definitely not a film for everyone and I can understand why people might offended by it.
Not me... People like to be offended about everything. A synopsis isn't written for nothing on a back cover and if a movie is in a special section without being a pornographic film usually this isn't for nothing. Nobody is force to rent a movie because a videoclub had it... it's not like if it was shown on TV at 9 in the morning (and even with that everybody can switch the channel).

As usual here my order is delayed... :nono:

Alison Jane
10-31-2011, 08:03 PM
It was messed up but I expected scar me for life material or something. It was an interesting watch.

Jens Thomsen
11-01-2011, 04:46 AM
You are so hardcore, Allison. :biggrin:

I have no doubt that less experienced or adventurous viewers might feel seriously disturbed by 'A Serbian Film'. But the question is, could anything really scar people in here for life anymore? I have a hard time believing anything fictitious really would affect me that much today.

Alison Jane
11-01-2011, 06:19 AM
There was one film that really distubed me... I can't remember the title. It had the word "Girl" in it. "Girl Next Door?" Ian would know.

Ian Jane
11-01-2011, 09:13 AM
There was one film that really distubed me... I can't remember the title. It had the word "Girl" in it. "Girl Next Door?" Ian would know.

Yup. The Jack Ketchum adaptation.

Jens Thomsen
11-01-2011, 04:57 PM
Oh, yeah, I forgot about that. I think you might actually be right about that one. I have been avoiding it because I am a bit squeamish about realistic depictions of rape. That's why I actually find films like Last House on the Left, I Spit on Your Grave and Irréversible harder to watch than I did A Serbian Film (though that one was no walk in the park either ).

Alison Jane
11-01-2011, 09:26 PM
I can deal with rape flicks. I don't know what it was about Girl Next Door. It seriously bothered me though.

Jimmy Simard
11-01-2011, 10:41 PM
It's the film about Sylvia Lickens right? Never seen the film, but just read about the case at the crime library was depressing enough. I'm unable to watch movie about real maltreated children...

Robin Bougie
11-02-2011, 03:49 AM
I have both the movies based on the Lickens case -- THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, and AN AMERICAN CRIME. They're both quite good, and very disturbing despite not being all that graphic compared to something, say, like A SERBIAN FILM. The movies get in your head like a mold. Just the concept of the story is about as diabolical and fucked as you can conjure up, and it just drives home the horror of it when you know it's based on something that actually happened to some poor girl. In fact, what really happened to her was even worse than what they put in the adaptations.

http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/young/likens/1.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sylvia_Likens

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gertrude_Baniszewski

Alison Jane
11-02-2011, 06:28 AM
It's the film about Sylvia Lickens right? Never seen the film, but just read about the case at the crime library was depressing enough. I'm unable to watch movie about real maltreated children...

Another bothersome one, but definitely not at the level of Girl Next Door, was Mockingbird Don't Sing.

PS... you have a crime library? Are you Batman or something? :funny:

Ian Jane
11-02-2011, 09:14 AM
Ketchum's book is more disturbing than the film, in my opinion. Either way, they did a very good job of adapting it. The fact that it is as unsettling as it is means they did their work well.

Jimmy Simard
11-02-2011, 10:45 AM
PS... you have a crime library? Are you Batman or something? :funny:
:funny:
It's the first website linked by Robin. I always forget it isn't named the Crime library anymore.

Jimmy Simard
11-02-2011, 04:41 PM
As usual here my order is delayed... :nono:
Just shipped today wich is weird since Amazon Canada doesn't list it as in stock yet :dunno:

Jens Thomsen
12-02-2011, 09:44 AM
An interesting development just happened today, here in Denmark: Blockbuster decided to pull the movie from their stores after too many customer complaints. Specifically the CEO said the customers complained about the scenes with suggested pedophilia, and even though he would prefer to keep the film in the stores by principle, they would have to make a new warning sticker and they apparently just couldn't be bothered.

Ian Jane
12-02-2011, 09:55 AM
So they're obliging out of laziness?

Go Blockbuster!

Jens Thomsen
12-03-2011, 09:34 AM
That's my interpretation, yeah. I called the CEO for a comment and he told me they decided to pull it to shield their employees in the stores who had to listen to a lot of abuse from customers. I asked him if they could not simply change their warning sticker to reflect the content better, and he told me that it would take too many resources to do so. I got the feeling that had the film been rented more out they might have done so. But because it wasn't exactly a rental success, and because of the high ratio of complaints to the number of people renting it, he didn't want to do it.

It's interesting though, because when I first spoke to him some weeks ago, he told me that a scenario where BB would pull the film from the stores would be very, very unlikely. Apparently, it's a first for them. It's the only film legally available in the local market that BB does not stock.

Ian Jane
12-03-2011, 11:42 AM
Interesting, and rather sad. I guess money talks and all that.

Ian Jane
05-03-2012, 09:57 AM
Amazon has this listed with a 5/22 release date and it's listed as uncut. DVD only so far as I can tell, released by Invincible Pictures.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Mp-KZ5QzL.jpg

Alex K.
05-03-2012, 09:58 AM
Nice!

Jens Thomsen
05-03-2012, 12:55 PM
It's DVD only and it's quite pricey. But at least you US'ians finally get to see the whole thing.

sukebanboy
06-30-2012, 12:35 PM
LOVE this movie...While not as political or "relevant" as it would like to think it is, it was a well made exploitation piece with a cool soundtrack...and the balls to step up and make me sit up while watching...

Not sure I would watch it again...but the experience was worth it.....a well made exploitation piece...that ALMOST suceeds in grossing me out...but stepped over the line into absurdity for me with the "infamous" scene....

Ian Jane
06-16-2017, 01:43 PM
Looks like Unearthed Films is working on a documentary about this one.

http://www.cinesploitation.com/2017/06/youve-experienced-serbian-film-now.html

Alex K.
06-16-2017, 02:08 PM
I was hoping the director/writer team of this one is working on a new film.

Ian Jane
06-26-2017, 05:21 PM
18214

So it looks like Unearthed Films is up to something with the movie, not just the documentary.

JLG
06-26-2017, 05:44 PM
maybe we will all get to hear voicemails

Alex K.
06-26-2017, 07:06 PM
I don't get the point of releasing it over here. People who want to see it uncut already have it on Blu. Anyone curious has most likely torrented it because of the controversy.

Stephen would really have to kill it with extras to entice people to buy it. Therefore, I predict that he will release the movie in a replica newborn baby with the words "NEWBORN PORN" written in bold.

Ian Jane
04-12-2018, 09:49 AM
Looks like Unearthed Films is working on a documentary about this one.

http://www.cinesploitation.com/2017/06/youve-experienced-serbian-film-now.html

https://www.aserbianexhibition.com/

Alex K.
04-12-2018, 09:58 AM
https://www.aserbianexhibition.com/

Unearthed Films and A Serbian Film director Srdjan Spasojevic team up to bring fans of the iconic horror-thriller the ultimate fan experience! Coming soon to Los Angeles from May 18-20, the three-day A SERBIAN FILM EXPEDITION features a special GALLERY EXHIBIT where all the props used in the film, including heads, bodies, machetes, and more, will be on full display.

All items will be available for purchase during a seven-day online-only AUCTION on eBay, beginning Friday, May 18 at 8 pm PT and concluding Friday, May 25 at 8 pm PT.

You just know some guy is going to take a selfie with the newborn baby prop.

agent999
04-12-2018, 10:49 AM
You just know some guy is going to take a selfie with the newborn baby prop.

Yeah, probably David DeFalco.

Keeth
04-12-2018, 01:48 PM
I watched the movie on my pc so I would like to see it again, sort of. I don't remember all that much about it so despite being extreme, it isn't all that memorable.

Matt H.
04-12-2018, 07:48 PM
I was fortunate enough to see this uncut on the fucking big screen (still can't believe it) when Rue Morgue screened it in Toronto in 2010. It was a packed house and you could hear a pin drop during the newborn porn scene (it was creepy as hell) and I honestly thought I was going to have a heart attack during the climax - it was insane and the sound was cranked in the theater.