How far would you go to exacerbate your own country? Would you include the following: Pedophilia, Porn, Necrophilia, Snuff, Murdering children, S&M, Male Nudity, Torture, Infant Porn, Impalement, Tooth Pulling, Incest, Homosexual Rape, Decapitation, and to top it all off include the mother of all surprise endings? Critics and fans of cinema all over argue about this film night and day. Are they going for the shock value? Are they just sick and depraved individuals that get off on this filth? I wondered the same thing after viewing. I’m not going to lie…..I felt horrible when it was all over. I couldn’t believe what my fragile little mind had just witnessed. However, I read what the director had to say about the film and now I’m actually impressed. During the Q&A for the screening at the South by Southwest Film Festival, director and writer Srdjan Spasojevic described it as an angry response to Serbia's aggressive censorship laws. He said, "This is a diary of our own molestation by the Serbian government. We're giving this back to you." He also argued that the central theme of rape-murder has a point. "It's about the monolithic power of leaders who hypnotize you to do things you don't want to do. You have to feel the violence to know what it's about." Hate it or not, it’s all up to every single audience member. Everybody may tell his or her own opinion and feelings and this has to be respected from the others.
Believe it or not, A Serbian Film is the most censored film to be released in the UK since Nammavar (1995). A total of 4 minutes and 11 seconds were removed to obtain an 18 certificate. Shot in 61 days in locations of Belgrade, Serbia. In order to receive a rating by the BBFC the movie had to be cut. As the BBFC states cuts required to remove portrayals of children in a sexualized or abusive context and images of sexual and sexualized violence which have a tendency to eroticize or endorse the behavior. Cuts made in accordance with BBFC Guidelines and policy. In total more than 4 minutes had to be removed.
Before I go into more detail about this film I have to remind you, this is the third time I have written this article. The first time I wrote it (which took forever and a lot of careful thinking,) I thought it was the best article I had ever written. I was so proud. However, my computer died and I was not able to revive it. The second time, ScreamTV removed it due to douchebaggery and lies. Now I am writing it allllll over again. Last thing I want to point out before I go any further, this review does contain spoilers. So if you do not wish to have the ending spoiled, then stop reading right about…NOW!
An aging porn star agrees to participate in an "art film" in order to make it out of the porn business for good, only to discover that he has been drafted into making a pedophilia and necrophilia themed snuff film. Milo’s has no idea what’s in store for him. He is given absolutely NO information about the project. In a meeting with the director of this so called film the very strange director says, "Right hand is the sex center in any man. It's a direct line between your brain and cock. Ever since your childhood your hand is special for it has jerked such a special cock. Milos, it's an honor to shake a hand to such an artist of fuck." Well, alright then. I do agree that there are several forms of art, how well you fuck is just another of the many strange and perverse forms of artistry.... strangely.
The production starts with earplugs in an orphan asylum. An under aged girl gets slapped in the face but his tool still works fine. He passed the test. But Milos still has a strange feeling and urges his brother Marko, who is a cop obsessed with his wife, to find information on Vukmir. Violence increases and Milos refuses to carry on shooting. Milos is convinced he cannot do this but Vukmir replies, "At least your dick enjoyed it, and he never lies." Soon, it becomes nearly impossible for Milos to step out of the project. He wakes up three days later, thanks to drugs administered by the on call sexy nurse. Milos cannot seem to remember anything and has absolutely no idea what's going on, neither do we. To make a long story short, after searching for the truth he comes across a pile of dead bodies a video camera that tells the tale of what happened within those three days. The drugs kept him involved in the snuff film, against his will and he was talked into raping and decapitating a woman, still thrusting after her head is no longer attached but that's not even the worst of it. Soon he is side by side with his brother who is fucking his drugged wife and he's sodomizing his drugged son. This scene horrified me because when his penis enters the little boy's butt hole, you can actually hear the sound of it ripping into him. The mother comes to and helps to escape and I mean, this bitch goes ape shit, as any mother should. Back home, there is no way in hell this family can get over that insane and traumatizing situation. How does one cope with this? Years of therapy wouldn't help me. The only answer is suicide. They all cuddle in bed while Milos puts a bullet into all three of them, killing the family instantly. Then we get to see a production crew with a camera that demands one of the men to "start with the little one." If this actually happened, I would demand these guys spend the rest of their lives in a federal, pound me in the ass prison. Although, they seemed to enjoy strange sex so maybe that's appetizing to them, who knows.
I cannot wrap my head around the newborn porn. The baby didn't say, "No" or anything like that but how could it? Strangely, the mother seemed happy about it. It’s only a movie and when watching something like this that is being suggested I try to make light of it cause things like this do happen everyday. I can hear my neighbor balls deep in his kid right now. ....... Totally kidding. As far as some random art dude trying pull a scheme on a former porn star and strip him of his humanity by essentially having him kill and rape as many people as possible within the shortest amount of time for the sake of an art movie, and then happily get murdered to death by Milos because "That's the film..." It's pretty unlikely that would happen. This is originality though. It was suggested rape. It was suggested in as much as you don't see any actual penetration. You see a shot of the perpetrator with his back turned three quarters to the audience so you can also see a bit of his side, his hand holding the doll and the doll's upper torso, head and arms. This means you can't actually see what he is doing to it. It is only suggested by the perpetrator's movement and by the soundtrack. Very shocking scene though. In a way, I don't understand how a newborn could even be penetrated? None of it's uh openings are big enough for a full grown man, no? I get fascinated by a lot of weird medical science, but the mechanical plausibility of infant-rape is just boring to calculate. People ask all the time, do actions such as these happen often and only in Serbia? That's like me saying does America have some unique relationship with psychopaths who butcher and torture innocent people for sadistic pleasure like the following list of real life, American serial killers who have been portrayed in American films: Ed Gein, Jeffery Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, John Wayne Gacy, David Berkowitz, Richard Kuklinski, Richard Ramirez, The Zodiac Killer, The BTK Killer, Eric Harris & Dylan Klebold, etc. Pedophiles and Incestuous relationships are no more common or uncommon in Serbia than they are in any other country in the world. If anything, compared to the rest of Europe, Serbia most likely has a lower rate of such sexual deviants, compared to say Austria, Germany and Russia.
What makes A Serbian Film an effective horror film is that it has high production values and fantastic performances from the leads. A Serbian Film is only notorious for it's subject matter. People are calling it one of those films that after watching, you wish you can un-watch. They’re saying that it’s the most brutal, violent and disturbing film ever made. It's hard to say, there are so many fucked up movies out there and some I still haven't seen. I JUST got around to watching the infamous SALO a few months ago. The film was completely covered in shit. A Serbian Film however, will rape your soul. I feel like Americans like aren't able to fully appreciate this film. American who exists mainly on a diet of mainstream films and faux-Indies….that is. This film is not for everyone. Think real hard about watching it.