A Serbian Film: A Quasi-Review

By Thepuremassacre


A Serbian Film. 2010.


A Serbian Film (Serbian: Српски филм / Srpski film) is a 2010 Serbian horror film and the first feature film directed by Srđan Spasojević. It tells the story of a down-on-his-luck porn star who agrees to participate in an “art film”, only to discover that he has been drafted into a snuff film.

Release date: June 11, 2010 (initial release)
Director: Srdjan Spasojevic
Running time: 110 minutes
DVD release date: October 25, 2011
Cast: Srđan Todorović, Sergej Trifunović, Slobodan Beštić, Jelena Gavrilovic
Screenplay: Aleksandar Radivojevic, Srdjan Spasojevic

I have had this film laying around for quite some time now – unwatched. I’ve read the reviews, the plot synopsis’ and the outlines enough to know this thing is a serious piece of hardcore. Which I’m familiar with, but unfortunately I bought into all the hype surrounding ASF; I think I got a little tense about this film, edgy if you will. Normally I could care less about other people’s opinions (especially critics) but for some unknown reason they all got to me on this one. The only other time I questioned watching a film based on anyone’s review was the August Underground series (which btw I have yet to watch). Is it that films of this extremely brutal nature chip away at our humanity? Is it the fear of overwhelming desensitization in the face of such horrendous possibilities? Or is it once something of this variety has been seen it cannot be unseen? All of the above I assume. A Serbian Film depicts the soul-less drudgery of sex trade workers in a gritty and brutal way. It portrays a reality where money has more value than human life.

For a film of this breed; ultra hardcore gore-horror (that is a new classification I just made up for A Serbian Film), the cinematography, sound, production values and acting were all above average. Usually you get that shaky-cam, all to clear looking, questionable acting and plot non-exsistant tripe. Well done for a film of such an extreme nature.

Srdjan Todorovic as Milos.

Srdjan Todorovic as Milos.

I was really impressed with the performance of Srdjan Todorovic as Milos; the down and out porn star alcoholic. I really felt that he desperately wanted out of the “life” but the ever present lure of the almighty dollar kept him firmly entrenched in the seedy world of pornography. Overall the cast did a decent job portraying various sleazy adult film characters with the award for biggest scumbag going to Milos brother Marko (Slobodan Bestic), a shallow corrupt cop with a penchant for hookers and an obsession with Milos’ wife (and to a lesser extent, a chronic masturbator). There was one memorable scene where he is receiving oral sex from a prostitute while watching a home video of his nephews birthday party. Whoa! Creepy wouldn’t you say. Sergej Trifunovic plays Vukmir, a rich and highly questionable ex child psychologist who now produces high concept pornography, a truly twisted and sick individual.

The sheer ultra-violence throughout A Serbian Film is brutal and extremely graphic. The numerous acts of sexual depravity are highlighted by savagery and soaked in blood. Graphic nudity, explicit sexuality, sexual fetishism, sexual violence and generally every other manner of debauchery is presented with glaring realism. Have you ever witnessed a prostitute getting repeatedly punched in the face while performing oral sex on a man, while a young girl watches with enthusiasm? No? How about watching a man get impaled through the eye socket and subsequently killed by another mans penis? These are just some of the sick and horrible ways that A Serbian Film rams it’s visceral gore drenched images down the viewers throat. Is the film every gore-hounds dream come true? No. The difficulty of some of the subject matter presented therein precludes (hopefully) any sane individual from taking enjoyment from A Serbian Film. One scene in particular was so astoundingly barbaric and horrible that even describing it here would feel like I was committing a crime. I’ve watched films with this level of gore many times and have come out unscathed, but it seems much more real and terrible when combined with human sexuality, as in A Serbian Film. I fear I haven’t escaped this film as…….intact.

When searching for meaning behind this dark vicious film one has to look hard and wade through miles blood to find it. The director and writer of A Serbian Film have both made numerous statements that the film is a commentary on the political climate of the film industry in Serbia, a look at the actions of Serbian soldiers during the Yugoslav wars and the voracious appetite of western consumerism. The meaning behind A Serbian Film (whatever that may be) gets lost in the sheer violence presented to the viewer. Director Srdjan Spasojevic had this to say.

Srpski Film is also a metaphor for our national cinema – boring , predictable and altogether unintentionally hilarious which throughout our film to some extent is commented on and subtly parodied.

A Serbian Film is a stark look at the symbiotic relationship between sex and money and desperation. Hopelessness. It is a shocking and disturbing ride not for the easily offended or the faint of heart. Ultra violent and gory. Difficult and relentless in it’s delivery of very questionable subject matter. From the frantic drug addled sex fueled blackout in the third act to a mind blowingly bleak and horrendous climax that will shatter all but the most jaded and inhuman viewer; A Serbian Film crosses every boundary without remorse. I do recommend this film, if only for curiosity’s sake. Be WARNED this film is for hardcore horror fans and cineophiles only. Don’t take your girlfriend to see this one folks. Watch this alone in a dark corner somewhere and have a scalding hot shower afterwards.

A Serbian Film Rating

If you don’t want get pounded in the face by 110 minutes of blood spattered nastiness involving intercourse and murder then you can read it instead of viewing it. IMDb A Serbian Film synopsis.

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