A Serbian Film

January 01, 1970

(Invincible Pictures,
103 mins.)






A Serbian Film’s director, Srdjan Spasojevic, was bestowed a rare honor after the film was
screened a few years ago at a festival in Spain – a charge of exhibiting child
pornography and an arrest warrant issued by a Spanish prosecutor. Defenders of
free speech and fellow purveyors of torture porn, including Eli Roth, were
completely outraged by the charge. But it must be said that, while obviously
none of the scenes depicted are real and the movie is definitely not a snuff
film, A Serbian Film is by far one of the most extreme examples of the
torture porn genre. It’s a very difficult film to watch, all the more so for
the fact that it’s actually fairly well made, shot brilliantly and woven
together expertly by its provocateur director. It rolls along ominously for the
first 30 to 40 minutes, showing nothing more shocking than explicit sex that
stops just short of actual penetration. But when the film hits, it hits hard
and shies away from very little. If you find the concepts of murder by blowjob,
decapitation during sex, and newborn porn disgusting, you are probably a fairly
well balanced person. But you should also not watch this film, and perhaps you
should stop reading this review now.


Srdjan Todorovic plays
Milos, a retired porn actor who is trying to lead a normal family life, even if
his young son occasionally finds and plays one of his sex DVDs in the living
room. Just when he thought he was out, he gets sucked right back in – pun
definitely intended – by a sinister character called Vukmir (Sergej
Trifunovic), who is attempting to make art out of porn, or vice versa. He gives
Milos very little details as to the plot of
the film he’s making, asking him to sign the contract blind so that his motivation
will be natural and pure. Milos agrees, but soon regrets it. As they begin
filming, unsettling scenarios play out, involving a woman who may not be just
acting like she’s been severely beaten, and her pre-teen daughter who watches
Milos as he performs. By the time he’s decided he’s had enough, it’s too late.
After being drugged with a “cattle aphrodisiac,” the violent sexual carnage
really gets going in a shocking and disturbing manner.


Many scenes of the
most extreme gore and graphic sex have been trimmed in order for the film to
find distribution, including the aforementioned newborn porn scene and the
horrifying climax. Even though it’s all smoke and mirrors, as is the nature of
the medium, the actions playing out are despicable and beyond disturbing. There
is undoubtedly a point here, at least in the mind of the director, which
probably has something to do with the violent and sexual nature of our society,
and our complicity in it as both an audience and a consumer. Despite all of
this, it’s sometimes hard to see what all the fuss is about. The movie uses
graphic but rather cheesy special effects to make its point, a tradition dating
back to Texas Chainsaw Massacre, stretching through the Troma Studios
output all the way to the Saw franchise. Each time something new comes
along to push the boundaries, there is blowback. A Serbian Film happens
to take it much farther than ever before, but such is the nature of provocative
art. It’s hard to see a redeeming social value through all the blood, violent
sex, and cringeworthy imagery, but that’s not necessarily the responsibility of
any film director. The only real responsibility a director has is to make a
picture that’s coherent and entertaining, and A Serbian Film at least
achieves the former.


Srdjan Spasojevic

Nemanja Jovanov

Srdjan Todorovic, Sergej Trifunovic, Jelena Gavrilovic


the full trailer at

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