Retired porn actor Milos is offered the chance of a lifetime, to participate in a new genre of Serbian porn, a film that will revolutionize the industry and shake the very world itself. Offered a hefty sum, one that would set he and his family up for life, Milos accepts the offer despite his misgivings about the script being kept secret.
Once the shoot begins, Milos quickly realizes that this is no ordinary porn production as it’s being filmed verite-style by policemen, his actions are dictated to him through an earpiece and one scene he’s forced to perform in features an underage girl! Unwilling to go any further with his involvement and becoming increasingly disturbed by the director’s escalating mental instability, the actor attempts to back out of his obligations. Unfortunately this isn’t the kind film you can just walk away from and the people behind it just aren’t the kind of people you walk away from without some sort of repercussions.
When Milos awakens the next day disoriented, beaten badly and covered in blood, a series of flashbacks lead him step by step, closer to the true extent of his involvement in the project and the lengths to which the shadowy underworld surrounding him are willing to go to swallow his soul.
A new genre of porn has been born, one that is fueled by the blood of innocent victims in a country where every man has a price and human life is nothing more than a commodity to be exploited.
I must admit to you all before I go on with this review that I am a jaded horror and exploitation cinema fan. I’ve been shocking my system for so long that there really isn’t much out there that negatively affects me. Those queasy, sickening feelings I got in the pit of my stomach after seeing such films as Cannibal Holocaust, Flower of Flesh and Blood and August Underground have long since faded. I wouldn’t say I’m entirely desensitized because real-life suffering, whether experienced by human or animal, still moves me but it is incredibly rare these days for a film, horror or otherwise, to manipulate my emotions. It’s not something I’m proud of, it just is what it is.
If you’ve read the reviews and/or forum chatter on A Serbian Film you might be lead to believe that this was the most extreme horror film ever made, a thriller so sick and twisted that it defies only the densest of Hollywood producers to option it for a big budget remake. I can assure you that it is not the “most extreme” horror film ever made but I’ll be damned if it didn’t make me physically sick. During one particularly agonizing sequence I actually got cold sweats, my stomach did backflips and for a few seconds I believe I was on the verge of being sick. Those queasy, pit-of-the-stomach feelings were back like an old buddy looking for that beer money you owe him.
A Serbian Film is well-made and about as bleak as it gets. I’m not familiar enough with Serbia’s social or political dilemmas so I won’t bother weighing in on them but just by watching this film one can ascertain that there are indeed serious issues facing the country that the director wanted to address. I applaud him for trying to “say something” but wonder who will care in the end after the film hits them like a demented, 20 lb. cinematic sledgehammer to the solar plexus.
Whether you find redeeming qualities or artistic value in the film or not, A Serbian Film is guaranteed to leave you breathless. It’s an indictment of today’s society and, certainly, horror/exploitation fans like me. You’ll find yourself conflicted at every turn as director Spasojevic hits you with images that titillate and sicken, delight and depress. Just when you think it’s safe to allow yourself a moment of randiness, you’re treated to a bloody sexual assault or depraved child molestation. It’s extreme, to say the least. It’s a nasty, filthy, offensive film that will have you talking days, weeks, perhaps even months after seeing it.
I cannot recommend you rent or purchase this film once it hits Region 1 because it’s neither entertaining nor enjoyable. I can only state with certainty that you’ve never seen anything like it.