When horror films are now showing scenes of men eating other men’s brains for our viewing pleasure, RYAN O’SULLIVAN insists that enough is enough.
Can horror films ever go too far? Zombies, evil hillbillies and vaginas with teeth didn’t go too far. The joke that is The Human Centipede didn’t go too far. The Mummy Returns didn’t go too far. But whilst someone was abusing James Cameron’s advances in 3D technology to make piranhas swim out of the screen at you, somewhere in Serbia the most horrific film ever was being made. A Serbian Film goes too far. And then goes a bit further. And then shouts back abuse directly in your face.
After the BBFC demanded that forty-nine individual cuts should be made to A Serbian Film, ‘Frightfest 2010’ decided it was perhaps too inappropriate to be shown alongside the nightmarish likes of Hatchet II and the disturbingly named Alien VS. Ninja. After these forty-nine chops had been inflicted upon the movie it would have looked like a dog’s dinner (if this particular dog had a thing for eating human genitalia) and so it was pulled, leaving millions of gore-loving cinema goers salivating at the thought of something so terribly horrid that four minutes were deemed too distasteful to be shown to an audience who consider a romantic evening to consist of cuddling up on the sofa and watching one bloke eat another bloke’s brain.
Reflecting the increased immunity to horror that cinema-goers have developed over the last ten years, films have become progressively shocking to grant gorenography junkies their fix of squirming, stomach churning and…erm… penis burning. Gone are the days when Killer Nun and Gestapo’s Last Orgy were banned. Today we laugh in the face of such nonsense. A lady of the cloth murdering horny old buggers? Nazis in the nude? Ho ho ho!
After Saw grossed over $100 million worldwide on a budget of just $1.2 million, an unstoppable franchise was started. When the world eventually ends only Saw films, cockroaches and Soreen (the original fruity malt loaf) will remain. I have had enough. I have had enough Soreen and I have had enough cheap exploitative cinema. I am sick of inbred cannibals cashing in on people’s desire to be disturbed, because until these people have seen A Serbian Film, they have absolutely no idea what being disturbed actually is.
Nothing of our current junk-food gore-genre comes close to being as fantastically damaging as A Serbian Film. It was described by its director, Srdjan Spasojevic’s, as a diary of the Serbian people’s own molestation by their government, but to old-school horror lovers it may feel more like an aggressive articulation of everything that is wrong with cinema today.
We all find a distasteful pleasure in watching unbelievably stupid victims being tortured whilst we sit in comfort. Characterless lumps of meat are relentlessly carved up for our entertainment. They are merely walking potential corpses. The less we know about them, the easier it is to smile when they are eaten by zombies. A Serbian Film challenges what can be classified as amusing in horror by being ferociously gratuitous whilst making you actually care about what you are seeing. The absence of stupid girlies running themselves into a corner to avoid a man with an axe is refreshingly unsettling. Srdjan Spasojevic has no problem in taking his time to establish his protagonist (Milos the ex-pornstar) as an interesting character before things become wretch-inducing.
I don’t want to spoil this film (or your dinners) so I won’t say too much about the plot. Watch it with extreme caution. One of the tamest moments contains a man killing someone by pushing his erect penis through their eye socket and into their brain, whilst another shouts ‘THIS IS FILM.’ Cinema has been violently screwing our brains right through our eye sockets for far too long. Hopefully A Serbian Film will be so intense it will light a spark igniting the noxious gas that is gorenography burning out the genre for good.
Either way, I’ll be puking into my popcorn.