The new issue of the RUE MORGUE magazine, which hits the stands on November 1st, has a spotlight on Serbian horror films, which includes: an introduction to the real-life horrors which gave birth to the cinematic ones, a very thorough interview with Srdjan Spasojevic (the director of A SERBIAN FILM), a brief presentation of another recent Serbian shocker (THE LIFE AND DEATH OF A PORNO GANG) laced with the talk with its director, Mladen Djordjevic, and an overview of all Serbian horror films made up to date (more than a dozen gems waiting to be discovered by the Western audiences).
In order to announce this Serbian horror-special, I'll point out some of the more memorable and lasting impressions made by the Serbs upon the international horror scene.
- During the silent era, Iván Petrovich (real name: Svetislav) was a big star: he had major roles in such horror films as The Magician (1926) and Alraune (1928).
Also, in the Austrian-Hungarian film The Death of Dracula (1921) female lead was played by a Serbian actress Lene Myl. Sadly, all prints of this first screen adaptation of Dracula (made before Murnau's Nosferatu!) seem to be lost.
- In the curious Incubus (1966), a horror film entirely in Esperanto, the titular character is played by Milos Milos (!), a Serbian actor who soon after that film shot and killed the estranged wife of Mickey Rooney, Barbara Ann Thompson Rooney, and then killed himself.
- Srdjan Zelenovic
played Sacha (aka The Male Monster) in Paul Morrissey's Flesh for Frankenstein (1973), as a representative of the Serbian uber-male who was supposed to father the master-race.
If only he weren't impotent...
- Olivera Katarina
played Vanessa Benedict, a waitress with a stunning buxom in Michael Armstrong's Mark of the Devil (1970). Her other genre credits include Devicanska Svirka (A Maiden's Music, 1973) and Carlston za Ognjenku (aka Tears for Sale, 2008).
- Rade Serbedzija
had a memorable role in Serbian disaster-horror film Variola Vera (1982). Later he had a successful international career, with roles in Eyes Wide Shut, Snatch, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, etc.
His genre credits include: Mighty Joe Young (1998), Stigmata (1999), The Fog (2005), The Eye (2008) and Quarantine (2008).
- Milla Jovovich,
the star of the Resident Evil series, is born of a Serbian father and Ukrainian mother. Her other horror credits include A Perfect Getaway (2009) and The Fourth Kind (2009).
- Bojana Novakovic
is another hot actress from Serbia whose horror outings so far include Drag Me to Hell (2009) and Devil (2010).
PS: - The French actress Simone Simon (pictured at the very top of this article) played a character named Irena Dubrovna, a Serbian cat woman in the original Cat People (1941). The legend of the cat people, as presented in the film, is a complete invention and has no correlation with Serbian folklore, just as her surname isn't even remotely Serbian.