Leptirica (1973)
February 12, 2022 2:43 PM - Subscribe

A young man wants to marry the beautiful daughter of a landowner who refuses to allow the marriage. To prove his worth, the young man accepts the job of miller after an infamous local vampire kills the previous miller.

A Serbo-Croatian made for TV horror film from 1973. Part of the folk horror collection streaming on Shudder.
posted by DirtyOldTown (3 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This has a ton of regional culture/color, even if it's not exactly great filmmaking. Consider it tourism/history by cinema more than an essential film.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:53 PM on February 12, 2022 [1 favorite]

This was one of those films that I'd read a lot about for years and so I had a fair bit of interest in seeing it. For a film that is regarded as one of the top Serbian horror films I wasn't expecting it to be a comedy! Some interesting folkloric traditions though. The scene with the black horse made me wonder if a comparable scene in one of Witcher novels was influenced by this film. I'm also not entirely sure what the deal was with the butterfly. Or if her grouchy dad was in on it? I had a lot of questions...

If you get a chance I'd recommend watching the interview with the director that's an extra on the disc. He is definitely an intellectual and surprisingly feels there's more going on with the film then I frankly could see. He provides some context saying that when this film aired on Yugoslav TV people everywhere were talking about it. Some we're even traumatised! Though he does point out that the former Yugoslavia states don't have a long or much of a history of fantastical or supernatural literature. Which might explain that reaction.

The disc also includes a couple of his other films of similar length which, IMO, are better than this. One is basically a Gothic Euro horror and the other is fairly obvious psychological horror / art film. Both are better shot, on that nice Eastern European B&W film stock.
posted by Ashwagandha at 7:30 PM on February 14, 2022

Caught this on the Shudder folk horror channel and it defintely had the feel of something I’d stumble across on late night tv when late night tv was a thing.

Apparently it was based on a story published 17 years before Dracula called After Ninety Years. There’s a synopsis on the authors Wikipedia (Milovan Glišić) and it ends a bit differently. Radojka isn’t the vampire, Zivan consents to the marriage, and the moth causes children to sicken and die while the heroes live happily ever after.
posted by rodlymight at 7:33 PM on February 20, 2022

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