Leptirica [She-Butterfly] (1973)

Director: Djordje Kadijevic
Writer: Djordje Kadijevic
Based on: Milovan Glisic’ short story Posle devedeset godina
Cast: Mirjana Nikolic, Petar Bozovic, Slobodan ‘Cica’ Perovic, Vasja Stankovic, Aleksandar Stojkovic, Tanasije Uzunovic, Ivan Djurdjevic, Bogoljub Petrovic
Part of: SLASH Filmfestival
Seen on: 25.9.2021

A small town in the middle of nowhere is facing a problem: their millers keep dying, murdered, as they suspect, by a mysterious creature that seems to have ties to the village itself. Without a miller, there is no flour and without flour, the village is soon bound to starve. The men of the village think they have found a solution, though. As they look for the creature, they ask Strahinja (Petar Bozovic) to take over as miller. He is poor and needs something to prove himself so he may marry Radojka (Mirjana Nikolic), so Strahinja accepts. But the search for the creature is difficult and Strahinja may be in more danger than he realizes.

I really enjoyed Leptirica, especially because it gives us a very different take on a creature that is often referred to as a vampire (I’d argue, it’s something else entirely). Understandably a classic.

The film poster showing the film title as if written with wooden planks. A butterfly is impaled on the "T" and a moon dangles on a string from the "C". There is a skull in the moon, and below the moon, there is a village.
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Kanashimi no Beradonna [Belladonna of Sadness] (1973)

Kanashimi no Beradonna
Director: Eiichi Yamamoto
Writer: Yoshiyuki Fukuda, Eiichi Yamamoto
Based on: Jules Michelet‘s book Satanism and Witchcraft
Cast: Aiko Nagayama, Katsuyuki Itô, Tatsuya Nakadai, Masaya Takahashi, Shigako Shimegi, Natsuka Yashiro, Masakane Yonekura
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 26.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Jeanne (Aiko Nagayama) and Jean (Katsuyuki Itô) just got married and are very much in love. But the Lord (Masaya Takahashi) who rules over their village has the right to the first night according to tradition – and he takes it and rapes Jeanne. After she returns to Jean, they try to forget what happened and start their life together. But Jeanne finds herself visited by a phallic demon (Tatsuya Nakadai) who urges her to take revenge.

Belladonna of Sadness is a beautiful film. Striking visuals, haunting music and a challenging story make it something really very special.

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Sanatorium pod klepsydra [The Hourglass Sanatorium] (1973)

Sanatorium pod klepsydra
Director: Wojciech Has
Writer: Wojciech Has
Based on: some of Bruno Schulzstories
Cast: Jan Nowicki, Tadeusz Kondrat, Irena Orska

Joseph (Jan Nowicki) travels to the sanatorium where his father lies dying. The train ride there is already unusual, but the sanatorium itself seems to exist completely outside of time. It’s a crumbling ruin where his father seems to be the only patient, with only a nurse and a doctor present. The more Joseph stays there, the more he loses himself in a series of ever more absurd dreams.

The Hourglass Sanatorium is a weird film that follows dream logic with amazing accuracy and delivers some awesome images. But two hours is too long for that to work.



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The Wicker Man (1973)

The Wicker Man
Director: Robin Hardy
Writer: Anthony Shaffer
Cast: Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Diane Cilento, Britt Ekland, Ingrid Pitt

Police Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward) flies out to a little Scottish island after receiving an anonymous letter informing him of the disappearance of a young girl. But all his investigations are undermined by the village inhabitants who are more preoccupied with their heathen belief. Howie, a devout Christian, is appalled at those practices and the non-chalance with which the disappearance, if acknowledged at all, is treated. He is convinced that something weird is going on – and determined to find out what it is.

I had only ever seen the Nicolas-Cage-remake of this film which was not particularly good as far as I remember (and every one else). But this version of the story is rather special and makes it clear why it is a cult film that got remade in the first place.


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