Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Honourable Mention: Shaitan’s Warrior


This is a 2006 Serbian film, in Serbo-Croatian Sejtanov Ratnik, that was written and directed by Stevan Filipovic. This fits directly into the honourable mentions slot as there is a vampiric moment for all of one minute part way through the film and the rest concerns Shaitan (or the warrior thereof). Now Shaitan has been mentioned before on this blog, namely under the entry for the flick Dead Men Walk. In that it was suggested that vampirism was a gift from Shaitan. There is no such indication in this.

What we have is a fairly standard monster flick, with supernatural summoning thereof. The baseline is slasher, one would suppose, but the excellent character portrayal around the protagonists, especially the heroes, takes this far out of the normal Hollywood realm.

summoningThe film starts with a group of monks or mages, one reads from a book and his chant clearly is some form of summoning spell. Candles blow out and a green skinned, horned, warrior demon appears, killing the monks – bar the reader.

Radovan Vujovic as CaneFrom here we meet our human protagonists and we begin with Cane (Radovan Vujovic). When we first see him he is resting his head on a lettuce. Clearly the drinking session that he and his best friend Mirko (Milos Tanaskovic) had was something special and they have awoken in an outdoor market. They head off and intend to meet again at school, where they’ll hook up with the third of their merry bunch Tica (Stasa Koprivica).

neo-NazisThe class' teaching assistant, and generally hated and bullied individual, is Stanislav (Vladimir Tesovic) and he drops neo-Nazi Novica (Nikola Rakocevic) in it with the teacher. On his way home he is confronted by Novica and his skinhead friends. Stanislav runs and manages to elude them, eventually coming across a strange house. A woman in white seems to lure him in.

Stanislav and the bookHe follows her to the book from the head of the film and opens it to Shaitan’s page. He begins to read and we see a shadow move. The Nazis arrive and they find themselves attacked and killed by the demon. Suffice it to say that, after accidentally causing the evisceration by demon of his father and mother, Stanislav is seduced by the book’s evil.

Shaitan's warriorWhat stands in his way? Tica’s boyfriend Bora (Marko Mrdjenovic) seems intimately tied in with what is happening but he also seems to have vanished. Perhaps the only hope for mankind is Cane and, if that is true, God help us all! At this point you’ll be thinking… where are the vampires?

vampiresThese come into it when Cane, Mirko and Tica go to a club. Mirko spots an attractive girl and sidles over to her, asking for a light for a cigarette. She turns and hisses at him, bearing fangs. Suddenly the entire gothic group she is with are all hissing at him and he seems to be surrounded by vampires.

nosferatuan vampireHe backs away and comes face to face with one who can only be described as Nosferatuan. Getting away, he heads to his friends and complains that there are vampires there and decides to head off home. That is the entire vampiric input – they may just have been vampyre wannabes, they might have been actual vampires – the film is not explicit.

What they are, however, are an in to let you know about an unusual and obscure film that might have a standard monster/slasher heart but has a uniquely Eastern European feel and some excellent performances. Worth keeping an eye out for.

The imdb page is here.

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