The horror movie vault – Leptirica (1973)

As you may notice, I love talking about movies, all sorts of them. But lately I’ve been getting bored of just speaking about any random movie that I watch, so I decided to change it up and try and showcase movies that are lesser known to the worldwide public, starting with movies from my area.

And what better movie to start with than “Leptirica” (Butterfly in English). Arguably the most well known horror from Yugoslavia/Serbia, Leptirica tells the story of a village under attack by a terrifying figure believed to be Sava Savanovic, an old vampire based off the 1880 short story “After ninety years”

The movie starts off with the death of the local miller by the hands of the horrific creature. Worried about their bread supply, the villagers begin to panic. They lost 4 millers in the span of a year and they are worried that no one else would do the job. Luckily for them, at that moment, a young man passes by – Strahinja, who was coming back after unsucessfully asking for the hand of the gorgeous Radojka. Depressed and hopeless he accepts the job.

This was an interesting rewatch, even though I did not find it that scary as I did before it is still a really fun movie. Interestingly enough, it would appear that back in the day, some person from my country died from fright while watching the movie. This, apparently got the director into a lot of trouble and his movie was branded a “terrorist” movie and some similarities in the old myth of one of the first vampires ever, Petar Blagojevic

Heavily influenced by slavic folklore, Leptirica is a great view into the life of the old and rural Balkan. It takes a completely different approach to the story than the gothic aspect that many western authors take. You can see a similar feeling in the movie Viy, which I spoke about earlier.

One thing that I always loved with movies from my area is the atmosphere, and this movie absolutely nails it at some scenes. There are very hauntingly beautful scenes with some amazing music, and the actors always give it their best. they might not be the best performances but you can see that the cast does do their best to give a good performance.

Now of course this movie is not a masterpiece, it has its flaws. Mainly it can be a bit corny at times, there are a few minor translation flaws, some of the sound effects are often reused and the salvaged footage of the film is not in the best quality but it is still a very fun watch if you are into obscure movies and get a feeling of the rural slavic life you will definitely enjoy it.

You can find it here:


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