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  • Warning: Spoilers
    I am stressing that I am a friend of Mladen Djordjevic, the director of this movie, so my review may be biased partially. Yes, this movie is a shocker, all of you horror and sex scene lovers can find amusement in it, but this is not it's primary role. It is primarily a metaphor of a life of anyone "different" currently living in Serbia today, and it was so for the last 20 years, since the war in Croatia started, probably even before that. About 10 percent of the youth population in Belgrade at that time were listening to rock or heavy metal in the 1990's. It was our main connection to the western culture. This music was played only in 3-4 clubs which every teen with this taste for music had heard of. There I could see the truth about Serbia - like myself, these kids were on the borderline of society, driven away from the main, lets say rural, crude type of culture which rose in the beginning of the 90's and is still omnipresent. I was with people who were castaways, like me. Same is the destiny of the characters of the Porn Gang, they are all castaways in a sense, feeling they don't fit in with the "group" or should I say "mass", trying to have fun on a porn trip. It should be educational for the rural people, but they find it offensive and show their true nature (the mass rape scene in the woods). As Mladen told me he wanted to show in the most brutal way the hypocrisy of the sexual self-repression going on with the Serbian people, which breaks out when it has a chance/motive. Belgrade is a metropolis, but gay issues are not well accepted here, you can imagine how they are accepted in small towns of Serbia, not to mention other issues like that involving a horse in a sex scene or others. Then just when they are almost ready to give it all up and go home, mostly because the dope they are using is almost gone, this guy who is an ex war reporter and who has seen many bad things, offers to pay them a lot of money if they shoot snuff scenes of local people. In my opinion it is the critique of the western governments meddling in Serbian affairs, making money on our suffering and making us slaves by giving us money to do what they tell us. Yes, my dear friends from the west, it is hard to swallow, but we are in a way enslaved by the governments of the western world, mainly USA, but also some European countries. These countries with USA in the lead, have taken Kosovo from Serbia in 1999, all based on a will to make a military base there, which they did. It is these influences that have made most of our state banks go bankrupt in the early 2000's, giving the space for the European banks which just waltzed in these same buildings, these same once properties of the Serbian state, and are now milking the money from us little by little. The war in Former Yugoslavia is a grim subject itself, which happened partially because the western countries wanted it to happen. If you are not yet aware of this, let me tell you this is not some fantasy horror movie or some over-the-top rendition of issues in Serbia, like it is the case with "Serbian Film". It is the movie that deals with the consequences of real horrors that really happened here. Even though the Porn Gang members are rejects and drug users, they are not violent people in nature, more like some hippies who were told they can get more drugs if they film people killing themselves or willing to be killed by others. This doesn't redeem them, but does make them, it is maybe weird to say it, but I feel as if they are martyrs, people stuck between the hammer and the anvil, or "between the rock and a hard place". They are people who don't have a chance to do anything and to become anyone in today Serbia, they were doomed to fail from the beginning. The snuff is a brutally honest tool by which Mladen depicts the rally grim situation in today's Serbia. Serbia is literally stuck "between a rock and a hard place". We are not making a progress, or maybe we are and it's a really small one.

    The final scene somewhat shocked me, but since I don't want to make anymore spoilers, I won't tell nothing about it. If you don't fear the gore (all of it is staged, and I mean ALL) and are not offended by various sexual situations (I was on the set people, it is all FAKE, the horse is a mare with added silicone penis cast, they are real actors, not porn actors) to watch the movie with an open heart and having in mind everything I just wrote. Hope you'll see some beauty in it.
  • This is a quite disturbing movie on post-war Serbia in the early 90's of last century. The main character is a young movie director eager to make his first movie. The only opportunity he has to start his career, is making a pornographic picture. Being partially successful, he begins with his cast a pornographic vaudeville roadshow in rural parts of formerly Yugoslavia. Not surprisingly, the locals disapprove of the explicit content of the sex shows. But than there is a businessman in the audience who wants to have snuff movies produced by the 'porno bande'...... Rise and Fall of a Porno Band is a very interesting movie on how things are today in Serbia. It deals with the poverty and struggle for survival in an European country. The non-professional actors do an excellent job and are convincing in showing the hard times Serbia has to go through. Not for the ones amongst us with weak stomachs.

    Paul Algra
  • Warning: Spoilers
    An aspiring filmmaker and his bizarre crew of deviant characters with whom he works are on journey.The journey into a nihilistic flight towards liberating oblivion.Their amateurish movies involve perverse sex,rape and snuff killings."Life and Death of a Porno Gang" feels like a Serbian answer to John Waters "Pink Flamingos".It's a transgressive film with the scenes of rape,self-mutilation,bestiality,snuff murders and suicide.I watched this one after "A Serbian Movie" and I can safely say that the latter is even more disturbing.The most shocking aspect of "Life and Death of a Porno Gang" is that some characters volunteer for snuff movies due to poverty-ridden despair.Still there are some touches of humor and even jolts of warmth among the litany of misery.If you liked "A Serbian Movie" give this one a look.8 out of 10.
  • Mor_Oghma23 May 2010
    I've just watched it...and I've never been so close to being stunned by a movie. So forgive me if I'm being incoherent. There are many movies that try to be deep, smart...They mostly end up being pretentious. Or you're left with something you're sure not even the filmmaker knows what's it about. They try to be philosophical, but get tangled in it. This movie is simple, very simple. Others want to trick you. They play with your senses for their gain, to achieve their goal. They try to impress you, shock you, make you cry...More often than not, it comes off cheap. This movie uses no tricks. This movie is...what it is. You have to deal with it. You can't discard it, or laugh it off and ignore it, it's too sincere. It enters you and you believe it. You become part of it. You're one of them. You're there, with the gang, standing around the victim, behind Vanja who is filming it all with his camera. And you're scared. Of yourself.
  • If you thought that A Serbian Film was the most extreme movie to come out of Serbia, then think again, because The Life and Death Of A Porno Gang beats that film hands down in terms of sheer nastiness and explicit content. As a piece of film-making, it's not quite as accomplished as A Serbian Film, lacking that film's tight narrative and slick production values, but it sure packs one hell of a wallop.

    The film follows the exploits of film-school graduate Marko (Mihajlo Jovanovic) who, unable to fund his own projects, accepts work from porn mogul Cane (Srdjan Miletic). However, Marko's artistic pretensions soon get the better of him, and he uses Cane's money to produce an experimental sex stage show instead. When the show is closed down by outraged officials, Marko takes his production on the road, performing at rural villages to curious locals. After one of these shows, Marko is approached by ex-war journalist Frantz, who makes him an unbelievable proposition: direct snuff movies for him and make a fortune.What follows is a descent into sheer madness and extreme violence, a horrific journey that eventually claims the lives of everyone in Marko's company.

    Not only does The Life and Death Of A Porno Gang succeed on a very basic level, presenting a catalogue of imagery guaranteed to upset all but the most hardened of extreme movie viewers, but it also serves as a brutal reminder of the atrocities of war. Where A Serbian Film dubiously claimed to be an allegory of the Serbian conflict, there is no doubt that Porno Gang's director Mladen Djordjevic fully intended his film to work both as an exploitative shocker AND as socio-political commentary. In addition to its many direct references to the war, the desensitisation of the film's characters reflects what many Serbians must have experienced on a day to day basis; the fact that poverty stricken peasants in the film are prepared to lay down their lives for the financial well-being of their loved ones also suggests that the country's wealth distribution is seriously messed up.

    While I can't say that I really enjoyed my experience watching this film, it's undeniably effective, uncomfortably visceral and thought provoking stuff—something I certainly won't forget it in a hurry; for those reasons I award The Life and Death Of A Porno Gang a rating of 8/10.
  • I heard a lot about Life and Death of a Porno Gang. Being compared to A Serbian Film, saying it was equally disturbing and thought provoking and that it set the standard for extreme cinema in the future.

    Personally i rate this film much higher than A Serbian Film. Both films tried to symbolize the difficulties of life in Serbia, but i felt with A Serbian Film, they tried way too hard to be provocative and the symbolism was lost in translation. However, Life and Death manages to create that sheer depression and desperation perfectly!

    We have a group of people, put on the outer of society for the lifestyles they have chosen. They decide, to make money, to form a traveling show that features extreme sex acts. As they tour through the rural areas of Serbia, they are continually being hounded from the secluded communities, which ultimately leads them to even more desperate measures, involving making snuff films.

    I am not aware of the situation of Serbia, but from what I hear, it is a pretty hard lifestyle. Survival of the fittest. I thought the movie really captured the cold, dark, dreary and depressing atmosphere of people facing desperation, and how far we will go to get ourselves out of the hole we just dug ourselves. I felt sorry for each character, as they regret all the terrible things they do, but facing starvation, they have little choice, which ultimately paints a VERY disturbing and depressing situation.

    The film depicts extreme acts of sexuality and violence, so its definitely not for everyone. But if you want to test yourself and open your eyes to situations facing the less privileged, Life and Death of a Porno Gang comes highly recommended!
  • This was the first Serbian flick that had made a movement into the film industry, Serbia was becoming hot and due to the holy 3 from France someone had to make an even more shocking flick. But this here isn't that well known as the other disturbing Serbian flick A Serbian Film. But due the latter things it do came out in Europe. Already causing trouble with the release because it contains some disturbing moments.

    I was lucky to catch me a copy at a local famous DVD shop, soon after it's release it was banned from the shop. I was at a horror convention last weekend and they sold official copies already for 40 euro's!! But is it all worth the money? Well, it surely isn't like A Serbian Film. People do compare both flicks on forums and both do win sometime. For me the winner is A Serbian Film because it do add a little creepiness and sickening story to it. This flick goes deeper into the 'porn gang'. But be advised, it do has his moments. But there's a lot of talking in it because you need to get involved with the characters. So by all that talking people will leave it for what it is. But those who carry on until the end are in for a terrible ride. Watch out, IMDb states that it clocks in at 90 minutes, it isn't, mine clocked in at 102 minutes and it was said, full uncut.

    What is it that attracts geeks all over the world towards this flick. Well, you will have a lot of frontal male and female nudity. You will see what the war did in former Yugoslavia, there are some sickening shots in it. On the other hand it isn't for the squeamish too or the easily offended because you will see homo penetration straight into the black hole, zoomed in. You will also have a golden shower by some MILF. A hard on of a horse is being sucked by a guy, some decapitations, and some brutal killings.

    You really have to love flicks like August Underground to like these kind of flicks. I didn't have any trouble watching it but I admit, I'm a sick buff. If you can catch a copy do so but if you are only into 'normal' horror or flicks don't watch it, you will surely puke!

    Gore 4/5 Nudity 5/5 Story 3/5 Effects 4/5 Comedy 0/5
  • Start promises a very decent, realistic movie about a guy who ended up directing and circumstantial (read it for the money) ends up in the porn industry. After deciding to make the first porn theater in Belgrade and the prohibition of forced to do so, decided to gather porno gang will work shows the rural parts of the country. Then chaos ensues.

    The film clearly wants to show how victims of war is in our near and distant surroundings and the ultimate extreme way of showing how much people are willing to go far for the sake of personal satisfaction, financial stability and the goals. Again, shows the narrow-mindedness of rural areas who refuse to accept something new when they see that, in their view, a negative effect on some of them.

    Great camera and relatively unknown actors leave a real impression as if this team really is, and that was filmed a documentary about them.

    Take my word, this film has everything, and I would single out the scene when family take a supper on the back of an old man who was scheduled for lapot.
  • EdgarST3 May 2015
    "Life and Death of a Porno Gang" is a major work full of pain and despair, about the destiny of a torn apart nation, from a specific part of the world, but whose tragic existence can be found anywhere in these times of major transition in all spheres. It has the same fetid smell of the best films of Harmony Korine, Lars von Trier, John Cameron Mitchell or Jonathan Caouette, although director Mladen Djordjevic cleverly introduced humor all over his motion picture, as in those other filmmakers' products. It is just cultural differences that detract some people from the Serbian images. In "Life and Death of a Porno Gang" it is not easy to turn the head the other way, because Djordjevic avoided giving us a hint of the "nice side of Serbia ", and that is his right, in order to build the morality tale that is the result. Here you do not find the carefree indifference of blank young girls during spring vacation, the cannibalistic crisis of the bourgeois couples or the narcissistic defense of our LGBT bodies with our LGBT backs turned on the misery of other people's lives (and bodies), very characteristic of rich societies, living far from war, bombs and the smell of a pile of dead bodies. This is a rich work that makes you reflect (well, if you care about the film, anyway, or if you can see through its strong images) about the validity of ephemeral art, about the lack of ethics in all strata, the lack of information of people living in the inner country, the devaluation and depreciation of life, the exaltation of death and its cult, and (if you are curious of what happens beyond your national borders) it also urges you to find a bit of information about Serbians, Croatians and all the struggles they have been involved in the recent past. And perhaps above anything else, it makes you think about the validity of cinema today and if we really need the products that are being made. Here, Marko, a young film graduate, wants to direct his first feature, and ends up making snuff films. Cinema has gone a long way: once it was entertainment and, more importantly perhaps, it was an ensemble of many windows to the worlds beyond ours. There were no other lookouts but movies, to go, see, be informed, learn. That mission was fulfilled but now it has to be shared, and television and internet have mostly taken that role. Now we have multiple possibilities. But usually we have to see what the media companies want us to see. So cinema still has a place to fulfill, but those works are not being made. I believe that nobody needs a very high percentage of the movies made today. We get sex, violence, death, "action", fights, and so on, to anesthetize us… But we learn very little. I know some think they learn now a lot from Tarantino and a few others, as they did from Kubrick before. But in my time there were better sources of knowledge than Kubrick, and those movies are seldom talked about... Or they are called "pretentious". And then we wake up. But please do not follow the final example of Marko. Open your mind, watch better films and not the usual dose of crap, domestic, provincial movies, dressed up in special effects and syrupy music to make you believe you are a highly sophisticated "cinéphile", when you are just an Oscar follower.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Just when you think you've seen it all... Balkan chillers are always freaky, but this one is – super freaky. Imagine Srpski Film meets Mondo Bizarro meets some ff-esque travelogue. Actually, it's more far-out than that, but my English is too poor to express it properly.

    The plot is as unique as it is bizarre: Misunderstood filmmaker Marko is sick of Ø-budget porn. He teams up with a bunch of weirdos for a traveling circus – porno style. Their journey takes them through dazzlingly bizarre post-war Serbia where they indulge in sex and debauchery. When they gravitate to snuff-side-of-things, the really weird stuff begins…

    Just like Srpski Film, Porno Bande blends heavily taboo-breaking flair with pointed social satire: Traveling through the aftermath of the Balkan-wars is like landing on Mars: Death and sex are very close, life is distorted by 90's traumas hailed down upon Ex-Yugoslavia like meteor showers.

    Even though Porno Bande crosses a lot of boundaries, it's by far less disturbing as I've come to expect from a film of this caliber. There's no excessive necro touch here and hardly any in-your-face gore. Shrouded in sleazy charm, the tone is rather lighthearted bordering on bittersweet melancholy sometimes. But that doesn't turn me off at all. To me, it's not the strength of body counts, but the strength of look and feel that counts. And the Eurosleaze of Porno Band practically drips off of the screen.

    Strange but true: For brilliant simplicity, Porno Bande is hard to top. In a weird way, it's the exact opposite to Srpski Film: lo-fi, frisky, ultra-minimalistic, and with a fine psychedelic kick. Fittingly, the low end quality plays perfectly into its unique "depraved authenticity". The narrative radiates freshness in every way; nothing about it is predictable. No fillers. Not a bit of it! The fun keeps coming with absolutely no downtime in between – and never really ends.

    There are gorier films out there, there are more taboo-breaking films out there, and yet, there aren't many indies out there you could compare to this underground odyssey. If you like your chiller macabre and edgy, then you absolutely need to see this carnival ride for yourself.
  • Well all the himbos and bimbos that are claiming this is better than A Serbian Movie are obviously delusional ... This is practically the same story done without a good script or budget that's all ... One great scene when the villagers take revenge and the gang just ends up laughing is truly fabulous ... Would have been interesting if Serbian Movie hadn't knocked the socks off this one in the powerful movie stakes ... Serbian Movie 10 out of 10 ... Porno Gang 3 out of 10 ... And those that have been scared off SB by the bollox spouted about it by so many people need to watch it ... The most powerful thriller in a decade
  • i was quite excited about watching this with a lot of reviewers saying it was better than a Serbian film which came out at the same sort of time. so i watched both in the same week and this one just doesn't cut it.

    i wasn't engaged by the characters, their choices seemed stupid and the bad things that happen towards the end didn't shock or ram home any sort of point that hasn't been done better elsewhere.

    there was just no interest in watching a gang of poor serbians wander the country in a van having sex in front of farmers.

    the acting is below standard, the script rambles and the last hope of sex and violence is a waste of time.

    watch 'a Serbian film' (uncut) instead.
  • This movie preceded A Serbian Film (2010) which had a similar approach. This one, however, focuses on porn and gore in an attempt to convey its supposed socio-political message.

    The premise is that the Big Brother controls the Serbian society through various secret services. One of them hires the protagonists to tour the country with a porn theater. The purpose of the assignment is left unclear, but it might be a part of some political power struggle.

    Apart from aiming at conspiracy theories, which are a kind of national sport in Serbia, there is nothing but shock value in this movie. Nevertheless, i also understand that a lot of critics and viewers considered it carrying a higher artistic message, which i haven't noticed...