DVD Mamula

DVD Mamula
DVD Mamula

Rating: 6.1
Genres: Fantasy | Horror
Director: Milan Todorovic
Writers: Marko Backovic, Barry Keating
Stars: Kristina Klebe, Franco Nero, Natalie Burn
Two American girls travel to Montenegro on vacation to visit an old friend. While there they decide to venture to Mamula, an abandoned military fortress located on a remote island. During their exploration of the fortress they discover that they are not alone. Someone else is on the island with them and he will stop at nothing to protect it’s secrets. There is a darkness hidden beneath the island and the terror has just begun. Written by Srdjan Mitrovic
Plot Keywords: island, mermaid
Country: Serbia
Release Date: 1 May 2014 (Serbia)


  1. Nymph (aka Mamula) by young filmmaker Milan Todorovic is a fun, haunted house romp that I thoroughly enjoyed. As noted by another reviewer here – Todorovic manages to pack atmosphere, scares, and intrigue into his film while avoiding the recent trend in horror films towards torture porn. That's not to say that Nymph is without its gritty thrills – there is plenty of bloody, scary fun and lovely skin to be seen here. However, Todorovic simply chooses to tell his story without punishing his audience.

    At the center of the story are three gorgeous, young women (Kristina Klebe, Natalie Burn, and Sofia Rajovic) they each bring believable insecurities and vulnerabilities to their roles while rarely seeming weak.

    I should also mention one of my favorite facets of Nymph – the locations. This is a part of the world that we Westerners don't often see. The fort that our characters find themselves on is an imposing structure in the middle of a beautiful ocean (or is it a bay?). It must have been no small feat to film in such a place. The history of this fort (as explained by a character in the film) is real – this place is like an Eastern Alcatraz with more ghosts roaming it's halls.

    If you prefer take your horror with a dose of fun, see Nymph.

  2. Apparently not all horror efforts that come from Eastern Europe are as sickening, depraved and provocative as the notorious "A Serbian Film", because this particular Serbian film attempts to process a traditional folklore tale into a genuinely tense and atmospheric little horror movie. Unfortunately I can't state they fully succeeded in their aim, but at least you have to admire their efforts and admit that "Nymph" nevertheless contains quite a lot potential and even features a handful of memorable highlights. Truly tense and stylish movies about the wondrous subject of evil mermaids are extremely rare, so I had good hopes that "Nymph" – original Serbian title "Mamula" – could join the selected list that already contains Stuart Gordon's underrated "Dagon" and the regretfully obscure Swiss thriller "Marmorera". Sadly this is not the case, as the film contains too many tedious moments and not enough emphasis on the morbidity and macabre atmosphere that a mythical tale like this desperately begs for. Two American girls embark on a joyful vacation to Montenegro, where they meet their former university buddy and bona fide playboy Alex. There are quite some romantic intrigues, since Alex forgot to mention he got engaged recently and unexpectedly shows up with his fiancée, but the group nevertheless tries to have fun and make adventurous tourist excursions. They head out to Mamula, a former prison island and Nazi concentration camp that nowadays apparently homes a totally different type of horrendous evil. They witness a sinister fisherman pouring a bucket of human remains in a well and immediately realize they are in mortal danger. The background and origin of the mermaid creature, mainly provided by one central character, is confusing and feels somewhat incomplete and I'm convinced that a slightly more experienced scriptwriter easily could have done a lot more with the mermaid character, as well as with the character of her human slave. On the other hand, the creature looks stunningly charismatic and impressive, with her large tail and cute face that mutates into a monstrous mug in less than a split second. There are more positive aspects in "Nymph" as well, like beautiful filming locations and a glorious supportive role for a true cinematic hero (see below paragraph), but in spite of all this I left the theater with feelings of mainly disappointment and emptiness.

    As referred to already, "Nymph" remarkably stars a true icon of cult cinema. Somehow, the young and reasonably inexperienced director Milan Todorovic managed to engage none other than the legendary Franco Nero to star as a mysterious fisherman and expert in the field of Mediterranean mermaids! This is praiseworthy, to say the least, as the production is fairly low-budgeted and not suitable for worldwide release. Moreover, yours truly had the privilege to meet Franco Nero in person, as he accompanied the director and producer to the world premiere of "Nymph" at the Brussels International Festival of Fantastic Films. Here, Nero explained that he's really supportive of young and struggling directors (as his own son is also one) and likes to boost up their movies by appearing in them. Furthermore, Mr. Nero sang a song of the sixties musical "Camelot" in which he starred (quite beautifully, I may add) and had very amiable interactions with the public. At age 72, I must say that he still looks charismatic as ever and – according to my girlfriend – he's still a very handsome and imposing gentleman.

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