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The DVD release cover
Written by Đorđe Kadijević (screenplay)
Milovan Glišić (story)
Directed by Đorđe Kadijević
Starring Mirjana Nikolić
Petar Božović
Slobodan Perović
Vasja Stanković
Country of origin Yugoslavia
Original language(s) Serbo-Croatian
Running time 63 min
Original network TV Belgrade
Original release 1973

Leptirica (Serbian Cyrillic: Лептирица, translation The She-Butterfly) is a 1973 Yugoslav horror TV movie based on the story After Ninety Years (1880) written by Serbian writer Milovan Glišić. It was directed by the Serbian director Đorđe Kadijević.[1] Leptirica was the first Serbian horror movie[2] and is considered one of the top Serbian and former Yugoslav horror films.[3][4] The movie was filmed in a village Zelinje, near the river Drina, close to the city Zvornik.


An old miller hears strange sounds coming from the woods. While he sleeps, a millstone suddenly stops working and a strange human-like creature with black hands and long teeth and nails bites his neck.

After the opening scene, the film turns to a romance between a poor young man Strahinja (Petar Božović) and a beautiful girl Radojka (Mirjana Nikolić). Radojka, the daughter of landowner Živan (Slobodan Perović), refuses to allow her to marry Strahinja. Disappointed, Strahinja leaves his village and goes to Zarožje. He meets peasants discussing the cursed mill and accepts their offer to become the new miller. He spends the night in the mill and survives the attack of the creature, finding out its name - Sava Savanović. The villagers visit the oldest woman in a neighboring village and ask her if there is a grave of somemone called Sava Savanović somewhere nearby. After finding the place where his body is buried, they nail a stake through the coffin and a butterfly flies out.

The peasants help Strahinja take Radojka from her home and bring her to Zarožje. During the night, while the villagers are preparing the wedding, Strahinja sneaks into his future wife's room while she is asleep. As he undresses her, he discovers a bloody hole under her breasts and realize it is from the stake they used to impale Sava's cofin. Radojka opens her eyes and transforms into a disgusting hairy creature which climbs onto Strahinja's neck while he is trying to run away. She leads him to Sava's grave where he manages to take the stake out of the coffin and impale her.

The film ends with Strahinja lying motionlessly on the ground and a butterfly in his hair moving its wings.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://archive.org/details/LeptiricatheShe-butterflyyugoslaviaHorrorFilmEnglishSubtitles1973
  2. ^ "Kadijević i srpski horor" (in Serbian). May 3, 2010. Retrieved 2 December 2012. 
  3. ^ Ognjanović, Dejan (January 19, 2010). "Leptirica (1973)". Retrieved 2 December 2012. 
  4. ^ "Dnevnik.hr" (in Croatian). February 21, 2007. Retrieved 2 December 2012. 

External links[edit]