Grady Harp, Los Angeles films critics association:    ‘Art is an endless quest for originality’ Posted 12/20/2010: El Vulgaro (AKA Yavor Batchev) has written and produced a full length animated film THE BULGARIAN PROPHET that is highly original, sure to assault the sensibilities of everyone who watches it, and proves that art is the medium through which parody and criticism and political statements can be made with security: art is art and everything in the world is up to interpretation by artists! Yavor Batchev was born in Bulgaria in 1940, educated there, and escaped communist Bulgaria in 1965 to live in France, then Canada, and now in the United States. He knows the material about which he writes and creates and that is the main reason it works so well. Yavor is no outsider to the process of ‘civilization’ from his birth to the present, and he has a keen sense of burlesque.

The story centers around 25-year-old Ivan who escapes from communist Bulgaria to Italy where he meets two friends from the Church of Eternal Profit who transport him to Los Angeles in the 1970s – that wild flowerchild period of potheads protesting the Vietnam war. To enter the country he must have a Social security number – which in Ivan’s case is stamped on a rather original portion of his body. He finds strange work in a zoo, then makes money working in a plant for reconditioning condoms, and subsequently meets a girl – Sunshine Flower – who works in a Sprout Factory. While out for a walk and a ‘relief’ one day Ivan receives a revelation from the God of S**t, is hit by a meteorite, recovers to find he has supernatural powers and become the Prophet who founds the Temple of Holy S**t. Ivan’s new stance replaces the unkept promises and lack of miracles by the existing government and he is idolized – hearing confessions, talking with the Secretary of State and the head of the FBI, blessing the faithful at his sermons, and carrying on the full schedule of government mockery until he is kidnapped by the KGB and taken to Russia where his psychic powers are used for bizarre needs. He escapes and returns to his Temple which in turn is destroyed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Fire Arms and Premature Ejaculations!

There are few aspects of world politics and fanatical religion and anti-social doctrines that are left untouched by Batchev’s wildly imaginative humor: Batchev (or rather ‘El Vulgaro’) calls this film ‘Cinema of the Absurd’. This well-made film is WAY over the top and is destined to become an art house classic.

Grady Harp (Los Angeles Film Critics Association)

Award of Merit  –  08/18/2011


By , on September 23rd, 2013

DIRECTED BY: El Vulgario (Yavor Batchev)

FEATURING: Will, Chetan, Sienna, Sanjita, Anuj, Chintu

PLOT: The life story of Ivan, a Bulgarian refugee who arrives in America in the early ’70?s and begins the immigrant’s journey towards The American Dream, which in his case involves being anointed by the God of Shit to start The Temple of Holy Shit and spread the Word. Bestowed with supernatural powers, he performs miracles, advises government figures and amasses a following—until he is kidnapped by KGB agents and shipped to the USSR to use his powers for their benefit.

Still from The Bulgarian Prophet

COMMENTS: As Steve Martin once said, “Comedy is not pretty”. That saying applies equally to satire, especially when the satire is as sledgehammer blunt as it is in The Bulgarian Prophet. The movie is set in the America of the early 70?s, long after the Summer of Love has peaked and degenerated, after the Summer of Manson had finished it off. Vietnam is in full swing, Nixon is in office, and the time is right for all sorts of strangeness to take root. Enter the ‘hero,’ Ivan, escaping the Communist regime in his native Bulgaria to make a new start in America, where any man can pursue his heart’s desire—as long as that desire involves insanely huge amounts of cash and loose women with insanely large breasts.

There should be a lot of things working against this, from the animation style (courtesy of, to the occasional stiff line readings, but oddly, they complement the broad satire. In fact, if this were done as a live-action no-budget indie, it would come off as half-assed and worse than amateurish. Animation, even crude animation, allows for the full expression of Batchev’s ideas, unfettered by budgetary constraints and laws of physics (such as when Ivan walks across a swimming pool full of sewage in front of the media as a demonstration of his newfound divinity.) And in comedy, all that matters is that you get the laugh—and The Bulgarian Prophet does get them. After all, finesse is for critics to argue about.

Normally, you’d probably would have to look for this at underground film festivals, since the style and tone is way too blunt for mainstream film and animation festivals to screen. Your best bet to see this is to check for it on YouTube, or visit The Bulgarian Prophet official website.

Stephen ‘Spling” Aspeling (South African Film Critic):

The Bulgarian Prophet is an original story. I liked the untamed anti-establishment zeitgeist with which you tackled this animated feature. It reminded me of South Park, Waltz with Bashir, Idiocracy and if I had to describe the form I’d say it was something between unpatriotic Mike Judge satire and even perhaps a comic take on De Sade – particularly all the scatological references. Choosing to animate, softened the shock value and made the content a little more bearable. I was also impressed with your skill in creating a fully-fledged film with what little budget you had compared with other films in the genre.

The Bulgarian Prophet was thought-provoking and I kept trying to unearth the real meaning behind this send-up of religion and ideology. The unpredictable nature of the film and its propensity for provocation kept me watching the full 2 hour + run time. Although I must say, I’m glad you included subtitles…

Thanks for allowing me the chance to review your film and I wish you all the success into the future.

Stephen ‘Spling” Aspeling
(South African Film Critic)


The Bulgarian Prophet a review and kudos !
Julius Rascheff, Professor of Art – Cinematography Emeritus, University of Illinois


For the first time in my life I see a movie precisely stating the total amount of feces produced by a human in one’s lifetime. Not scatological, far from it. Not in substance, but in essence (metaphor). How can a viewer look and not be stirred with laughter to tears with the Excrementarium? Or the recycling of condoms at the zoo? Or the tattooing of the Social Security number of the Bulgarian Prophet Ivan on his penis. He survives. On many occasions, by sheer dint of fate he survives: a meteorite strikes his head… and he still makes it!

The movie goes deeper into the analysis of the American Psyche of the sixties. But not from the domestic point of view. No. The Immigrant’s dream around the world is to land on that sacred shore – USA, and to pursue happiness. Happiness, after it has been callously robbed from my life and the lives of hundreds of thousands by the invasion of one half of Europe by the Red Army, in all 400 million souls sold to Stalin, Hitler’s Ally, by Messrs. Churchill and Roosevelt.

And now, here comes the Immigrant, Ivan. He reaches the promised land. Exhausted by a life of hardship, penury, morally smashed, psychologically tormented, no, tortured by the totalitarian regime, unable to make a free choice of studying overseas; of freely exploring the world; of freely expressing his opinion without him or his family being jailed for it; yes, a different point of view on life from what most so called left wing-errs in America hold. At that point in time, they are on drugs, Mary Jane addicts, with long dirty hair, monosyllabic manner of speech, and in the pursuit of instant gratification of basic and mostly base desires. El Vulgaro, (Mr. Batchev), the Director of the movie, arrives on the promised coast (Hollywood) and is flabbergasted to discover America! A different one from the America he has studied and learned about. He is under a total shock to see what is happening and how it is happening. In Congress. On the streets. In offices and homes. The shock is here for us to see.

When you finish seeing the movie, stop and think:

Is this the America that Lincoln and Jefferson wanted?

Are we any better in the 21st Century than then, in the opiate years of the 20th Century? Are we ?

What a better way to be entertained than to watch The Bulgarian Prophet in our increasingly humorless mode of living? I do recommend it wholeheartedly to all.

And to you Yavor, kudos and encore! You managed on your own to produce this film, significant as an overview of American society, a “classic” of cinematheque caliber.

No one, no one would have dared produce it, had you offered. America, America…

Julius Rascheff, Professor of Art – Cinematography Emeritus, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.

Satisfied customer:

Hi Yavor,

I received your DVD. A lot of thanks. The movie is great. There is so much shit around everywhere, and it was badly needed to make a movie about it. It is a sharp satire about our shitty world. Congratulation for the idea and the audacity to create it. I see that there is a lot of influence from India. Some could say that it is vulgar and gross, but I do not think so. Could you say that Kama Sutra is vulgar and gross? It is showing what everybody does.

 John Bell, Sunnyvail, CA  (03/08/11)

 Jason Buchanan film critic at ROVIBulgarian refugee Ivan becomes the founding prophet of The Temple of Holy Shit after fleeing a communist regime for Los Angeles during the 1970s, where he is struck by a falling meteorite that instills him with supernatural powers, and receives a life-changing message from the omnipotent God of Shit. Securing his entry into the United States by revealing the Social Security number on an unusual part of his anatomy, Ivan goes to work at a condom reconditioning plant before meeting Sprout Factory employee Sunshine Flower, who will soon become witness to his transformation into an idol for the downtrodden masses. After receiving his new powers and turning the public against the government by ushering in a new ager of miracles, however, the newly-christened prophet is abducted by the KGB and taken to Russia so that his psychic abilities can be harnessed and exploited by the USSR. Incredibly, Ivan manages to make a narrow escape and find his way back to Los Angeles, where the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Premature Ejaculations launches an all-out assault on the sacred Temple of Holy Shit. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi