In my relatively short lifespan, I feel comfortable saying I’ve seen a disproportionate number of movies compared to the average person. Does that make me kind of sad? Oh yes, but I also like to think it’s made me sort of wise in a weird, insanely useless way.
With that wisdom comes experience, and through those experiences instead of opting to create a more profound article, delving into the history and psyche of film culture, I’d much rather do this : Here are the very worse, twisted, most wicked movies I’ve ever had the pleasure (or, in these cases, the stark displeasure) of viewing. These were the movies that either made my stomach churn, forced me through multiple sittings to finish, or just had me loathing the fact anyone ever made it to begin with. And loathing the fact I made myself watch it.
I absolutely do not recommend these movies (after the break) to the sensible and sound of mind, but here they are, in no particular order save the last one, if you’re feeling up to dirtying your conscience.
Takashi Miike has done a number of, to be eloquent, fucked up movies during his career. Whether it be assassins that ejaculate after his kills or mobsters blowing up the world, Miike is anything but boring. Audition, certainly one of his ‘quieter’ flicks, is the one that’s always remained with me. Starting off innocently enough, even boring, the movie takes a left turn about half way through and stuff happens.
Stuff that men everywhere will not enjoy watching. An argument can be made that this is the ultimate feminist movie, subverting the dominant Japanese patriarchy. This argument can be made by very disturbed fems. Expect dismemberments, vomit eating and a very, very messed up scene involving a bag and its contents.
Last House on the Left
Wes Craven’s 1972 original was the first rape-loitation movie I had ever seen, and it was the last one I sought out to watch. I’ve seen others, like Hills Have Eyes and I Spit On Your Grave, but those were shown to me. I learned at this young stage in my life that watching women being brutalized over and over again, and then murdered for their troubles = me having a rather unhappy time with the television.
I guess I’m just the type of guy who doesn’t like watching people get raped. Is there something wrong with me?
August Underground Mordum
This movie had the reputation of ‘most sickening’ or ‘most grotesque’ and a number of other ‘most’s and I gotta admit, it nearly lived up to it. This is some vile, disgusting imagery put on film.
Shot with handheld cameras, it tries its best to mimic a home video shot by serial killers invading an innocent family’s house. Imagine fornication of open wounds and you can understand a glimpse of what this piece of crap is about. I personally have never actually finished watching this mainly because despite its horrific nature, it had no purpose. There was no meaning behind its existence that would have affected my life in any way, shape or form. I think it was created as a show piece for Toetag Pictures gore artists, and I guess in that way it kind of succeeds.
I was agonizing over which of the myriad of cannibal flicks to mention, but I guess the “granddaddy” of them all deserves the ‘honour’. This was one of those shock flicks I watched young and was thus traumatized by. And like many of those childhood movies, this really doesn’t hold up over time. Nowadays? It’s nearly laughable just how bad this movie is. Sure, the subject matter is still disturbing (Westerners learning their place the hard way), but the production is kind of, sorta, awful. Horrendous 70’s era music pulsates in the background and the acting is actually two notches down from a porn flick.
It’s still a strong memory that first viewing, so maybe you’ll have a similar reaction.
Not the goriest or offensive movie ever made, this Lynch classic still left a huge impression on me by being generally messed up. I still have no idea what happened in this movie. All I remember is weird alien baby…things, this woman to the left and a chicken.
I refuse to go to Wikipedia to find out what this movie was about, opting to still believe it was all just a bad dream.
This movie was made in 1932, and over 77 years later it’s still, pun definitely intended, freaky as hell. Freakier than Friday will ever be. About a close knit band of carnival freaks, played by an actual band of carnival freaks, this is about revenge of the most twisted kind. I was forever left with 2 impressions:
– You never mess with carnival sideshows.
– I will never look at a chicken the same way again.
Flower of Flesh and Blood
The Japanese Guinea Pig series is notorious for showing sick, depraved, imagery for sick, depraved, imagery’s sake. Though certainly not as underground as it used to be, when I had gotten a hold of a VHS copy of Flower of Flesh and Blood when I was in grade school from a bootleg Chinese video rental joint I had thought I hit the jackpot. About half an hour in I was in a semi-fetal position wondering why the hell I wanted this thing to begin with.
Flower of Flesh and Blood had that mystique about it, what with Charlie Sheen reporting it to the FBI as an actual snuff film and rumours still floating about at the time (the days before Wiki and Google) that it really was one. For a horror hound like me, I just had to get my hands on a copy. Sure, nowadays watching it again it’s obvious these were just special effects (and still damn good ones), but I was a little scarred for life when that first hand was severed. And then the next. And then…
And last, and probably the most scarring of all…
Borat – Hotel nude wrestling
This one scene may very well do more damage to my psyche than every single one of the other movies combined will ever. All that flesh just…just flying around. All that hair and writhing and sweating. How Sacha Baron Cohen and Ken Davitien pulled this all off in seemingly one take while completely staying in character is astounding.
Well, those were some of my personal choices for most disturbing movies ever. I know I’ve left out some favourite choices, like any one of the numerous zombie flicks or ghost movies, but I have to admit, I love zombies and ghosts and find them more fascinating than scary or disturbing. I’m also sure I left out a ton of stomach rolling entrants into shock cinema, but I can only watch so many movies!
UPDATE: Since publishing the post I’ve had a few suggestions and also remembered a few movies that deserve some mention:
- Se7en – One of the classic serial killer movies. Man, some of those aftermaths, especially the guy who was still alive but malnourished, was icky.
- Ichi The Killer – I didn’t forget about this, but I still think Audition is by far Miike’s most disturbing movie.
- Battle Royale – I loved this movie, but nothing about it was particularly disturbing or gross.
- Suicide Club – Wasn’t really much of a fan, mainly because I didn’t really get it. So were the little girls inducing suicides or something?
- Silence of the Lambs – One of the very best serial killer movies, and Jame Gumb was frighteningly grotesque.