We’re fans of Kreepylady Kristen and her Chicago Creepout Facebook page (which we highly suggest you LIKE right away, especially if you live in the Chicagoland area) and she posted a link today to a list of the 50 “Most F*cked Up Films That Disturb and Offend” according to Severin Severin on listal.com.
Now, it doesn’t take much to figure out that we here at Herbivore Productions love our movies F***ED up with a splatter of blood and a side of guts. It’s easy for a movie to be scary. All you need is low lighting, a quiet drone, a suspicious character looking around a doorway, and a loud crash from out of nowhere to make an audience jump and squeal. Ho-hum, been there done that, desensitized, blah, blah, blah. But what really gets our fluffy butts ruffled are the movies that aren’t so much scary as they are disturbing, which is to say they leave a lasting impression that makes us wish we could wash our brains of what we just saw. However, you can’t unring a bell, as they say. These movies don’t rely on the conventional means of getting an audience’s skin to crawl, sometimes there’s not even any blood. It’s the tone and atmosphere they set. It’s throwing in your face subject matter so dark and repulsive that it makes the viewer question not only the sanity of the filmmaker, but their own for actually watching it! Now that’s good stuff!!
However, one person’s “disturbing” is another person’s “boring.” “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” So is what one considers fucked up. Take for example, Pier Pasolini’s “Salo: 120 Days of Sodom”, which our friends Kristyn The Goat and Gari The Critic reviewed here:
We’ve heard “Salo” referred to as “the most fucked up film ever!!” over and over and over again. Of course, when a movie gets a rep like that, you HAVE TO check it out, right?! Well, we did…and thought it sucked…and was a complete waste of time. The concept of transplanting the Marquis de Sade’s “120 Days of Sodom” from a castle in 18th century France to a mansion in Nazi occupied Italy and “reimagining” the story with a more modern (and more frightening) context is intriguing. If you are familiar with the Marquis de Sade’s story, you may appreciate the translation, but only as a concept. What your imagination conjures up is almost certainly more scary than what you see on screen.
“Salo” is notorious for it’s depictions of kidnapped teenagers being tortured, raped, and humiliated and, of course, that idea alone is too dark, too dark altogether. Just writing that makes us shiver. However, we offer up this thread of useless opinion: the reputation of “Salo” being the “most disturbing movie ever” that precedes it sets inside the mind of the first time viewer the idea that what they are about to watch is, indeed, disturbing, more so than the actual film.
A movie this infamous for its scenes of depravity and feces ingestion (it was a candy bar people, and the actress reportedly laughed through the entire scene because it was so ridiculous), already puts the viewer at DEFCON 3 with a yellow alert of tastelessness. Sure, the movie will offend, and surely that was its point, but we offer that, in this case, the movie’s reputation of being disturbing possibly taints the honest reaction of people watching it. “Salo” has become an almost rite of passage for horror movie fans. It’s one of those really sick films you gotta watch so you can earn your stripes of being a hardened film freak.
By all means watch it and earn your stripes, just be set to be bored to tears.
But like we said, beauty is in the eye of the beholder…
We’d like to end this post by wishing Alan Howarth, the composer of the soundtracks to “Halloween” 2 through 6 as well as “They Live”, “Escape From New York”, and a whole list of others, a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!