For me it’s, without any doubt, “Caligula” (1979). I’ve never seen anything as repulsive and offensive as this “film”, and i regret watching it. But, to be honest, I only watched about forty minutes of it; afterwards, I walked out of the movie theatre. I think i saw the uncut, 2 1/2 hours version, the director’s cut. I remember this mess was released in the early 1980’s in my country (I’m Peruvian) and i was about 6 years old and saw the ads in the newspapers. There were many “rumours” about it being a nasty film, and, several years later, I found out in old magazines that many people protested for the film’s release. So, I had to wait about 22 years to see the Brass-Guccione “masterpiece” and…I finally did, ’cause there was a re-release in 2003. I felt my eyes and mind were under attack while watching this, and had to quit.
1. Caligula (gold medal)
2. Cannibal Holocaust (silver medal)
3. Pink Flamingos (bronze medal)
Honorable mentions: Salo, Buio Omega, Men Behind the Sun, The New York Ripper.
Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom. That didn’t prevent it from becoming one of my favorite films, however.
I loved it SO much but then again I can see why it was banned pretty much everywhere.
the uncut version of ‘a Serbian Film’…although many parts of it were also very laughable
Jack and Jill
There are plenty of disturbing and shocking movies out there, but Irréversible is hands down the sickest movie I’ve ever seen, and by far the hardest to watch. But I must also mention Lilja 4-ever, there’s a realness here that most movies lack. I was in tears by the time that movie was over. Other movies came to my mind are Pink Floyd The Wall, A Clockwork Orange, Antichrist, Blue Velvet, Funny Games, Requiem for a Dream.
Bloodsucking Freaks or a Serbian FIlm. Made by sadists for sadists.
I haven’t seen Irreversible yet but something tells me it’s going to disturb me.
Yeah, one of the films I agree with Judicial Joe on is Salo and I think it probably is a fairly important film. I remember in the special features on the second disc of the Criterion version that a press photographer on the set for one day said that Abu Ghraib reminded him of Salo. The excrement eating scene was so gross that I found it hard to eat for a few days. I’ve only watched it once and maybe I could handle better a second viewing, but it was pretty hard to sit through. It wasn’t just the excrement eating scene either. And another I would have to go with would be Clockwork Orange. It’s the scene with his eyelids pulled back that makes me wince a little when I watch it. It is one of my favorite films though and Kubrick happens to be my favorite director. I’ve seen that film many times.
@Juan I don’t know if I could sit through Pink Flamingos with the dog pooping scene. At least, I’m not going to watch it in my immediate future.
Out of any of the films listed so far, do you find them disturbing for their depictions, or disturbing in the significance of their depictions?
With the exception of A Serbian Film. I haven’t seen it yet but I doubt it really has much of an undercurrent.
Stoic was probably one that really disturbed me. Was a putrid, meaningless film. Pink Flamingos could very well be up there, as well, but that one at least had some style to it.
It’s worth noting that the great majority of films mentioned here aren’t any good.
How’s the question of quality afffect whether people are disturbed by films?
Wolf Creek…I turned it off about 1/2 hour in…..
Either Possession or something by Nikolaidis.
Those also came to mind for me Jirin.
I’ll also throw in Sweet Movie and The Tin Drum
The Isle is very disturbing (and a very good film). Salo is a great film, and a scarring experience.
“but something tells me it’s going to disturb me.”
You may be treading very serious waters if you’re thinking about going into Irreversible, if you ask me. Watch whatever you would like, but as an Internet friend, I advise you approach with caution. It’s so screwed up it distracted many (including myself) from how brilliant it was the first time round.
I’m a strange one in that I have a pretty weak stomach for gore etc, especially of particular types, so a lot of the above movies and movies like them I avoid. That said, purely thematically films don’t disturb me that much – Blue Velvet and Funny Games didn’t effect me that badly in the end (and I think both are masterpieces). So to specify, I had no problem with Dogville, Dancer in the Dark or Breaking the Waves, but I’ve consciously avoided Antichrist, even though I’d like great parts of it I’m sure.
To answer the question, I probably won’t watch The Piano Teacher again.
I will probably end up watching Caligula some day lol – such an operatic, infamous failure of indulgence and talent is too interesting to pass up.
A Clockwork Orange FTW
“– Blue Velvet and Funny Games didn’t effect me that badly in the end (and I think both are masterpieces).”
I adore both of them. I was shaken up by Velvet first time round, but upon second viewing I was unfazed by the more unsettling parts. Haneke’s Funny Games, however, will haunt me till the day I die.
" So to specify, I had no problem with Dogville, Dancer in the Dark or Breaking the Waves, but I’ve consciously avoided Antichrist, even though I’d like great parts of it I’m sure."
I was not disturbed by Dancer or Dogville, but I always have a hard time watching long movies about women being broken. See Antichrist and get it over with, lol, and I would also like to hear your thoughts on it.
“To answer the question, I probably won’t watch The Piano Teacher again”
I’m not putting myself through that again… But I did love it.
Probably Funny Games.
Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom :(
^Wha? All’ya kids are lightweights.
…or any garbage based on a Nicholas Sparks novel.
Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father
yeah, that’s messed up beyond words.
I watched Capturing the Friedmans recently… What the hell?
The Poughkeepsie Tapes. I also read the plot summary for Martyrs and it distrubed me more than any film I’ve actually WATCHED.
Salò, I wish I would have never seen it. But at the same time ,as somebody already said, it is one of the best films made especially on the topic of facism. It is so painful to watch, it makes me sick in my stomach and I want to close my eyes and look away but something in this film told me that it is beyond an illusionistic mode of film. This film is hardcore real stuff and no way out. I did not watch anymore at the end but I heard the sound..
@Tommy: A Serbian Film doesn’t have much of an undercurrent. Its “subtext” starts with naming the main character Milos (i.e., Milosevic) and ends with him raping or killing everyone around him. Aside from that, it’s not much of a movie. The style didn’t appeal to me and it seemed to exist for nothing more than cheap shock value.
I only go in for expensive shock value.
Have not seen it. From what I’ve read…I’m prepared to view some bizarre shit.