Ew.
August 17, 2010 8:36 AM   Subscribe

The 25 Most Disturbing Films Ever. Starts at #25, but the full list with links can be found below the fold. Some pages NSFW.

Unfortunately, there is not one page with the entire list but rather 25 individual pages for each film. The list of films, in order from least to most disturbing (links go to the page for each film):

25) Antichrist - Von Trier, 2009
24) Blue Velvet - Lynch, 1986
23) Shivers - Cronenberg, 1975
22) Martyrs - Laugier, 2008
21) Man Bites Dog - Belvaux, 1992
20) Begotten - Merhige, 1991
19) Aftermath - Cerda, 1994
18) The Human Centipede - Six, 2010
17) A Clockwork Orange - Kubrick, 1971
16) Flower of Flesh and Blood (aka Slow Death: The Dismemberment) - Hinu, 1985
15) The Last House on the Left - Craven, 1972
14) Irreversible - Noe, 2002
13) Nekromantik - Buttgereit, 1987
12) Men Behind the Sun - Mou, 1988
11) I Spit on Your Grave (aka Day of the Woman) - Zarchi, 1978
10) Happiness - Solondz, 1998
9) Funny Games - Haneke, 1997
8) Visitor Q - Miike, 2001
7) Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom - Pasolini, 1975
6) Cannibal Holocaust - Deodato, 1980
5) In a Glass Cage - Villaronga, 1987
4) Eraserhead - Lynch, 1977
3) Audition - Miike, 1999
2) Threads - Jackson, 1984
1) Exorcist - Friedkin, 1973
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates (255 comments total) 80 users marked this as a favorite

 
Man Bites Dog? That shit was hilarious.
posted by NoMich at 8:42 AM on August 17, 2010 [9 favorites]


What, no E.T.? Young .kobayashi. was never more rattled at the movies. I made my parents leave the drive-in.
posted by .kobayashi. at 8:44 AM on August 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Thanks for making the list unobnoxious! You rock!
posted by phunniemee at 8:44 AM on August 17, 2010 [18 favorites]


I haven't seen most of these, but the ones I have I would watch again. However, Seven and Sophie's Choice? You couldn't pay me enough to see them again.

But I thought A Boy and His Dog was hilarious.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:45 AM on August 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


26) Dead Ringers (Cronenberg, 1988

When I saw it for the first time, there was so much dread and tension in the audience that the projection had to stop twice, once for someone passing out and once for someone having a seizure.

27) Gummo. Just because. Ugh.
posted by Auden at 8:47 AM on August 17, 2010 [12 favorites]


Oh come on, The Exorcist at #1? Really? Pea soup and some downshifted voices trump Salo?
posted by paisley henosis at 8:47 AM on August 17, 2010 [22 favorites]


No Gummo? No Crispin Glover?
posted by hermitosis at 8:47 AM on August 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


Also, I stopped reading at:

"Sickest Scene: Willem Dafoe’s poor balls are cruched by Gainsbourg, who then proceeds to masturbate her now-unconscious hunsband until he ejaculates blood."

Typos like that give me the heebie jeebies.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:48 AM on August 17, 2010 [8 favorites]


This list is kind of useless without any metrics of what "disturbing" means. It's really in the ey of the beholder isn't it? Funny Games wasn't disturbing to me; it was just pointless and pretentious, a waste of film trying to be passed off as some kind of artsy message. Passion of the Christ has more realistic and senseless violence without any actual entertaining plot line or character dialogue than any movie on this list, and isn't even on it. Se7en had far weirder and darker murder elements than a handful of movies here described as "disturbing" because of their murder scenes.

The most disturbing movie I ever saw was Transformers, because I was five at the time and watched Optimus Prime DIE.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:48 AM on August 17, 2010 [12 favorites]


Thank you for creating the list yourself so I don't have to click 25 slides!
posted by NoraCharles at 8:48 AM on August 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


Mixed bag on this list. In my mind there is a difference between "disturbing" and "gross out". Funny Games is disturbing. Happiness is disturbing. Cannibal Holocaust is gross out. The Human Centipede is gross out. It is far simpler to create a gross out scene than a disturbing scene that utilizes the viewer's imagination as fright multiplier.
posted by zerobyproxy at 8:49 AM on August 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Glad to see that Von Trier, but a list of the most disturbing films without his The Idiots simply means whoever compiled the list has never seen it.
posted by griphus at 8:49 AM on August 17, 2010


Sweet Movie sort of comes to mind, but in different ways.

Pretty much the circle of people I fell into when I moved here after college are all way into watching this sort of movie over and over. Really Not My Thing personally, and I smiled when a guy here met a girl through internet dating and she eventually moved here; turns out she's the same as I am and won't watch them. Everyone else is like "she's kind of weird!" and I just smile to myself. I'm not the only one!

My husband just bought Man Bites Dog during the Criterion B&N sale-a-go-go after already seeing it once years ago. He also got copies of Salo and Sweet Movie which he recently watched for the first time. In all of those cases I was like, "yeah, sorry, you'll have to watch them without me." The only movie he's ever put his foot down about refusing to see is Cannibal Holocaust for the obvious and typical reasons.

Also..hasn't Mefi done this before more than once? These "shocking and grossout" movie lists? Hm, going to dig a bit...
posted by ifjuly at 8:51 AM on August 17, 2010


Different list here, with more of an emphasis on traditional "horror."
posted by jbickers at 8:51 AM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Where's this fold you mentioned? Will it crease my monitor?
posted by Eideteker at 8:51 AM on August 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


I hate to be all 'no X but Y!' But no Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer...? FAIL
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:52 AM on August 17, 2010 [12 favorites]


I'm disturbed by how many of these I've seen.
*adds Sense and Sensibility, and When Harry Met Sally to Netflix Queue*
posted by nola at 8:52 AM on August 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


The Exorcist is one of those movies that gets a lot more respect than it's really due thanks to the fact that a) it's very popular and b) it was very popular when the people making these lists were impressionable teenagers.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:53 AM on August 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


No Blood Sucking Freaks? [NSFW google image search] Listfail. That is by far the most fucked up, disturbing shit I've ever seen on the screen.
posted by dersins at 8:55 AM on August 17, 2010


Huh. I certainly found the rape scene in A Clockwork Orange more disturbing than Alex being tortured, but maybe it's just me.
posted by Gator at 8:55 AM on August 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


Requiem for a Dream? That movie has a serving size of once per lifetime.
posted by SNWidget at 8:56 AM on August 17, 2010 [38 favorites]


Huh. I certainly found the rape scene in A Clockwork Orange more disturbing than Alex being tortured, but maybe it's just me.

I see this dichotomy a lot. I think it depends how old you are when you first see it and how old you are now. I've definitely flipped from the Ludovigo stuff being the most disturbing to the rape, but I was 13 when I first saw the film and definitely found the torture much harder to bear.
posted by griphus at 8:57 AM on August 17, 2010


10 out of 25. I think something's wrong with me.
posted by emelenjr at 8:57 AM on August 17, 2010


What about Ichi the Killer? It's not so much the over the top, sometimes comic violence as the fact that it's a courtship story where pain and violence have replaced tendereness and affection.
posted by dortmunder at 8:58 AM on August 17, 2010


That movie has a serving size of once per lifetime.

Requiem abridged for sensitive audiences.
posted by hermitosis at 8:58 AM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


When I see a list like this, a half-expect to see a link to a .torrent for them all as well.
posted by Theta States at 8:58 AM on August 17, 2010


It's telling that few of these are American movies.

I'm just not sure what it's telling me.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:58 AM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, this may not apply for all values of "disturbing." It seems more like a sampler plate of vaguely controversial icky movies; any real list of "the 25 Most Disturbing Movies" is not going to get away with a single entry each for von Trier and Haneke. And the obligatory can't-believe-they-missed-that comment: Sluizer's Spoorloos needs to be here somewhere.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:59 AM on August 17, 2010


I agree with Pope Guilty about The Exorcist. It's not a bad movie, but only a middling horror film. It's like you can be a "serious film person" and admit to having seen The Exorcist and Rosemary's Baby, so they show up on all these "great horror" lists, despite being pretty dated.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:59 AM on August 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Boxing Helena?
posted by Thorzdad at 8:59 AM on August 17, 2010


This list doesn't contain any of the films where Donald Sutherland graphically murders a small boy.

Fail.

(Boy, am I glad I'm not Kiefer!)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:59 AM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I will never understand how anyone can find "The Exorcist" anything but utterly risible, not to mention abysmally edited. I saw it when I was eighteen and my friend and I just laughed like drains at how beyond-absurd it was.
posted by Decani at 9:00 AM on August 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Previously
posted by schmod at 9:01 AM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Descent. I actually stopped watching that movie and wouldn't start again until it was day. I sort of understand the inclusion of The Exorcist, even though it's in a completely different class of disturbing from all the others. That creeped me out when I first saw it.

Caligula probably deserves a mention. Not so much because the movie is disturbing, but the thought that people would make that movie and be happy with the results is disturbing (and the thought that it's actually possible to get such great actors to appear in such a piece of shit).
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 9:02 AM on August 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


No Jacob's Ladder?
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 9:03 AM on August 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


I was going through nodding and generally agreeing when I realized that it didn't have Pan's Labyrinth which I feel is a significant omission, because disturbing was the very essence of that film.

But what bothered me most was that number one was The Exorcist, Sure, a deeply disturbing film, I'll grant you, but it's #2 on its best day. The only film that should ever be #1 in this category is clearly *shudder* Doogal.
posted by quin at 9:03 AM on August 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


MuffinMan: "It's telling that few of these are American movies.

I'm just not sure what it's telling me.
"

Probably just that Americans are more disturbed by foreign mentalities in film. Or this author is, at any rate.
posted by graventy at 9:03 AM on August 17, 2010


Thumbs up for Begotten, but a bit disappointed not to see Street Trash.

Those two movies pretty much capture two borders of "disturbing" for me -- Begotten capturing the God-is-Dead grainy noise and thunder end of the spectrum; it's art-wank, but it's really well-executed art-wank that really does harrow the soul if you open yourself up to the experience.

In the other corner, Street Trash: a movie that bends over backwards to out-Troma Troma, with insane Vietnam vets, people melting into toilets, and a rousing game of penis keepaway.

I love 'em both, but even two things that extreme can't really put a perimeter around "disturbing." Watching an episode of Cheers with the sound turned down and Nurse With Wound’s Rock n' Roll Station turned up loud was one of the most disturbing things I've ever done, and I doubt either thing alone would ever make any list.
posted by Shepherd at 9:03 AM on August 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


And the most disturbing film I've seen in recent years is Mum And Dad , largely because it was inspired / based on a real story.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:03 AM on August 17, 2010


I've seen none of these. Seriously.

I've only heard of three of them - Clockwork Orange, Human Centipede and Exorcist - and one of those is just because there's a fuss about it in the media at the moment.

The review I heard of Human Centipede (on Radio 4, I think) was pretty dismissive of it, basically claiming that it wasn't graphic and it wasn't shocking. The reviewer went as far as to suggest there was nothing in the film that couldn't have been released 30 years ago. Not really a hard hitting shocker of a film, in his opinion.
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 9:04 AM on August 17, 2010


Requiem abridged for sensitive audiences.

Requiem for a toy.
posted by dersins at 9:04 AM on August 17, 2010


The rape scenes in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo made me sick. I'd find room for it here.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:06 AM on August 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


No À l'intérieur?

And lets face it, the sickest scene in Man Bites Dog can only be the comedy rape scene.
posted by i_cola at 9:06 AM on August 17, 2010


I will never understand how anyone can find "The Exorcist" anything but utterly risible, not to mention abysmally edited. I saw it when I was eighteen and my friend and I just laughed like drains at how beyond-absurd it was.

In my personal experience The Exorcist is only terrifying to people who grew up Catholic, whereas everyone else thinks it's silly and hilarious.
posted by burnmp3s at 9:07 AM on August 17, 2010 [8 favorites]


The Human Centipede was not disturbing. I guess you *might* have trouble with it if you have a fear of poop, or unwelcome medical experimentation, but that movie is a lot more of an absurdist comedy. The evil doctor teaches it (well, them) to fetch! It's just goofy.
posted by graventy at 9:07 AM on August 17, 2010


So one night a couple of years ago, I watched some porn and, uh, did the sorts of things one does while watching porn. Immediately afterwards, I saw that my Netflix had arrived, and settled in to watch Eastern Promises for the night.

Do. Not. Do. This. You will be unable to get an erection for a month afterwards.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 9:09 AM on August 17, 2010


"Threads", oh man. That movie makes "The Day After" look like "Mary Poppins".
posted by DWRoelands at 9:09 AM on August 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


Recently I've seen several classic genre lists on the internet (Spaghetti Westerns and the like)... I find it a bit disturbing myself that the one I've seen the most films of (12/25) is the 'disturbing' one...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:10 AM on August 17, 2010


They also left off Sex in the City 2.
posted by i_cola at 9:10 AM on August 17, 2010 [13 favorites]


Fiction, mind. I've been deeply disturbed by a few documentaries, though of course that's at least partly due to the strange realization that something so dreadful is either actually happening or has happened.

But yeah, I don't think I'll watch Requiem for a Dream again.

Nor am I eager to attempt another von Trier trial.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:10 AM on August 17, 2010


Is this list seriously trying to argue that the Exorcist is more disturbing than every single one of those other 24? Cuz...The Human Centipede????
posted by spicynuts at 9:10 AM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


No Old Yeller?
posted by logicpunk at 9:11 AM on August 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


I kinda expected Tod Browning's Freaks... disturbed the heck out of my 14-year-old self. Eraserhead, most definitely, but I'd've put it before The Exorcist for sure. I would agree that most on the list were plain old-fashioned gross-outs.

Hey, remember gross-out jokes? Example:
Q: What's the definition of gross? A: when you throw your underwear at the wall and it sticks.

posted by kinnakeet at 9:12 AM on August 17, 2010


I first saw Eraserhead as a double feature with an anime movie called "Legend of the Overfiend" which was orders of magnitude more disturbing than anything Lynch has ever done. I had to leave within 45 minutes, and only stayed that long because of my 2 friends. Eraserhead was the kind of disturbing you could sort of laugh off, but the Overfiend was...something truly sick.

Also Man Bites Dog was a comedy in the same vein as Dexter, this person needs more practice.
posted by Kirk Grim at 9:12 AM on August 17, 2010


I've always held that Mysterious Skin is the most disturbing movie i've ever seen just because of how accurate and unflinching it is. The rape scene left me nausea and in tears.

And there is a HUGE difference between disturbing movies and horror movies. With a lot of the entries on the list you can keep repeating "it's just a movie". A truly disturbing movie/scene takes that ability away from you. The scenes can be surreal, but as long as they're not fantastical there is a degree of disturbing that can't be shaken because it is that grounding in reality that fundamentally shakes our comfortable lives more than some fictional weirdo sowing people together ever could.
posted by Chipmazing at 9:13 AM on August 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


Shepherd has convinced me to see Begotten. I've heard a lot of disappointment from people who very much wanted to like it, but I suppose I'll bite.

I'm glad to see a mention of In a Glass Cage. It's not "freaky to be freaky," which I think is cheating. It's simply a good film that is more or less unknown and is about a disturbing situation. I can appreciate extremity for its own sake (A Serbian Film, which, uh, nobody here ought to watch; I am mentioning it, not endorsing), but I think that's a wholly different list.

The most disturbing thing about this list is how many of these films I have on DVD.
posted by adipocere at 9:13 AM on August 17, 2010


Pea soup and some downshifted voices trump Salo?

Seconded or thirded.

It's like a Pavlovian response. You say "most disturbing films..." and before you can get another word out, I scream "Salò!"

Man Bites Dog is an great movie. Disturbing in a good way. Perhaps others have the same feeling about Salò, but I honestly cannot recommend it to anyone.

Also, wut. No love for Society?

The Exorcist? Pshaw. Tweren't even scary.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:14 AM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dear mods,

I was about to go to sleep, but then I went through this FPP. My metafilter bender will continue on because I can't sleep, and I am doing my best to not be an ass.

But seriously...Exorcist...WTF? I agree with spicynuts. Human Centipede is wayyyy worse.

Also, whats up with all these WWII countries fucking up film? They seriously need some type of PTSD therapy or something.
posted by hal_c_on at 9:14 AM on August 17, 2010


Deeper, deeper, deeper...
posted by whiskeyspider at 9:14 AM on August 17, 2010


21. Man Bites Dog
Sickest Scene: Benoit “saves a bullet” by scaring an old woman into cardiac arrest and slowly watching her die

Really? That's what they think is the sickest scene? I dunno, I always thought the graphic gang rape scene was pretty disturbing... Otherwise it's a pretty funny movie.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 9:15 AM on August 17, 2010


I'm not entirely sure how you rank Cannibal Holocaust vs. Happiness. Why do people think everything can be expressed as a number?
posted by shakespeherian at 9:17 AM on August 17, 2010


I would have put Martyrs a lot higher on the list. I would also recommend not watching it.

The Exorcist as number one in this list is a joke. Nothing in that movie was "disturbing" by the standards of other movies in this list. Still, it had some nice atmospheric scenes in the first half - the opening scenes in Iraq, the details of Father Damien's life, Ellen Burstyn's comfortable life fraying at the edges, things going bump in the night.
posted by fleetmouse at 9:18 AM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just the decriptions of these movies have put me off my lunch. I need to go wash my hands a million times now. Gross.
posted by FunkyHelix at 9:19 AM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


The "if it were family friendly" part of each list item makes me want to stab my OWN eyes out with long, thin needles.

Also, I can't believe there's not a single Park Chan-wook film on that list.
posted by katillathehun at 9:20 AM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Videodrome? (When I was 14.)
posted by i_cola at 9:24 AM on August 17, 2010


8) Visitor Q - Miike, 2001

Yeah that one left me disturbed, not long after I got rid of my TV and stopped watching movies on a regular basis. Maybe there is a connection.
posted by stbalbach at 9:24 AM on August 17, 2010


Yeah I didn't really find clockwork orange all that disturbing. I think some of you people are too easily disturbed, though.
posted by delmoi at 9:24 AM on August 17, 2010


I've always held that Mysterious Skin is the most disturbing movie i've ever seen just because of how accurate and unflinching it is.

Seconded.

About a year before that movie came out, I discovered and immediately fell head-over-heels in love with Cocteau Twins, listening to all their (early, good) albums every day on constant repeat.

And then I saw Mysterious Skin.

Also, I used to eat a lot of Froot Loops.

Those are now two of my very most favourite things I can no longer enjoy, due in no small part to the pervasive mental image of two eight-year-old boys fistfucking their baseball coach. Gee, thanks, Greg Araki!
posted by Sys Rq at 9:26 AM on August 17, 2010


No Reflecting Skin? Now there's a movie that messed with my brain!
posted by jtron at 9:27 AM on August 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Obviously published before Eat, Pray, Love came out.
posted by mattholomew at 9:28 AM on August 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


They could've made the entire list out of just Takeshi Miike and it would need to be longer. When I was younger, a group of friends of mine would get together and watch weird foreign movies. Gozu ended that pretty much on the spot. (*shudders remembering the cow-headed woman*)

Also, I watched Antichrist with a friend who barely got through it. Her theory: that the director was 'daring us to finish.' That was all that kept her there to end. Hehe. (Obligatory Lars von Trier Onion link.)
posted by mordax at 9:28 AM on August 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Most gross-out films don't work on me, becoming unintentionally just sort of goofy, or much worse, just boring. (For instance, I'd describe "Martyrs" as gross, sure, but ultimately mostly just kind of dumb and tedious.) There are exceptions, of course--the final act of "Audition" is one of the few films that made me feel nauseated. I had to pause it for awhile during the peak of the, er, needlework to get some air and splash some water over my face and reflect that sometimes "visceral" is an entirely appropriate adjective.

Mostly though, my this-is-disturbing switches get flipped by non-graphic things. "Happiness" made me feel like there were bugs crawling around under my skin for most of it.
posted by Drastic at 9:28 AM on August 17, 2010


There were no sufficiently disturbing films before the 70s? Really?
posted by hattifattener at 9:33 AM on August 17, 2010


How Solondz isn't on this list multiple times is beyond me.
posted by grubi at 9:33 AM on August 17, 2010


They could've made the entire list out of just Takeshi Miike and it would need to be longer. When I was younger, a group of friends of mine would get together and watch weird foreign movies. Gozu ended that pretty much on the spot. (*shudders remembering the cow-headed woman*)

That was hardly the most disturbing part of that film.
posted by dortmunder at 9:34 AM on August 17, 2010


Also Man Bites Dog was a comedy in the same vein as Dexter

"Sickest Scene: Benoit 'saves a bullet' by scaring an old woman into cardiac arrest and slowly watching her die."

Man Bites Dog starts like that (dark humor) and sucks you in to Benoit as a clown (ha ha), but then it gradually gets creepier.

I've only seen a few episodes of Dexter (not really my humor) but I doubt that at any point the production crew puts the camera down to join in the murder and rape of an elderly couple.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:34 AM on August 17, 2010


oh hey, salo is on there. duh.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:36 AM on August 17, 2010


Exorcist might get extra points because Total Film is a British magazine and for years during the 80s you just could not see the Exorcist legally in the UK so it acquired a certain reputation. Under the Thatcherite government we had (post the Video Nasty era) very strict censorship and the censor in chief, the head of BBFC had a particular bee in his bonnet about Exorcist (as he thought it would possibly make any child watching it mad or something) and would not allow it to be released on video in any form. When he retired the film was re-released in the cinema which is when I saw it it. There was a fair bit of laughter in the audience.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:36 AM on August 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


There were no sufficiently disturbing films before the 70s? Really?

I'd suggest Triumph of the Will or Birth of a Nation. "Disturbing" is a subjective term, and those two are, to me, disturbing.

So was Bamboozled. Even though I thought it was excellent filmmaking, it was disturbing as fuck, which was Spike Lee's aim.
posted by grubi at 9:38 AM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Irreversible was too much for me. It even shocked John Waters.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:41 AM on August 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Anyone see a Korean film called "Old Boy". Do not watch it with your dad.
posted by ashtabula to opelika at 9:42 AM on August 17, 2010 [7 favorites]


MuffinMan: “It's telling that few of these are American movies.”

Yeah, but it's still a pretty Anglo/Americo-centric list. Every single one of these should be Japanese movies. Hell, all of them could probably be Takashi Miike movies. Audition is quite disturbing, but it's only on this list because it's probably Miike's most popular movie in the west; does anybody really believe that Ichi The Killer isn't infinitely worse? I mean, come on now – just try to watch this without cringing so hard your muscles cramp up. Or Visitor Q, a fabulous little film which is entirely motivated by its first line: "have you ever had sex with your father?" Gozu has a dog beaten to death and a Yakuza dude who likes to stick a soup ladle up his ass. And then there's Imprint, which Miike made for the American television channel Showtime, but which they subsequently refused to broadcast – it's a tale about rape, incest, torture, and... well, yeah, that's about it. Miike picked the story because he said "It had a simplicity that I liked," and noted that "I thought that I was right up to the limit of what American television would tolerate. As I was making the film I kept checking to make sure that I wasn't going over the line, but I evidently misestimated." And I haven't even seen a quarter of the 82 movies Takashi Miike has directed; I'm pretty sure he's got at least three dozen in there that qualify as more disturbing than anything on this list.
posted by koeselitz at 9:44 AM on August 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


I've only seen three of these (Velvet, Clockwork and the Exorcist) and really have no desire to see any of the rest. I guess I'm a wimp.
posted by octothorpe at 9:47 AM on August 17, 2010


About the weird choice of "sickest scene" for Man Bites Dog, they may have only seen the edited American version, which doesn't include the gang rape scene. Or possibly includes it in extremely abridged form. Otherwise, yeah I don't know.

The Exorcist at number one is laughable. It's a good horror movie, but not in any way at all even as disturbing as any of the other movies on this list, let alone more disturbing than all of them.

And I object as well to the absence of Henry, and also Tetsuo: Iron Man. But mainly Henry. Jesus, that... I won't watch that again ever.

Oh while I'm thinking of it, surely The Dark Backward belongs in there somewhere too?
posted by rusty at 9:48 AM on August 17, 2010


No The Plague Dogs?
posted by ovvl at 9:49 AM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


With a lot of the entries on the list you can keep repeating "it's just a movie". A truly disturbing movie/scene takes that ability away from you.

Hence, Grave of the Fireflies.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:51 AM on August 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


Apparently the rape scene in Man Bites Dog was cut from some pre-Criterion releases in the US, which would explain why I don't remember it, but does not explain why I barely remember watching it at all.

Probably the freakiest image that has stayed with me have been the guy getting clobbered by the pig's head[NSFW] in Big Meat Eater. I also thought Beyond the Valley of the Dolls had a scene wherein Z-Man shoves a sword into a guy's mouth, causing blood to jet from an obviously fake head's nostrils, but research has shown that I conflated that scene, which ends in a simple decapitation, with Z-Man putting a gun in a sleeping woman's mouth and shooting her.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:52 AM on August 17, 2010


Ah – nice to see that they actually listed Visitor Q. Still, Gozu and Ichi the Killer are still worse, I think.
posted by koeselitz at 9:52 AM on August 17, 2010


I object as well to the absence of Henry

Henry's a lot like MBD, in that I watched it and was left feeling sort of 'Yes, and...?'. Maybe I react more to the visually grotesque.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:54 AM on August 17, 2010


koeselitz: I have to disagree about Miike. I thought Audition was pretty well done, and had a good premise, but it basically just got tedious when the twenty-whatever minute torture scene rolled in. I fast forwarded through most of it, because it was clearly not really relevant to the story and just in there to be gross and shocking. I mean the fact of it happening was relevant, but the details were just porn. Most of the torture-porn genre has that problem. It is, literally, porn, just of a particularly off-putting kind. Flesh doing things to other flesh, and it is similarly mechanical, empty, and boring.

Whereas something like Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is almost completely gore-free, and certainly not more explicitly violent than many other movies. But it somehow, through sheer nihilistic tone, manages to be the most disturbing thing I've ever seen. The only comparison I had after seeing it was that it was like watching someone mathematically prove to you that life is pointless and humanity is not even evil, just void of any particular meaning.
posted by rusty at 9:55 AM on August 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


Glad to see that Von Trier, but a list of the most disturbing films without his The Idiots simply means whoever compiled the list has never seen it.

What? That's a lol comedy, and the good hearted woman is only mildly (by von Trier standards) punished and humiliated in the end.
posted by ennui.bz at 9:57 AM on August 17, 2010


Obviously published before Eat, Pray, Love came out.

Original title: Eat Prey Live.
posted by pracowity at 9:58 AM on August 17, 2010 [11 favorites]


Man Bites Dog starts like that (dark humor) and sucks you in to Benoit as a clown (ha ha), but then it gradually gets creepier.

I've only seen a few episodes of Dexter (not really my humor) but I doubt that at any point the production crew puts the camera down to join in the murder and rape of an elderly couple
.

That's possible--I saw it 10 years ago or more and don't recall that scene, but I've thought the movie was funny all that time rather than disturbing for whatever reason.

Also, in terms of disturbing, I couldn't sleep one night while living in Japan and decided to put the TV on at like 3am. There was a Korean horror shorts showcase on TV. I don't know if what I saw as common in terms of Korean horror movie tropes, but I still have nightmares about a couple of them. They were ghost stories, one of which involved a ghost at the front door. It was closed, but this pair of white hands with red nail polish somehow creeped through the cracks and started moving slowly and impossibly around the entire door frame, fingers wriggling. Another scene took place in a public washroom, and there were horizontally-oriented ghosts dressed in white that would slowly float in and out of the shot and look expressionless at the terrified protagonist. I get the shivers just thinking about it.
posted by Kirk Grim at 10:02 AM on August 17, 2010


I've seen a lot of the movies on this list, but I'd have to say that the most "disturbing" movie I've ever seen was the only one that made me vomit, and there's only one: The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover. The scene where The Lover is forced to, erm, eat his words. The little boy getting tortured was close.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 10:04 AM on August 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


Exorcist might get extra points because Total Film is a British magazine and for years during the 80s you just could not see the Exorcist legally in the UK so it acquired a certain reputation.

Indeed. It's nowhere remotely as disturbing as In a Glass Cage.

The same goes for the also-banned-in-Britain* A Clockwork Orange, which isn't all that disturbing, really, aside from the rape scene and those eye-wideners that look like they were crudely made out of bent coat hangers.

* Actually, I think Kubrick withdrew it after some dumb kids did some dumb things.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:04 AM on August 17, 2010


Original title: Eat Prey Live.

Around 2005 in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago someone was putting up stickers that had a stick figure woman holding a gun with the word Prey beneath.
posted by Babblesort at 10:05 AM on August 17, 2010


What is it with the Brits and "The Exorcist"? (BTW, thanks for the details, fearfulsymmetry.) Mark Kermode in particular will never shut up about that film. It was definitely disturbing when it came out, but it has not aged well and has turned into a camp classic along the lines of, oh, just about any horror movie from the 1950s or 1960s. In any event, since it keeps re-animating and being remade over and over and over again, it clearly had some sort of hold on people.

Disturbing is different things to different people. Dennis Hopper's performance in "Blue Velvet": unspeakably disturbing. But then again, I think the same thing about the dead cold eyes of Gene Tierney as she slowly puts on her sunglasses in the middle of that unbearably Technicolor lake and stares unmoving as Darryl Hickman screams and drowns in "Leave Her to Heaven." I think Peggy Cummins' demented eyes in "Gun Crazy" are disturbing. I think the defeated, hopeless look in Louis Calhern's eyes before he offs himself in "The Asphalt Jungle" is disturbing. I think "Psycho" is still disturbing, on many levels, even 50 years later, even after dozens of viewings.

Not the gore, gross-outs, and attention-grabbing of most of the films on this list, and certainly nothing there to make you want to fast-forward or puke, but in many ways even more disturbing for that.
posted by blucevalo at 10:09 AM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


We can see that The Exorcist hasn't really frightened some of our younger viewers, after decades of parodies and cheap satanic knock-offs. But in the context of the time when it was released, there was nothing quite like it before.

When I finally saw The Exorcist, I was really impressed by the sophisticated sound design. The artists and technicians who created the audio environment were doing some really interesting innovative stuff. Before The Exorcist, conventional movie sound was just a combination of dialouge, sfx and music, but they blended these elements into a new way of hearing movies. And of course, this new level of audio sophistication eventually became common in film.

Also, I am a fan of Mercedes McCambridge, who performed the voice of satan.
posted by ovvl at 10:09 AM on August 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Feed (2005) is definitely a film Not For Everyone.

You may be selling The Exorcist short if you aren't counting it as disturbing.

Blatty's work is primarily on the problem of evil. Why here? Why suffering? Why would God allow, no, engineer, such a thing? Blatty's resolution to the problem of evil is self-knowledge via ignorance. One thing only is not permitted to the omniscient God to know: ignorance. Pure ignorance, of wildly flailing through a world of base matter, unaware of any elevation or transcendence. Not even Jesus gets a pass on this, knowing as he did of his own divine origins. In Blatty's worldview, true pain comes from not having deep knowledge, gnosis, of higher purpose.

The demon possesses Regan, not as a torment to her or a test for her young soul, but as a test to those around her. Nor is the demon want to provide any proof of higher powers via demonstration (heh) of ability. There are no evil miracles to provide revelation. Yes, the bed shakes, but as the book explains, that could be a seizure. Is the room cold, or does it only seem that way? She's burning, but that's not holy water. Is her strength diabolic or the result of adrenalin? Is she possessed or is she simply very pathological? Is it all psychosomatic symptoms, suggestibility, and cold reading? The demon does not prove itself until the very end, and even that was a test.

Much as God viewed Lucifer as a splinter of divinity, working its way back to a holy union through exploration of base matter, the purpose of allowing the demon to run free is to force mortals to explore their own ignorance and behavior in the face of ambiguous horror. Hell is separation, then, from the knowledge of God, and agony, endured and properly digested, grants that knowledge.

The horror of having a kid who goes from being a normal girl to being, to be blunt, deeply fucked up, and having absolutely no solutions in sight, that is disturbing. Regan is dying by degrees. That a well-educated mother in a new age of rationality, with friends who are astronauts, would turn to the then-unfashionable church is mark of her desperation. The bit with the crucifix isn't disturbing so much as not being able to help your child who is doing such a thing. There's nobody in a hockey mask with a machete to behead. There's no gibbering beastie lurking under the bed to be blown apart with a shotgun. You are utterly alone because you are surrounded by people who simply want to say that your daughter is very, very mentally ill, perhaps permanently so. And they might be right.

That is disturbing.
posted by adipocere at 10:11 AM on August 17, 2010 [30 favorites]


I was hoping Begotten was on there. It's definitely arty as mentioned above. But I tell you, drop a couple hits of acid and watch it, and it will definitely add to the disturbance. Not that I would know from experience or anything.
posted by symbioid at 10:19 AM on August 17, 2010


"Mixed bag on this list. In my mind there is a difference between "disturbing" and "gross out". Funny Games is disturbing. Happiness is disturbing. Cannibal Holocaust is gross out. The Human Centipede is gross out. It is far simpler to create a gross out scene than a disturbing scene that utilizes the viewer's imagination as fright multiplier."

"And there is a HUGE difference between disturbing movies and horror movies. With a lot of the entries on the list you can keep repeating "it's just a movie". A truly disturbing movie/scene takes that ability away from you. The scenes can be surreal, but as long as they're not fantastical there is a degree of disturbing that can't be shaken because it is that grounding in reality that fundamentally shakes our comfortable lives more than some fictional weirdo sowing people together ever could."

I agree about the difference between disturbing and "gross out." Body Horror, meh. Mind Horror is where it's at. I just watched Jacob's Ladder last weekend, and I found it to be a touching (but preachy) story about a man's quest to come to peace with his life and his family. There were some shocking scenes, but nothing disturbing. Shock value is temporary. Disturbing stays with you. You are disturbed by it, perturbed. Like a happily spinning top that is violently flicked off axis.

As an example: When I saw The Ring, it was a weekday, a matinée, and the theater was almost empty (advantage of working in a bank is weekdays off). Several scenes were shocking (omg, gross thing plus loud noise!), but the movie wasn't itself disturbing. What was disturbing is when I came out of the theater at 4 in the afternoon and the sky was a very dark green. Like maybe I *had* stepped into the world of the movie and only had seven days left to live. Moments after emerging into the afternoon, which was dark almost in the way that nightmares seem to suffer from a lack of illumination, the clouds erupted in a violent thunderstorm. I spread my arms and lifted my face to the sky, bathing in the experience. It's hard to capture that kind of moment in a movie.

Disturbing things make you question reality. They make you wonder if you're not actually dreaming. They suggest horrifying truths, like that everything you do in the name of goodness and niceness actually contributes to the suffering of others. That's the definition of disturbing; you're left unsure, questioning, wondering...
posted by Eideteker at 10:20 AM on August 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


Whereas something like Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is almost completely gore-free, and certainly not more explicitly violent than many other movies. But it somehow, through sheer nihilistic tone, manages to be the most disturbing thing I've ever seen.

Go watch Series 7: the Contenders. It's an episode of a fictional reality show in which people who live in a particular town are selected at random and armed. The last one alive moves on to next week, and if there's more than one person left alive at the end of the week, everyone is killed.

It's the most completely amoral thing you've ever seen. At no point does anybody entertain the possibility that it's wrong. The closest thing to a serious protest against it is when one of the selected players takes the handgun he's given by producers upon being told that he's a contender, puts it to his head, and fires; this has obviously happened before, as the gun is empty. There's even a "Greatest Hits" reel of the current reigning contestant's previous kills.

I saw it back in 2004; while my usual move after seeing a movie on DVD is to go look at the deleted scenes and listen to the commentary, I simply turned it off when it was over. I didn't feel disturbed so much as profoundly violated.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:20 AM on August 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Where can I see Threads?
posted by jefficator at 10:21 AM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Ring worked at least in part because it was a Call of Cthulhu scenario in movie form. It's all about investigation, you can't fight the evil, you can only find a way to stave it off, or to placate it, and even that is only a brief respite...
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:21 AM on August 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


What about Mel Gibson's snuff film? Passion of the Christ? I'm really surprised that it managed to secure an R rating considering how gory, detailed, and realistic the violence was. At least in horror movies, you can kind of laugh it off because it's so over-the-top. I left partway through that one, because it was just relentlessly grim snuff pornography.
posted by explosion at 10:23 AM on August 17, 2010 [8 favorites]


When I finally saw The Exorcist, I was really impressed by the sophisticated sound design.

To be honest, if it weren't for "Tubular Bells," I don't think The Exorcist would be even a little scary.

You are utterly alone because you are surrounded by people who simply want to say that your daughter is very, very mentally ill, perhaps permanently so. And they might be right.

That is disturbing.


Meh. The depiction of actual devilishness in the film sort of undermines that reading. Take a look at the vastly superior Requiem, which is firmly rooted in reality. That's disturbing.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:25 AM on August 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


No list of disturbing films is complete without Ex Drummer, the 2007 film from Belgium about a punk rock band that, amongst other things, has a singer who lives on the ceiling (no explanation ever given), who also spends his spare time attacking women, various freaks that make Gummo look like sex and the city, and then, with no warning or real reason, a close up full penetrative sex scene.

It's the oddest film I have ever seen in my life. I highly recommend it.
posted by ciderwoman at 10:25 AM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fully on-board with the distinction of disturbing vs. shocking, but disturbing ideas are not the only source of this -- disturbing imagery -- rarely achieved in American horror films -- can persist in a person's thoughts and memory for a long time. Kirk Grim describes a couple of nice examples.

I know, I know. That seems to cede the highbrow ground to the horror-mongers. But check out some horror flicks, and I think you'll find they sometimes manage "disturbing" pretty well, if only for a scene, or a moment. One of the problems I have with American horror (most evident in remakes of foreign horror films) is that everything must be explained, the rules or clues to the rules made clear, so that the characters and viewers can figure it out like a frigging video game. Unexplained weirdness can be quite disturbing, but we don't embrace that here.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:31 AM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Boxing Helena?


The link said "disturbing" not "disturterrible"
posted by Senor Cardgage at 10:32 AM on August 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


you'll find they sometimes manage "disturbing" pretty well

Yes! Anyone else find the brief shot of the furries in The Shining to be the most disturbing part of the whole thing?
posted by Kirk Grim at 10:34 AM on August 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


The Ring worked at least in part because it was a Call of Cthulhu scenario in movie form. It's all about investigation, you can't fight the evil, you can only find a way to stave it off, or to placate it, and even that is only a brief respite...

Eh, not so much. Even the girl in Ringu was pretty rule-bound.

I picture an epilogue... the camera pans across a stadium, full of excited spectators. At one end of the field... a television set. On the other end, a scared looking dude. Spectators take note: pics of this dude do not turn out well! In between there is an incredible assortment of obstacles -- some merely troublesome and others damaging to the body (deadly to the mortal). As the timer counts down, the noise of the crowd drops to a murmur... almost seven days exactly! It's going to be an exciting day here at the Tokyo Sportsplex!
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:36 AM on August 17, 2010


Where can I see Threads?


here. The first 40 minutes are slow and drab but dont let that throw ya.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 10:36 AM on August 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


Anyone see a Korean film called "Old Boy". Do not watch it with your dad.

That film was a big inspiration for the Virginia Tech killer.
posted by delmoi at 10:37 AM on August 17, 2010


This list needs Andy Warhol's Frankenstein aka Flesh for Frankenstein if only for comedic relief.

During a corpse-fucking scene, Dr Frankenstein proclaims, "To know death, Otto, you must first fuck life in the gall bladder!"
posted by ianK at 10:37 AM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


It would be interesting to take this beyond the scope of traditional narrative film (staying away from snuff films though). A personal list:

10. Night and Fog, Alain Resnais
9. Lessons of Darkness, Warner Herzog
8. Deanimated, Martin Arnold
7. Deliver Us From Evil, Amy Berg
6. LA Plays Itself, Fred Halsted
5. T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G; Paul Sharits
4. L'ange, Patrick Bokanowski
3. Rape, Yoko Ono
2. The Act of Seeing With One's Own Eyes, Stan Brakhage
1. The Flicker, Tony Conrad
posted by PBR at 10:38 AM on August 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


There's a film that debuted in the US at SXSW called "A Serbian Film" that makes anything on this list look like a Pixar movie. The film is so patently disgusting, in a small part because of its art-house pretentions, that I highly advise none of you to even read a plot synopsis. It is vile.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:48 AM on August 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is a list, mostly, of squicky-gross movies. Blue Velvet was disturbing, murders aside. Where are the really disturbing psychodramas like Taxi Driver, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Night of the Iguana? Those movies wigged me out way worse than any of the gore they've got listed there.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:49 AM on August 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's amazing how well Threads was buried and kept from the American and British public during the 80's, but how indelible the memory of viewing it was for those of us who managed to catch it on PBS (in the US). I remember in the late 90's - once effective internet search engines started appearing - spending some time trying to find out just what the hell the name of that British cold war/nuclear holocaust movie was which had been so realistic and so very horrifying. Threads really captures that era so well (at least, before the attack), the feeling of quotidian nuclear war dread that pervaded the late 1970s-early 1980s cold war era that seems so alien and foreign now. It's strange how the feeling of that era and of the USSR/US cold war rivalry seems to have been forgotten, although so much has happened and developed since then.
posted by Auden at 10:51 AM on August 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


No Cries and Whispers?

The list is a joke.
posted by fire&wings at 10:51 AM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


rusty: “koeselitz: I have to disagree about Miike. I thought Audition was pretty well done, and had a good premise, but it basically just got tedious when the twenty-whatever minute torture scene rolled in. I fast forwarded through most of it, because it was clearly not really relevant to the story and just in there to be gross and shocking. I mean the fact of it happening was relevant, but the details were just porn. Most of the torture-porn genre has that problem. It is, literally, porn, just of a particularly off-putting kind. Flesh doing things to other flesh, and it is similarly mechanical, empty, and boring.”

Well, I guess I disagree on this minor point – I really love Miike's work, and enjoy watching it. I don't think it's 'porn,' which I'm thinking you mean in the sense of something exploitative of the horrified fascination humans have with, as you put it, flesh doing things to other flesh. I believe this is actually a conscious theme for Miike, and that's one of the reasons I mentioned Ichi the Killer. Up above, I went on for a bit about how horrific Ichi the Killer is (and it is a supremely effective gross-out movie) but that's specifically and centrally the point of the story. Ichi the Killer is about a Yakuza assassin named Kakihara; he's the guy with safety pins in his cheeks that you'll usually see on the cover of the DVD. He has a deeply loving relationship with pain; that's why he's effective as an assassin – torture is a kind of love for him. And he has a kind of erotic relationship with his boss, and even with his victims. Throughout, he's looking for a kind of redemption. And all of this is done with Miike's trademark black humor, such that the horror is even cartoonish at parts; at one moment Kakihara undoes those safety pins and is able to wrap his teeth around another guy's fist, biting off his hand.

This sounds silly, and on a certain level it is, but if you aren't familiar with Miike you might not realize that he's a profoundly intelligent man, and a careful director. (If you want to see a fantastic, beautiful, and incredible Miike movie that does not have any gore at all in it – in fact it's very quiet and touching – I highly recommend The Bird People in China.) Ichi the Killer is about the pain people give us, and the way that we can either turn that pain into hatred or love. There's even an innocence to all the torture that happens in Ichi, a kind of tenderness. That sounds really weird, I know, but I believe that's what Miike was trying to do.

Maybe that's not quite a good thing – I don't think it's exploitative, but it might not be a good thing. Still, I think I agree with your larger point. Those things – the love and the humor that pervade this and other Miike films – prevent them from being disturbing on an existential level, in a way that makes it difficult for you to be happy after watching them. I've never seen Henry, but your description of it interests me.

I also want to mention that when I think about movies that are disturbing in the way you've described, making a list of the most disturbing begins to be a little odd. What I mean is that I think I could list a number of movies that were profoundly disturbing to me in that way, but which were really not good movies at all – much the opposite. I remember coming out of Pearl Harbor and feeling sick, really sick, in a way I had a hard time understanding. The manipulation of the audience – the deeply cynical exploitation of historical events in a sentimentally manipulative way for purely financial gain – I found that really disturbing. I think that at its heart that movie reveals a more nihilistic and truly threatening view toward the world than any other film I've ever seen. It made me angry at the beginning, but my anger was so overwhelmed by the sentiment with which it incessantly batters the viewer that I just ended up exhausted and sad.
posted by koeselitz at 10:52 AM on August 17, 2010 [12 favorites]


The problem with these sorts of lists is that there's almost always some exotica that's worse than the more widely noticed ones on the list.

I'd say the most disturbing film is the one that most deeply upset a wide audience -- more net disturbance that way. Even by that measure, I can't believe The Exorcist makes it. I would reckon Eraserhead, Clockwork Orange, and Reservoir Dogs above it. Plus one of the torture porn movies like Hostel, or something in the Saw series.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 10:52 AM on August 17, 2010


Eh, not so much. Even the girl in Ringu was pretty rule-bound.

Well, sure, and even the critters in CoC are bound generally by rules, weird and alien as they are. But look at the structure of the film. Naomi Watts spends the entire film not running from some hideous monster but researching a mysterious supernatural threat she barely has reason to believe exists and which cannot be stopped or killed. Eventually she discovers a way to minimize the damage, but even that comes with a heavy and horrible price. It may not be about dead gods or the uncaring nature of reality, but it's ultimately the same story structure you see in any random CoC scenario. I mean, there's moments when you can hear the player arguing with the Keeper about whether or not this is a valid use of Library Use skill.

The book was better, as usual.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:52 AM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


You are utterly alone because you are surrounded by people who simply want to say that your daughter is very, very mentally ill, perhaps permanently so. And they might be right.

That is disturbing.

Meh. The depiction of actual devilishness in the film sort of undermines that reading.


I don't think so. The film (and book) clearly establish a Freudian context for everything that happens. Reagan is angry at her mom for keeping her dad away. She hears her mom routinely using foul language, and is witness to all these "suitors" circling around her. Then we are given a Greek, but Catholic, psychiatrist who has lost his faith. The psychiatrist feels guilty over the loss of his mother, he hears her in dreams crying out to him. Mothers and children everywhere. Without the last scene, the film plays out a number of oedipal/elektra complexes.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:53 AM on August 17, 2010


Reservoir Dogs had that disturbing scene with the ear but apart from that was a pretty standard Tarentino flick.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:53 AM on August 17, 2010


There's a film that debuted in the US at SXSW called "A Serbian Film" that makes anything on this list look like a Pixar movie. The film is so patently disgusting, in a small part because of its art-house pretentions, that I highly advise none of you to even read a plot synopsis.

Too late. Holy shit.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:55 AM on August 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


...okay, you know, so I got to the end of the list with only a part of my brain curling up and dying, got to started clicking on links in comments, and got to 'A Serbian Film' and I need a syringe filled with puppies and rainbows and cute fuzzy lolcats injected into my brain right now.
posted by zennish at 10:59 AM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


The most disturbing movie I've ever seen was Boondock Saints, probably.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:00 AM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


XQUZYPHYR: “Funny Games wasn't disturbing to me; it was just pointless and pretentious, a waste of film trying to be passed off as some kind of artsy message.”

Just a note: no one should ever see the english-language version of this film (directed by the same person) which is exactly what you've described: trying to be artsy, but just stupid and pretentious. The Austrian original is quite good. The American Funny Games made me wonder how the hell Haneke had been convinced to do the stupid project at all.
posted by koeselitz at 11:00 AM on August 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


I was thinking Dead Ringers or Videodrome - pretty standard Cronenberg work, but oddly enough I'm home sick and watched Meet the Feebles for the first time, and sorry, it wins. Peter Jackson, WTF?
posted by plinth at 11:01 AM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


There's a film that debuted in the US at SXSW called "A Serbian Film" that makes anything on this list look like a Pixar movie. The film is so patently disgusting, in a small part because of its art-house pretentions, that I highly advise none of you to even read a plot synopsis.

Too late. Holy shit.


Unless I'm mistaken, that's just a Balkan version of The Aristocrats.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 11:05 AM on August 17, 2010 [19 favorites]


Yeah, I'm sure I couldn't sit through the actual movie, but that synopsis was so Jim-Phelps-factual about incredibly over-the-top horrific events that I kind of feel like laughing now.

Just because no one's mentioned it yet, I'll throw in another one. I can't watch the end of Akira. It's just too twisted and awful.
posted by heatvision at 11:06 AM on August 17, 2010


Bah. Meant to say "But check out some foreign horror flicks, and I think you'll find they sometimes manage "disturbing" pretty well, if only for a scene, or a moment. "
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:11 AM on August 17, 2010


Prepare Yourself: "The Human Centipede" Is Getting A XXX Makeover (NSFW)
posted by homunculus at 11:13 AM on August 17, 2010


Please please please tell me they will call it Homo Sapiens Scaterpillar.
posted by adipocere at 11:19 AM on August 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


hat film was a big inspiration for the Virginia Tech killer.

That was a popular theory, because some of his photographs looked like promotional photos from the film, but nobody has ever been able to demonstrate that Seung-Hui Cho was influenced by, or had even seen, the film.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:24 AM on August 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


26) Dead Ringers (Cronenberg, 1988

I saw this movie in the theater with my girlfriend. Who had already been slightly nervous for several days about her first gynecologist appointment. The next morning.

it did not help matters.
posted by phearlez at 11:27 AM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Anyone see a Korean film called "Old Boy". Do not watch it with your dad.

Also, do not confuse it with (the delightful) Old Joy and watch it with your mother-in-law.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:32 AM on August 17, 2010


The horror of having a kid who goes from being a normal girl to being, to be blunt, deeply fucked up, and having absolutely no solutions in sight, that is disturbing.

I disagree, but only because I wasn't convinced that Regan was actually experiencing most of it. I'd consider Rosemary's Baby more disturbing than The Exorcist, just because there's no doubt that Rosemary is being fucked over by everyone in her life, and has no real way out.

I'd agree with Requiem for a Dream as among the most disturbing movies I've seen, as well as Kids.

As far as this list goes, of the ones I've seen, only Nekromantik qualifies. But even it would be near the bottom (I don't consider rape scenes necessarily "disturbing", just cheap additions for easy shock value, like in I Spit on Your Grave).
posted by coolguymichael at 11:50 AM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Some of those screen captures alone put me off lunch today. Also surprised Requiem is not on the list, as well as Tetsuo, the Iron Man .
posted by stagewhisper at 11:51 AM on August 17, 2010


There were no sufficiently disturbing films before the 70s? Really?

Well, until you go back far enough to pre-Code days, like Freaks.

For me, outright horror movies aren't quite as disturbing -- they're filmed in such a cartoony way, it doesn't bother me. Vampires, zombies, injuries that result in instant death or reveal a negligence in research of human anatomy, I'm OK.

Now, more 'realistic' are harder for me. I've been wanting to see District 9, but I happened to see some clips online -- done in that realistic documentary style -- which consist of real-looking human people being instantly turned into a gush of red fluid. No matter how much the rest of the movie sounds interesting, or that it's clearly sci-fi, the presentation is too much like it could be real and that's some stranger with a family whose body was ripped apart for no good reason. Ditto Phil LaMarr being shot while sitting in the back of the car in Pulp Fiction. And the reason I don't think I can watch Saving Private Ryan.

People being hit with axes and cut up in ways that make it appear as though they are made of Play-Dough all the way through? Eh, no problem. Things that look like real people being turned into bloody messes? Not so much.
posted by AzraelBrown at 11:59 AM on August 17, 2010


Yeah, I'm sure I couldn't sit through the actual movie, but that synopsis was so Jim-Phelps-factual about incredibly over-the-top horrific events that I kind of feel like laughing now.

"Confronted with one of the bodyguards, Milos attacks him and knocks off his sunglasses; the guard is missing an eye so Milos rapes the eye socket."

Of course!
posted by mr_roboto at 12:14 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Should he not have done that? Was that wrong?
posted by Gator at 12:17 PM on August 17, 2010 [8 favorites]


Should he not have done that? Was that wrong?

You're not wrong, Milos, you're just an asshole.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:19 PM on August 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


I wanted to say, though, that it's pretty neat that the guy pictured in that link (Chris Yurista) appears to count as essential a small musical keyboard. I think that's really quite intelligent; it really can be essential, and I know that if I personally were to do this an instrument of some kind would be very high on my list.
posted by koeselitz at 12:24 PM on August 17, 2010


What? How did I get to this thread? I should be here!
posted by koeselitz at 12:25 PM on August 17, 2010


Should he not have done that? Was that wrong?

Everyone in internet discussions is always so morally certain about what they would or would not do in a violent skullfucking context. Skullfucking control proponents are certain that they just aren't capable of it anyway, and NSA members who favor bumper stickers with bromides like "skullfucking control is fucking the skull you aim at" get all internet-macho about how any home invader in their home is for damn sure going to get an eye socket violated, and on and on. But the truth is until you knock off a guard's sunglasses and see he has an empty eye socket, you just don't know what you're going to do.

That plot synopsis makes me reflect that I think the period of my younger life where I sought out disturbing or claim-to-disturbing movies is ending.
posted by Drastic at 12:25 PM on August 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


Popbitch recently to a round of up the trailers for the 'top ten mental films coming out soon'... some already mentioned in the thread like the Serbian one, but the cannibalism noodle one is in particular a bit of a stomach turner (sorry) and their number one is absolutely fucking insane (and very NSFW)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:29 PM on August 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


DC Cab.
posted by ericbop at 12:29 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I saw "A Serbian Film"...It was decent, fairly disturbing. I thought it was actually a little slow getting to all the craziness, but once it does...whoa.
posted by stifford at 12:33 PM on August 17, 2010


Slight derail here - but what I really liked about The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover - were the scenes where the camera would slowly pan to the right, showing the kitchen, showing everything that was going on in there, in its eerie blue light with the simple music in the background, and then going through the doors and entering the dining hall of the restaurant, where everything would be red and the music would immediately change to something orchesteral.

I'm not at all knowledgeable about cinematic techniques, so maybe this is called something or was developed by someone else, but it's the only time I saw this.

I thought the part was interesting, where the Thief's goons, normally insufferable classless boobs, instantly turn into complete gentlemen as they serve the Wife, when they see her condition after she suffered once more at the hands of her husband.

But yeah, I couldn't finish the movie either.
posted by bitteroldman at 12:44 PM on August 17, 2010


So what you're saying, Drastic, is that the morality of skullfucking is in the eye of the beholder?
posted by adipocere at 12:47 PM on August 17, 2010 [13 favorites]


Yeah, top of my list remains what it was last time we did this: Jack Ketchum's The Girl Next Door.

"Rated R for sadistic torture and sexual abuse, nudity, language and strong sexual dialogue - all involving children."
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:49 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Crap, how did I forget to bring up the amazing and disturbing film:

The Baby of Mâcon (1993) [Peter Greenaway]

It's a crime that this hasn't had a decent DVD release and will almost certainly never be released in bluray. It's very difficult to find a copy of and the torrents out there are of terrible quality. Very highly recommended - what an amazing film it is, and incredibly disturbing. In my view, probably Greenaway's best.
posted by Auden at 12:52 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


It does not surprise me that there are, to the best of my knowledge, absolutely no women participating in this thread.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:53 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


For me, one of rhe most disturbing films evar, was 'Soldier Blue' (1972) -- Candice Bergen, Peter Strauss, Donald Pleasence, directed by Ralph Nelson.

That last scene, and its field full of the dead and naked... it's haunted me some, since my parents hauled me to the drive-in to see it, in '72.
posted by vhsiv at 12:54 PM on August 17, 2010


koeselitz: I don't mean to dismiss Miike by saying the torture scenes in Audition were essentially porn. That's the only movie of his I've seen, and I really did like it overall. It was clever and thoughtfully made, and it works even if you more or less know what it's about going in. If there was an artistic reason for the long torture scene, though -- that is, for including it in all of its specific detail, rather than implying it, montaging it, or in some other way eliding the details in favor of the knowledge that "here a lot of torture happens" -- I didn't really see it. That's where it edges into pornland, for me. In pretty much the exact same way that a movie would start to be porn if it was an hour of interesting suspenseful plot setup and then twenty minutes of hardcore fucking. It would be a very rare film that could convince me that the story and characterization was really being moved along by all that sex. It could be done, I suppose. I guess I just didn't think Audition needed it. For evidence, I watched bits of that scene interspersed with a lot of fast-forwarding, and I thought it was a good movie. It could have been montaged without really losing anything.

Anyway, you've clearly grasped what I meant by "disturbing." I guess I'd say something explotiative of its audience, like Pearl Harbor is revolting in an "I can't believe they're this cheap and pandering" kind of way, but only disturbing if you have a higher view of the aesthetic rigor and purity of Hollywood than I do. "...disturbing on an existential level" is just it. It might be wholly personal, but the movies I find most disturbing are the ones that force me to question what I don't ever realize are basic assumptions about humanity and the world until I'm forced to confront them. Man Bites Dog is another one, because of the way it does start out funny and entertaining, and draws you so easily (by way of the mockumentary's film crew) into sympathizing with the killer that by the time you realize that you don't want to sympathize with him anymore, it's too late. Man Bites Dog tricks you into discovering the evil that's already there inside you. I actually think Natural Born Killers works much the same way, although less successfully, because it's a bit too heavy handed.

Henry, though. Sheesh. The all-time champion. "Here's this guy. He kills people for no good reason. Nothing much happens to him. None of it matters. The end." Grim.
posted by rusty at 12:54 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow, Auden, thanks for the heads-up on that Greenaway film. Now I really want to see it. (Checks Netflix . . . and . . . it's not there.)
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:58 PM on August 17, 2010


Yeah, top of my list remains what it was last time we did this: Jack Ketchum's The Girl Next Door.

"Rated R for sadistic torture and sexual abuse, nudity, language and strong sexual dialogue - all involving children."


I note with interest that it stars one of the dudes from Melrose Place. Figures.

P.S. There will no other occasion in my adult life to mention my fondness for a genuinely disturbing French movie called Baxter, which is from the perspective of a murderous s-m Nazi bull terrier. Those who are weak and unfit to own and dominate a killhound would find it disturbing.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 1:06 PM on August 17, 2010


The end of The Wicker Man disturbed me for days.
posted by General Tonic at 1:09 PM on August 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


It does not surprise me that there are, to the best of my knowledge, absolutely no women participating in this thread.

I am lurking with great interest, and bowing to your superior knowledge of all things disturbing.
posted by Evangeline at 1:10 PM on August 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


What a handy Netflix checklist cavalcade of disturbing takes on the human condition.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:13 PM on August 17, 2010


Good news, scholars! A friend has The Baby of Mâcon in his personal collection! I smell a party!!
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:14 PM on August 17, 2010


The horror of having a kid who goes from being a normal girl to being, to be blunt, deeply fucked up, and having absolutely no solutions in sight, that is disturbing.

well... but also, completely and utterly unbelievable. How can you be scared of something that is so blatantly fake? It would be scary to have your kid turn into a chicken, but a movie about that would just be silly. It's all dependent on whether you're willing to go with the story, and the Exorcist, to me, was never remotely believable.

Yet somehow, Antichrist was... Better actors, better filming, a more interesting mental exploration, I dunno. And Happiness was realistically disturbing. While Eraserhead was sort of disturbing but sort of silly - it was surreal enough the whole time to work, even though it was never exactly scary, just kind of weird and interesting. But the Exorcist was just dopey.
posted by mdn at 1:19 PM on August 17, 2010


Hence, Grave of the Fireflies.

Seriously. I saw that movie once ~17 years ago, and just thinking about it still makes me emotional. I have never been so affected by ANY work of art.
posted by emeiji at 1:19 PM on August 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


The end of The Wicker Man disturbed me for days.

I still don't know how it got burned.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:20 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Begotten is cool, but I actually like it more when combined with some psychedelic doom metal.
posted by Bookhouse at 1:21 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I saw Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer on video in college. Somewhere in the middle, I realized I heard my aunt laughing. The camera panned on the scene and, in fact, there was my aunt, in the middle of the screen, laughing. It wasn't a total shock--because she was a working actress--but it was a surprise. She had not told anyone in the family that she'd made the movie and I certainly wasn't expecting to see her there. Rusty's description is completely spot-on: it was like watching someone mathematically prove to you that life is pointless and humanity is not even evil, just void of any particular meaning.

That was rendered all the more bleak by my recognizing a human being in the movie. It should have worked the other way: recognizing a human being in the movie should have made it more movie, less real. I don't know why it didn't.

As for this list, I agree with many many posters above that "movie X" is more disturbing than The Exorcist, although I think The Exorcist is disturbing. I saw it on video once and thought it was a fair-to-middlin horror film, but then I saw the rerelease, which restored the intricate sound to its glory, in the theatre and was much more affected by it.

I do also agree that "disturbing" movies are not the same thing as "scary" movies are not the same thing as "gross" movies (Dead Alive, anyone?) are not the same thing as "horror" movies. There is overlap, of course. Paperhouse disturbed me profoundly, but many people who saw it with me just saw it as a horror flick, a little scary, sure, but lacking that j'ne sais quoi that twigs something real and identifiable in your head and makes the movie disturbing, instead of just boo!scary. I think there's something imperceptible--in the performance, or the story, or some off-hand detail, that is utterly recognizable and familiar which makes a movie disturbing, instead of just scary. Something causes you to identify with a reality in which the movie could be true and that's a feeling you just can't shake.

I think The Exorcist has that. I don't think it has that in the possession or exorcism scenes, but it surely does in some of the others.

I completely disagree that there are no women participating in this thread, but then, I tend to think of participating in Metafilter as something that doesn't really require posting.
posted by crush-onastick at 1:26 PM on August 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Good news, scholars! A friend has The Baby of Mâcon in his personal collection! I smell a party!!

Enjoy! Although, I think a The Baby of Mâcon party would be disturbing. The kind of party where you and your friends are watching the movie on your TV when suddenly your house is broken into by a group of thugs and one of your party members is viciously raped while everyone else in the party watches helpless, and then you happen to look back at the TV where the film is still playing and discover that all the actors in the movie have stopped acting to watch you watching your hapless friend. That kind of party! Woo Hoo!
posted by Auden at 1:29 PM on August 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sweet Movie should be here. It is essentially a film - like Salo - you can only see once. I'm glad both are on Criterion but can't imagine owning them.

Glad to see Begotten makes the list.
posted by Rashomon at 1:30 PM on August 17, 2010


Do documentaries count?

Because Jesus Camp left me sleepless for days.

*shudder*
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:32 PM on August 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


I too am a female lurker of the thread. Some of the movies here, oh, I hadn't thought of in so long and wish I could completely forget. (I'm looking at you, Feed.)

While I think the Jack Ketchum's The Girl Next Door is so disturbing that it made me head to the nearest bar, I felt the same way about The Lost (also based on a Ketchum novel). I saw the Lost at the RI Horror Film Festival (I was covering it for Icons of Fright). Two weeks later it was playing again at the NYC Horror Film Festival. I actually walked out of the movie 20 minutes in and returned for the Q and A because I couldn't take watching the whole thing again so soon. (But hey I got to meet Jack Ketchum at the bar, as apparently he didn't want to watch the movie again either and we had a really interesting conversation about why he quit his teaching career, which I'm sure is disturbing in a completely different way.)

Also Tideland really disturbed me. It's what I call a two drink minimum movie.
posted by miss-lapin at 1:33 PM on August 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


It does not surprise me that there are, to the best of my knowledge, absolutely no women participating in this thread.

It does not surprise me that someone on metafilter is using the word absolutely wrong. hi pb
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:35 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


If there was an artistic reason for the long torture scene, though -- that is, for including it in all of its specific detail, rather than implying it, montaging it, or in some other way eliding the details in favor of the knowledge that "here a lot of torture happens" -- I didn't really see it.

Well in a film, especially a horror film, the visceral response from the audience is very different when details are shown rather than implied. In writing it's somewhat easier to balance between the right details to tell the story and not getting too graphic, but on film if the audience doesn't see something it feels less real.

The fact that you had to fast forward through that part of the film suggests that it did generate that kind of emotional response from you, which is at least partially the point of why that scene was shot that way. The idea that something bad happened and the feeling that you are witnessing something bad happen are two completely different things, and it makes a difference. Cutting down that scene in that film would be like cutting down the scenes with the shark in Jaws, the audience would still get the story but it wouldn't have the same impact. Getting a reaction out of people isn't necessarily art, but that kind of interaction between the artist and the audience is key to how any creative work functions.
posted by burnmp3s at 1:44 PM on August 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


My vote is cast for Last Tango in Paris. Just, ew.
posted by _superconductor at 1:47 PM on August 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hi, female here. I mostly agree with what koeselitz said. Takashi Miike is kinda hit-or-miss for me, but Gozu would be at the top of my list.

Also on the list: Old Boy, Taxidermia, Tetsuo the Iron Man, Neighbor No. 13. And a lot more that I can't remember - I have a thing for ridiculous Asian cinema.
posted by hopeless romantique at 1:49 PM on August 17, 2010


Catherine Breillet makes some pretty disturbing films.
posted by mike_bling at 1:52 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Disturbing" is subjective. For me, stuff like The Exorcist isn't disturbing because I don't think it's "realistic" or "plausible." Same with The Ring (English remake). Conversely, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is extremely disturbing to me. (I can no longer drive down an interstate and see a discarded suitcase without feeling creeped out.) Same goes for "Monster."

"Violent" isn't subjective. Film violence (the most realistic-looking, anyway) is repulsive because we instinctively recoil at the pain and suffering of others, at least those of us do who have reached adulthood relatively undamaged. (That said, here's a tidbit from Wikipedia on The Serbian Film: "Milos attacks him and knocks off his sunglasses; the guard is missing an eye so Milos rapes the eye socket." Well, jeez, what would you do?)

Also: The opening sequence of 28 Days Later was the most unexpectedly scary 10 minutes of film I've seen in recent memory. And THEN you discover it's got very little to do with the rest of the movie. Pure plot device. Yikes.
posted by scratch at 1:52 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


(BTW, female person here. What's that, three now?)
posted by scratch at 1:54 PM on August 17, 2010


"Violent" isn't subjective.

Sure it is. Reservoir Dogs was reported by many people I knew as one of the most violent movies they'd ever seen, but it had comparatively little actual physical violence in it. The air of violence, however, was pervasive.

For me, stuff like The Exorcist isn't disturbing because I don't think it's "realistic" or "plausible."

This is why Mrs. B was so disturbed by The Exorcism of Emily Rose -- the idea that this woman could experience these things as real -- so that in effect, for her, they may as well have been -- was truly disturbing.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:56 PM on August 17, 2010


the visceral response from the audience is very different when details are shown rather than implied.

That's very true, but sometimes what's implied -- leaving the horror to the viewer's imagination -- can be very effective. When The Silence of the Lambs first came out, it immediately became my favorite movie at the time. I remember talking to an older member of my family about what a great movie it was, and he went on a frothing rant about how it was a "gore-fest" where "the whole point of the movie is that the killer gets away in the end!" (Of course he hadn't seen the film; he was That Guy.) I explained to him that in fact the movie wasn't gory at all; you never actually SEE Buffalo Bill doing the heinous things he did to his victims, or what Hannibal Lecter did to his (except for a fleeting shot of that one poor corrections officer). But it still, at the time (wow, almost twenty years ago now), had some really edge-of-your-seat horror moments. Things have changed a lot since then, but I still remember going, "AAAUGH!" the first time I saw Lecter snap those handcuffs on that guy in the cell. Brrrrrr.
posted by Gator at 1:56 PM on August 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


"Violent" isn't subjective.

Sure it is. Reservoir Dogs was reported by many people I knew as one of the most violent movies they'd ever seen, but it had comparatively little actual physical violence in it. The air of violence, however, was pervasive.


I should've phrased it less generally: explicit violence isn't subjective.

For me, stuff like The Exorcist isn't disturbing because I don't think it's "realistic" or "plausible."

This is why Mrs. B was so disturbed by The Exorcism of Emily Rose -- the idea that this woman could experience these things as real -- so that in effect, for her, they may as well have been -- was truly disturbing.


Was Mrs. B's reaction rooted in a Catholic upbringing or a sympathy/empathy for people with psychiatric illness? Just curious (and I didn't see that movie myself).
posted by scratch at 2:13 PM on August 17, 2010


I'm also not totally sure if I have the right "wiring" to really sense a movie as disturbing. I watched Requiem for a Dream twice in one weekend and came out of it completely unscathed. My instinctive reaction to those types of movies (including the ones I listed above) is to laugh. More like a "hahaha, that's awesome/ridiculous/wtf" than a "hahaha, that's hilarious", but still.
posted by hopeless romantique at 2:17 PM on August 17, 2010


Haneke's The Seventh Continent disturbed me like few films ever have. Perhaps I share some of those feelings of emptiness that come with repetition and all the tedious, mundane things that are such an integral part of life. It disturbs me to think how close seemingly "normal" people are to the edge.

I can't say I'm familiar with the details the story was based on but if the movie was at all accurate...that's just horrifying on another level to me.

(Spoilers ahead)


I don't think I've ever been more horrified than when I saw the scene towards the end with the husband sitting there in their destroyed house watching TV with his dead child next to him and the sound of his wife's death rattle going on...and on...and on. *shudders*
posted by Sandor Clegane at 2:19 PM on August 17, 2010


It does not surprise me that there are, to the best of my knowledge, absolutely no women participating in this thread.

I am.
I tend to feel like a lot of disturbing films are bereft of storytelling quality and heavy on shock, and shock isn't worth much on its own, thus a lot of these films aren't worth serious consideration.

The most interesting thing there, to me, is A Clockwork Orange because it's still morally disturbing after all these years. Having seen it many many times since I was a teenager, I still don't know for certain what Kubrick meant for you to feel about Alex and what the final takeaway was supposed to be. It's philosophically uncomfortable (and extremely interesting). I have similar feelings about Straw Dogs, Naked, Antichrist, and Bad Lieutenant.

But it all depends on your worldview. People have named several non-fantasy films which I found ridiculous. I heartily agree with the inclusion of Threads, having watched that when I was 7 and my school was still having nuclear strike drills.
posted by heatvision at 2:37 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


One of my wife's coworkers took friends to see Antichrist for her birthday. She's awesome.

(But I'm also glad we had a time conflict so we couldn't make it.)
posted by kmz at 2:53 PM on August 17, 2010


Oh, and Bug was pretty disturbing. It was an adaptation of a play, which I imagine was pretty intense. it's also Friedkin and I think it's much more disturbing than Exorcist. "The thing about Bug is that we're not scared for ourselves so much as for the characters in the movie. Judd and Shannon bravely cast all restraint aside and allow themselves to be seen as raw, terrified and mad. The core of the film involves how quickly Judd's character falls into sympathy with Shannon's."
posted by crush-onastick at 2:59 PM on August 17, 2010


My husband (grew up very Catholic) is terrified of the Exorcist. He can't even listen to Tubular Bells.

I have seen about half of this list and will probably avoid those I haven't seen. When I was in my late teens and early twenties I was obsessed with movies like these. Now I just get sick watching them.
posted by MaritaCov at 3:51 PM on August 17, 2010


Was Mrs. B's reaction rooted in a Catholic upbringing or a sympathy/empathy for people with psychiatric illness? Just curious (and I didn't see that movie myself).

No to the first, and not really to the second. As she explained it, she can't get freaked out by a movie with premises she doesn't/can't believe. So ghost stories, not so much. But it would be totally possible to lose your sanity and end up in a kind of apparently-paranormal hell, and that deeply unnerved her.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:01 PM on August 17, 2010


(let me un-spoil that, oddly, with additional info: the film merely leaves that possibility open to the viewer)
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:02 PM on August 17, 2010


In my personal experience The Exorcist is only terrifying to people who grew up Catholic, whereas everyone else thinks it's silly and hilarious.
posted by burnmp3s at 5:07 PM on August 17


My ex-wife grew up Catholic and went to a convent school and she said, quote, that The Exorcist was the stupidest fucking thing she'd seen since Catholicism.
posted by Decani at 4:07 PM on August 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Female here and I have to share my Exorcist story. I read the book when I was 13 so I knew the plot. When I was about 15 my dad and I went and watched it at the Navy base where he was stationed. Here I am in a small room, about the size of a master bedroom, full of approx. 15 sailors and me, the only female. Everything is going fine until the scene (spoiler alert!) where the writing shows up on her stomach coming from the inside of her body. All of a sudden all these guys, including my 39 y.o. dad, started freaking out and they are all yelling out loud various versions of "What is going on?" "What does that say?" "Where is it coming from?" Meanwhile my dad has grabbed my arm and I am trying to tell him what is happening. Because it was a small room the other guys started listening to me and they all began to calm down. I remember thinking 1. my dad is a big ol'softie and 2. wow, I had all these cute sailors paying attention to me. (Remind me to tell you about watching Jaws in the same theater.)
posted by govtdrone at 4:19 PM on August 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


I happened to have picked up my Netflix movies on the way to going to my parents house when I got Audition in the mail.

I put it on while my parents were off doing other stuff, because they don't watch foreign movies, but my mom, for some reason, sat down about 10 minutes into the movie and started watching it.

I didn't know the whole plot of the movie, but I knew that it got disturbing halfway through, so I was kind of torn between wanting to warn my mom what she was in for, and not wanting to 'spoil' the movie for her, so I just kind of explained what she had missed (widower trying to audition a new wife), so she got the impression that it was kind of a romantic comedy and stayed to watch.

At some point after the twist in the movie, my mom stood up, said in a quavering voice: "John, what in the FUCK is wrong with you and why did you bring this movie in my house?" and then walked upstairs and didn't talk to anyone for the rest of the night.

It's one of the few times I've ever heard my mom cuss.
posted by empath at 4:45 PM on August 17, 2010 [10 favorites]


On Requiem For a Dream: My friends' reaction after seeing it in the theater was: "You are never allowed to pick the movie again. Ever."

I get this reaction from my friends a lot. Doom Generation was another one that got that reaction, as was Happiness, as was Y Tu Mama Tambien (not a great first date movie).
posted by empath at 4:49 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


These posts are fun and I usually favorite them but why can't people just recommend their personal choices without so much "your favorite band sucks your most disturbing film is soft"?
posted by Nabubrush at 4:52 PM on August 17, 2010


plinth: "I was thinking Dead Ringers or Videodrome - pretty standard Cronenberg work, but oddly enough I'm home sick and watched Meet the Feebles for the first time, and sorry, it wins. Peter Jackson, WTF?"

I, too, was pretty fucking freaked out by Meet the Feebles the first time I watched it.
posted by beerbajay at 4:58 PM on August 17, 2010


Well I'm not a woman but I do have a female log in so that must count as half.

And after posting about my choice, Ex drummer, I hunted down the trailer, which I'm glad to see uses all the worst reviews it got. If only more films did that.
posted by ciderwoman at 5:04 PM on August 17, 2010


Speaking a professional movie critic and commenter, let me just say this:

Christ, what a horribly copy-edited article.
posted by jscalzi at 5:31 PM on August 17, 2010


There is something profoundly off about Meet the Feebles, something so much nastier than just "naughty muppets." The Nam scenes in particular, and also how cruel they all are to each other.
posted by Bookhouse at 5:33 PM on August 17, 2010


I didn't know the whole plot of the movie, but I knew that it got disturbing halfway through

I saw Audition at the Film Forum on its first US theatrical release; I guess the poster wasn't enough to warn New Yorkers looking for a nice arty date movie, because roughly half the audience walked out when it got good.
posted by nicwolff at 5:56 PM on August 17, 2010


There are very, very few lists where my knee-jerk reaction is "needs more Brian Yuzna".

This is one of them.
posted by pxe2000 at 6:05 PM on August 17, 2010


No Two Girls One Cup?
posted by the noob at 6:05 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I may be completely naive compared to this list and its adherents, but I found the following movies most disturbing: The Machinist, Brazil, City of Lost Children, and Children of Men.
posted by Danaid at 6:19 PM on August 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


No Pink Flamingos?
posted by waldo at 6:30 PM on August 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's like a Pavlovian response. You say "most disturbing films..." and before you can get another word out, I scream "Salò!"

THIS A THOUSAND TIMES! Salo traumatized me for life.

it's bad enough we have to fight brain pollution on a daily basis. it's another to have a high falutin asshole deliberately take a dump in your mind and call it art :P
posted by liza at 6:44 PM on August 17, 2010


I may be completely naive compared to this list and its adherents, but I found the following movies most disturbing: The Machinist, Brazil, City of Lost Children, and Children of Men.
posted by Danaid at 6:19 PM on August 17 [+] [!]


I agree with you on Brazil and City of Lost Children--haven't seen The Machinist or Children of Men.

Another movie that was very disturbing to me was "Aguirre, the Wrath of God"
posted by I'm Brian and so's my wife! at 7:09 PM on August 17, 2010


> The American Funny Games made me wonder how the hell Haneke had been convinced to do the stupid project at all.

No one had to convince Haneke to do the American remake. The original German-language version was intended as a rebuke to American audiences, but of course American audiences tend not to watch foreign language films; Haneke found this enormously frustrating, and that's why the remake is practically shot-for-shot. I saw Naomi Watts give a Q&A after the launch of Funny Games US; she described her time on that film set as the most difficult and unpleasant experience of her career. Haneke kept instructing her to stifle her originality and deliver a performance identical to Susanne Lothar's. It drove her to tears on more than one occasion.

> It does not surprise me that there are, to the best of my knowledge, absolutely no women participating in this thread.

I'm a woman, and I'm a huge fan of horror and cult movies. I've seen seventeen films on this list (and will probably get around to seeing the rest at some point and lost of the films mentioned in this thread. I have a bookshelf filled with critical writing about horror cinema. The Exorcist is pretty much my favourite film ever. I forked out £150 recently for my ticket to FrightFest, and am counting the days until I get to spend five days watching horror movies (including, yes, A Serbian Film, which I don't expect I'll enjoy, but hell, I'm a completionist). If the festival's online forum is anything to go by, there will be a LOT of female attendees. In fact, women make up a much larger share of the horror audience than you might at first imagine.
posted by hot soup girl at 7:11 PM on August 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


The most disturbing movie I ever saw was Transformers (1986) knowing that this was Orson Welles final humiliation.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:14 PM on August 17, 2010


Something I will never watch again: Nine Inch Nails- Broken... I was not prepared for that when I was only 16, and it still haunts me.
posted by haplesschild at 7:25 PM on August 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


The original German-language version was intended as a rebuke to American audiences, but of course American audiences tend not to watch foreign language films; Haneke found this enormously frustrating, and that's why the remake is practically shot-for-shot ...

So it must have been especially frustrating for him that Americans totally ignored the remake too.
posted by octothorpe at 7:26 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


> what I really liked about The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover - were the scenes where the camera would slowly pan to the right, showing the kitchen, showing everything that was going on in there, in its eerie blue light with the simple music in the background, and then going through the doors and entering the dining hall of the restaurant, where everything would be red and the music would immediately change to something orchesteral.

I read an awesome article about Greenaway's use of colour in The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover in an architecture magazine in 1989 (which sadly I can't find anywhere on the internet) which theorised that the restaurant's connected rooms form an alimentary canal—from mouth to anus—and the colours of each room correspond to their digestive purpose. This sounds like terrible pomo wankery, I know, but it actually works.

> So it must have been especially frustrating for him that Americans totally ignored the remake too.

Probably. I imagine winning a million prizes for The White Ribbon eased the pain a little, though.
posted by hot soup girl at 7:44 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Anybody else find Cronenberg's "Crash" disturbing?
posted by MikeMc at 7:47 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I found Ballard's Crash disturbing enough that I've never wanted to see the movie.
posted by octothorpe at 8:01 PM on August 17, 2010


No Trouser Gallery? Fail.
posted by Scoo at 8:04 PM on August 17, 2010


26) Dead Ringers (Cronenberg, 1988

My favorite line from Dead Ringers:

"And tomorrow, we'll take some Percodan... just because it's Saturday."

Just felt like sharing that.
posted by MikeMc at 8:26 PM on August 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Where's Legend of the Overfiend?
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:34 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Crash is the best third date movie ever. If you're ever unsure of where it's going, take them to see Crash.
posted by griphus at 8:41 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


It does not surprise me that there are, to the best of my knowledge, absolutely no women participating in this thread.

[shrug] These lists bug me, they're such a mishmosh. Gross, scary, intentionally transgressive, psychologically difficult, WTF do they mean by "disturbing?" Count me in with the "Sex in the City 2 is fucking disturbing" crowd.

I enjoyed (so to speak) both Antichrist and Irreversible. I love Chan-wook Park, Haneke, Lynch. I often really enjoy Cronenberg and Kubric. I appreciate Catherine Breillat and Todd Solondz. When my SO and I go to the film festival, we wind up watching a lot of "disturbing" movies because we enjoy filmmakers who are exploring situational morality and ambiguity.

I have little patience for a lot of "horror" movies, though, though -- I don't love being startled, and all the violent gore action stuff just irritates me.
posted by desuetude at 9:09 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Crash is the best third date movie ever. If you're ever unsure of where it's going, take them to see Crash.

Which Crash?

(Which is the best second date conversation ever. If you're unsure as to where it's going, find out which Crash they're talking about.)
posted by desuetude at 9:11 PM on August 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


If you're unsure as to where it's going, find out which Crash they're talking about.

Around 2006, I took a date to see Crash, which was having a weekend revival at a movie theater. About halfway through the first scene (Deborah Kara Unger being fucked against an airplane,) just about everyone who was over, say, 50, walked right out of the theater. Oops.
posted by griphus at 9:16 PM on August 17, 2010


Of the movies on this list that I haven't already seen, I don't think there's a single one I'm going to see in the future. "The arms of one Chinese prisoner are frozen, then boiled, before a Japanese scientist tears the skin clean off each limb to reveal the bone beneath" is beyond my threshold. Funny Games was almost unbearable for me, as was Audition.
posted by outlandishmarxist at 9:46 PM on August 17, 2010


There will no other occasion in my adult life to mention my fondness for a genuinely disturbing French movie called Baxter, which is from the perspective of a murderous s-m Nazi bull terrier.

Holy shit. As a young person, I would always notice that movie on the VHS rental rack at the gas station and until now assumed it was some sort Turner and Hooch/Beethovenesque romp inspired by the Great Spuds Mackenzie Craze of the late Eighties.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:15 PM on August 17, 2010


Something about Wolf Creek took it beyond the usual 'psycho hillbillies torture city folks' genre.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 12:13 AM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I agree with the high rating of eraserhead- never see this movie with a date!
posted by Joe Chip at 3:40 AM on August 18, 2010


Female here AND over 50.

I've seen 20 out of the original 25 posted and most of the other movies mentioned in this thread. I was raised on horror and thrillers. As a young woman I walked the three or four blocks to to the movie theater near my apartment, in the dark, to see Texas Chainsaw Massacre on my own. Somewhere around my mid-forties however, the splatter films just became tiresome to me. I've seen enough Trome films to last a lifetime.

I still love movies that push the boundaries though. Mr. Gravy and I watched White Ribbon 2 weeks ago and Martyrs a month ago. The scene in Martyrs that I found most shocking was not a bloody one but the scene when the man was systematically beating up the young woman-- that's pretty unusual; violence in these movies mostly takes the form of killing and/or raping.

On my personal list Requiem for a Dream is Number 1 with a bullet which I attribute to the inspired editing. During the climactic montage, my husband claims I turned green. Audition is a close Number 2. Even though I saw it years ago, I can still hear the young woman's eeee eeee e eeee during the torture scene.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:20 AM on August 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm also surprised that Bad Timing didn't make the list. Between the sequence in which Roeg intercut a sex scene and a tracheotomy and the profoundly unsexy rape scene that closes out the film, and the cruelty all the characters inflict upon one another...
posted by pxe2000 at 6:06 AM on August 18, 2010


Oh, and full frontal nudity from Art Garfunkel.
posted by pxe2000 at 6:07 AM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Creepy kid from Back to the Future Part III is creepy.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:24 AM on August 18, 2010


"kid from Back to the Future Part III is creepy."

How so?
posted by Eideteker at 7:24 AM on August 18, 2010


burnmp3s: Just to clarify, I fast forwarded through the torture in Audition because I was bored, and it just seemed to go on and on. She does give her little soliloquy there, but it just didn't work for me. It seemed like "here's the part where the filmmaker tries to explain what the movie's about," which always is sort of an inherent fail, and the torture was the backdrop so that maybe it would be shocking and transgressive enough that you wouldn't notice that's what's actually going on. Just my opinion. I was disappointed because the rest of the movie was very well made and interesting. It seemed like a cop-out.
posted by rusty at 7:35 AM on August 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


kiri kiri kiri
posted by empath at 7:37 AM on August 18, 2010


"kid from Back to the Future Part III is creepy."

How so?


Really? You want me to draw you a diagram?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:39 AM on August 18, 2010


I've only seen two of the movies on the list and probably do not want to see the rest. I agree that The Exorcist while a decent horror movie is not really disturbing because of the unreality of it all. The other movie I've seen, A Clockwork Orange is far more disturbing to me because of the callous inhumanity of the violence performed by the characters.

Movies I would add to this list include Sister My Sister, Butterfly Kiss, Kika (and really any Almodovar film), and Blood Diner. That last one I was fooled into watching because it was billed as a comedy. I think that brutal violence and murder portrayed as humor is all the more unsettling. More so than a simple horror or slasher film that is usually so unrealistic that it is comical if that makes any sense.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 7:51 AM on August 18, 2010


I agree with the high rating of eraserhead- never see this movie with a date!

Ha. The same date I took to see Crash, I took to see Eraserhead. After the movie ended and we were collecting our things, some guy got up, and hurr-hurred "betchya didn't expect to see that, eh?" at her. She gave him a totally blase "I think this is my sixth time seeing it, dude." Betchya he didn't expect that.
posted by griphus at 7:58 AM on August 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


Also, no Santa Sangre? I had a roommate who loves loves loves that movie. It would occasionally appear at a midnight show, he would round a new group of friends to go see it, and then be crestfallen when they were all emotionally scarred by the experience. One time, I ran into him and some of the latest group the day after. "How did you like the film?" I asked. <y roommate beamed at me, but the other three just shuddered and stared at me with bleak, haunted eyes.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:14 AM on August 18, 2010


My wife and I watched Blue Velvet on our first date.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:20 AM on August 18, 2010


My husband has gone on first dates that including theater screenings of Eraserhead, Crash, and most notably Irreversible. IIRC he also went to the Aristocrats this way. Every time confused folks walked out immediately, of course. I was never the lucky lady in question...thank goodness. Though he did want to watch Blue Velvet together right away when we got going...I declined.
posted by ifjuly at 8:39 AM on August 18, 2010


"Really? You want me to draw you a diagram?"

Words will suffice.
posted by Eideteker at 8:51 AM on August 18, 2010


Also, no Santa Sangre?

My husband sprung this on me early on in our relationship. He prepared me by saying it was one of his all-time favorite movies. I was neither horrified nor engrossed-- it was mostly "meh" to me. We never watched it again and after being together 10 years it recently came up in conversation. He confessed he had no desire to see it again-- the "magic" was gone.

This is 180 from the very first movie we watched together: Buffalo 66. Every once in awhile when we want to recapture that feeling of first love we pop it in the player, and that crazy, heady rush of those first few days together come flooding back.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:52 AM on August 18, 2010


These posts are fun and I usually favorite them but why can't people just recommend their personal choices without so much "your favorite band sucks your most disturbing film is soft"?

:) - I really didn't mean to judge anyone's sensibilities in my earlier post, for what it's worth. I get grossed out by episodes of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, which is a freakin' cartoon about a happy meal... So it's not because I'm so world weary as to be immune to disturbing images. It's just that some things don't start out disturbing to me - little girls being possessed by the devil is not a premise that frightens me, because it just sounds silly to my ears. "the devil" generally is too abstract and broad to mean anything. And the whole idea of pure evil or evil for its own sake doesn't do much for me either (silence of the lambs also wasn't very interesting to me).

The ones that are disturbing to me are real human drives or tendencies - stupidity, greed, anger, jealousy, a need for control, a desire to feel good - that get out of hand and fuck things up.
posted by mdn at 8:54 AM on August 18, 2010


Actually now that I come to think of it our first Movie Date was The Blair Witch Project. We hadn't yet met in real life (we lived 3000 miles apart) so we went to see the movie separately and then got on the phone to talk about it. I was pretty creeped out by that movie, the last scene especially chilled me-- and he was even more so. I've never watched it again because I'm pretty sure that a second viewing in our own home would never measure up.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:56 AM on August 18, 2010


While we're on the subject of "Disturbing Movie First Date," me and the fiancee's first date involved a double feature of Wild Zero and Shock Treatment. Did you know: Wild Zero has a drinking game built into the DVD? It is true
posted by jtron at 10:04 AM on August 18, 2010


Since we're trading date stories, my wife and I went to see Eyes Without A Face on our first night out as a couple*.

* her choice
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:30 AM on August 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


We went to see Music & Lyrics.

I'm sure some people would find that scary.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:44 AM on August 18, 2010


The ones that are disturbing to me are real human drives or tendencies - stupidity, greed, anger, jealousy, a need for control, a desire to feel good - that get out of hand and fuck things up.

This is why No Country for Old Men hit me so hard. It was disturbing in that it was a peek into a dark corner of the human soul. Also, the good guys don't always win or lose; sometimes they just give up and go home.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:58 AM on August 18, 2010


KABANOS (ALL SHROOMED OUT): I'm not tired yet. Let's watch a movie.

"FRIEND": You ever seen Requiem for a Dream?



Yeah... I'm pretty sure it's number one on my list.
posted by Kabanos at 11:37 AM on August 18, 2010


Eeesh, that's up there with my friend who showed me CBT videos when I was similarly disposed*.

* I do not mean Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
posted by jtron at 12:41 PM on August 18, 2010


I saw Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band last night. That was pretty disturbing, not least the tapdancing roller skating pantomime horse and Peter Frampton giving a better vocal performance than Paul McCartney on The Beatles own songs.
posted by feelinglistless at 2:29 PM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ours was Bad Influence. I'm not sure there's any significance there.
posted by MikeMc at 4:05 PM on August 18, 2010


I'm a chick, and I have seen most of the films on this list (and several mentioned in comments).

The movie "Inserts" with Richard Dreyfuss has him in one of the most uncomfortable, cringe inducing sex scenes I have ever seen in a movie. Just... beyond awkward. Like watching your dog hump someone's leg in public kind of feeling. However, the movie itself is fairly boring.

"The Exorcist" is still one of the most terrifying things I have ever seen, but 1.) I saw it as a 8 year old child lying on the bathroom floor, sticking my head out into the hall so my parents wouldn't see me. and 2.) I was an asthmatic as a child, and in my head I made a connection between the sounds she made and the sounds *I* made when I was having an asthma attack. I spent the rest of my childhood wondering if I was becoming possessed.

I understand that people think it's silly, but I think being exposed to it when I was so young and not able to tell anyone I had seen it without getting in trouble lead to MANY nightmares.
posted by evilcupcakes at 7:23 PM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


> While we're on the subject of "Disturbing Movie First Date," me and the fiancee's first date involved a double feature of Wild Zero and Shock Treatment. Did you know: Wild Zero has a drinking game built into the DVD? It is true

Watching Wild Zero was, along with Vanishing Point, my initiation into Memphis when I first visited and began getting acquainted with my then-boyfriend's social group. Both are great!
posted by ifjuly at 8:07 AM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile my dad has grabbed my arm and I am trying to tell him what is happening. Because it was a small room the other guys started listening to me and they all began to calm down. I remember thinking 1. my dad is a big ol'softie and 2. wow, I had all these cute sailors paying attention to me. (Remind me to tell you about watching Jaws in the same theater.)
posted by govtdrone at 12:19 AM on August 18


Missed opportunity, govtdrone. Imagine the humungous yuks you could have had if you'd slowly cranked your head around as far as it would go and screamed "Your mother sucks cocks in hell!"

:-)
posted by Decani at 10:25 AM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Where's Legend of the Overfiend?

The only times I would see this film would be when I'd show up at Exit in Chicago, as one of the bartenders loved to play this right before she'd break out the porn to end the night. After seeing Nazi hentai rape on multiple screens, I began to appreciate whatever porn films Donna would play afterward, be it grade-Z knockoffs (Deep Space Sixty-Nine), Buck Angel films, anything with Ron Jeremy, the occasional Tracy Lords piece, and so forth.
posted by stannate at 12:56 PM on August 19, 2010


(Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates: Unfortunately, there is not one page with the entire list but rather 25 individual pages for each film.

Firefox + Repagination.
posted by WCityMike at 10:12 AM on August 21, 2010


Oh! You know what movie I found disturbing? A Room for Romeo Brass. It starts out as a pretty quaint little British indie drama, and then about halfway through it just takes this really sharp turn straight into whatthefucksville. Thankfully, director Shane Meadows eventually managed to artfully smooth out that transition for the similarly corruption-of-minors themed This is England, but yeesh!
posted by Sys Rq at 12:16 PM on August 21, 2010


Just remembered being very disturbed by the documentary Capturing the Friedmans more so because I started watching knowing almost nothing about it.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:29 AM on August 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


« Older If you have some time that needs to be filled with...  |  "Psychologists refer to this a... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments