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Author Topic: What is the Most Disturbing Film You've Ever Seen?  (Read 9025 times)
Metropolisforever
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« on: October 03, 2008, 12:46:49 PM »

There are some films that really leave you with that sinking feeling.  You just can't stop thinking about them, even days after you've watched them.  So... what is the most disturbing film you've ever seen?  Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover (1989)

SalÚ, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)

Nekromantik (1987)

Night and Fog (1955)

Happiness (1998)

Ichi the Killer (2002)

Dr. Lamb (1992)

Pink Flamingos (1972)

Eraserhead (1977)

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

The Angel Guts series (1978-1994)

Begotten (1991)

Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989)

The Guinea Pig series (1985-1991)

Singapore Sling (1990)

Vase de Noces (1974)

Men Behind the Sun (1988)

The Devils (1971)

The Untold Story (1993)

In a Glass Cage (1987)

The August Underground series (2001-2007)

Scrapbook (2000)

Caligula (1979)

In the Realm of the Senses (1976)

Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

Chaos (2005)

Vulgar (2000)

The House on the Edge of the Park (1980)

Murder-Set-Pieces (2005)

The Last House on the Left (1972)

Poison (1991)

Cannibal Ferox (1981)

The Faces of Death series (1978-1996)

Mondo Cane (1962)

Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS (1975)

Combat Shock (1986)

SS Hell Camp (1977)

Forced Entry (1973)

Ken Park (2002)

Gestapo's Last Orgy (1977)

Bully (2001)

Man Bites Dog (1992)

Snuff (1976)

The above list is just a few possible choices to help get you started.  You don't have to pick from the above list.

Again, what is the most disturbing film you've ever seen?
« Last Edit: October 07, 2008, 07:36:48 PM by Metropolisforever » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2008, 01:34:28 PM »

In no particular order:

* Nekromantik

* Funny Games (the original . . . I haven't seen the remake yet)

* Audition
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« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2008, 01:42:59 PM »

Any movie in which cruel people do not get any comeuppance or, in fact, get rewarded for what they do.
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« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2008, 01:43:45 PM »

The first two Ilsa movies (SS & Harem Keeper)
also Bitter Moon.
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« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2008, 01:56:32 PM »

Disturbing films fall into two categories: those that set out simply to shock and disturb, and succeed, and those that use disturbing imagery and themes to some other artistic effect, so that I feel disturbed, but not dirty.  I tend to hate movies in the first category and love movies in the second.

I've listed the following disturbing movies in order, from my least favorite to my most favorite.

SALO: Pure literal sadism, with no purpose other than to shock.  Passolini pulled a fast one on the arthouse crowd with this one, who sometimes defend it as "poetic."

THE DEVIL'S REJECTS: My first foray into modern torture porn.  Stylish but unpleasant, stupid, pointless.

TWO THOUSAND MANIACS:  The strange thing is that I absolutely love BLOOD FEAST, which I found to be campy and fun.  This one seemed to side more with the victimizers than the victims to me, which makes it disturbing rather than fun.

PINK FLAMINGOES:  I was too jaded by the time I saw this to be really disturbed anymore.  I just thought it was the equivalent of watching a sideshow geek bite the head off a chicken: you can't turn away from watching it, but afterwards you feel bad about yourself for wanting to see it.  

FEMALE TROUBLE:  I think even though there is less geekery in this one (no talking rectums or coprophagia), I found it more disturbing, and also more effective and surreal.  I end up with mixed feelings about it.  

MEET THE FEEBLES:  I absolutely loathed this when I first saw it.  On a second pass I found it more bearable and reacted better to some of the humor (although it's not funny enough overall to excuse some of the cruelty), but it still stinks of evil to me.

AUDITION:  The ending is highly disturbing, but because it evolved naturally and sort of inevitably out of the plot and the characters, I really thought it worked and was horrifying rather than gratuitous.  

REPULSION:  I just watched this for the first time last night and was impressed.  Not disturbing like a few of the others on the list--there's no gore or shock scenes--but psychologically it's very disturbing and it creates an incredibly tense and uneasy feeling throughout.

ERASERHEAD:  I can't think of a better expression of the logic of a nightmare on film.  Like REPULSION, I like it because it manages to be very psychologically disturbing without resorting to cheap gross-out tricks.

Most disturbing (and most hated) for me was SALO.
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« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2008, 02:17:58 PM »

That's a mighty long list, Metropolisforever...  Lookingup  Interesting topic, though. 

HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK disturbed someone?  (Other than having spent money on a ticket or to rent the thing?)  Here is a posting from a while back of my opinion of that stupid garbage:
http://www.badmovies.org/forum/index.php/topic,114234.0.html  

I have to give LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT lowest marks for being "most disturbing."  I've seen gorier, more violent, sleazier, but, that was the first film that I personally found very upsetting.  I still loathe it and won't look at it.  Ranking just above it, as slightly less upsetting, would be I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE

CANNIBAL FEROX is simply a dumb gross-out and not so disturbing. 

THE DEVIL'S REJECTS is derivative, contrived, indulgent trash.  Disturbing, yes, but not in any good way. 

REPULSION is a great example of disturbing cinema that is not gratuitous. 

PINK FLAMINGOS is kind of more shock than disturb...?  Well, I guess some could find it disturbing (I thought it was foul - and funny.)

I don't find CALIGULA particularly disturbing as perhaps discomfiting; BULLY did not disturb me very much, but I think it's an effective bit of cinema.  NIGHT AND FOG is disturbing not as cinema, but as document.  HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER is never gratuitous, but no doubt disturbing.  AUDITION is an amazing and deeply disturbing film. 
« Last Edit: October 03, 2008, 04:10:17 PM by Allhallowsday » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2008, 05:20:29 PM »

Ichi the Killer was kinda twisted and messed up to watch at 4am after an all night movie-marathon when you're 15.

That probably takes my vote for #1 I've seen, but Saving Private Ryan at times is hard to watch during certain scenes (the stabbing of the heart slowly scene especially).
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« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2008, 05:58:11 PM »

Some more to add:

Straw Dogs (1971): Sam Peckinpah's foray and descent into the true potential ugliness within humanity.

Nightmare Alley (1947): the ultimate case of fate spitting you back in the face, of what goes around comes around. Is it too nasty here perhaps? (Actually this has become one of my all-time film faves)

Matthew Hopkins: Witchfinder General (1968): Vincent Price in perhaps his greatest and most challenging performance as Matthew Hopkins, a thoroughly detestable leech of a man assigned the task of trying and executing witches. Another one that shows humanity at its very worst.
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« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2008, 09:26:02 PM »

Hmmmm . . . .  JEEPERS CREEPERS did disturb me a bit, I must admit.  Not just creeped me out the way a good horror movie is supposed to, but actually was disturbing on a deeper level.  When I found out on this forum about the director's pedophile past, that made me understand why.

Both BULLY and HAVOC bothered me a lot, too - for similar reasons:  neither movie has a single admirable character in the entire cast.  I teach teenagers, and to see them either refuse all knowledge and wisdom, in the first case, or simply absorb it and reject it utterly in the other, was very, very depressing.  That being said, Anne Hathaway is still the hottest female in film right now. TeddyR

PATHOLOGY was a genuinely disturbing film too - you can see my thread on it from earlier this week.
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« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2008, 12:03:55 AM »

I have to say the trash Trilogy (Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, and Desperate Living) are some of the most disturbing films I've ever seen. The worst in in one of them (Not pink flamingos), Divine is getting boinked on a mattress in an alley buy an old drunk, and you can see a skid mark on his underwear that covers about a full square foot. The reason I notice it is this is FORCE FED to the viewer. NASTY. . .
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« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2008, 12:12:57 AM »

Gummo!
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Metropolisforever
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« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2008, 07:23:22 AM »

Both BULLY and HAVOC bothered me a lot, too - for similar reasons:  neither movie has a single admirable character in the entire cast.  I teach teenagers, and to see them either refuse all knowledge and wisdom, in the first case, or simply absorb it and reject it utterly in the other, was very, very depressing.

Hmmm... have you ever seen Ken Park (2002)?
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« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2008, 08:08:16 AM »

No.  Do I want to?
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« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2008, 09:24:31 AM »

Films that I would consider to be good but disturbing would include:

Tideland. I love most of Terry Gilliam's work, and this is a very well done movie. It left me numb and disturbed for several days after watching it, however, as I processed the situations presented.

Lord of the Flies (1963). For some reason, I find this to be one of the most disturbing novels I have ever read, and the film captures the mood of the novel nicely. I think it is because it is depraved, but in a totally believable way. I can see people acting the way the kids do in the movie.

As for flicks that I wouldn't consider to be particularly good movies but that left me feeling disturbed, I would definitely agree with Rev. Powell about Meet the Feebles. I loved Dead Alive and wanted to like this movie, but it just left me feeling like I needed to wash my soul with lye soap. I tried watching it again, but it left me with the same feeling.
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« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2008, 09:50:54 AM »

Would have to say Happiness.
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