Sometimes I watch movies and simply think, what is wrong with people? How can these images possibly exist on film? Who thought of this, and what type of actor would agree to do this?
In honor of Vincenzo Natali‘s (sometimes shocking) horror flick Splice hitting theaters this week let’s take a look at five of the most horrifying and shocking scenes that I have ever witnessed. Many are well-known, but if you haven’t seen them you might want to think twice before watching any of these.
WARNING: Graphic images and spoilers below, proceed at your own risk.
Cannibal Holocaust: The Turtle Scene
A scene so horrific it has to be seen to be believed. The turtle scene in Cannibal Holocaust will linger in your mind long after it is over. Banned in fifty countries, and name one of the most controversial movie of all time by EW, Ruggero Deadato’s Cannibal Holocaust is truly an exercise in depravity.
There really isn’t anything that isn’t considered depraved and horrific in Cannibal Holocaust. Featuring extremely realistic blood and violence as well as sexual violence on a scale that I’ve never seen and six real animal killings on screen, the entire movie is sure to leave even the strongest of us unsettled.
The one scene that can’t seem to leave my mind is the turtle killing. In this scene, a fairly large turtle is captured in the water and dragged on shore. We are then treated to an incredibly gruesome and completely real scene where we see the actors decapitate the turtle. It doesn’t stop there either, the actors than rip the limbs off the turtle and than remove its shell. As if that wasn’t bad enough, they tear the insides out of the turtle and than finally cook and eat it.
All of the animal killings in Cannibal Holocaust are pretty tough to get through but this is by far the worst.
Pink Flamingos: All of It
Let’s be honest, what part of Pink Flamingo’s isn’t absolutely depraved, twisted, abhorrent and just downright wrong? Many say John Waters’ 1972 film was made simply to shock people. Waters simply wanted to see how far he can push people and how much he could shock them.
The film is notorious for the controversy it caused and was banned in several countries. Despite this, the film has gained a large cult following and has a large fan base. The film is essentially one shocking scene after another. By the end of the film you will be reaching down to pick your jaw up off the ground. You truly won’t believe that what you saw was actually filmed and that people actually participated in these acts.
Incest, rape, hermaphrodites, gay sex, killing of animals, bestiality etc. Nothing is off limits and nothing is censored. Every taboo is broken, nothing is held back, this movie is truly the most shocking set of images ever put on film.
Salo or 120 Days of Sodom: Eating Feces
Eating feces is just plain gross. It doesn’t matter in what context it’s shown. In Pink Flamingos it was disgusting but the character did it willingly and it was more for jokes than anything else. In Salo, this isn’t the case.
Salo, another film that is banned and always creates controversy when brought up, is a whole new exercise in dehumanization. The sex, torture and the violence is so depraved and dehumanizing it is almost impossible to think that anyone could have filmed this. The film is still forbidden in a large number of countries and it’s very hard to find a copy of it to watch.
The movie is absolutely revolting. People are peed on, forced to have sex with each other, mutilated, tortured and abused. The list goes on and the movie gets more and more shocking.
The single most disturbing scene in the movie though is the feces eating scene. It is something that is rarely seen in films which makes it that much harder to sit through and handle. It is gross, revolting and literally left me questioning what is wrong with humanity?
The Last House on The Left (2009): Rape Scene
The original Last House on The Left is infamous in the film world. It created a lot of controversy when released and was widely banned. For its time (the 1970’s) it was one of the most brutal and shocking film. The film was remade in 2009 and although it didn’t cause as much uproar, it was still violent and disturbing. Personally, I like the 2009 version better than the original. There is one scene that got to me though in the remake. The rape scene really had me twisting in my seat. I’ve seen plenty of rape scenes in movies but for some reason this got under my skin. It wasn’t the most violent or graphic, but the way it was handled was incredibly damaging.
Saw: The End
This scene didn’t shock me because of gore or violence seen in scenes above. What left me in shock and awe here was the twist ending.
The ending of the original Saw, is one of the most brilliant twists I’ve seen. From ‘I See Dead People’ to Aaron is Roy to the Tyler Durden twist and of course, everyone’s favorite, Keyser Soze, Saw ranks as one of the best.
In the final moments of the film, with sheer brilliance, the twist is revealed and I can promise you, if anyone claims they saw the twist coming, they lied. There is no way it could have been predicted. If you’ve seen the film you will know what I am talking about. As we come to the end, the classic score by Charlie Clouser kicks in and everything is revealed. The look of shock and horror on the main characters face evokes the exact same feeling in the audience. Smart, captivating, flawlessly executed and full of true suspense and terror, the ending will leave you in your seat for a long time after the credits roll.
There you have it, the top five and probably the only scenes that have ever really shocked me. If I could think of one runner up it would probably be the ending of Requiem for A Dream which was as harrowing as it was depressing. Nevertheless, the five scenes in this feature truly left me shocked.
What scenes have truly shocked you? Have you seen any of the films mentioned above?
Welcome to the latest episode of our official podcast, The Film Stage Show. This week, Danny King, Amanda Waltz, and I discuss Don Hertzfeldt’s new short film World of Tomorrow, which will be released on March 31st on VOD (or stream below). Then we dive into a feature review of David Robert Mitchell‘s horror film It Follows, which […]
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