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Controversial movie banned in UK had graphic violence and 'horror' sex scene

Controversial movie banned in UK had graphic violence and 'horror' sex scene

Its director was murdered three weeks before its release

Warning: This article contains graphic content and discussion of sexual assault which some readers may find distressing.

This film might just be one of the most controversial of all time, and you've probably never heard of it before.

Described by the Criterion Collection as 'perhaps the most disturbing film ever made', you might think that this is some horribly graphic, bloody, violent bit of cinema.

And you're not completely wrong on that front, but it's much more than that.

True cinephiles know that truly twisted films are not ones that show it all on screen, but ones that also get into your head and affect you psychologically.

This movie is so twisted in fact, that Complex has named it as 'the number one most messed up movie of all time.'

Set in Italy during its final years under the fascism regime, the film focuses on four rich, corrupt libertines during the Republic of Salò.

They kidnap 18 teenagers, subjecting them to 120 days of horrifying extreme sexual and psychological torture.

Released in 1975, the film's graphic depictions of torture and rape have caused it to be banned in Canada, the UK and Australia among numerous other countries.

Played out in four parts that are based on The Divine Comedy, which is an Italian narrative poem by Dante Alighieri, the parts are called; the Anteinferno, the Circle of Manias, the Circle of S**t, and the Circle of Blood.

The movie has been branded as one of the most disturbing of all time.
United Artists

The film is called Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, and it was directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini as his last directorial feature before his death.

Yep, the film was released three weeks after his murder.

Covering several themes such as authoritarianism, political corruption, morality, sexuality and sadism, it has a respectable critic score of 71 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Complex states in its 'most disturbing movies' list: “Just writing about it makes us want to take a shower.”

A rare interview from the set of Salò that was published by Dangerous Minds included thoughts and views from the late director, who explained the meaning behind the film.

It's banned in the UK.
United Artists

“There is a lot of sex in it, rather towards Sado-Masochism, which has a very specific function – that is to reduce the human body to a saleable commodity,” he explained.

“It represents what power does to the human being, to the human body.”

The Italian filmmaker later said: “My need to make this film also came from the fact I particularly hate the leaders of the day.

“Each one of us hates with particular vehemence the powers to which he is forced to submit. So, I hate the powers of today."

The flick has gained a cult following over the years.
United Pictures

The controversial picture is loosely based on the unfinished 1785 novel The 120 Days, which had previously been described as ‘the most impure tale ever written’ by its own author.

Unsurprisingly, Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, much like many other disturbing films, has gained a cult following in the nearly 50 years since its release.

If you were planning to stream it, you'll be unsurprised to find out that it is not on any platforms, and you'll need to go old school and hunt down a DVD or VHS to watch it.

Featured Image Credit: United Artists

Topics: TV and Film, Weird