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'Most Disturbing Film Of All Time' Is Movie Not Many May Have Heard Of

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'Most Disturbing Film Of All Time' Is Movie Not Many May Have Heard Of

A film that has ranked as the most disturbing of all time is one you may not have actually heard of.

While you might assume it’s some sort of gore-fest, anyone who’s into sinister cinema will know that the most disturbing films are ones that get into your head. 

Which is perhaps why Complex has named Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom as the number one most messed up movie of all time. 

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For those not in the know, the movie centres on four rich and corrupt Italian libertines in the time of the Republic of Salò, which marked the final years of Fascism in Italy. 

The group kidnap 18 teenagers and subject them to 120 days of extreme sexual and psychological torture. 

Due to its graphic depictions of torture and rape, the movie, made in 1975, was banned in Australia, New Zealand, Iran and several other countries.

The story plays out in four parts, all of which are based on The Divine Comedy, an Italian narrative poem by Dante Alighieri, and covers various themes such as political corruption, authoritarianism, nihilism and morality.

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Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and United Artists
Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and United Artists

It’s safe to say the movie is not for the faint-hearted, and is regularly cited by viewers as their most disturbing watch. 

As said by Complex: “Just writing about it makes us want to take a shower.”

In a rare interview taken from the set of Salò and published by Dangerous Minds, the film’s director Pier Paolo Pasolini opened up about his views on the controversial film and the meaning behind it.

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“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 said. 

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

The filmmaker later explained: “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.  

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Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and United Artists
Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and United Artists

“It is a power that manipulates people just as it did at the time of Himmler or Hitler.”

The movie itself is a loose adaptation of the unfinished 1785 novel The 120 Days, which was described by its author Marquis de Sade as ‘the most impure tale ever written’. 

Much like the movie, it has gained a cult following over the years amongst those who are fond of all things macabre. 

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It’s perhaps not that surprising, however, that Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom isn’t available on the streamers. 

If you want to give it a watch, you’ll have to go old school and get it on DVD or VHS - don’t say we didn’t warn you. 

Featured Image Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and United Artists

Topics: TV and Film

Daisy Phillipson
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