‘The Most Disturbing Movie of All Time’ Is a Movie Few May Have Heard Of

A movie ranked as the most disturbing of all time is one you might not have heard of.

While you might assume this is some kind of gore festival, anyone who loves grim cinema will know that the most disturbing movies are the ones that come to mind.

Maybe that’s why Complex named Salò or the 120 days of Sodom as the most failed film of all time.

For those not in the know, the film centers on four wealthy and corrupt Italian libertines during the time of the Republic of Salò, which marked the last years of fascism in Italy.

The group kidnaps 18 teenagers and subjects them to 120 days of extreme sexual and psychological torture.

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

The story unfolds in four parts, all based on The Divine Comedyan Italian narrative poem by Dante Alighieri, and covers various themes such as political corruption, authoritarianism, nihilism and morality.

Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and United Artists

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

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

In a rare interview taken from the set of Salo and published by Dangerous Minds, the film’s director, Pier Paolo Pasolini, opened up on his take on the controversial film and its significance.

“There’s a lot of sex in there, more towards sado-masochism, which has a very specific function – which is to reduce the human body to a salable 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 that I particularly hate the leaders of the time.

“Each of us hates with particular vehemence the powers to which we are forced to submit. So I hate powers today.

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

“It’s a power that manipulates people like it did in the days of Himmler or Hitler.”

The film itself is a loose adaptation of the unfinished 1785 novel The 120 daysdescribed by its author, the Marquis de Sade, as “the most impure tale ever written”.

Much like the film, it has gained a cult following over the years among those who love all things macabre.

It is perhaps not so surprising, however, that Salò or the 120 days of Sodom is not available on streamers.

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

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