“Every dark needs its light, every day needs its night.”
I am a longtime fan and collector of dark and disturbing movies. When other people turn their heads, I stop and take pictures. If a friend sees something they think is twisted, they always send me the link. I like to explore disturbing places, and have been that way since birth. So after 29 years of exposure to all the fucked up realities of society, I have felt the need to share some of my top picks that I feel represent the dark side of humanity. I know many of you will be horrified, if you ever choose to watch these films, and others will say “What about this one… What about that one…” No list is complete, and there is a lifetime of movies I have yet to see, but this is my offering to you. If you are curious, come take a trip to the other side, but remember, this is some heavy duty sick and twisted shit. Saying that, I hope you can put all of your judgment aside and take a trip into these filmmaker’s nightmares. (Some of these were listed before on my horror list, but absolutely deserve a second spot)
The Vanishing (European Version)
I recommend this as a terror inducing appetizer. It is the chilling story of a Dutch cyclist whose girlfriend disappears while they are vacationing. His obsessive journey of finding out what happened to her is masterfully told. The film expresses our need for closure, and if there is such a thing. How far will you go? The ending will fuck you up, guaranteed. (Don’t even bother watching the US version.)
If you think reality entertainment started in the nineties, you better watch this one. It chronicles the search to find a lost group of documentary filmmakers in the cannibal infested jungles of South America. The jungle locations, unbelievable special effects, and 70’s film stock create an extremely disturbing atmosphere. The production is so raw that people believed they were watching an actual documentary. The director even had the actors go into hiding for a year after it was released to heighten the effect. A brilliant film, way ahead of its time.
I Spit On Your Grave
This is the story of revenge. A carefree New York woman decides to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. She heads down to her country home and frolics in the forest. What she doesn’t know is that she is unknowingly being watched by a bunch of horny rednecks. The scene that follows is demented, almost unwatchable. No happy ending with this one. Just pain, pain, and more pain. The director was so worried about audience reaction he used a fake name.
Last House on The Left
A slashing blow to the innocence of the sixties. A pair of hippie girls head to a rock show. The only crime they commit? They ask the wrong guy for some weed. And his friends want to have some fun- total, unrestrained, depraved fun. The mixture of folk music and depictions of torture tap into something powerful. It doesn’t matter if you think this is positive or negative, you will never forget it. A must view.
Salo: The 120 Days of Sodom
I showed this film to a friend of mine in high school and he is still shaken up about it. Salo will leave a lasting impression, I assure you. The film details the journey of a group of fascist Italians on the run from the Allies at the end of World War II. They know their time is running out so they start playing “games” with their servants. They put them through every humiliation possible. Saying that, I have never seen such depravity depicted in such a highly artistic way. Pasolini letting it all go.
Flower of Flesh And Blood
This movie is the closest on the list to the snuff category. Shot on video, it has no story, only one location, and just two actors. Simply put, it is the depiction of a man disemboweling a woman, period. Supposedly Charlie Sheen saw it and immediately contacted the FBI because he was convinced it was real. The authorities were so convinced they made the producers show them behind the scenes footage. This film influenced a Japanese man to go out and re-enact what he saw in this movie. Viewer beware.
Henry: Portrait of A Serial Killer
The terror classic. Based on the true story of the serial killer Henry Lee Lucas and his antics with Otis Toole. The story of a disturbed man with no conscience. There is not a drop of remorse in this movie. From beginning to end: murder, murder, murder. No other serial killer biopic has come close to this ice cold depiction of killing for sport.
The most lighthearted film of the bunch, which isn’t saying much. This adorable German film depicts the love affair between a man, woman, and a rotting corpse. Need I say more? A truly sick and twisted work of art. The musical theme, when coupled with the imagery, is both heart wrenching and vomit enducing. And believe me, they don’t hold back. Enjoy it with a date.
Johnny Got His Gun
So absolutely horrific that it boggles the mind. An infantry soldier is shelled during World War I. He is left blind, deaf, and mute. All his limbs are gone. He is basically a brain in a jar. The only thing left are his memories and his daydreams. The eerie black and white footage looks like it was shot in the silent era. The voice over sounds like a distress call from hell. This film is your worst nightmare. A living hell.
Jack Ketchum’s The Girl Next Door
A friend told me that this film is by far the most fucked up movie he has ever seen. Well, I didn’t believe him so I ordered it right away, watched it… and let me say this, I was absolutely disgusted. Based on a true story, it starts slow, a pair of sisters are forced to live with their aunt after their parents are killed in a car crash. Soon the aunt starts having problems, some serious problems. She starts taking them out on the kids. She lets her sons “play” with one of the sisters. I can only describe this movie as one of the most demented, disturbing, and twisted things I have ever seen. I was so affected that I had to sit down and write this.
Now go out and get a good movie!