Fitzy’s favourite Dark and Disturbing Movies
In the days before internet access the best stuff on TV was classified AO (Adults Only). As a kid with strict parents these movies were forbidden treasure to me. I used to lie in bed hearing my Dad watching something good until I couldn’t bear it. I then embarked on stealth missions in my PJs hoping for a flash of boob or a gunfight before I was smacked and marched back to bed.
In grade 3 I found a mate whose parents owned the milkbar/video store. While they served customers we crouched over the VCR out the back – inserting tapes that had promising R rated covers. Most were disappointingly tame. Exceptions included Bloodsucking Freaks and Christiane F .(Although an 8 year old country kid has a limited understanding of ‘heroin addicted teenage prostitute’)
As I grew up I saw occasional stuff I wish I hadn’t (anyone for ‘Faces of Death‘ ?). Some of the most disturbing movies are not just graphic and explicit but well acted and produced films with a warped concept or twist. Here’s a few worth a look if you’re up to it. Probably not ideal for date night
Meet The Feebles (1989)
Before Peter Jackson made The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings he knocked out this low budget classic. Behind the scenes with the puppet performers in a TV show – strange fetishes, STDs, drug problems.. You’ll never see the Muppets the same way.
WTF Moments – Rabbit orgy. Knife throwing act goes wrong
Hard Candy (2005)
Ellen Page steals the show as ‘naive’ 14 year old Hayley Stark. She turns the tables on photographer and internet paedophile Jeff.
WTF Moment – ‘Wake up Jeff’ Hayley tries her hand at surgery
While we’re on paedo revenge movies check out this twisted take on Little Red Riding Hood. Reese Witherspoon is tough as nails white trash abuse victim Vanessa Lutz
WTF Moment – Kiefer Sutherland’s ‘therapy session’ with Vanessa in his car
Just seems like a quirky 90s comedy with a great script and cast (including late Phillip Seymour Hoffman) but takes a gnarly left turn
WTF Moment – The kid throwing up semen at the breakfast table
Rules of Attraction (2002)
Spoilt college kids getting their kicks. Roger Avary film – his uncredited writing is behind much of Tarantino’s early success. Fred Savage (Wonder Years) and James Van Der Beek (Dawson’s Creek) trying to shake off their cleancut image. Also Jessica Biel straight from Christian family drama 7th heaven plays the coke fiend chick who does the entire football team. Saw this at Nova in Carlton – some people walked out.
WTF Moment – Opening scene. Unconscious hottie over a beer barrel + weirdo with a video camera + randy bogan about to hurl = Look away
Cabin Fever (2002)
Can’t tell you the premise of this movie without ruining it. Sex, blood, bongsmoke, hillbillies. Rock n Roll!
WTF moment – Finally getting fresh with his dreamgirl. Nasty surprise
Dark adventure classic. Danger and hillbillies sorts the men from the boys. Burt Reynolds was badass. Ahead of it’s time.
WTF Moment – famous ‘squeal like a pig’ scene
The Human Centipede: first sequence (2009)
By now this movie has become shorthand for disturbing. Shock value has been diluted by everyone blabbing about the premise. The 2 sequels are meant to be worse.
WTF moment – Dr Heiter explains the operation to his captives. Promoted as ‘100% medically accurate’ but would it really work? Here’s a gastrointestinal surgeon’s opinion
Snowtown (later retitled The Snowtown Murders) (2011)
Only Australian film in this list. Won all sorts of well deserved awards but hard to watch. Saw this with my brothers who’d normally be joking around. We sat silent for almost the whole thing. Realistic account of how one utter psycho headcase 3 other guys into murdering 10 people – the ‘Bodies in the Barrels‘ discovered in South Australia in 1999
WTF! moment – the bathtub scene near the end. (can’t elaborate without ruining it)
I thought the Slovakian government would sue Eli Roth over this film. It implies that in this small Eastern European country you can torture someone to death for a few grand.
WTF moment – eyeball removal
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (1989)
This is a great movie – kind of arty. Might even work with a date if she’s not squeamish. Seeing this fan trailer made me want to watch it again . Good soundtrack
WTF moment – best cannibalism scene ever at the end
Justin Bieber’s BELIEVE (2013)
Saved the most disturbing movies til last..don’t blame me for your nightmares. Only film I know of with with negative stars on IMDB listing
WTF Moment – “When everyone wants to drag you down and see you fall.. the only way forward is to fly”
Do NOT Watch these Disturbing Movies
Salo (or 120 Days of Sodom) (1975)
Always gets a guernsey in shocking movie lists. Banned in most countries for ages. Italian anti fascism movie loosely based on books from the 17th century
WTF moment – lots. Creepy fascists make the kids eat their shit
French revenge movie which, despite being pretty good, has at least 2 scenes which are too much
WTF moment – the railway tunnel rape scene
A Serbian Film (UNCUT) (2010)
If you read the Wikipedia entry you’ll see why it shouldn’t be watched. A semi retired adult movie star goes back to work to find tastes have changed
WTF moment – too many.. ‘Newborn adult movie’?!
Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
Name says it all. Film crew go looking for primitive tribes and get raped and eaten. Footage found later (a la Blair Witch Project). Another one always on controversial lists..a judge made the director prove in court that he hadn’t actually killed actors. Despite this it’s dated and kind of a drag.
WTF moment – Well you know what’s coming if you’re watching this ..but they also kill animals for real in what looks like a cruel way, then cut them up.
A grieving and traumatised couple go to a cabin in the woods to try to repair their marriage. Instead they traumatise us. Thanks Lars Von Trier
WTF moment – wife takes a pair of scissors to her genitals
Another one from those crazy French. Underage girls get tortured..a lot
WTF moment – bathroom scene..if you want more detail google it