Screen Junkies » Irreversible Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Wed, 17 Sep 2014 22:16:30 +0000 en hourly 1 Viewer Discretion Advised: Eight Of the Most F*cked-Up Movies Ever Made Tue, 15 Jul 2014 01:00:27 +0000 bgoldstein By Dustin Seibert During a recent transatlantic flight, I had the occasion to watch Martyrs, a 2008 French horror film that just made its way to iTunes this year. Part...

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By Dustin Seibert

During a recent transatlantic flight, I had the occasion to watch Martyrs, a 2008 French horror film that just made its way to iTunes this year. Part of the “New French Extremity” movement, “Martyrs” is one of a number of movies from the country in recent years with transgressive (read: totally f*cked-up) content that has resulted in controversy, outright bans and heavy edits in order to be released in certain countries. Needless to say, my wife had a few choice words for me every time she glanced over at my iPad while Martyrs was playing.

Only a couple of the films on this list are considered New French Extremity Movement, but they all have a few things in common: First, none of them would ever, ever, ever be released as their director intended through a mainstream Hollywood studio. Second, you don’t wanna watch any of these flicks with a woman you just started dating unless she’s really “alternative” or particularly open-minded. Finally, with few exceptions, these films don’t bother with happy, tidy denouements…the likes of which often drive American cinema.

Some critics find reasons to praise films like these on this list as “haute art cinema,” using adjectives like “beautiful” and “thought-provoking.” But if we’re keeping it one-hunnid, much of this stuff is pure exploitation from the minds of people looking to push the envelope as far as they can. And nothing’s wrong with that — as long as your stomach can handle it.

1. A Serbian Film:
Easily one of the most disturbing films ever put to celluloid, A Serbian Film is the feel-good story of a down-on-his-luck porn star who agrees to submit to extreme acts for a snuff film. I could list some examples of the worst moments, but there’s almost too much to choose from — it’s as if the film’s writers sat down with a 20-sided die, with each side representing a morally repugnant, sexually violent act, rolled a few and tossed the results in the film’s final version. There’s simply no leeway with this one, which is why it’s been banned in a bajillion countries or ridiculously edited in a few of the countries willing to screen it. The film’s final act will make you cry and throw up at the same time. Approach with caution.

2. A L’interieur (Inside) (2007):
One of the best horror movies I’ve seen in the past decade, the film does just about everything right to cook up genuine dread and tension, not to mention bucketloads of gore. A simple home invasion flick at heart, the story involves a mysterious French dame going after another French dame, who happens to be bursting-at-the-seams pregnant, in her own crib. The invader’s goal: cut the unborn baby from her stomach. The aggressor has her reasons, but I’ll leave that for you to discover on your own. No movie on this list comes more recommended than this one.

3. Irreversible (2002):
The first movie I ever watched on this list, I wasn’t quite prepared to watch what they subjected Italian sex kitten Monica Bellucci to in this film. Her 9-minute vicious rape and beating still stands as the most psychologically intense assault I’ve ever seen on screen (including the other films on this list). Between that and the head-splooshing beating in the beginning of the film (which plays in reverse chronologically), this French film will stay with you long after you hit the stop button; unlike most others on this list, it received legitimate honors in film festivals.

4. Salò, or The 120 Days of Sodom (1975):
Not quite sure where to start with this one, outside of the fact that there’s probably no other film in existence that revels in making its performers eat shit. Literally. A handful of rich, amoral bastards in post-Mussolini 1940s Italy kidnap a bunch of teenagers and subject them to every act of filth-flarn-filth, including rape, eating biscuits filled with nails and getting branded, scalped and forced to eat trays of crap. It’s subtitled, grody, and otherwise pretty lame to sit through. For curious masochists only.

5. The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) (2011): The original Human Centipede was more of an exercise in gross ideas and less in graphic imagery. But when writer/director/clearly normal human being Tom Six was criticized for not having enough gore in it, he said, “Oh yeah, well fuck y’all!” and created a sequel where he went balls-to-the-wall. There’s a lot to pick from in this film, but the scene of the antagonist plucking out a victim’s healthy teeth one by one? I may have actually winced, and I’m an effing statue.

Battle Royale (2000): I’ve always considered Battle Royale the spiritual predecessor to The Hunger Games. Except, the latter book was able to be adapted into a Hollywood film palatable for mainstream audiences, while I can’t see how on earth Battle Royale could work in Hollywood. One of the least gory films on this list, it’s still screwed up by virtue of the fact that it focuses on kidnapped high schoolers violently dispatching one another. Those Japanese, boy…

7. I Spit on Your Grave (original and remake):
These movies are about a woman getting delicious — and very violent — revenge on her attackers. The issue is, her revenge comes after a brutal, unflinching gang rape that the camera almost seems to delight in. After 36 years, it’s still considered incredibly controversial and disturbing, having invited the ire of many well-respected film critics. The original’s creator promises it’s a feminist film, but let’s be honest: most women wouldn’t get anything from watching this movie except justifiably upset. A remake was released in 2010 (which spawned a sequel in 2013), so clearly there’s still an audience for it.

8. Aftermath (1994):
It’s difficult to even categorize this as a movie so much as a perverted man’s idea of art, though some folks are happy to consider it so. Filmed almost entirely in a morgue, the 32-minute flick is disturbing not just for its depiction of autopsies (which basic cable made less taboo a decade ago) but for its unnamed mortician’s masturbation over and sexual defilement of a young lady’s corpse. I suppose there’s some masochistic, perverse gain from watching this once, but I have to wonder about the person who, say, watches it more than once or purchases it on DVD.

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The 8 Most Awesomely Savage Beatings In Film Wed, 29 Feb 2012 15:00:59 +0000 Penn Collins Think this list is dumb? Try sayin' that to ITS FACE!

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I think we can all agree that the best thing about movies is their presentation of consequence-free violence. Since that’s the best aspect of cinema, it stands to reason that the best movies are the ones that contain the most graphic displays of violence. You can try to argue with that logic, but you’ll fail.

I have created a shortlist of the most savage beatings in cinema (not the most violent scenes, per se), thus finally shedding some light on the eight greatest movies of all time.

Here they are.

(Note: I didn’t include clips of these films, because many of them weren’t available, and you should probably see all these movies. They’re pretty interesting, if not good.)


There’s a whole lot of context to the wildly disturbing scene in this wildly disturbing movie that features a rape and beating scene that lasts for minutes with no cutaway, but even in context, this gets my vote for the most disturbing beating in film. The lack of editing here forces you to watch what’s going on, independent of the reactions of characters onscreen. You don’t get to hide from the brutality of it all.

FYI: The film is in French, which might actually be more painful than the violence depicted.

Fight Club

There are two scenes in this film that could easily make this list and one that would be on the fringe. The two that would be shoo-ins would be Tyler’s beating at the hands of Lou, the owner of the bar where Fight Club occurs, and the narrator’s pummeling of Angel, played by Jared Leto. The narrator’s fight with himself was also surprisingly graphic, though it was a little too funny to be savage.

I’m picking the beating of Jared Leto as the most gruesome, due to the length, the static camera, and, most importantly, the sounds. That wet meat sound that is prevalent in the scene adds a very real element that those kung-fu sound effects don’t lend to other scenes.

The Untouchables

If you want your beating to be viewed as “savage” or “violent,” use a baseball bat. Not a tire iron, or a golf club, but a baseball bat. While only two scenes on this list employ baseball bats, many of the also-rans that just missed the cut ratchet up the pain factor with bats. Namely: Casino, Inglorious Basterds, and A Bronx Tale.

The brutality of the scene in The Untouchables is partially a result of the context. Al Capone, played by Robert De Niro, is pacing around a banquet table, lecturing his criminal compatriots. He then proceeds, while all parties are dressed in tuxedos, to beat one of them to death.

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The 9 Most Depressing Movies Of The Past 9 Years Wed, 07 Sep 2011 13:00:47 +0000 Gabriel O'Friday Because you can’t trust someone who is smiling all the time...

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Movies come in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes you’re just in the mood for something with a little more edge than My Big Fa Greek Wedding or Spy Kids 3. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good fairytale ending as much as the next guy. But there are times you just want to sit back with some razor blades and a bottle of cheap whiskey and knock that high-and-mighty self-esteem of yours down a few pegs. After all, you really can’t trust someone who is smiling all the time. It’s science.

So, with that in mind, here are the nine most depressing films of the past nine years.

9. The Dead Girl

A dead body is found in a field one quiet morning, and we are thrust headfirst into the excellent but deeply soul-shattering film, The Dead Girl. This character study examines not only the events leading up to the girl’s death, but how her demise affects the people in her life as well as other people in the community, including the killer himself. The cast is fantastic, and the movie is very well-written and directed. It just leaves you feeling perfectly empty inside. Watching it will make you parents out there give your daughters that extra kiss on the forehead when you tuck them in to bed at night.

8. Antichrist

Start with a child falling out of the window of a building and end with a woman committing such depraved acts of violence against her husband that blood spurts out of his penis, and you’ve got one of the nine most depressing films of the last nine years. Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist is another bizarre accomplishment by the kooky Danish director. It deals with the grieving process, guilt, misogyny, and self-destruction that spins out of control and into full-on horror mode by film’s end. Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg give awesome performances as a couple who retreat to a cabin in the woods as they attempt to recover from the accidental death of their son. What was supposed to consist of a little R&R and some soul-searching instead becomes a living hell of depravity and biblical archetypes. Oh, and there’s a talking fox in it, which isn’t at all depressing, but I simply could not discuss this movie without mentioning that it contains a talking fox.

7. Winter’s Bone

Do you like movies about meth-cooking fathers who abandon their families, leaving them to fend off poverty and the local hillbilly gangsters for themselves? Then Winter’s Bone is the movie for you! As you can probably gather from the above description, this movie is full of sunshine and flowers and hugs. It does not include any scenes of domestic violence, and certainly at no point in the film is the heroine forced to sever the hands of her father’s corpse with a chainsaw. Nope, none of that here. It’s just happy times all around.

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