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20 Most Fucked Up Movies of All Time

June 24, 2017
16 min read

“How do you classify what’s a fucked up movie?” You might ask. Does “fucked up” mean bad? The answer is NO (though, a fucked up movie can be bad too). A fucked up movie is one that’s so weird and wild that you can’t wrap your head around it. It could be offensive. It could be outrageous. Basically, a film that is so outlandish that you wonder what was the purpose behind making it. In a few cases, you do realize the purpose — sometimes, in order to affect people you have to startle them. But in most of the cases, you can’t fathom any sensible reason around it. Probably, for a majority of these films, there is no reason to exist except to provide sadistic pleasure to people. Having said that, there are a couple of films among the ones mentioned below that are actually good. Here’s the list of the most fucked up movies of all time. You can watch several of these most fucked up movies on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.

20. Climax (2018)

Gaspar Noe is one of the most exciting filmmakers working in cinema today. And with ‘Climax’, he continues to push the boundaries of the art form in a way very few filmmakers would dare to. The film is about a group of dancers who party in an isolated building, late in the night. Tension soon rises when they find out that their sangria is spiked with LSD. Members of the troupe begin to blame each other and they torture one of the women who’s pregnant. The film was criticized for its lack of story-line and its explicit depiction of violence. But in general, it received favorable reviews for its ambition and inventiveness. Noe asked the actors to improvise the lines and did not give them a script. So almost the entire events of the film happened spontaneously, which makes for a very unique cinematic experience. What I loved the most about the film is its unconventionality. It’s a film that clearly refuses to abide by the rules, as Noe tries to push the scope of cinema beyond plot, story-line and characters.

Now, coming to the fucked up part of the film. One could argue that the violence depicted in the film lacks any strong thematic or philosophical depth. While I myself still struggle to process the meaning behind the film, I do think it’s an exploration of the animalistic nature that lies underneath the seemingly normal, civilized demeanor of human beings. Noe puts his characters in a truly horrifying situation where their vulnerabilities are brutally exposed and soon, they turn into the most frightening creatures. ‘Climax’ is still not on the level of Noe’s greatest works but nevertheless, it’s an exciting film that deserves to be seen for its raw ambition.

19. Audition (1999)

Takashi Miike’s 1999 cult classic horror is the epitome of a fucked up movie. It tells the story of a widowed filmmaker who decides to start dating and, along with his friend, sets up a fake audition to meet new women. While going through the applications of young actresses, he comes across a woman for whom he falls instantly. When she auditions for the part, he instantly selects him and later, when they go out for dinner, he tells her that the film won’t happen. However, they develop a relationship over time and the man’s feelings soon intensify. But as things progress, certain disturbing truths about the woman are revealed, and he realizes that there’s more to her than her seemingly deceptive, innocent demeanor.

Towards the end, the film drastically shifts the tone and we soon find out that the woman is mentally disturbed due to certain past incidents. In the film’s famous ending scene, she tortures the man using needles and cuts off his left foot using a wire saw. It is, without a doubt, one of the most shocking moments in cinema. The film has this deceptive quality wherein it lures you into its seemingly warm, tranquil atmosphere in the first half, which soon takes a shocking turn as the story progresses. There are elements of surrealism and dream that elevate the film’s experiential quality. While I’m yet to process my thoughts on the ending, I must say that ‘Audition’ is one of the most unique cinematic experiences I’ve ever had.

18. The Skin I Live In (2011)

The Skin I Live In

In honor of his late wife who died in a flaming car accident, a scientist tries to synthesize the perfect skin which can withstand burns, cuts or any other kind of damage. As he gets closer to perfecting this skin on his flawless patient, the scientific community starts growing skeptical and his past is revealed that shows how his patient is closely linked to tragic events he would like to forget. It is not a difficult film to watch but it does certainly leave you feeling disturbed.

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17. I Spit on Your Grave (2010)

I Spit on Your Grave

A woman seeking revenge on her assaulters seems like a pretty straightforward plot — which it is — but it is the manner in which she takes her revenge is what is going to disturb you. The fact that she herself was so brutally assaulted gives you a moral thread that you can hang on to, but let me be honest: that’s not going to be of much help.

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16. Inside (2007)

Inside

Four months after the death of her husband, a woman on the brink of motherhood is tormented in her home by a strange woman who wants her unborn baby. It falls into the horror genre and of course, there’s a lot of gore involved, but what makes it disturbing is the idea that a woman can go so far in her quest of revenge. One of the scariest films on the list.

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15. Funny Games (2007)

Funny Games US

Two psychopathic young men take a family hostage in their cabin.. A sadistic game of cruelty starts with the bet that the captives will not be able to sustain by next morning. You keep watching the movie with the hope that eventually someone will escape their murderous intentions. Alas ! With a wink, they drown the last of their captives and again start looking for their next target. Don’t be surprised if you feel very angry after watching this film.

Acclaimed Austrian auteur Michael Haneke tries to explore the psychology of the viewers with this film. Years and years of consumption of Hollywood psychological thrillers has desensitized us to violence. We do not care about the story, we do not care about the situation. We just want bad things happening to the characters and in the end, we want them to survive the ordeal. What Haneke does here is, he comes up with a mockery of a plot: the kind that we’re used to seeing in countless American thrillers. And if taken purely on face value, then this film will only end up infuriating you. But ‘Funny Games’ works brilliantly as a satire on the depiction of violence in cinema. What’s more important here is the statement that Haneke tries to make.

Right till the end, we hope for some sort of weird, implausible twist that would save the family members from these brutal psychopaths. And Haneke plays with that idea. There’s a scene where the woman shoots one of the villains, but soon, the other guy, infuriated, picks up a remote and rewinds the scene back to the one where she picks up the gun, and manages to stop her. It’s a brilliant moment in the film that reveals a lot about us as an audience. ‘Funny Games’ is definitely not a film to be loved, but it’s one that must be watched to reflect on our role as an audience and what we want from a film experience.

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14. Martyrs (2008)

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A young woman’s quest for revenge against the people who kidnapped and tormented her as a child leads her and a friend, who is also a victim of child abuse, on a terrifying journey into a living hell of depravity. There’s no question that ‘Martyrs’ is a brutally disturbing film to watch, but was it a necessary film to make? One can argue either ways, considering that the film can also be looked as a study of a psychologically damaged girl. It is arguably one of the most divisive movies ever made. Upon its release, ‘Martyrs’ was loved and loathed in equal measure. Some critics dismissed the film as torture porn while some of them considered it as a genuinely scary horror movie with underlying philosophical and thematic depth. It is a truly difficult film to watch and there are moments where you feel you should walk out, but it pulls you back with it raw atmospheric power.

However, there are genuine issues with the film. The first half is, without a doubt, its strongest, as the film brilliantly establishes its characters and explores their trauma on a deeply emotional level. But after the entry of the members of the secret philosophical society, it takes a rather bizarre turn. It’s a lazy twist, in my opinion, and doesn’t really fit within the overall surreal, nightmarish tone of the film. Post the revelation, we witness the gruesome torture of Anna, the protagonist’s friend. She is brutally slapped, kicked and knocked off unconscious on a daily basis, to the point where she hardly tries to resist. And towards the end, she is flayed alive by one of the members. It has to be one of the most psychologically damaging scenes I’ve seen in cinema, although the process actually happens off-screen. You might be repelled by the film or find it painfully self-indulgent, but ‘Martyrs’ is a film that deserves to be seen for its visual boldness and thematic ambitions.

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13. Antichrist (2009)

Antichrist

A grieving couple retreat to their cabin in the woods, hoping to repair their broken hearts and troubled marriage. But nature takes its course and things go from bad to worse. When a genius like Lars von Trier — who I’m a big fan of — makes such a disturbing film, you do try to convince yourself that there must be something in it. And even though it is not a bad film, there isn’t much to hang on to either.

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12. A Serbian Film (2010)

A Serbian Film

An aging porn star agrees to participate in an “art film” in order to make a clean break from the business, only to discover that he has been drafted into making a pedophilia and necrophilia themed snuff film. I don’t think any film can be more disturbing that this one. It’s just sadistic on every level you can imagine. It is one film I’ll never recommend to anyone. Not even my enemies.

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11. Moebius (2013)

A story of incest, adultery and involving scenes of castration, ‘Moebius’ is the ultimate revenge flick. A mother who is rather troubled by her husband’s affair is headed to castrate him, only to castrate her son instead and ends up eating his phallus. The ridiculous events that follow involve the father looking for increasing his son’s libido without the organ, while the wife-mother roams the streets. ‘Moebius’ will keep you wondering why it was even made.

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10. Aftermath (1994)

‘Aftermath’ is directed by Spanish filmmaker, Nacho Cerda. He is known for his Trilogy of Death, which started with ‘Awakening’ in 1990 about a boy who experiences an out-of-body phenomenon. This was followed by the controversial ‘Aftermath’, which featured the most horrific depiction of necrophilia. Most people consider death to be the end of the journey, and believe that the body is laid to rest while the spirit faces the consequences. Cerda destroys this very thought, and if death wasn’t scary enough, he frightens you with the horrific afterlife.

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9. Oldboy (2003)

lee-woo-jin-oldboyThis 2004 classic has everything thrown in: brutal gut wrenching violence and gore, protagonist at unease, a shady antagonist, and incest. Watching this movie for the first time will certainly blow your minds, and you’d probably feel disgusted for sometime. I did. But its cult status can’t be denied. It is horrifying, yet mesmerizing, and has inspired two remakes.

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8. Irreversible (2002)

irreversible-monica-bellucci-horror-drama-film-movie-review

Events over the course of one traumatic night in Paris unfold in reverse-chronological order as the beautiful Alex is brutally raped and beaten by a stranger in the underpass. Her boyfriend and ex-lover take matters into their own hands by hiring two criminals to help them find the rapist so that they can exact revenge. I know it is a very disturbing film, but at the same time I think it has a clear message in it. A simultaneously beautiful and terrible examination of the destructive nature of cause and effect, ‘Irreversible’ is a film that shows how cruel time can be.

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7. Philosophy Of A Knife (2008)

If you’re looking for serious input on the horrific war crimes committed by the Japanese Unit 731, then this movie is not for you, despite proclaiming itself as a documentary. But if you savor yourself disgusting visuals of the torture and assault the victims had to go through, then ‘Philosophy of a Knife’ is the perfect film. Shot in black and white, this 4 hour-feature is reminiscent of cheap propaganda videos you may find on YouTube but what sets it apart is its palpable visuals of human experimentation.

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6. Ichi The Killer (2001)

Adapted from the manga of the same name, this movie is based on a psychologically damaged man named Ichi, who ends up slaughtering the Yakuza. ‘Ichi The Killer’ is arguably the best torture porn movie from this century and gets overshadowed by ‘Saw’ and ‘Hostel’ despite making hell-worthy statements in the first feature itself, that led to it being banned in several countries. The movie, despite its excessive use of gore, works as a very twisted dark comedy with buckets of sadism and quirkiness. The complex, unique characters make the film truly intriguing. A must watch for fans of provocative cinema!

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5. I Spit On Your Grave (1978)

‘I Spit On Your Grave’ is a rare exploitation movie that has spawned sequels and a series now, which started with the remake in 2010. The series of films revolve around rape victims that exact revenge on their assailants and in the process flashing ridiculous amount of violence. The movies are a sorry excuse for portraying the atrocities a victim goes through as it indulges so much in violence it forgets to convey its message and feels like a shallow inspiration of Wes Craven’s ‘Last House on the Left’. Nonetheless, the revenge flicks might still interest fans of provocative movies.

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4. Salo or 120 Days of Sodom (1975)

Pier Paolo Pasolini was one of the most controversial figures in Italy before he was brutally murdered. This film, his controversial masterpiece, is a horrific satire on the Fascist regime of Italy, and was despised by people who were too delusional to accept the truth; a very common trait found in European societies of that time. Though ‘Salo’ isn’t very gory, it is extremely effective at harnessing the true impact of whatever gore it presents. It’s not torture porn at all; that phrase devaluates the film’s exploitative greatness, as it adopts realism to paint a nauseating and socially depraved masterpiece.

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3. Braindead (1992)

Peter Jackson is famous among mainstream audiences for his adaptation of J.R.R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. But what many aren’t aware of is, Jackson started his career with horror comedies and ‘Braindead’ is one of them. It’s a slapstick splatter movie and it is nothing short of a gore carnival. Roger Ebert called it one of the most disgusting movies he had ever seen, and I would agree with him because despite being humorous, you can’t help but wince at the red that covers every frame. What makes ‘Braindead’ so effective is the terrific practical effects, that are still widely appreciated. It’s an incredible film that gives you insights into Jackson’s early style of filmmaking.

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2. Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

‘Cannibal Holocaust’. The fact that this movie remains banned after 37 years of its release in some countries, and is only available in a heavily cut version talks a lot about this “video nasty”. If ‘Blood Feast’ gave birth to torture porn, then ‘Cannibal Holocaust’ pushed the genre to an age of adolescence. It transformed from primitive splatter to something so realistic and disgusting, many hardcore fans couldn’t stomach the changes. Apart from being a landmark in torture porn, the film also revolutionized the found footage style, as it follows a missing documentary crew who had gone to the Amazon rainforests to film cannibal tribes.

Though the director, Rogero Deodato was cleared of manslaughter accusations after rumors that the actors were sexually assaulted and killed during the process, he was still condemned over the depiction of real violence towards animals which is horrid enough to make you puke in your popcorn.

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1. The Human Centipede (2009)

human centipede

A mad scientist kidnaps and mutilates a trio of tourists in order to reassemble them into a human centipede, created by stitching their mouths to each others’ rectums. Let me just confess out-front: I couldn’t bear the film for more than ten minutes. Not because it is disgusting, but more so because it is a horrible movie. And yet, I’m mentioning this movie only because I know this is possibly one of the most disturbing — even if bad — movies ever made.

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