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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Five Best: Never Have, Never Will

scene from "Audition" courtesy of
Well, Thanksgiving is this week, so I'm making a list of things I'm thankful for. This year, I'm thankful that I have never seen these films. And I never will. These are films that I've read about in my research and sound so absolutely repugnant that I would never be able to bring myself to watch them. Their topics are difficult to swallow and the visuals (from what I read) are just horrific. But, somehow, they became cult films or there is some sub-set of people (and critics) who believe they are good pieces of filmmaking. Who am I to argue? Here they are, in chronological order.

NOTE: If you are at the office, do NOT search for images from these films. Unless you have a parental control on. In which case, you may not get any results anyway.

courtesy of
Sweet Movie (1974)

Tomato-meter Score: 44%

Dusan Makavejev's French film is inter-cut between two stories (random trivia: this is the case because the main actress quit after getting fed up with the degrading plot and story choices). The first is a nearly-mute beauty queen who marries and leaves a business tycoon whose habits included urinating on her, having her beaten, etc. When she runs away to Paris, she meets a Latin singer who she makes love to, gets caught by nuns, and gets stuck that way (I'm not making this up). The second story focuses on a woman who lures men and children to her boat in Amsterdam with candy, only to kill them all. Sound like a lot of fun, right? Well, it didn't stop the Criterion Collection from releasing a version of it.
courtesy of
Salo or 120 Days of Sodom (1979)

Tomato-meter Score: 71%  (seriously)

Pier Paolo Pasolini's revolutionary film is filled with almost nothing but depravity and torture. Taking place in the Italian state of Salo in 1944, four dignitaries gather up some teenagers and just torture them. It's a combination of the stories of Dante and the Marquis de Sade, involving numerous acts of sexual abuse, manipulation and, worst of all, a meal (or two) of feces. Banned in essentially every country, it still somehow manages to survive by gaining enough critical acclaim as an exploitative masterpiece. And, just as with Sweet Movie, the Criterion Collection decided that was enough to include it.
courtesy of
Nekromantik (1987)

Tomato-meter Score: 50% 

Finally, a nice romantic film about a couple named Rob and Betty who share a commons fetish - they enjoy "making love" to dead people. With Rob's job as a coroner of some sort, he has the nice bonus of being able to bring home fresh corpses. Unfortunately, when Rob loses his job, things take a turn to the even more bizarre. There's the obvious necrophilia, which is bad enough. But it also includes some animal killing and sexual violence that doesn't really make me want to rush out and grab the DVD. Maybe I'll wait for the Blu-Ray debut.
courtesy of
Visitor Q (2001)

Tomato-meter Score: 56%

Takashi Miike never really allows his audience to relax...ever...and Visitor Q is like no departure. Actually described as a dark comedy, the story revolves around a man whose family life is, lets say, dysfunctional. He pays to "be with" his estranged prostitute daughter, his wife is beaten by his son, who is also abused on the schoolyard. As fate would have it, a mysterious stranger comes to the family and shows them how to have a much happier existence. Obviously, this has to include incest, murder, necrophilia, and an unsettling amount of breast milk. If I would rather re-watch Ichi the Killer or Audition (also Miike works), it doesn't speak well for the film.
courtesy of
A Serbian Film (2011)

Tomato-meter Score: 41%

This one takes the cake. The film's plot revolves around a retired, down-on-his-luck porn star named Milos who gets a phone call from an old colleague. Struggling to make ends meet, he follows the advice given to him and meets with a dark figure in the pornographic industry, who signs him to a contract which reveals no details of the shooting schedule. From that point on, Milos moves from place to place, being forced to commit incredulous, unbelievable acts of sexual depravity, so much so that I refuse to list them here. Read about it, but have a doggy-bag next to you when you do.

Next week, I'll take a look at movies I have seen that were exceedingly difficult to get through, but would still give them good reviews to this day. For now, I'm going to take a shower.

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