Blurring the lines between reality and fiction is what I truly love about horror; being able to trick your mind into believing what’s happening onscreen may be really happening somewhere and that, in turn, it could someday be happening to you. This is real deviance. Most people go to movies to escape from their lives, their fears and the potential for danger. Accepting these things and embracing them as a means of entertainment is why I’m a Deviant.
Here are a couple of films that blur the line between what’s real and what’s fake and they represent the films that molded me and the shit I’ll challenge people to watch when I need to see what they’re capable of stomaching.
Salo, or The 120 Days of Sodom (1976)
Salo has stayed with me unlike almost any other film that I’ve experienced in my lifetime. Perhaps it was because I was only able to read about the atrocities featured onscreen until the mid-2000s, when Criterion FINALLY re-released it. Even after all of that reading, I still wasn’t prepared for what lay in store for me. IMDb gives the brief and not at all preparatory description of, “Four fascist libertines round up 9 teenage boys and girls and subject them to 120 days of physical, mental and sexual torture. “ Sounds like a real hoot, right? The film starts out slow and the kids are first subjected to mental torture, then the sexual torture and, finally, the physical torture. Just to give you a small taste (pun definitely intended) of some of the ‘shit’ the teens have to endure, I’ll say that during the entire movie the four men are collecting all of their excrement and the teens are forced to eat it during one of the worst dinner scenes in the history of cinema. The film was so shocking on its initial release that it’s believed that the director’s, Pier Paolo Pasolini, death two days after was a direct result. It’s long, it’s subtitled and it’s not for the even remotely squeamish, but as one of the filthiest things to ever be imprinted onto celluloid, it needs to be featured this week.
Guinea Pig (1985)
While the original Guinea Pig has some pretty squirm-inducing elements, it feels fragmented. It starts randomly in the beginning of some weird torture session. It also feels a bit fake. Sure, for the random novice viewer, this film could be a bit much to take in, but for any deviant worth his weight in gore, the fakeness is a bit too much to really give a damn about. We’re not here so much for this film, though so much as we’re here for the domino effect that it started. Because this film spawned an awe-inspiring SIX SEQUELS! Each one gets gorier, more realistic and more fucked up.
Guinea Pig 2: Flowers of Flesh and Blood (1985)
The ante is fucking upped – BIG time. This time the film at least starts out with an abduction to give us some back story. Also, the effects and gore are so much better and more stomach-churning. This time around they give their victim a drug that basically makes her not feel any of the shit that they’re doing to her. The shit that they do, though, is so fucked up. The moment when they cut into her arm and have to chisel her shoulder bone apart is what really sells me. That part kills me and it’s not even the worst part. Watch if you dare. It’s not for everyone. The only thing I don’t understand in this one is how she doesn’t die from sheer lack of blood. Supposedly Charlie Sheen got a hold of this film, watched it and then notified the FBI that he was in possession of a legitimate snuff film. Fuckin’ Charlie Sheen. What an idiot.
If you just feel the need for completion, here are the rest of the series for your enjoyment! It gets a lot more silly though.
Guinea Pig 3: He Never Dies
Guinea Pig 4
Guinea Pig 5
Guinea Pig 6
Deviant week has so much more in store. Enjoy!
Matt, Signing Out