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Ten Disturbing Scenes that will Turn Your Stomach
Written By Greg Roberts

Ever watch a movie and have that one scene that is so shocking, so unsettling, so disturbing, that you have to give yourself a minute just to take a breath and gather yourself again before you continue with the screening? Films today try harder and harder to push the envelope in an attempt to give us these scenes that will make us squirm, shift and generally feel uncomfortable in our seats.

This week, the staff at Killer Reviews got together and began amassing our list of the most disturbing scenes ever put on film. By the end of the day, we managed to whittle our list down to a Top 10. The process meant delving deep into the bowels of hell (well, Netflix and Ebay) to secure copies of films, some of which are still banned in many countries to this day.

And as we watched film after film/scene after scene of some of the most raunchy and violent films that the world has to offer, one thing became crystal clear – nothing is more disturbing that an mix of violence and nudity clashing on screen at the same time. Because watching a man get stabbed in the chest will have less of a chance in eliciting a stomach turning reaction than the same man getting stabbed in the groin.

In amassing our list, we also spent great lengths discussing the era to which a movie was released. After all, a film like A Clockwork Orange seems tame when compared to the gore porn which is now circulating in today’s unrated world. That didn’t have us exclude any title, but it sure made the conversation more colorful.

So, just what are the most disturbing scenes of the last 25 years not including Kathy Bates nude hot tub scene in About Schmidt? Our list starts here:

10. Bit the Curb scene – American History X (1998)

Ed Norton was not yet a household name when he took the role as a young Neo Nazi in this black and white, gritty masterpiece. We watch is complete awe as Danny Vinyard reveals his hatred and propensity to violence towards other races and religions and Ed Norton brings the character to terrifying life.

But it was the scene where Danny takes his version of justice out on the city streets that had us squirming in our theatre seats. As Danny gets a weaker combatant to ‘bite the curb’ and proceeds to stomp on the back of his head, we witness one of the more gruesome and shocking scenes to be shown in mainstream American theatres for years. The sound alone of the teeth hitting concrete made us wiggle uncomfortably and put down our popcorn so that we could collect ourselves. The scene left an indelible mark in our memories and clearly belongs on our list.

9. Castration Scene – Hard Candy (2005)

Before Ellen Page went all Juno on us, she starred in this low budget thriller about a young girl extracting vengeance on a suspected neighborhood pedophile. And the scene we picked to be the most shocking is one that really doesn’t show us much at all.

After gaining the upper hand on the stronger adult, Hayley Stark (Page) has Jeff (Patrick Wilson) tied down and vulnerable to her imagination. This imagination comes in the form of a homemade castration which includes a knife and a bag of ice and a lot of crossed legs by male viewers.

You may not get to see that actual ‘procedure’ but that didn’t make us shift any less while sweating in disgust. It was a hard sit through and goes a long way to prove that you don’t need to show the violence on screen to make the audience experience it along with the victim.

8. Wire Cuts Off Foot – Audition (1999)

Shock master, director Takashi Miike brought us this foreign language gem – the story of an innocent young girl who is duped into thinking she is auditioning for a film role, when she is really being interviewed as a potential date for widower Aoyame (Ryo Ishibashi).

As it turns out, Asami (Eihi Shilna) is anything but an innocent victim. After debilitating Aoyame, Asami then pulls out piano wire and begins to cut through the foot – slowly and painfully. The scene is nightmarish. Throw in some additional torture to eyelids and tongues and you have an ending to a movie that will have you stepping out for a breath of fresh air before continuing on with your evening.

7. Breast Milk Scene - Visitor Q (2001)

No surprise here that Takashi Miike hits our list twice. This is the same sick and twisted mind that used sperm for the opening credits of Ichi The Killer.

This time, he makes our list with the very strange and awkward tale about a man who sets out to make a documentary about sex and violence only to travel down the rabbit hole himself. Visitor Q has plenty of sex, violence and degradation for five films and will have a few scenes that you won’t likely forget.

In the final chapters of the movie, our protagonist has sex with a dead girl only to get his penis stuck in the constricting muscles of the deceased. While he struggles to free himself, his wife is in the kitchen spraying her breast milk on a stranger who uses an umbrella while watching her work her nipples.

As both of these occurrences happen at the same time, the audience is thrust into a roller coaster of disgust that takes us back and forth between two unsettling scenes. This is not one of Miike’s best films, but it is arguably one of his most disturbing.

6. Rape Scene – Irreversible (2002)

Gaspar Noé shocked and infuriated audiences with this backwards told story about a woman who is raped and the man who tries to find out who was responsible.

Monica Bellucci plays the victimized woman while Vincent Cassel plays the man hell-bent on vengeance.

When Alex (Bellucci) is accosted in an underground passageway, audiences were witness to one of the most realistic and invariably unnerving rape scenes ever put on film. The rape scene goes on for what seems like hours and we watch helplessly as Alex is threatened, beaten and violated. We had to watch the special features just to convince ourselves that it was all just great acting. This is as distressing as it gets and makes Irreversible one of the worst date movies of all time.

5. Rape Scene – The Last House on the Left (1972)

The only reason why this rape scene is ranked above that of the disturbing Irreversible is because of the year to which The Last House on the Left was released.

In 1972, it was less common to see such violence, torture and rape on screen. Sure, it had been done before, but not as much in films that were targeted for American audiences. This was before the NC-17 rating system - this was before gore-porn became a hot DVD seller.

While the kidnapping gang force two girls into unspeakable acts, we cringed back in 1972. One of the girls is forced to pee her pants and the girls are beaten and raped. It was a strong statement by young filmmaker Wes Craven and The Last House on the Left is still banned in many countries today. However, don’t let the year fool you. If the scene does not disturb you, then seek professional help. Fast!

4. Turtle Torture – Cannibal Holocaust

Cannibal Holocaust had plenty of disturbing scenes for us to debate. The native skewered on a spike, the rape scene(s) and even the penis chop all got good consideration. But in the end, we went with the killing of the turtle as our ultimate choice.

Maybe it was the fact that we were aware that it was an actual turtle that suffered the torture during the shoot. This was long before the trademarked ‘No animals were harmed during the filming of this movie’ and director Ruggero Deodato has admitted that he went too far and wished he hadn’t filmed the scene.

Anyone outside of Michael Vick will probably be repulsed by what a film crew and a bunch of actors did to a helpless animal for the purposes of ‘entertainment’. But there is no denying the emotional impact the scene had with audiences and clearly, it belongs on our list.

3. Two Girls Get Raped – Baise Moi (2000)

As we got to the Top 3, we reflected on all the scenes that didn’t make our top 10. There were a few from the Saw franchise, a scene from A Clockwork Orange and even Rob Zombie and the dentist scene from Marathon Man were considered. All were worthy, but we were in the top three now, so it was time to get serious.

At number three we picked yet another rape scene from another French entry – Baise Moi. The film is a French Thelma & Louise: NC-17 style. When two women are raped, their hatred for men puts them on a road trip of violence where their reign of terror back to the male species is explored in graphic fasion. One poor sap even gets a gun shoved up his ass before discharge! The rape scene appears early in the film and includes actual penetration (thus the NC-17 rating). Whether it was necessary to show the rapes as graphic and as detailed or not is arguable. What it does do however, is it sets the viewer up for a rough and unnerving 77 minutes of explicit sex and violence.

2. Clit Cut-Off – AntiChrist (2009)

It showed at Cannes. It showed at the Toronto International Film Festival. And in both cuts, there was a scene of self mutilation that cleared out a few paying customers who were not ready to handle what they were viewing on screen.

Now, to be fair, there are two scenes of torture to genitalia in AntiChrist. The first one has poor Willem Dafoe getting his erect penis smashed by a log only to be jerked off to a bloody orgasm.

But that event can’t hold a candle to the scene where Charolette Gainsborough takes a pair of scissors to her own private part and cuts off her clitoris. Ouch!

Even if you closed your eyes, the snipping sound will send shivers up your spine. And those of us that were brave enough to endure the visual onslaught watched as the blood began to ooze and the audience began to become restless in their seats.

AnitChist may never be considered a classic. But it will be renowned for this graphic moment. One which muted my sex life for weeks after the screening.

1. Shit Eating Scene – Salo (1975)

To say that our pick for the number one most disgusting and disturbing scene was easy might come as a surprise. That is, unless you have seen the Italian film Salo (or 120 Days of Sodom).

This film really has no redeeming qualities and is just filled with WTF moments of torture, sex, violence and moments of pure grossness.

Actors are peed on. Teenagers are forced to have sex with each other. Actors take shits on camera and in one unbelievable scene, one young man is jerked off while his master is enjoying watching another young boy’s tongue be cut off.

This film is the pinnacle of violence, sex and torture and it was hard to pick just one scene as the entire movie made us feel uncomfortable.

However, it was the scene where plates of shit are given to the dinner table that got us up from our chair during our viewing to catch a breath. It was as disgusting as it gets. As we watched the actors smile with shit stuck to their teeth, we were assured that we were viewing one of the most disgusting moments ever captured on film.

We can revisit this topic 20 years from now and this film will still rank as #1. If you haven’t seen it and are somehow coaxed into finding a copy - be warned.

But if you are adventurous, seek it out and just make sure that you are alone and without company. That way, no one can judge you for your selection.

 
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Release Date: August 14, 2012
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