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Ten of the most shocking movies ever made

By Laura Davis and Matilda Battersby

Published 22/09/2012

<b>Compliance (2012)</b><br/>
Allegedly based on
Compliance (2012)
Allegedly based on "true events" this thriller is a tale sexual humiliation, emotional manipulation and psychological torture. You'll be revolted and compelled as you watch gullible restaurant manager Sandra (Ann Dowd) scammed into participating in a chilling crime.
Crash (1996)
David Cronenberg's disturbing film about a group of people who find car crashes and resulting injuries erotic, was so outrageous it was temporarily banned from being shown in the West End of London. The controversial film based on JG Ballard's novel includes sex scene involving a woman wearing callipers and another where a man forces his wife's car off the road and then has sex with her after she is thrown from the car.
120 Days of Sodom (1975)
Also known as Salò, this film is based on the book by Marquis de Sade which he wrote while imprisoned in the Bastille in 1785. Sade was incarcerated in prison and in an insane asylum for nearly half his life. In Pasolini's film, four men of power in Italy: the Duke, the Bishop, the Magistrate and the President, collect a group of teenagers, and subject them to 120 days of torture. Graphically violent, the film was, and is still, banned in several countries for its depiction of sexual torture - particularly to children, as they are raped, mutilated and forced to eat faeces. Despite all of this - the film still excludes some of the horrors of the book - it's no wonder why the word Sadism was derived from Marquis de Sade's name.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Adapted from Anthony Burgess's best-selling novel, A Clockwork Orange tells the story of Alex and his gang of violent 'droogs' who kill tramps and rape women. The film is infamous for the copycat behaviour it inspired - which many thought to be the reason that director Stanley Kubrick withdrew the film in the UK. After his death, his wife Christiane revealed that the actual reason he had the film banned was on the advice of the police after severe threats were made to him and his family.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Five friends go to visit their Grandfather's grave after hearing it was vandalised, and pick up a hitchhiker on the way. After the hitchhiker takes a knife and slashes himself and one of the boys, they promptly get rid of him but have to stop for gas at a small sinister looking place which unbeknown to them, is the home of the chainsaw wielding Leatherface. The film was loosely inspired by real-life murderer Ed Gein who wore human skin, but didn't use a chainsaw.
The Exorcist (1973)
One of the most controversial horror films of all time tells the story of a 12 year-old girl possessed by a demonic force and the two priests who try and save her soul. The film received critical acclaim when it was nominated for 10 Oscars, and won 2 for Best Sound and Best Writing. But filming was plagued by disaster and William Friedkin's movie has legendary status as one of the most cursed films to have been made
Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse (1933)
The Testament of Dr. Mabuse follows Berlin police inspector Lohmann investigating a case in which all clues lead to a man, Dr Mabuse, who has been in an insane asylum for years. With the rise of Hitler, Goebbels became head of the Ministry of Propaganda and banned the film in Germany, suggesting that the film would undercut the audience's confidence in its political leaders. Goebbels called the film a menace to public health and safety and stated that he would not accept the film as it 'showed that an extremely dedicated group of people are perfectly capable of overthrowing any state with violence'. Despite Goebbels saying he was 'struck by the dullness of its portrayal, the coarseness of its construction, and the inadequacy of its acting' he still organised private viewings for his friends, and the director, Fritz Lang, later claimed that Goebbels asked him to work for him in order to create films for the Nazis (although there is no evidence to support this).
Straw Dogs (1971)
Dustin Hoffman stars as a Mathematician who experiences some harassment from local men, who go on to rape his wife Amy, leading him to respond with a violent attack. The initial rape scene was criticised, as Amy begins to find it pleasurable due to a sexual history with the rapist. Feminist cinema critics accused director Peckinpah of glamorizing rape and the BBFC asked for cuts to the scene, but the film was finally passed fully uncut for DVD in September 2002. Released in the same year as A Clockwork Orange, The French Connection, and Dirty Harry, the film sparked heated controversy over the increase of violence in cinema.
A Serbian Film (2010)
A Serbian Film is about retired porn star Milos (Srdjan Todorovic), a middle-aged man struggling to provide for his family who is lured back into the industry for one last film. He has been offered enough money to set him up for life but, in return, has signed a Faustian pact with the director Vukmir (Sergej Trifunovic). Milos will have no control over the scenes in which he appears. The most notorious scenes are the rape of the new-born baby, and the one in which the star decapitates a woman and continues to have sex with her headless torso.
I Spit on Your Grave (1978)
Also known as Day of the Woman, this is the story of a woman who retreats out of New York to write her first novel, and is captured by a group of local men, in order for one of them to lose their virginity. The four men gang-rape her, destroy her novel and leave one to murder her - but he cannot go through with it. After her recovery, she then plots to take her revenge each of them, violently murdering each them all. The controversy is linked to the lengthy and graphic gang-rape scene which has been described as glorifying violence against women. The writer and director, Meir Zarchi, responded to such criticisms by explaining how he was inspired to make the film after he helped a young woman after finding her bloodied and naked in New York after she had been raped - denying that the film was too exploitative.

Every year a film is branded "the most shocking ever made". The impulse to scare cinema-goers witless, or have them grow blue in the face with embarrassment and shame, is evidently a lucrative one for filmmakers.

With Compliance hailed as the latest shocker, called everything from misogynistic to disturbing, and causing no fewer than eight people at its Sundance premiere to walk out, we've decided to look at other films that have created a similar stir.

Belfast Telegraph

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