- Casino Royale Review
- Carrie (1976)
- Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)
- Trainspotting (1996)
- Rain Man (1988)
- Fatal Attraction (1987)
- Targets (1968)
- An Education (2009)
- Mirror, The (1974)
- Fargo (1996)
- Fight Club (1999)
- Do The Right Thing (1989)
- Report (1967)
- Is "The Sting" The Best Gambling Film Ever Made?
- Pink Flamingos (1972)
- Ox-Bow Incident, The (1943), Or 28 Angry Men
- Rome, Open City (1945)
- Spring in a Small Town (1948)
- Drive (2011)
- Vinyl (1965)
- Seconds (1966)
- Rosemary's Baby (1968)
- A Hollywood Invasion of Casino Halls
- Thin Man, The (1934)
- In The Heat of the Night (1967)
- All In: The Poker Movie, Player’s Best Tricks
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
- 1001 Club - Skyfall (2012)
- 1001 Club - When Harry Met Sally... (1988)
- 1001 Club - Rain Man (1988)
Indulging the Dark Side
You like slowing down for accidents do you? Well this is a little section I like to call Caution Films. Here you will find the most vile, horrific, tragic and shocking films I've reviewed, all starting with a word of caution. Some are comedies, but most are genuine haunting material that would only appeal to the hard-hearted, malignance-seeking 'bleak film' fans out there. From flicks dealing with issues of graphic rape to docu-dramas about the end of the world, to straight up tragic truths about nations falling apart, crushed by ecological disasters and AIDS, I devote this page to the daring and intrepid dark-seekers, as well as planting a fat red flag for those of you out there who may stumble upon something that you most likely would not want to see. Certainly not party films for the whole family on Christmas.
And hey, I'm macabre enough that I'd be glad to hear your recommendations for more sick-ass films and shows I need to watch. Let me know what else deserves to be here.
Editorials & Insight
Queazy Subjects: Exploring the Darker Side of Film (September 2006)
Film & Television
13 Tzameti (2006) - Such a masterfully crafted film as this is certainly worthy of recommendation, however though it's not gory, the implication of round after round of Russian Roulette might wear you down to a point where enough is enough. This is one of those films where the threat of the moment isn't just with you once, it lingers, and stays and grinds away at you. It's the kind of suspense that makes you queasy. It's that intense.
Cannibal Holocaust (1980) - Its infamy should raise a red flag to you if the title doesn't. Full of real animal killings, brutal rapes, dismemberment and just plain up-close in-your-face torture makes this one that you should go into knowing a lot more about it. You're welcome.
Creepers (1985) - This is one of those movies where you plod along, watching with friends (thank God you expected garbage because you sure as Hell got it), but somewhere along the way this becomes twisted and the end is so gory that I coughed and reeled in revulsion. Never have I seen so grotesque a scene as the one in the climax, and for this reason alone Creepers is worthy of being considered only for the strong-stomached.
Darwin's Nightmare (2004) - We have here a documentary so bleak that you leave wondering why on earth you decided to see this in the first place. Not only is this a true tale of a horrible place that is gasping its last breath, but the documentary itself suggest no solution, presents no good, invites no hope. This film is just the biggest downer you'll ever witness. Not 'First Date' material.
Dead Alive (1992) - This I loved. It's enjoyable because of the sheer amount of gore, which is so copious as might cause one to be creeped out by it. Without even bringing up the undead sex scene, we have these things that, no matter how much you hack away at them, still keep coming after you. The only solution is to turn the house into one huge blender, with our survival-desiring characters literally waist high in blood and gore. It's really, really, gross.
Funny Games (1997) - Not quite torture porn, it's still a story about a couple Austrian kids taking it out on a family up at the cottage. It's intense and I don't think your mother would approve.
Henry: Portrait of A Serial Killer (1990) - not as brutal as some of the films on this list, it is nonetheless realistic and upclose when it comes to senseless murder. Another film you don't want to show you mother, Henry is not a fun little horror film.
Ichi The Killer (2001) - Well, when you have deeply sadomasochistic and graphic killing... with ejaculation to boot, it's not like I have to say anymore than that. Great story, very original and hip, but be warned, it's icky.
Irreversible (2002) - Well. I heard that this was on more than a couple lists of 'most disturbing' films out there. As with Memento, this is told backwards, so we begin with one of the most graphic acts of vindication upon a human being that I've ever seen, and then we learn the reason why, by watching the brutal rape scene that caused all this trouble in the first place. This is not disturbing because of the gore or what 'these poor people must be feeling', it's horrible because you see it up close, it's genuinely terrifying and stomach-turning, and not like a Horror movie, but like a little slice of what you might imagine Hell to be. NOT... FUN. This is my number one pick of movies NOT to show your Mom.
Leaving Las Vegas (1995) - A film whose end is tragic, and the whole time you know it's going to end tragically and tragedy befalls everyone and even the noble dedication these characters have for one another is worn down by their situations. Hard to watch because of some fairly graphic moments and a climax that is so well acted that you can't help but suffer along with them. Harsh.
Meet The Feebles (1989) - I found this gruesome for the simple fact that it has Muppets, child-oriented entertainment, doing the grotesque, graphic, lewd and too adult for anyone in their right mind to enjoy. Not only do we have flies eating feces out of toilets and graphic sexual dialogue, but there's even machine-gun massacres and aardvark ejaculate flying around all over the place. I would just categorize this as 'wrong'.
Men Behind The Sun (1988) - This is torture horror, Japanese on chinese experimentation horror... in the way watching Hitler's doctors test on Jews would be horror. Here's another cautionary tale for you kiddies.
Mondo Cane Collection (1962 - 1971) - Aside from being racist, gory and sensaltionalistic, it's also a completely biassed documentary. On the other hand, the often troubling visuals and themes in Mondo Cane spawned a style all it's own - the shockumentary.
Requiem For A Dream (2000) - The best tragedy I've ever seen. I won't dare give away the ending but the climax has a most controversial montage of scenes that only those who need to learn a hard lesson and can take it in all its brutality should experience. This is also my favorite film however, and because of those tragic elements. Ultimately the reason this is so difficult to watch is because the moments of agony are so pure and unrelenting.
Ricky-Oh: The Story Of Ricky (1991) - Another fun one, it's here because the scenes are so graphic-smash-up-latex-agony that it's a little much sometimes, watching holes punched through people, or arms shattered to bits zoomed-in, up-close and in your face. It's like sitting in the front row of a GWAR concert, getting soaked with spew. It doesn't take itself seriously though, so as it was with Dead Alive, the caution simply goes out because it's so over-gross all the time.
Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975) - Originally written by the Marquis de Sade, Pasolini's film goes into the darkness of humanity. From kidnappings of pubescent children to their debasement in manners, physical, sexual and mental, as this story progresses, the hits easily begin to wear one down. Don't watch this if poo makes you queezy.
Titus (1999) - William Shakespeare's play with the highest bodycount, the darkest humour and the most twisted rape and torture is not for the faint of heart. Add Anthony Hopkins' brilliant performance and Julie Taymor's beautiful direction, it's actually also one of my Top Rated films.
Threads (1984) - A friend of mine literally left the house running away about half way through, this is was so icky. Another told me months later after I lent it to him that it was the most disturbing thing they've ever witnessed. What makes it so troubling is that there's no great amounts of gore, no terribly graphic moments of death and mayhem, it's just... realistic. Not only does it ask the question "what would happen if there was global nuclear war?" but also, "Yeah? What about the survivors 10 years later?" The answer is 'Not well to say the least'. Designed as a bleak warning for those who need to know, this docu-drama does not pull any punches. It's effin' depressing.
"Wonder Showzen" Seasons 1 & 2 (2005) - Like Meet The Feebles in many ways, this is far more "Polka Dot Door" too. It's set up like a children's learning show with puppets and tours through factories, but the puppets have sex, murder each other and bleed, and the factory tours are of slaughterhouses. The witty repartée is racist, sexist and all too truth-telling. If your kids watched this they'd think the world was a horrible place, which it is, but we can't tell them that, or they'll grow up using an AK-47 as a pillow... like I do.