Posts filed under 'Film'

The 25 most controversial movies ever? I don’t think so

Entertainment weekly have a list of the 25 most controversial films of all time, although it’s a fairly well chosen collection it does have some notable omissions.

Firstly, however, I’ll look at some of the films listed, if I’ve seen them.

Number 24: Caligula

Call me strange, but I actually like this film. Ok, Tino Brass’s original vision was, how shall we say, augmented by Bob Guccioni (publisher of Penthouse); but beyond the hardcore there is a visual treat to behold, with some reasonable performances. Peter O’Toole, however, was visibly drunk for most of his scenes, which somehow doesn’t detract from them that much.

Number 21: Bonnie and Clyde

Oddly enough, Entertainment Weekly didn’t mention that this was the first mainstream American film which hinted at cunnilingus, surely more controversial than silly amounts of violence.

Number 19: Basic Instinct

Ok, it’s obvious why it’s controversial; but beyond the violence, fast cars and Sharon Stone’s minge, there is actually an above average thriller on show. It boasts fantastic cinematography, good performances and Paul Verhoeven has yet to make a bad film in my opinion. Avoid the sequel though.

Number 17: Freaks

I love this film, it still sets a benchmark for creepiness. In these days of multi-million dollar effects budgets, you never forget that in Freaks those are real pinheads, and Johnny Eck really did stop above the waist. Everyone should see this film at least once.

Number 9: Last Tango in Paris

Sure, the sight of Marlon Brando in that “I bet she can’t tell Stork from butter” scene leaves you with more questions than answers. Was it a thinly-veiled allusion to homosexuality? In any case, any Bertolucci film is worth viewing.

Number 1: The Passion of the Christ

I have a confession, I haven’t actually seen this film. Nor do I intend to. However, after seeing this version, I do think it’s actually pretty good comedy.

Now, onto those films that I think should have been on the list:

Un chien andalou

Eye-slitting, priests turning into rotting donkeys, riots at the first screening. Sure sounds controversial to me. I’m still waiting for a decent version to be put onto DVD.

Salo, the 120 Days of Sodom

This is the only film that made me feel physically sick, and I speak as a man who paid to watch Police Academy 6. Pasolini was clearly off his rocker when he made this, yet it still is an incredibly powerful piece of cinema, you come away felling nothing but despair for the human condition. This is not Harry Potter.


Brain-destroying camera work, a twenty minute anal rape scene, a man getting his face caved in with a fire extinguisher. This still is not Harry Potter.

I know that it’s a function of these ‘top x’ lists to cause arguments amongst readers about what should and shouldn’t be on them, but missing out Salo is pretty poor.

And I actually like the Harry Potter films.

June 14th, 2006


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