Now I have to warn you, this post is not for the easily offended. There are some pictures and general content regarding the film in question that will probably make you sick so be warned!
Now, it's been a hell of a long time since I posted on here, I have been spending lots of time on my Youtube page, got about 60 videos up and finally starting to get subscribers and views so please go check that out. For this post I thought I would come back with a bang! Over the past few weeks I have started to look back and watch some of the greatest gems in movie history. No, I'm not talking blockbusters, I am talking about the exploitation films of the past. Bruno Mattei's masterpiece Hell Of The Living Dead, Zombie Flesh Eaters trilogy, Shivers, Nightmares In A Damaged Brain and lots of other great video nasties. The latest film is one I got turned onto by watching the review from the Cinema Snob.
The film in question is called Salò or 120 Days Of Sodom from 1975 from the director Pier Paolo Pasolini. The film is based on a book called 120 Days Of Sodom by Marquis de Sade. For all the info check out the wikipedia page for more information because it would be one boring post me telling you every detail. The film is basically about 4 wealthy fascist libertines in Italy in 1944. They kidnap a total of 18 teenage boys and girls and basically subject them to 120 days worth of torture, sexual abuse and even death. The film is based in 3 chapters with each chapter focusing on a story told by a different old aged prostitute. The stories told by each prostitute sexually excite the libertines and influence the torture brought upon the teenagers.
Now to the detailed part. I will go over some of the parts of the film that shocked me (trust me it takes a lot for a film to do that). Aside from the rape and buggery (sometimes we get libertine on libertine action too) there are some pretty harsh and sometimes genuinely disturbing scenes. Probably the most notorious being a scene where all the girls in the group have been giving specific diets so that when they shit their shit is let's say.... even more foul than usual... and later on the scene there is a banquet where we are treated to seeing everyone eating the shit that has been served on a nice big silver platter! There is a scene of one of the teenagers being made to urinate on one of the libertines faces. Body fluids aside we are also lucky to witness the teenagers being treated like dogs and being thrown scraps and just for measure one of the teenagers is made to eat the food with nails hidden inside... although not visually graphic... the idea of it made my throat feel rather strange. There are lots os horrible scenes but one of the worst for me personally is when one of the prostitutes is talking about a girl she knew who had a rat inserted into her vagina and then to make it worse the vagina being sewn up... thank god we only hear about that.
The finale of the film is where most of the action is. This is when all those who have broken the rules set by the libertines get subject to slow painful deaths. This scene is composed through the viewpoint of each libertine while they watch the others commit the torture. Here we see lashings, nipples burnt, rape, tongues being cut off, eyes being cut out and other ghastly deeds. Like I said, this film is not those of a weak stomach! I did genuinely enjoy this film (I don't know what that says about me). It was filmed beautifully. Some scenes are genuine pieces of art. The story is interesting, it's unwillingly a examination of the human condition. There are lots of metaphors and symbolism in the film. For example, the shit easting feast (which is in the humourously named Circle Of Shit chapter) is a reference to mass produced food... shit basically. Most of the sexual intercourse contained in the film is always of a degrading fashion and could be a reference to how sex mad the human species can be.
Overall, this film is a shocking and rather disturbing piece of film. However, it is beautifully filmed and it does actually tackle some rather important topics. This is a film you will either love or hate. I personally, enjoyed it (not in a perverted way of course, more in an artistic way) and it's now one of my favourite films.
As a little treat check out the opening of the film below. No, there is no graphic content just a wonderful piece of music from Mr. Morricone. Enjoy!