Aside from morbid fetishists and implant-happy people with low self-esteem, no one likes to go under the knife. What’s pleasurable about lying helpless on a slab as some highly paid stranger cuts into your flesh and rearranges some of your parts? Imagining one’s self getting hacked up by a medically trained man or woman concealed by a white mask makes a trip to the dentist seem like time spent inside a tickling salon, so leave it up to perverse movie directors and screenwriters to exploit the uncomfortable situation for the sake of disconcerting entertainment.

The latest filmmaker to dabble in the terrors of malpractice is Pedro Almodóvar, the much-admired Spanish auteur who’s received heaps of critical hugs and kisses for films such as Volver (2006) and Broken Embraces (2009). His new flick, The Skin I Live In (opening in limited release this Friday), is a quasi-horror work about a heartbroken plastic surgeon (Antonio Banderas) who performs sexually twisted operations on the gorgeous woman (Elena Anaya) he’s held prisoner in his Toledo mansion for six years.

One of the year’s strangest and oddly sensitive movies, The Skin I Live In taps into the darker side of medical experimentation. Almodóvar’s kinky genre piece also takes cues from a slew of classic flicks, a few of which appear on our list of The 10 Craziest Mad Doctor Surgeries In Movies.

Written by Matt Barone (@MBarone)

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