Movie: Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)
Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Stars: Paolo Bonacelli, Giorgio Cataldi, Umberto Paolo Quintavalle
Pier Paolo Pasolini's Salo is arguably the most hard-to-watch movie of all time—forget any of its individual scenes. Endlessly controversial, it concerns 18 teenagers kidnapped by Italian fascists in 1943, confined to a mansion, and forced to do some of the vilest acts imaginable. That's the PG version of what's decidedly an X-rated experience.
For all its physical sadism, though, Salo delivers some of its most repugnant moments in times where death isn't imminent—it's just something the poor teenage victims wish would show up already. In one particularly unbearable scene, the elder tyrants makes the kids devour large scoops of fresh feces. Which they do, directly in front of Pasolini's unwavering camera. As the teens disgustedly chew, the brownness oozes out like chocolate pudding dripping down the face of an old man who's unable to handle too much spoon-feeding. Or a Salo viewers who unable to keep vomit from pouring out of their throats. —MB