Top 10 Controversial Movies (EXPLICIT)
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
These films were lightning rods for scandal: whether it's because of extreme violence, sexual depravity or religious symbolism, there are some films that get people talking – for better or worse. In this video, http://www.WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 most controversial movies. For this list, we've chosen films that are known both for their artistic value and the controversy they inspired. We're excluding movies that are plain gross and in poor taste and that aim only to shock. "Human Centipede," we're looking at you.
Special thanks to our users jkellis, Liane LeFavor, Vigilante Will, MichaelMaikeru64, Shane McCarthy, Chris Black, csh31764, Nichelle Phoenix Perez, hardcorelegend101, Gregg Johnson and Mukhtaar Ashraf for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
Top 10 Controversial Movies (EXPLICIT)
These films were lightning rods for scandal. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 most controversial movies.
For this list, we’ve chosen films that are known both for their artistic value and the controversy they inspired. We’re excluding movies that are plain gross and in poor taste and that aim only to shock. “Human Centipede,” we’re looking at you. That being said, things are about to get gross, so consider yourselves warned.
#10 – “Fahrenheit 9/11” (2004)
Released before 2004’s U.S. Presidential election, this Michael Moore documentary expressed extreme disapproval towards George W. Bush’s administration with regards to the War on Terror and the Invasion of Iraq following the September 11th attacks. Among his many shocking assertions, Moore connected the Bushes to Saudi Arabian nobility and even the bin Ladens. People on both sides of the political coin were incensed by supposed errors and misleading info.
#9 – “Last Tango in Paris” (1972)
Detailing an anonymous affair between an older widower and young French girl, this X-rated Bernardo Bertolucci’s flick was met with moral indignation due to its visceral, sometimes-humiliating sex scenes – particularly an infamous sequence involving butter. Although it broke barriers and earned two Oscar nods, both Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider admitted to feeling raped by the production, and all copies in the director’s native Italy were ordered destroyed.
#8 – “Antichrist” (2009)
Critics agree this Lars von Trier film is beautiful; but they’re split about its content – in fact, at its premiere, four people fainted. Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg play a couple, dealing with the grief of losing their young son. But the wife spirals out of control, resulting in mutilated body parts, disturbing sex, and far, far worse. Grotesque? Yes. Misogynistic? Maybe. But many consider it a macabre masterpiece.
#7 – “Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom” (1975)
Torture, rape and other atrocities at the hands of WWII Fascists make this Pier Paolo Pasolini film politically volatile. But it’s more disturbing than you imagine: based on a Marquis de Sade novel, it follows kidnapped youths as they do their captors’ depraved bidding – which includes sexual perversions, shitty meals, and horrific murders. As he was murdered before its release, Pasolini didn’t see the film banned in several countries.
#6 – “A Serbian Film” (2010)
This appropriately-titled Serbian horror flick was banned in countries across the world, mainly due to its taboo-shattering content. Murder? Check. As much sexual violence as you can fit into one film? Check. Newborn rape? Unfortunately, also check. Following the story of a porn star who ends up in a snuff film, this film has been called torture porn by some and a statement on the viciousness of the Serbian government by others. You be the judge.
#5 – “Cannibal Holocaust” (1980)
If you think the worst thing in this movie is cannibalism, you’re sorely mistaken. A documentary group goes missing in the Amazon – and when their footage turns up, questions emerge as to who the real savages are. With brutal gang-rapes, real animal cruelty, and other unimaginable brutality, this film’s realism caught the attention of audiences, and got the director arrested on obscenity charges and accused of murdering his cast.
#4 – “The Birth of a Nation” (1915)
Propaganda tends towards controversy, and films like “Triumph of the Will” even more so. “The Birth of a Nation” is another such film, which glamorized the Ku Klux Klan and demonized African-Americans. When it was released, audiences rioted, and it was protested by the NAACP for its heroic portrayal of Klansmen, and its use of blackface. However, for better or worse, it’s considered a landmark in American cinema.
#3 – “The Passion of the Christ” (2004)
Religion is taboo, and films about religion are heavily scrutinized. Though Mel Gibson’s was not the first Christ-based film to incite controversy; the firestorm he started was one of biblical proportions. Recounting the last 12-hours in the life of Jesus, Gibson’s film is brutal, visceral and gory, featuring a ten-minute-long flogging scene, among other acts of violence – even worse; many claim it’s biblically inaccurate and anti-Semitic.
#2 – “The Exorcist” (1973)
This flick about a young girl possessed by the devil was so disturbing; theaters provided barf bags. We’ve all seen the head spinning, spider walking and projectile vomiting; but it’s the fact that such obscene language and acts are coming from a child that makes it so unsettling. Even worse, the religious implications and suggestions of subliminal messaging earned “The Exorcist” its reputation as “the scariest movie ever.”
#1 – “A Clockwork Orange” (1971)
Along with movies like “Straw Dogs” and “Bonnie and Clyde,” this X-rated Stanley Kubrick flick is credited with making extreme on-screen violence more acceptable. The chronicle of a remorseless group of ne’er-do-wells that commits unspeakable acts for shits-and-giggles includes several graphic and protracted rape scenes among its many sins. Kubrick was so sickened by the blowback and copycat crimes; he withdrew the film from distribution in Britain indefinitely.
Do you agree with our list? Which movies did you think were most controversial? For more entertaining top 10, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.