Most Controversial Films
The 100+ Most Controversial
Films of All-Time


Written by Tim Dirks

The 100+ Most Controversial Films of All-Time
Movie Title Screen
Film Title/Year, Director

Blood Sucking Freaks (1976) (aka The Incredible Torture Show and Sardu: Master of the Screaming Virgins)
D. Joel M. Reed

Women Against Pornography unwittingly raised this ugly horror movie's profile by denouncing its relentless, misogynistic violence.

This unredeeming, questionable, misogynistic and depraved grindhouse horror/sex exploitation film from Troma Entertainment was originally unrated, due to its controversial and violent nature, but later reduced to an R-rating when cuts were administered. In some ways, this repugnant film set the stage for modern-day 'torture porn' films, such as Hostel (2005) and Wolf Creek (2005). Its poster tagline exclaimed:

"JOIN THE FUN!...Human Dart Boards..."Home Style Brain Surgery"...Dental Hijinks!"

Voted one of the worst films ever, the mean-spirited film was also targeted by the feminist group Women Against Pornography for its depictions of violence against women, although it was counter-argued that the gore was for comedic effect. It was reminiscent of Herschell Gordon Lewis's earlier film The Wizard of Gore (1970). Another poster tagline emphasized:

Only Once in a Century Can Such Evil Live...SARDU He was the creator - the director - the master!

This low-budget nauseating film, originally titled The Incredible Torture Show (T.I.T.S.!) and renamed as Bloodsucking Freaks for its 1980 re-release, told about a macabre Grand Guignol-type theatre in downtown New York (the Soho district) that held off-Broadway performances mostly of humiliation, degradation, gruesome torture and murder. It was conducted by:

  • Master Sardu (Seamus O'Brien), a sadomasochist
  • Ralphus (Luis De Jesus), Master Sardu's obnoxious, deranged, cackling midget assistant

Emcee Sardu introduced himself in the opening sequence:

"What a marvelous, wonderful, attentive audience you are, and now may I add, a brave one too. Now, those of you who are weak-willed or cowards would've fled by now or regurgitated over the seats in front of you. But why, really? This is just a theatrical presentation. A show, which offers no reality, not a fraction of reality. And just allows us, you and me, to delve into our grossest fantasies far beyond erotica. I am Sardu: Master of the Theatre of the Macabre. Tonight, we begin with torture. Again I warn you, that if you find what you see as a little upsetting to your stomach, then just pretend we're play-acting. But if you are skeptical or bored, then just pretend that what you see is real."

Guests in the audience included: famous blonde Estonia ballerina Natasha Di Natalie (Viju Krem) at Lincoln Center, her hunky pro-football star boyfriend Tom Maverick (Niles McMaster) (modeled after Joe Namath), and a smug theater critic Creasy Silo (Alan Dellay) who called Sardu's program a "third-rate magic show" and mocked its pretension as art:

"If I were to review your 'so-called' show -- even badly -- I fear some of my readers might come just out of curiosity, and I do not want to be responsible for keeping your ‘theater’ open for one more day!”

As the ballerina left after the show ended, she begged Tom: "Will you please get me out of here before I throw up?"

Ballerina Natasha and Boyfriend Tom
Critic Creasy Silo
Gangster-Trader in White Slavery

Real victims were used for his demented shows - but were the tortures faked? The staged torture acts in the horror film's opening performance included:

  • thumb-screws, and skull-crushing vices
  • whippings and flagellation
  • dismemberment - wrist-amputation with a bone-saw (Sardu exclaimed to the audience: "Oh yes! Now we're getting the proper reaction")
  • eyeball gouging (followed by a scene of cannibalism - Ralphus consumed the extracted eyeball)

It was also discovered that Sardu kept in confinement many feral-acting, female kidnap victims, who were held naked in a locked prison cage below stage in the basement. They were fed raw meat (or body parts?) by Ralphus in the middle of the night. Those unfortunate ones were sold into white slavery for cash by a Middle Eastern-connected mobster (Alphonso De Noble), and packed in large cardboard boxes - marked FRAGILE.

Feral Females Kept in a Locked Cellar Cage

A naked woman kneeling in front of Sardu was used as a dinner table. He considered her moans as "after-dinner music." Famous critic Creasy Silo who had criticized the Theatre of the Macabre, was kidnapped in an art gallery by Ralphus. A woman distracted him by opening her trenchcoat to reveal she was naked with a dildo tied to her waist. He was brought before Sardu, strung up, and pressured through mild torture to apologize and write a positive review.

He was also subjected to witness more atrocities, such as electro-shock to a nude female's (Janis Beaver) nipples, and another victim ridden bare-back by Ralphus while being whipped. Sardu described his philosophy of his new show, combining two art forms: sadism and dance "because the public cannot digest eroticism alone" - it was a perfect synopsis of the film:

To display sadism and discipline in its purest form would only lead to imprisonment, but by simply disguising it with a story, a minimal plot, and a score, will result in my being hailed as a creative genius.

Sardu promised the resistant Creasy that he would be "front-row center" in a new show that would acquire "critical acclaim." Sardu turned and told the enslaved woman being ridden like a horse by Ralphus that her mouth "will make an interesting urinal."

Sardu also ordered Ralphus to kidnap ballerina Natasha from the locker room in the NY State Theater City Center before practice, so she could perform unwillingly in his next theatre show to give it more legitimacy. She was brought to the basement and restrained where her leotard was cut off her body, and then she was strung up by her wrists.

A depraved, mother-obsessed and sadistic doctor (Ernie Pysher) who had attended to the near-dead Natasha, was promised anything he wanted. In the cellar, he performed a ghastly 'operation' on one nude female victim (Lynette Sheldon, credited as Doctor's Compensation):

  • a teeth extractions (followed by his statement: "Now you can't bite" - and threatened oral sex indicated by the doctor's unzipped fly), and then the shaving of the woman's head and the drilling of a hole into the skull to suck out her brains with a straw

The doctor was eliminated "permanently" when fed to the ravenous, cannibalistic feral females in the basement who disemboweled him, tore out his heart and chomped on body parts. One of the females rubbed his bloody beating heart over her breasts. Following the doctor's death, Sardu and Ralphus celebrated by drinking beer and playing with a human dart-board (a woman's (Joann Friedman) backend was painted with a bulls-eye).

Meanwhile, Natasha's boyfriend contacted the NYPD and was assisted by corrupt and dishonest Police Sgt. John Tucci (Dan Fauci), who demanded $10,000 to conduct an investigation into Natasha's mysterious disappearance.

X-Shaped Cross Body-Stretching

Natasha - who still resisted performing for Sardu - was forced to watch other displays of torture aided by his two leather-corseted slave girls (Helen Thompson and Ellen Faison) (while Ralphus snacked on a bag of popcorn):

  • a female victim's (Jennifer Stock) body-stretching on St. Andrews' X-shaped cross (Sardu commented: "This will go far beyond every STRETCH of the imagination")
  • the caning and guillotine self-decapitation of another female victim (Illa Howe) who gripped a rope with her teeth that held up the blade; when she screamed in pain, the rope released the guillotine blade (Ralphus later used the severed head to perform oral sex on himself (off-screen))

Ralphus and Sardu played a frenzied game of backgammon using freshly-severed fingers (from two naked females sitting nearby) using a meat cleaver. The game ended when all fingers on their hands were used up. Natasha was also forced to watch as a dancer named Maya (Rita Montone) was mutilated:

  • the (off-screen) chainsaw amputation of both of her feet (Sardu joked with Natasha: "Now are you planning to cut short your dancing career?" - she agreed: "I will dance!" ); Sardu and Ralphus joyously danced together

There were a few instances in the film when Sardu subjected himself to doses of S&M himself. "Tied up" (or busy), he was pleasurably whipped by one of his slave girls, after convincing Natasha to perform in his show's opening.

Sardu's Assistant
(Saiyanidi, or Ellen Faison)
Sardu's S&M Whipping
Sardu's Assistant
(Helen Thompson)

Natasha publically announced her decision in Variety Magazine, and Sgt. Tucci declared that the case was solved. Practice commenced for Sardu's new show opening soon, although Ralphus insisted on higher billing, as Sardu reprimanded him: "I thought you gave all that up when you left the William Morris Agency." Natasha reassured her boyfriend that her upcoming appearance for Sardu's S&M show was on the up-and-up: "I mean, Lincoln Center, it is just so boring. You know, one night Giselle act or the other, that would be the only thing that I would have to look forward to. Believe me, Sardu is a genius. This is where it's all at, right here in Soho....It's not S&M, this is art." After Tom left, although he still remained skeptical, it was revealed that Natasha was under Sardu's hypnotic spell - she kissed and licked his boot.

The sleazy Sgt. Tucci privately confronted Sardu and demanded $100,000 in extortion money (before the show opened that evening) to keep quiet about his lucrative white slavery trade behind the scenes. Just before the show, Sgt. Tucci received Sardu's payment, then divulged to Tom that Sardu was actually engaged in 'white slavery' and that Natasha was being held "prisoner."

The show was about to begin, with Sardu gloating: "The Schubert's already inquiring about moving our show up to Broadway, and then Hollywood!" Sardu announced the new show with his star ballerina: "The Artist: Seduction and Death of a Critic." Natasha opened the show, dancing topless before a bound-up Creasy Silo, the critic - repeatedly kicking him in the face until he died.

After the show, Sgt. Tucci conducted a two-person raid (with Tom) against Sardu, to acquire his fortune ("Sardu's treasure. He's got a fortune stashed away down there"). As they entered the backstage area, they discovered Maya (with stumps for feet) crawling on the floor and a decapitated skull (Tucci: "What's the matter, kid? Never got a little head before?"). At the same time, Ralphus was seasoning and frying up a panful of eyeballs. Ralphus and one of Sardu's assistants were subdued, and a drugged-up Natasha was rescued. After Sardu was found in bed committing necrophilia with Creasy, he was mounted on his own X-Cross torture mechanism, where he begged to be hit by Sgt. Tucci.

The Mauling Death of Sgt. Tucci

Sgt. Tucci unwisely opened up the cage door to liberate the feral 'white slavery' females, and was mauled to death by the ravenous captives. Tom heard the death screams of Tucci and wished to flee, but Natasha was concerned about Sardu: ("My master! You hurt my master"). He dragged her away as Sardu laughed maniacally, but she refused to join him: ("I must get back to my master"). She axed Tom in the head from behind - and then licked his blood, as Tucci was heard being devoured nearby.

The film ended with Natasha fleeing back naked to Sardu - after stripping off her trenchcoat. The feral women danced in celebration of their victory and liberation. They passed around a hot-dog (phallic) sandwich (with lettuce), while the camera panned over the decapitated heads of their dead captors: Sardu, Ralphus, and his two assistants. THE END appeared over one of the women biting into the sandwich.

Dancing Joyously
Decapitated Sardu
Phallic Sandwich

Sardu's 'Performance' Theatre

On-Stage Emcee Sardu (Seamus O'Brien)

Thumb Screw and Iron Skull Vice Administered by Ralphus (Luis De Jesus)


Eyeball Gouging

Naked Backside - Dinner Table

Kidnapping Distraction for Creasy in Art Gallery

Electro-Shock to Nipples

Doctor's Multiple Teeth Extractions 'Operation'

Evidence and Tools of Doctor's Torture

Doctor Drilling into Victim's Shaved Skull

Doctor Drinking Cranial Fluid From Straw

The Doctor Cannibalized by Feral Females in Basement

Doctor's Heart Rubbed Over Breasts

Female Dart Board

Buttocks' Caning and Decapitation

Severed Fingers Game of Backgammon

Maya's Chain-Sawed Feet

Sardu's New Show Starring Natasha

Natasha's On-Stage Murder of Creasy

Sardu's Necrophilia with Creasy

Sardu Held on X-Cross - Maniacally Laughing

Tom Bashed in Head With Axe

In the Realm of the Senses (1976, Jp./Fr.) (aka Ai No Corrida, or L'Empire Des Sens)
D. Nagisa Oshima

Nagisa Oshima's graphic examination of all-consuming sexual obsession was seized by US Customs and cut before being released.

This erotic Japanese masterpiece from writer/director Nagisa Oshima about painful passion told the story of a torrid, increasingly intense and dangerous, true-to-life, almost non-stop sexual affair between two individuals in mid-1930s. This sexually adventurous, lurid arthouse film about unadulterated desire included an orgy scene, sexual violence, sexual games, and frequent shots of an erect penis and fellatio. It deliberately broke the taboo in Japanese cinema against showing female pubic hair and sex organs.

The film, produced in France, reflected the tradition of erotic Japanese wood-block prints, the shunga, in which the faces were stylized, but the sexual organs (especially the phallus) were shown aroused, enlarged and delineated with almost topographical detail and care.

The shocking and intense film of extreme, all-consuming sexual obsession, deadly madness, destruction of the servant-master dichotomy, and complete immersion, bordering on pornography in its uncut version, was seized and banned by US Customs and postponed in its censored release. It caused a sensation - and lively discussion - at the Melbourne Film Festival in 1976 when first released.

This erotic Japanese masterpiece about painful passion in 1936 Japan told the story of a torrid, increasingly intense and dangerous, true-to-life, almost non-stop sexual affair between:

  • Kichizo (Tatsuya Fuji), a gangster businessman and inn-owner, the husband of the brothel madam Toku (Aoi Nakajima)
  • Sada Abe (Eiko Matsuda), a former prostitute, one of Kichizo's maid-servants in the brothel, working to pay debts of her bankrupted husband

After spying on Kichizo and Toku having sex, Sada developed a crush on Kichizo.

Kichizo Having Sex With His Wife Toku

In the scenes between submissive Kichizo and a dominating Sada Abe, there were explicit shots of:

  • sexual touching during a bloody menstrual period
  • a wide variety of sexual positions and sexual acts (some in close-up)
  • unsimulated penetration
  • unsimulated fellatio (while he passively laid back and smoked a cigarette) with a close-up of semen dripping from her mouth
  • a sex game including vaginal insertion of a hard-boiled egg before he consumed the egg
  • penis fetishism
  • masochism (forcible use of a wooden dildo - shaped like a bird, bite-wounds, S&M, among other practices)
Brothel Examples of Sadomasochism

Almost penis-fixated, she innocently stated: "Isn't it natural for a woman to love the sex of the man she loves?" Eventually, when Sada grew jealous of her partner's continuing sexual relations with his wife Toku and wielded a knife at her, she also threatened to destructively cut off Kichizo's penis - an eventuality that came true.

The most controversial and infamous sequence in the film was the depiction of the violent and disturbing practice of auto-erotic asphyxiation to aid their sexual excitement - first with her bare hands, and then with a red scarf. The film climaxed with his bloody genital dismemberment/castration after murderous strangulation so that she could keep his member inside of her. She also carved in his chest - in blood: "Sada Kichi the two of us forever."

The Most Controversial Scenes of
Auto-Erotic Asphyxiation
With Bare Hands
With Red Scarf

Afterwards, the empowered female carried around her master-lover's severed genitals in a handkerchief for four days - an enactment of her proprietary feelings about his member - until she was arrested.

Sexual Touching During Menstruation

Kichizo and Sada: Intercourse

Kichizo and Sada: Oral Sex

Kichizo with Sada

Caught in the Act

Insertion of Egg - and Then Consumed

The Message (1976, 1977) (aka Mohammed, Messenger of God)
D. Moustapha Akkad

Though this epic biopic deferred to Islamic law by never showing Mohammed, it was still condemned as sacrilegious and banned in many Arab countries.

Taglined as "The Story of Islam," this epic-length 178 minute dramatic biopic was the debut feature film of Islamic, Syrian-born producer/director Moustapha Akkad (who later produced John Carpenter's successful horror film Halloween (1978)). It starred Mexican-born actor Anthony Quinn (Abdallah Geith in the 198 minute Arabic version) - following his success in the desert epic Lawrence of Arabia (1962) -- as Mohammed's desert-dwelling warrior uncle Hamza. It was set in 7th century Mecca and documented the beginnings of Islam and the life and teachings of the prophet. The film's script - written by Irishman H.A.L. (Harry) Craig - took two years of research and writing before its readiness for filming, due in part to the restriction that Muslim authorities had to approve the finished screenplay before filming could commence.

Problems began almost immediately when it was unfoundly rumored that Peter O'Toole, and then American star Charlton Heston, would star in the lead role, causing two days of bloody riots in Karachi, Pakistan. This caused a stir because it was feared that the film would violate the strict Muslim belief (forbidden by Shari'a, Islamic holy law formed after Mohammed's death) that any representation of the Diety Allah or His Prophet Mohammed (and his immediate family including wives, daughters, and sons-in-law) could not be depicted on screen nor could his voice be heard. However, the politically-correct film represented him either off-screen, as the camera's point-of-view, or with occasional symbolic appearances (i.e., his camel-riding stick, his tent, and his holy camel). Nonetheless, endless protests, riots and death threats (by telephone) accompanied the film's production and making (totaling seven years).

In its troubled production history, the film was forced to move from Saudi Arabia to Morocco for filming, where Akkad promised that he would construct a $100 million film production studio, as well as recreate the city of Mecca (and a model of the town's sacred holy shrine, the Kaaba, at a cost of $400,000), and hire thousands of extras. [The film was originally backed for up to $60 million by Saudi monarch King Faisal, until he pulled out of the project while disallowing filming on location in Mecca and Medina. Later, Faisal denounced the infidel filmmakers in Morocco and caused the dismantlement of the whole film operation, resulting in relocation costs of more than $2 million.] Akkad was forced to move and find financial backing and sponsorship from terrorist-friendly Libyan leader Colonel Muammar al-Qaddafi. Ultimately, The Message was shot in two versions with different cast members, a Western version in English and a special Arabic version (entitled Al-Ris-Alah), adding to the costs.

The film faced a dilemma regarding its marketing for US audiences, for its emphasis on a non-Western religious leader who didn't even appear in the film. Eventually, it was decided to use the tagline: "In four decades only four... "The Robe" "The Ten Commandments" "Ben-Hur" and now... For the first time...the vast, spectacular drama that changed the world!" Difficulties with the film's title forced it to be changed to The Message for its world premiere in London in late July, 1976. Various religious groups called the film 'sacrilegious' and 'an insult to Islam' and it was banned from showings in much of the Arab world. Without all the surrounding controversies whirling about, the film was still viewed as a bland, compromising film that was overlong.

There was further controversy when the film was scheduled to premiere in the U.S. in Washington, DC, in March, 1977. The Hanafi Black Muslim extremist group led by Hamas Abdul Khaalis staged a heavily-armed siege against the local Jewish chapter of the B'nai B'rith (its national headquarters) under the mistaken belief (without having seen the film) that Anthony Quinn played Mohammed in the film. During the two-day crisis, they took nearly 150 people hostage, and threatened to blow up the building while demanding the film opening's cancellation. Future DC mayor Marion Barry was shot when the terrorists overran the District Building, and many others were injured. The hostage situation was eventually defused by the FBI and Muslim ambassadors, and the theater chain that had booked the film cancelled the showing. This disastrous opening unfortunately ruined US box-office for the controversial film, as various moviehouses were forced to cancel their showings due to political pressures and further fears of violence.

Ironically, in late 2005, Akkad died from injuries sustained during terrorist attacks in Jordan.

Abdallah Beith
(Anthony Quinn)

A Real Young Girl (1976, Fr.) (aka Une Vraie Jeune Fille)
D. Catherine Breillat

Hired to make a soft-focus, sexy-teen movie, French filmmaker Catherine Breillat instead delivered an explicit evocation of upsetting teenage pubescent desires.

Writer/director Catherine Breillat's feature debut was this erotic drama with strong and shocking sexual content - it was made in 1975, but not released until 25 years later due to financial problems with Breillat's production company and controversy surrounding this sensational, raw and strange film. This film was promptly banned upon its initial release in France in 1976, and was not released to theaters until the year 2000. One tagline was:

A surreal voyage into adolescent sexuality.

Breillat would later become famous for the similarly-explicit Romance (1999, Fr.) and Fat Girl (2001, Fr.) which were also preoccupied with the representation of female sexuality. The self-reflective film was not considered pornographic by many, but rather a serious attempt to represent the disruptive awakening and tumultuous sexuality of the psyche of a pubescent young female, who was all too-ready to transgress taboos of society.

The frank film showed various close-ups of her genitalia, her crude and realistic fascination with messy, tactile, and visceral emitted fluids (mostly from her body) and mysterious smells (including vomit, urine, a broken egg yolk, tree sap, blood from a beheaded chicken, her own ear-wax, sperm (in a fantasy sequence) and candle-wax - often shown in closeup), and also, her rampant sexual fantasies and infatuations.

For example, during the female protagonist's first night at home, she flopped backwards onto her bed in her two-piece pajamas; seemingly depressed, she then vomited onto herself; she spoke in voice-over: "I sat up cautiously, liberated by the vomit's warmth, by the sweetish smell it gave off. Disgust makes me lucid. It was at that very moment that I decided to write my diary because I couldn't sleep." She recalled a night at school when she wrote out her name on a mirror with vaginal secretions, and went to a toilet stall to smoke a cigarette and urinate, while locking out her best friend Martine (Alexandra Gouveia).

This original, unapologetic and bold coming-of-age film charted the budding sexuality and self-exploration of one teenager in the summer of 1963 in France:

  • Alice Bonnard (Charlotte Alexandra, 20 years old at the time of filming) - a 14 year-old French boarding student during her summer holiday, sexually-curious, perpetually horny, well-developed and self-analytical; she was an only child living with her uncommunicative parents (a passive-aggressive mother and overweight, lazy, lecherous, cheating father) at a provincial farmhouse; her mother derogatorily chided Alice as a 'whore': "You're slipping. Carry on and you'll end up in the gutter...Look at her, she's hopeless"; Alice always felt people looked upon her judgmentally or reprovingly, and warned her about not being a "little girl" anymore. Her father even cautioned: "You're dangerous for yourself. You'll understand one day. I should have kept you in after your first period. Has someone fondled you?"

    [Note: English actress Charlotte Alexandra had previously appeared as Therese in a similar role (requiring nudity and a scene of masturbation) in Polish director Walerian Borowczyk's X-rated soft-core anthology film Immoral Tales (1974, Fr.), and later was in the soft-core erotic film Goodbye Emmanuelle (1977, Fr.) (aka Emmanuelle 3).]
Alice Bonnard
(Charlotte Alexandra)
Alice's Dysfunctional Parents (Bruno Balp and Rita Meiden)
Hired Worker Jim (Hiram Keller)

The provocative film opened with Alice riding on a train returning home for the summer to Southwestern France (the Landes Forest area of Gascony) with her contemptuous, intolerant voice-over (voice by Marie-Hélène Breillat) and feelings of oppression:

"I hate people. They oppress me. All year, I was away at school. I only came home for end-of-term holidays. Summer holidays were the worst. They were endless."

When she arrived at her home train station, a sugar-sweet pop tune played about a young female's insecurities: "Suis-je une petite fille" (Lyrics: "I'm a little girl. I don't know, no, I don't know. How big a girl I am. Only you can tell. Please, please tell me, tell me now. Please, please tell me what you like about me").

There were a number of incidents involving her sexual awakening

  • she compulsively (and frequently) masturbated (at school and home), and once briefly inserted a tea stirring spoon (surreptitiously at the kitchen table upon first arriving home) into her vagina and then stirred her drink
  • she would often drop her panties to her ankles (or not wear panties at all)
  • in front of her bathroom mirror, she undressed for bedtime, noting: "I only like seeing myself in small bits"; after removing her bra as she was putting on her pajamas, she thought to herself: "I'm well-developed for my age"
  • she was shown a few times urinating (i.e., on a toilet at school)
  • revealing her genitalia, she spread a red paste within her vagina, and then on the nipples of both breasts, and thought to herself: "I can't accept the proximity of my face and my vagina"
  • an exhibitionist, she rode her bicycle with her dress hiked up and showed off her panties to sawmill workers, and sometimes even rode bare-assed
  • she often visited, spied upon and lustfully fantasized about sex with a hired factory worker Jim (Hiram Keller), a 20-something, lean, studly and strong employee in her father's sawmill; however, she thought: "I could see he wasn't interested in me. I was too young. I hated him. And since I hated him, I could stay to the end. I didn't dream of sleeping with him. Ever. I'd never give myself to a man"

However, in one surreal, graphically-explicit and shocking fantasy dream sequence involving the hired worker Jim, Alice was lying naked spread-eagled on her back on the ground - her hands were tied back with barbed wire. He dangled a live and wiggling earthworm (a symbol of a flaccid, small-sized male genitals) over her full-screen genitals, then tried to insert it into her vagina. When unsuccessful, he pulled apart the worm with his fingers into segmented pieces, and sprinkled the remains on top of her pubic hair. She looked up as he stood towering above her, and he snickered at her.

Most Controversial Graphic Sequence
First Dream Fantasy with Jim
  • Alice's creepy father often kissed her or hugged her, complimenting her on her figure: "You're built like a woman"
  • Alice worried: "Hairs were curling out of my panties"
  • on one of her "lonely outings" to a beach, Alice spotted a dead dog carcass as she removed her shoes; she ran to the surf, and sat spread-eagled and pantyless to let the water rush up to her: "I kept my skirt on so that no one would catch me unawares"
  • after applying heavy red lipstick and eye-liner, she rode her bike to a country fair, where a middle-aged man exposed his genitals ("big one") to her on a shared roller-coaster ride seat; she called him a "pervert" and an "asshole"; upon her reutrn home where her father was watching sports on TV, she imagined seeing her father's genitals sticking out of his pants
  • once, she sat completely spread-eagled between railroad tracks to touch herself ("My sex left a sticky smear on the stone")
  • while sunning herself, she slipped down her bikini bottoms and inserted a tanning oil bottle-top into her anus ("I buggered myself with the bottle of oil for tanning. But it did nothing for me")

In a second imaginary fantasy sequence with Jim, she walked to the sawmill and came upon Jim urinating with his back to her ("He was shaking it"). She attracted Jim's attention by removing her panties and urinating in front of him. He walked off, again disinterested. She ran after him to the beach, and crawled in front of him (with chicken feathers protruding from her rear), as he opened his pants in front of her. She told him: "Cluck, cluck, I'm a chicken too." He grabbed one of the feathers with his teeth, and they shared a 'feather-kiss.' He placed flowers in her hair. They both rolled onto their backs and side-by-side, they masturbated next to and in front of each other. Afterwards, he wiped his sperm onto her blouse ("I watched his cock flopping like a dead fish"). She was disgusted and as she departed, she yelled out: "Get lost!"

In the film's conclusion, it was revealed that Alice's philandering father was involved in an on-going affair. Alice listened as her parents quarreled about their disintegrating marriage, although her father pledged: "I don't think I want to lose you."

  • Alice made a bloody mark on her shirt (with pen ink) to signify her deflowering; then she dripped candle wax on her hand and fingers ("Symbols don't scare me")
  • Jim overpowered her in his small pink car and coaxed Alice into having sex, but she pushed him away; however, she then bargained for contraception: "Understand, I'll sleep with you, but I don't want a baby" - and then she affirmed: "In any case, I don't want to sleep with you" - further pressuring him to agree to provide her with 'the pill' ("The pill! You can get it in Switzerland!"); then she raised her blouse enticingly: "In the meantime, you can do what you want"
  • during their next rendezvous together, Jim provided Alice with contraceptive pills, but she said she preferred to have sex with him later ("I'd prefer an evening, it's sadder")

As some form of ironic punishment for sneaking over to Alice's place in the dark for their "first date," Jim (who had just been fired by her father after demanding overtime) was shot and killed by a trap that Alice's father had set up to keep wild boar out of his corn field. Alice's mother reacted with hysteria: "My God, we're ruined...How are we going to pay for this?" Alice watched the crime scene from inside the house as she packed to return to school.

There were a few closing or end credits followed by a black screen accompanied by music on the soundtrack.

Alice Touching Herself Underneath Table with Tea Spoon

Alice With Her Panties Down to Ankles in Field

Alice In Front of Her Bathroom Mirror: "I'm well-developed for my age"

Alice Vomiting Onto Herself

Alice Urinating in School Toilet Stall

With Her Girlfriend Martine at the Beach

Alice Touching Herself with Red Paste

Riding Her Bike Showing Her Panties or Bare-Assed

Her Unnatural Relationship with Her Father

Alice Imagining Seeing Her Father's Genitals

Alice Spread-Eagled and Masturbating on Railroad Tracks

Alice Buggering Herself

Alice's 2nd Fantasy Sequence with Jim

Alice's Cheating Father

Non-Fantasy Sex with Jim

Last Image of Alice

Snuff (1976, Argentina/USA)
D. Michael and Roberta Findlay

Tacking a cynical "real" murder sequence onto a ho-hum exploitation movie generated enough media outrage to make Snuff a lucrative hit.

This disturbing and infamous film (one of the first 'snuff' films, but only according to urban legend) by two grindhouse directors was eventually revealed to be a publically-marketed scam and hoax. The exploitational, semi-documentary film's real-life murder at the end of the film was promoted as real when it fact it wasn't.

[Note: Other recent fictional snuff film narratives include Joel Schumacher's 8MM (1999) and Nimród Antal's Vacancy (2007).]

The video cover asked:

The rumor was that a woman was actually killed during the filming of this picture! Was She?

The husband-wife team of the Findlays (Michael and Roberta) had become known by a few of their 1960's grindhouse era sexploitational "roughies" films: (i.e., Body of a Female (1964), Satan's Bed (1965) (with Yoko Ono!), Take Me Naked (1966), the Her Flesh Trilogy (1967-1969), A Thousand Pleasures (1968), and The Ultimate Degenerate (1969)). In 1971, they had released the crudely-made, low-budget ($30,000) exploitation film The Slaughter (1971) made in Argentina that did very poorly.

[Note: The Slaughter (1971) was not to be confused with the blaxploitation crime-action film Slaughter (1972) with athlete Jim Brown.]

The Slaughter (1971) was based loosely on the Charles Manson ‘family’ murders committed in 1969. The low-budget film was purchased by producter/distributor Allan Shackleton's Monarch Releasing Corporation shortly afterwards, and then shelved for four to five years. Shackleton decided to re-release the 74 minute film with the new title "Snuff." He also removed the credits from the previous film, inserted new credits, and gave it the new tagline --

"The film that could only be made in South America...where Life is CHEAP!"

It was composed of The Slaughter footage (perceived as 'new') plus an additional tacked-on 6 minute epilogue containing a "snuff murder" - filmed by director Simon Nuchtern. The snuff killing was the film's most outrageous footage of all - the disembowelment and murder of a female crew member.

Shackleton's own promotional campaign included releasing fake newspaper clippings that documented the outrage of non-existent moral conservatives (a group known as Citizens For Decency). Actual protests regarding the film (by Women Against Pornography) only added to its notoriety and fueled audience attendance when it was reported by various media outlets.

The film opened with the brutal wounding and torture of a disobedient gang member named Ana (Ana Carro) by members of a murderous hippie-lesbian, biker gang/cult headed by Satan – pronounced S’Taan (Enrique Larratelli). (The musical soundtrack had a suspiciously-similar tune to Steppenwolf's Born to Be Wild, found in the biker film Easy Rider (1969)). Some of the other cult members included Susanna (Liliana Fernández Blanco) and Carmela (Roberta Findlay - voice).

Then, in the restroom of a Buenos Aires airport, an unidentified male (Jack Bravman) had his neck sliced by a disguised female cult member. Producer-director Maximillian 'Max' Marsh (Aldo Mayo) arrived by plane in Buenos Aires with his star-girlfriend Terry London (Mirtha Massa) to make a sex film with a film crew.

Some Members of S'Taan's Lesbian Hippie Death Cult
The Cult Terrorizing Disobedient
Cult Member Ana (Ana Carro)

Actress Terry was also involved in an on-going affair with Argentinian Horst Frank (George Vilaneuva), a spoiled-rich playboy living at his wealthy German businessman father's (Alfredo Iglesias) villa. She had earlier met Horst in Long Island where they struck up an acquaintance. When Terry arrived, Horst was romantically involved with Angelica (Margarita Amuchastegui), a member of S'Taan's cult - who happened to be S'Taan's favorite. The goal of the cultish group was to seek bloody sacrifices by murdering the decadent rich in the Buenos Aires area. One of S'Taan's immediate plans was to infiltrate Horst's house with Angelica who was poised to become pregnant by Horst in order to provide a baby to be sacrificed as the first victim in S'Taan's war against the wealthy.

Angelica (Margarita Amuchástegui) - S'Taan's Cult Favorite,
Sexually-Abused During Her Childhood

However, things took a turn when Terry announced that she was pregnant (by Horst) from their earlier rendezvous in New York. Horst was forced to dismiss Angelica from his house. Angelica chose her next target by seducing Max during Carnivale to distract him from Terry. Wearing a disguise, she stabbed Max to death (simultaneously, Terry was orgasming from oral sex with Horst). After the murder, Terry was questioned by a detective (director Michael Findlay) before being invited to move in with Horst at his father's villa.

An aborted robbery of a local grocery store by the cult led to the cold-blooded gun-shot murder of two family members (a daughter and her mother), and another male customer (killed by a knife thrown into his back) who grabbed the gun and shot dead two of the female cult members. Two other cult members threatened to execute the elderly store proprietor, the only witness to the crimes, and ultimately Angelica pulled the trigger on the shop-keeper.

During a side-plot flashback, young Angelica was repeatedly sexually abused and violated by Luis, the cruel and powerful owner of the farm where she lived. She grew up with constant abuse and exploitation and had become "a regular whore" by the age of 17 ("he both fascinated and repulsed me"). When her father caught her in bed naked with the farm owner, she watched as her father was shot dead. The next day, her father's disembodied hands were hung in front of the farm. Angelica's brother sought vengeance by strangling and drowning Luis in the jungle.

In the film's climax about six-seven months later, S'Taan announced to his girls: "The time has come for SLAUGHTER" - he ordered a series of gory and gruesome murders. Angelica and Ana first gained access to Horst's gated villa, where Ana stabbed Jaime - one of the servants. They were soon joined by Susanna and Carmela. Two visiting house party guests were murdered, and then Horst was taken captive and tied to a tree, whipped, and castrated (off-screen) out in the yard. In an upstairs bedroom, Horst's father was shot in the heart, and his pregnant actress-mistress Terry London (the Sharon Tate-like character), was stabbed in the belly by Angelica while reclining in bed.

In the film's 'live' cinema verite coda or epilogue (a film within a film), the camera cut to reveal the set of the film during its making - the bedroom where the murders had just been filmed. Following filming, the 'director', who was wearing a blue T-shirt proclaiming: "Vida Es Muerte," turned to a blonde female (the production assistant?), telling her that he had been sexually-aroused by the murder sequence ("That was dynamite! That was a gory scene that really turned me on").

Then, he suddenly proposed getting on the second bed and making out - she was reluctant because so many people would be watching - in any case, they began to be filmed by the crew. He laid her backwards on the bed, fondled her right breast, and then straddled her, as she resisted ("Let me go!"). He held her down (with help in restraining her from another smiling brunette female dressed in black named June). Shockingly ("to get a good scene"), he cut into her left shoulder with a large-bladed knife. When she squirmed and screamed loudly, he cut off a few of her left hand's fingers (including her ring finger) with scissors. Another male helped to hold her down as her entire right hand was cut off with an electric jigsaw. As the crew kept filming, he used the knife to disembowel her (he reached inside the opening), after which he held up her bloody intestinal entrails or viscera, and screamed triumphantly.

Film's Epilogue: A "Snuff" Murder (A HOAX!)
Left Shoulder Sliced
Making Out With Blonde Female
(Crew Production Assistant?)
Fingers Excised
Forcibly Held Down
Right Hand Amputated
Pulling Out and Holding Up Viscera or Entrails

Then, the camera appeared to run out of film as the screen turned white (and then black), and two male crew members were heard saying to each other before the film abruptly ended:

  • "S--t, we've run out of film! S--t!"
  • "Did you get it? Did you get it all?"
  • "Mmm, yeah, we got it all. Now let's get out of here."

Biker/Cult Gang

Manson-Like Leader S'Taan (Enrique Larratelli)

Max Marsh and Terry London Arriving in Argentina

Director Max Marsh

Horst Frank (George Vilaneuva)

Terry London (Mirtha Massa)

Max Stabbed to Death by Angelica

Deaths at the Villa

Stabbing of Servant Jaime by Ana

Horst Tied to Tree, Whipped, and Castrated

Horst's Father Shot in the Heart

Pregnant Terry Stabbed in Belly by Angelica

First Few Frames of Added Epilogue

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