Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)

I have been trying for a long time to find a film to scare me.  So far I have been unsuccessful.  I am also searching for the weirdest and most depraved films I can.  Something that makes me feel like I have been stabbed in my soul.  I cannot tell you why; they just interest me.  I have found several that are good and a lot that are just terrible.  So I heard about the film Salo, or the 120 days of Sodom, and how it was so disturbing that the director was murdered (or killed by the government).

Salo is based on the incomplete novel, The 120 Days of Sodom by the Marquis de Sade.  It actually does follow the story well, but it transports the setting to the 1940s during the Fascist reign of Italy.  It starts off promising.  I see that not only was the directory inspired by the historical novel, he was critical of the power-hungry regime in his country.  I feel this film beckoning me, ready to disturb me.

Four power hungry and sadistic men kidnap several virgin teenagers, both male and female, with the intent to sexually assault them and later murder them.  To entertain and arouse them, each day a middle aged prostitute tells tales of their most interesting clients.

However, it quickly descends into coprophagia, or simply put, poop eating.  Somehow it can be a sexual fetish.  The storyteller went on and on about sexual poop-eating, and it seemed that the filmmakers were trying way too hard to gross me out.  It wasn't the sexual aspect of it, feces carries bacteria and can make you really sick.  Eating poop can give you hepatitis, flu, e. coli, and even parasites.  The poop in this film is actually a mixture of orange marmalade and chocolate.  Try as hard as they can, poop doesn't disgust me.  I was a camp counselor for ten years, I have seen poop like you wouldn't believe.  Also, my three year old doesn't fully understand toilets and poops where she pleases.  And she can't speak so it's like a puzzle to find out if she needs to go, has already gone, etc.  You think I'm going to spend three years playing poop puzzle and be disturbed by people going on and on about poop?  If this is going to be tagged as the most controversial film of all time then it should have tried harder.  I am most disappointed.

Next comes the murders of the victims which are laughably terrible.  First of all there is not enough blood coming from the injuries to be believable.  Second, it's filmed as if through binoculars so I can't see worth shit. There was a lot of build up to the murders, but in the end, it was anticlimatic.  I was so disappointed with this film.  The acting is terrible, the dialog as boring as a lecture, the makeup/effects laughable, and the story felt disjointed.  I will give this film a 4/10.

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