Do you feel the Halloween spirit year-round? Do you wish it was socially acceptable to wear fake blood to the office? Well, what better way to curb that craving than to watch some nasty horror movies? Not just typical nasty horror movies—some of the nastiest horror movies ever made.
You should be warned: this isn't your casual, tasteful blood-and-guts affair designed to entice newcomers. This is some hardcore horror fan sh*t right here. Honestly, some of these films would probably gross out Eli Roth.
As a genre, horror plays on primal fears. Things that go bump in the night, irrational fears come-true, even general catastrophes like powerful storms. Hell, even simple phobias like a fear of small spaces can be horrifying in the right hands. Here, however, we'll take a peek at the nastiest, goriest, most stomach-churning horror films ever conceived.
There will be at least one notable exception, which plays more into the psychological branch of horror than the other films. However, even that gem possesses a fair share of uncomfortable nastiness and a vomit-inducing torture scene at the end. It's going to be... what's the opposite of delightful? Delightless? Delightless.
A film that epitomizes the phrase "not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach," Srđan Spasojević's A Serbian Film (2010) disturbs and shocks with perverse and transgressive sexual imagery. The plot is fairly simple: an out-of-work porn actor agrees to appear in an art movie, only to find he's actually been drafted to act as the killer in a snuff film. What proceeds is a parade of depravity the likes of which you will never forget.
Spasojević insists the film is a subversion of Serbia's film standards and bureaucracies, but the socio-political movitvations behind the madness do not make the madness any less disquieting.
Actors: Jelena Gavrilovic, Srđan Todorović, Sergej Trifunović, Ana Sakic, Nenad Herakovic, + more
Initial Release: 2010
Directed by: Srdjan Spasojevic
Cannibal Holocaust (1980) is, quite simply, one of the most controversial films ever made.
The movie takes a “found footage” approach. After a group of filmmakers go missing in the Amazon, footage is retrieved that displays their grisly fate. Taking the idea of “controversy sells” way too far, the protagonists terrorize a local tribe to create more exciting content for their film. Eventually, the natives have enough, and all hell breaks loose. Every murder, rape, and torture of an animal is shown in graphic, gruesome detail. What's worse is that the violence against animals wasn't faked.
The level of violence in Cannibal Holocaust led to it being banned upon its initial release. Many countries, like the US, have lifted the ban, but it still remains off-limits in some nations. Director Ruggero Deodato was even arrested on obscenity and murder charges in Milan because authorities believed the on-screen deaths were real. Deodato had to testify that the actors were all still alive; the murder charges were eventually dropped.
Actors: Ruggero Deodato, Luca Barbareschi, Robert Kerman, Gregory Snegoff, Edward Mannix, + more
Initial Release: 1980
Directed by: Ruggero Deodato
There's a plot to The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009), but honestly, the story doesn't matter. You're pretty much watching this stylized trash for one reason and one reason only: to witness a mad scientist create the titular abomination by stitching one person's lips to to another's anus, and so on, and so on. One wonders how much popcorn was wasted while this one ran in theaters, given that nobody wanted to eat it while watching hands-down one of the nastiest things ever conceived.
Actors: Ashley C. Williams, Dieter Laser, Akihiro Kitamura, Ashlynn Yennie, Andreas Leupold, + more
Initial Release: 2009
Directed by: Tom Six
Japanese cult film director Takashi Miike’s Audition (1999) is a wild ride that is uniquely unsettling.
Audition is not your typical horror film; it starts off and proceeds like a romantic drama.
Shigeharu (Ryo Ishibashi) lost his wife seven years ago to a sudden illness. His son, Shigehiko (Tetsu Sawaki), convinces him it's time to move on and he agrees to start dating again. With help from a friend involved in the movie industry, Shigeharu holds auditions for a fake movie in hopes of finding the perfect new wife.
Shigeharu becomes obsessed with a prospect named Asami (Eihi Shiina) and they begin dating. But when Asami discovers the movie was all a ploy, her character changes instantly. Shigeharu and his son soon discover Asami’s dark and disturbing past. They try to track her down at the bar where she purportedly works, but find it's been closed for more than a year. The owner had been brutally dismembered and the police never found the killer.
The movie quickly descends into psychological horror as Asami gets more and more sadistic. It really gets going when Asami forces Shigeharu to eat her vomit from a dog bowl. But, of course, that's not the worst of it. Audition isn’t a film that’s chock full of gore, but its overall nastiness will definitely make you queasy.
Actors: Eihi Shiina, Renji Ishibashi, Ren Osugi, Jun Kunimura, Ryo Ishibashi, + more
Initial Release: 1999
Directed by: Takashi Miike
#33 on The Goriest Movies Ever Made