The term “Torture Porn” can be interpreted in many different fashions. I myself conder the term indicative of a feature that equates death scenes with the almighty “money shot” delivered by pornographic films. The TP sub-genre also mirrors adult films in the fact that neither tend to offer much of a story, rather than mindless filler to usher viewers along until the next big death scene, or ejaculation.
That’s only my personal stance on torture porn, and I can understand slightly different takes on the subject; I.E.: brutal torture sequences with a hint of sexually explicit content. Regardless of what your personal idea of torture porn is, it’s always been a relatively easy feat in identifying what the general consumer might conder torture porn.
While I can enjoy flicks like Saw and Hostel, I wanted to speak on a few films that didn’t necessarily garner the attention to warrant numerous sequels. In a few cases that’s certainly a good thing. However, I wouldn’t mind seeing a sequel to one or two of these pictures, and in all honesty, I'm not even a fan of the sub-genre!
5. I Spit On Your Grave: I’m picking the 2010 remake in this instance, as I feel it’s as vile as the original, without carrying such a strong sense of male chauvinism. Meir Zarchi’s original telling was effective, but mindless all the same, resulting in what feels more a display of hatred for women than a study in savage revenge. The reboot offers up plenty of disturbing sequences, and while the original had some impacting visuals, they lacked the vivid nature of those captured in the updated tale. This isn’t a terrific film by any means, but it’s a modern torture fest that merits a viewing or two.
4. Turistas: The story here is so recycled it’s nauseating; oblivious tourists find themselves in the center of a sadistic surgeon’s sacred place of torment. Fortunately for fans of gore, the visuals are disturbing (especially for a film that earned a wide release), in fact, one can ealy argue that the grizzly visuals in this feature far outshine (I’m not sure that’s the best wording!) those offered by the far more popular Hostel, which clearly served as inspiration for Turistas. This one is actually quite enjoyable, and despite being panned by critics, it offers some endearing qualities including some solid work from Josh Duhamel and Melissa George.
3. Morituris: After all the controversy this film has sparked, I found it mandatory to do everything in my power to track down a screener of the film. I can honestly say that, while the film is despicable on many levels, it’s not quite the shitheap I anticipated. The story is unforgiving, and it certainly feels as though director Raffaele Picchio holds some form of personal disdain for women. Having said that, the violence is quite effective, the effects work is solid and believe it or not, it does manage to really pull at the viewer. It’s easy to loathe damn near every character we meet, but there are also a few memorable players in tow. This certainly isn’t a good picture; it is however worthy of watching, if for no other reason than to determine how accurate you personally feel early reviews really are.
2. Audition: This gem from prolific Japanese filmmaker, Takashi Miike is superb, and should ealy be condered the finest film to grace this list. Though the picture starts slow, it ends with a bang. If you happen to really enjoy the inner workings of screen characters, you likely won’t be too disappointed with the leisurely pace of the first two acts as they serve to deliver viewers plenty of development. The finale on the other hand, is all about visceral madness and trademark savagery for Miike; this is one of the most disturbing climax’ to find its way to film in recent memory. While Asami’s torture filled onslaught is a bit unsettling to watch, I must confess: I’ve seen much more graphic material on film.
1. Tumbling Doll of Flesh: Speaking of graphic material, this one has it. It also, in a sense completely lives up to the term torture porn, as this one is stuffed with both hardcore pornography, and some startlingly realistic gore that is likely to cause some rumblings in the belly. This one is tough to find, and the veron that I happened to track down lacks English subtitles, so I can’t lie to you: I don’t know all the details to this story. From the visual elements of the film, I’m not sure there’s much story to worry about. Watch for some highly unnerving shit to unfold before your eyes; it all begins with some hardcore oral and vaginal intercourse. It only heads downhill from there. Limbs are chopped, tongues fileted, intestines sexually ravaged. It’s all so outlandish that it’s a) hard to watch, and b) so insanely out there that it’s (strangely) humorous in a sense. Of course it’s repulve, that should go without saying. While Tumbling Doll of Flesh is a bona fide piece of shit, it’s worth seeing just to get a feel for what true torture porn can be!