Movies; Admit it, we need them. We need movies to survive. Alright, alright, we’re toning down the drama, but seriously, not even the most hardcore movie hater can deny the importance of movies and the entertainment business. Movies and the film industries not only give stardom to actors and actresses, but they also give fashion bloggers, paparazzi, TMZ people and other similar people who have no options in life, opportunities to earn livelihoods, and they also give bored people a way to kill time. From our points of view, most of our dates have also been at the movies, we don’t know whether it was from the lack of funds or because of our actual liking for movies, but it was hell of a lot of fun.
Anyway, just like everything in life, there are good movies and there are bad movies. Among all the genres of movies, the most interesting and probing ones are the cult movies. What are cult movies? Mostly when the story or background of a movie causes some controversy, it’s generally classed as a cult film. Movies containing mild controversies aren’t really that bad, what we mean by that is, they don’t cause much trouble or speculations, but sometimes some overly-bold and somewhat stupid director puts a lot of contentious things in his/her movies and then a lot of hype gets created. Well, creating hype is probably the main intention behind these movies, but International terror threats and stuff are probably not, and some of these notorious movies tend to do just that.
Starting from showing ultra-violence to making religious and political authorities super mad, the movies in this controversial list have done it all.
10. Nekromantik (1988)
Leave it to German film director JörgButtgereit to put necrophilia and romance together. This 1988 film is known to be very controversial and is banned in quite a few countries like Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Norway, Singapore, Malaysia and many more (no wonder).
It’s about a guy named Rob Schmadtke who works for “Joe’s Cleaning Agency”, which is a company that cleans up dead bodies from public places. (Yes, that’s an actual job apparently. And yes, we were equally surprised.) This “job” lets him follow his full time hobby of necrophilia and allows him to bring his girlfriend, fellow necrophiliac Betty, gifts (decapitated human remains, and corpses) from time to time. Long story short, she leaves him when he’s let go from his job and he goes into a murderous rage, and the “climax” of the film shows that Rob commits suicide himself while ejaculating. (Pun not intended)
What’s worse is, this film has a sequel.
9. Kids (1995)
Kids is a teen drama/detailed film about sex, drugs and life on the mean city streets of New York. In the film, the characters are followed through one day in New York City. Telly and his buddy Casper do horrible bad boy things, and if a virgin happens to cross their path, well, hurray for Telly. Unfortunately for the virgins, Telly has HIV. Jennie, a former conquest of Telly’s, discovers she is HIV-positive that day, and makes it her life’s mission to stop Telly.
Written by 19-year old Harmony Korine, the dialogue practically puts Quentin Tarantino to shame. And the reason this film caused so much excitement is because the actors are barely pubescent KIDS! The ‘realness’ of this unforgettable movie has parents, teens, Bob Dole and the MPAA ogling with their mouths hung open.
8. Dogma (1999)
Religious parody is taken to new heights with this film about two angels. Kevin Smith went to great lengths to make this blasphemous indictment of the Catholic Church. He explains things A LOT, in an overlong monologue sprinkled throughout the entire film, but it’s still an extremely funny movie and has a great cast; including Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Salma Hayek and our very own Professor Snape.
Even though the film got good reception from critics, it did not go unnoticed by the Catholics worldwide. Other than sparking much-publicized protests from the Catholic League, they also sent anonymous death threats. Mostly to the Weinstein brothers, who passed them along to Director Kevin Smith.
7. Pretty Baby (1978)
Do you like child prostitution? Of course, you don’t! Then don’t watch this film. Pretty Baby is about a 12-year-old prostitute, Violet, daughter of Hattie, another prostitute living in New Orleans when prostitution was legal.
The film’s plot is quite “interesting”. The male lead, E.J. Bellocq is a photographer, who frequents the elegant brothel, in which Hattie was working at the time, to take photographs. Hattie’s daughter falls in love with Bellocq, and they, through the course of the film, develop a messed up lover/father-daughter relationship. In the end, Violet’s mother comes back to take her away and Bellocq decides to let her go because he realizes that she needs to go to school. (Brilliant) The film caused momentous controversy, thanks to its portrayal of child prostitution, and scenes of the 12-year-old nude Brooke Shields.
6. The Birth of a Nation (1915)
This outrageous movie excretes radical racism in every scene. White actors in black faces played the role of black men, who were depicted as brainless monsters. They were bravely driven away by the “heroic” Klan. The film was protested by the NAACP after its release, and riots broke out in several major U.S. cities.
In black segregated America, this was the first motion picture to be screened in the White House under President Woodrow Wilson. It’s also one of the catalysts that influenced the”second era” of the Ku Klux Klanin the same year. The film was used as a recruiting tool for the KKK. In spite of the controversial and explicitly racist content, director Griffith’s pioneering techniques make it one of the most significant and powerful films in history.
5. The Human Centipede (2009)
Taking Nazi medical experiments as the inspiration for making films can never be a good idea. The Human Centipede exists (unfortunately) as proof of that very fact. The film received depressing reviews from mainstream film critics (of course), but it won several awards at International Film Festivals.
In the film, the crazy surgeon Dr. Joseph Heiter dreams of making new creatures by sewing people as one. He captures two American tourists, Lindsay and Jenny, and a male Japanese tourist named Katsuro. He describes how he will surgically attach his three victims mouth-to-anus, so that they share a single digestive system. And he does, with Katsuro in the front, Lindsay in the middle and Jenny in the rear. In the end, Heiter, Katsuro and Jenny all die; leaving poor Lindsay trapped and her fate unknown. (Like… seriously?)
4. A Serbian Film (2010)
So, this movie is about an ex-adult entertainment star (SrdjanTodorovic) who’s stressed and struggling to support his family. And that’s why he agrees to make an art film, which turns out to be a snuff film, that contains themes of pedophilia, necrophilia and sexual assault, but of course, he didn’t know that.
After its release, the Serbian state accused and investigated the film for offense against sexual morals and crimes related to the protection of minors. The film is banned from screening in Spain, Finland, Portugal, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore and Norway, and was also banned in Brazil for a short time. Netflix also took the film out of their list of titles available for viewing and their in-site search results.
3. Antichrist (2009)
This failed attempt at evoking psychological insight by director Lars Von Trier is simply appalling and misogynistic. Apart from being empty and exploitative, this movie answers one of the most basic questions asked in life. What is the root of all human evil? And the un-fulfilling and simplistic answer that it provides is- women are evil. Genitalia mutilation and the bloody sex scenes depicted in the movie paint a clear picture of that message in our heads. Sadly, the graphic violence doesn’t carry any weight or tragic power, it just distracts from the narrative. (And disgusts the audience)
Despite everything and all the controversies, the film managed to get very high ratings and accolades. It got titled as a “grotesque masterpiece” by the Danish daily newspaper, Politiken.
2. The Da Vinci Code (2006)
It’s become blatantly obvious that films centered on religion always attract controversy. This movie adaptation of Dan Brown’s bestselling novel got some serious backlash from the Catholic Church, and all because the director, Ron Howard, refused to put up a disclaimer before the release of the film, saying that it’s based on fiction. The members of Church even threatened to take legal action against Howard.
The film was not well received during a preview for movie critics in the Cannes film festival. During the part when Sophie Neveu is claimed to be the “last living descendant of Jesus Christ”, the film received a mixture of roaring laughter and disheartening boos. Critics’ reviews about the movie were mostly negative, many of them describing the film as boring, unhistorical and full of absurd plot twists.
1. The interview (2014)
Hollywood’s stoner king, Seth Rogen, rubs North Korea off in the wrong-est of ways possible with this political satire/comedy film. The controversial film is the most recent in a long line of movies that caused a substantial amount of controversy leading up to its release.
It didn’t get released on the 25th of December, 2014, because Sony pulled the plug on this film, but not without good reason. The same people who hacked into the Sony files, threatened a 9/level attack on the theaters where the film would be released. Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan then declared that the film won’t be released in Japan, as live-action comedy films “don’t perform well” in the market. Also, in the Asia-Pacific region, the film will only be released in Australia and New Zealand. (Ouch)