(Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma)1975NR
Director Pasolini’s final film tells the story of four Fascists who kidnap a group of young men and women in WWII Italy. Adaptation of the Marquis de Sade’s “The 120 Days of Sodom.” Italian with English subtitles.
Salo or the 120 Days of Sodom
Rating: 1 out of 10
Warning: This review contains tons of spoilers. You won’t really care because the film completely sucked and I’m doing you a favor by reviewing this hunk of shit so that you won’t have to ever put your eyeballs through torture.
Wow, what a complete piece of shit. Literally, shit. I mean, the characters in the film are forced to eat it so I have a sneaking suspicion that the late director Pier Paolo Pasolini might understand what this film makes the audience feel like. I was always curious what this film actually was. It was banned in several countries and has carried the stigma of being one of the most controversial and disgustingly sexual and violent films ever made. Now, before that piques your interest, I will list some of the wonderful and creative things that Pasolini does to his characters: sitting in shit, eating shit, homosexual rape, sodomy, forced oral sex, eyeball removal with a knife, a captor playing with himself while watching a teenage girl urinate, charring a teenage boy with a hot branding iron, public fornication, and murder. I wanted to shut the movie off so many times that I can’t even tell you but that wouldn’t have given me a chance to write this review so that I could vent my frustrations. I will never review a film that I haven’t completed. So, I will use this review to counter the positive sentiments that this film has received from select viewers over the years. Criterion released this pile of shit and should be ashamed. This isn’t art. Art is something that is created through imagination and creativity. Pornography is the depiction of acts in a sensational manner to arouse a quick emotional reaction. Salo is the utter definition of pornography.
I read up on the internet after I watched this despicable pile of pig shit and read from several defenders that it was Pasolini’s statement on Fascism and how it degrades human beings to animals. That would have been a worthwhile effort if that was what he put on screen. I have no problem seeing violence or sexuality in a movie if it serves a purpose. But, if the purpose is to merely disgust, then what artistic merit does it provide? It’s not just cruelty and mockery of all things that human beings hold sacred: autonomy, intimacy, self preservation, religion, and values. It becomes pornographic when the characters are forced into a room and told sexual stories to get their captors in the mood before they rape them, force them to eat their shit, or any other myriad of horrid things that Pasolini subjects on the viewer. I cannot warn people here enough. Salo is one of the worst films ever made and an insult to the Criterion collection.