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KP says: Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma   Rating: Rating: 3/6   
Updated: 2008-03-16 12:34:19    Type:  movie review     English  View Comment Details   
This 1976 movie by Pier Paolo Pasolini has been described by many as one of the most disturbing and sick movies in the history of film. I am afraid I have to disagree.

The story is about 4 fascists in Italy during WW2 abducting a group of young boys and girls and then outliving their sick fantasies which mostly include anal rape, shit eating and torture of various forms. For most parts of the movie the victims are more or less nude (if that disturbs anybody.)

It is based upon a novel by Marquis De Sade (which I haven't read) and the fantasies are arranged in groups called "The Circle of Manias", "The Circle of Shit" and "The Circle of Blood". Some say the movie should be seen as a criticism of fascism and I guess that sounds plausible.

The technical side is one of the movie's problems. It is an italian movie, but has however been insanely badly dubbed by italians??? Besides that, some of the actors are centainly better actors than others. The dialogue includes sentences and jokes? that make no sense at all, which doesn't help a lot either. The picture and sound quality is quite ok for an old movie that has been transferred to dvd.

The scenes are not particularly realistic. I assume it would be difficult to eat shit with a spoon (your own shit or other people's) without vomitting immediately. Also I couldn't really figure out why the captured youngsters didn't try to steal a weapon from their guards and simply kill them. It seemed quite easy. And I would say it was a risk worth taking, instead of just passively being tortured to death.

The scenes themselves may have been shocking and explicit in the seventies, but today they mostly look comical and badly performed. You won't see a single thing you haven't seen way better or more explicit in the common shock horror movie. Only the torture scenes near the end are somewhat disturbing.

While not being totally bad it is not exactly a good movie, especially not by today's standards. I am certain it could be made hundreds of times more realistic, convincing and truly disturbing if somebody chose to do a remake of it today, going completely over the top. Perhaps reading the novel and picturing the movie yourself, would be a much better idea. In any way, you shouldn't expect too much from this movie, if you choose to see it. Then you won't be disappointed.
 
Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma (movie review)
 
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