10 Censored Movies That Are Now Considered Cult Films

martes, 11 de abril de 2017 11:22

|Diana Garrido

Indian painter M.F. Hussain was exiled from his country after painting his famous piece, Bharat Mata. The name, referring to the Hindu Mother Goddess (or Mother India), was the inspiration for the "Indian Picasso," who represented her with bright and contrasting colors. Hussain portrayed her fully naked and with an bold red skin. Indian people considered the painting to be grotesque and outrageous, accusing the painter of hurting people's feelings. They banned him from the country, so he couldn't return, even after his death.

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Once he became an exile, news of the blasphemous artist spread throughout the international art world. Thus Hussain's paintings turned into classic art. Although his pictorial work is prolific, Bharat Mata is now considered a cult painting. Censorship gave it its canonic status, reserved for irreverent authors and lovers of rebelliousness that are later acknowledged by critics. Those who dare to express their vision differently will always have a special place in the collective memory. However, that memory won't always be negative, since, in the end, the passing of time can immortalize these artists.

Many movies have faced that treatment. The effect they had on their viewers at the time was so shocking that most of them denigrated these films. But later on, these were considered classics because of their subversive ideology, their depiction of an era, or their treatment of certain topics. Due to their disturbingly grotesque spirit, together with their flawed technique, the following films once provoked fear and repulsion, but are now considered a must-watch for any movie buff.

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Roar (1981) - Noel Marshall

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In an attempt to raise awareness about the preservation of animals, Marshall ended creating one of the most dangerous and shocking films ever made. He intended to portray real animal behavior, so the animals used for the production weren't fully trained. It's no surprise, then, that their wild nature came to light. Several crew and cast members were injured. The blood and wounds that appear on screen are real. Not the best idea, right?

Cannibal Holocaust (1980) - Ruggero Deodato

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Portraying cannibalism wasn't enough for this Italian director, so he also added a dose of racism and explicit torture to this grotesque equation. As if the idea wasn't shocking enough, he even sacrificed some animals on-screen. Critics have considered it disgusting and tasteless. The director was arrested and charged with murder because the deaths on screen were disgustingly real, so the cast had to show themselves to prove they were still alive. This found-footage film tells the story of a crew that disappears in the Amazon rainforest after a group of cannibals captures them. Despite the movies' disturbing and gory plot, its innovative techniques would become highly used in horror films such as The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity. Still, it's a movie that only brave people should watch.

I Spit On Your Grave (1978) - Meir Zarchi

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This film tells the story of a woman exacting revenge against the men who raped her. It was originally considered a feminist film, however, this label has disappeared due to the brutality it depicts. The movie is extremely violent. It was censored at the time, and even ultra-violent-style fans consider it to be too much. Although some gore specialists rate it as a bad movie, Zarchi's piece is recognized as a cult movie today.

Pink Flamingos (1972) - John Waters

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With explicit sexual scenes, Waters' debut film was extremely controversial. Thanks to the plot and the amazing cast, Pink Flamingos is probably the most beloved, grotesque, and obscene cult movie of all times.

A Clockwork Orange (1971) - Stanley Kubrick

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When Kubrick read Anthony Burgess' novel, he wasn't very pleased. Later on, when his biopic about Napoleon was canceled, he was offered the project that would become one of the most admired films of history. Due to the rape scenes, the characters' extreme violence, and McDowell's sass, the movie was censored for a while.

Freaks (1932) - Tod Browning

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This is the oldest film on our list, and also the one that ruined Browning's career. After succeeding with Dracula in 1931the director wanted to portray his teen experiences as the presenter of a freak show. An amputee man whose main routine is to light a cigarette, a set of siamese twins, and microcephalic characters are the protagonists of this story. Although it wasn't well received at its time, it's now considered a masterpiece of horror films.

The Last House on the Left (1972) - Wes Craven

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Before becoming one of the best directors of horror and thrillers, Craven debuted with this film inspired by Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring. Through a shocking plot, the spectator gets immersed in a sea of dark humor and fear. Due to its peculiar use of violence, the film was banned in the United Kingdom. Scream, It, and Nightmare on Elm Street are children's movies compared to The Last House on the Left.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1972) - Tobe Hooper

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Allegedly based on real events, this movie took horror to a whole new level. There was a huge controversy after its release when people found out the origins of the film. Later on, it was revealed that it wasn't completely based on true events. No matter what, forty years after its release, this movie is still well received and continues to traumatize viewers.

Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979) - Terry Jones

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Of course, this movie was the protagonist of a huge controversy when it was released. Accused of blasphemy by the Catholic Church, the movie tells the story of a man who's born on the same night as Jesus Christ. In a comic and irreverent way, the movie shows how Brian lives under Jesus' shadow. This film, which is still censored and banned by many religious groups, is one of the most important cult comedies of all times.

Maniac (1980) - William Lustig

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Starring and written by Joe Spinell, Maniac tells the story of a traumatized serial killer who slaughters people to use their skin on his mannequins. Rated as an R-movie in the United States, and forbidden in the United Kingdom, the movie was censored for many years because it portrayed explicit violence for the sake of entertainment.

The horror genre has created provocative and disturbing movies that are considered masterpieces by the critics and audience. However, the movies on this list have taken these formulas to a whole new level.

If you like horror movies, you can't miss these 10 Horror Movies That You Will Never Want to Watch Alone. If you prefer more complex plots instead of gory films, here are 5 Independent Psychological Horror Films That Will Give You Many Sleepless Nights.

Translated by María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards
Diana Garrido

Diana Garrido