10 Old Movies Too Disturbing For Mainstream Audiences | blameitonjorge

10 Old Movies Too Disturbing For Mainstream Audiences | blameitonjorge

For as long as Hollywood has been around,
filmmakers have endeavored to make dreams come to life. As far back as a century ago, in film’s
infancy, attempts at grand spectacle were already being made, and Hollywood has never
stopped trying to improve its capacity to blow our minds. But it was also discovered early on that going
straight for the fear center was just as effective, and often cheaper, than giving the audience
visions of the fantastic. So today, we’re going over 10 early films that are every bit
as unsettling today as they were decades ago- some that were even deemed too disturbing
for mainstream audiences. Freaks (1932)
Tod Browning was already a veteran film director by the time he scored an enormous success
with 1931’s Dracula, the Bela Lugosi-starring classic that helped to define the horror genre. Due to that film’s groundbreaking success,
Browning was given pretty much free rein to create a unique vision for his next project. He did not fail in that respect; his 1932
film Freaks has been described as inhabiting a genre all its own, one that no other filmmaker
has dared to touch. It’s the story of circus sideshow performers,
a trapeze artist and strongman, who conspire to kill one of their fellow performers for
his inheritance. But the cast was populated with actual freaks-
circus performers recruited by the producers, including conjoined twins, a limbless man
known as “The Human Torso”, and others with the types of deformations that audiences
had simply never seen. Test audiences were treated to a horrifying
ending in which the scheming pair are attacked by the freaks during a rainstorm, with the
strongman castrated and the trapeze artist mutilated beyond recognition. Most of this ending has been lost, as these
test audiences were appalled and one woman even threatened a lawsuit against production
company MGM, claiming that the film caused her to have a miscarriage. Despite being given a new ending and undergoing
other extensive cuts, the film was still considered extremely controversial upon its release. It effectively ended Tod Browning’s career
and was completely banned in the UK for 30 years The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1959)
Shot in 1959, The Brain That Wouldn’t Die didn’t see a theatrical release for three
years, as distributors were leery of its content. American International pictures, never a studio
to shy away from schlock, released the film to drive-in theaters in the summer of 1962
to shocked audiences, who got a look at what might be considered the first gore film. A mad transplant scientist accidentally decapitates
his fiancee, but manages to keep her head alive in his lab with mad transplant science. While he searches for a new body for her,
she develops a telepathic connection with a hulking monster that lurks behind a locked
door in the lab. The monster gets free- but
the chaos that ensued was not exactly what 1960’s audiences were used to seeing. Its first victim has his arm ripped right
the hell off, the stump leaving a bloody smear on the wall as he collapses. The second, the mad scientist himself, has
a giant chunk bitten out of his neck and spat onto the floor as the lab burns down, killing
everyone in it. This type of shocking violence, coming near
the end of what had been a reasonably conventional sci-fi movie, disturbed audiences and contributed
to the film’s reputation as being “a head” of its time- no pun intended. Ah! La Barbe! (1906) Segundo de Chamon has been called the Spanish George Melies and the most significant Spanish
filmmaker of the silent era. Like Melies, he was a pioneer in camera tricks
and editing techniques, and employed both early and often- to sometimes disturbing effect. In one of his most famous short films, Ah! La Barbe!, also known as The Funny Shave,
a man is jovially preparing to shave when he decides to take a taste of his shaving
cream. This apparently leads to some odd hallucinations,
as he sees a series of grotesque caricatures before him in the mirror, each one freakier
than the last. While the film’s subject doesn’t appear
to be particularly alarmed, it’s safe to say this is not anything we’d ever want
to see in our bathroom mirror in the morning. It takes our hero nearly two full minutes
to snap out of his shaving cream induced stupor and react in the appropriate manner. The Man Who Laughs (1928)
The 1928 film The Man Who Laughs was an American production with a German director famous for
working in that country’s typical Expressionist style It is a romance, and a melodrama, and not
at all a horror film. But its main character, Gwynplaine- although
he’s supposed to be sympathetic- is simply impossible to look at without hearing a small
creaking sound in that part of your brain where nightmares come from. The character is disfigured as a child with
a horrifying, permanent grin, making him sympathetic in the way that the Hunchback of Notre Dame
or the Phantom of the Opera is supposed to be. He works as a circus freak, of course, and
pines for the love of a blind girl before receiving a big inheritance and happily sailing
away to England. Really, that’s it. No terrifying turns of plot, no real horror
elements to the story at all, but, just look at Gwynplaine. Look at him. Obviously, it’s an extremely unsettling
character. It should come as no surprise that the hero
of this little-remembered 1920s melodrama is the obvious inspiration for one of the
most towering villains in all of pop culture. L’Inferno (1911)
The long and storied history of Italian cinema begins with the 1911 film L’Inferno, the
very first Italian feature film ever made. The film raked it in at home and overseas,
grossing $2 million in 1911 money in the United States alone, despite- or maybe because of-
the fact that it’s really freaking disturbing. Even today, the film’s old-timey qualities
tend to enhance the creepy factor rather than diminishing it. It’s based on Dante’s Inferno, and its
depictions of hell- with suicides hanging from trees and demons torturing hopeless souls-
were freaky enough to be reused several times in films as late as 1954. In fact, censors required that the 33 year-old
footage be removed from the 1944 film Go Down, Death because- among other reasons- of a scene
in which a woman’s naked breast is briefly seen, which must also be a cinematic first. L’Inferno showed very early on that people
would pay good money to have the shit scared out of them, and filmmakers around the world
took note. Maniac (1934)
Maniac was directed by Dwain Esper, who was not so much a film director as he was a smart
businessman who knew how to exploit the public’s taste for the strange. Esper worked outside the traditional Hollywood
system, taking his pictures on the road and advertising them with lurid flyers promising
all manner of craziness that was forbidden by the Hays Code in Hollywood films. He bought the rights to the aforementioned
Freaks, and was also responsible for a lot of exploitation dreck with titles like Marihuana:
Weed With Roots In Hell. Produced in 1934, It tells the story of a Vaudeville actor and
sex pervert who murders his doctor and assumes his identity, but the whole film plays as
if it were put together by an actual lunatic. True to its subject matter, it features startling
amounts of partial and actual nudity for a film its age, and features one notoriously
gruesome scene where a live cat has its eyeball popped out, which is thought to be either
a very good special effect or the clever use of a cat with a false eye. The film serves up plenty of psychoanalyzing
and purports to be some kind of cautionary tale, as if it weren’t giving its audience
exactly what they came to see. Haxan (1922)
The 1922 Danish film Haxan, subtitled Witchcraft Through the Ages, is a visual masterwork for
its time. Presented as a documentary, it puts forth
the idea that the Salem witches were suffering from mental illness, but this is neither here
nor there; when the film segues away from its informational portions and into its vignettes,
that’s when the unadulterated horror takes over. Director Benjamin Christensen portrays a truly
terrifying Satan who lures women from their beds in the middle of the night; there are
also depictions of torture, grave robbing and full-on nudity, though more of the artistic
than gratuitous type. It was all enough to earn the film a ban in
the United States, although it was highly acclaimed in Denmark and Sweden, and was the
most expensive Scandinavian production of that time. Some of its more disturbing footage would
be recycled for later low budget exploitation productions, such as the aforementioned Maniac. Meshes of the Afternoon (1943)
While she is not exactly a household name, the experimental films of Maya Deren influenced
a legion of Hollywood filmmakers. She boldly embraced any and all techniques
that would serve her vision, and her films are notable for pioneering techniques like
jump cuts, superimposition, multiple exposures and slow motion. Perhaps her best known short film, 1943’s
Meshes of the Afternoon is a masterpiece of ominous mood and circular narrative whose
influence on film in general is plain. Our heroine, Deren herself, is having a very
weird day. Events seem to keep repeating themselves,
things in her home keep moving around, and then there’s the matter of the black-cloaked
man with a mirror for a face. The short’s unprecedented use of bizarre
camera angles and its droning, percussive and unnerving soundtrack add to the entire
hallucinatory experience. Deren’s intent was to create a visual representation
of devastating psychological issues, and it’s safe to say she succeeded. While few are familiar with this piece, film
scholars acknowledge its impact; in 2015, the BBC cited it as the 40th greatest American
film- of any kind- ever made. Eyes Without a Face (1960)
Among horror fans, the 1960 French-Italian film Eyes Without a Face is legendary. Released the same year as Alfred Hitchcock’s
Psycho, Eyes Without a Face barely passed European censors due to its subject matter
and received an edited release in the US. It’s the story of a mad doctor who is obsessed
with finding his disfigured daughter a new face, even if the donors are less than willing. This 1960 film literally shows, with unflinching
detail, the surgical removal of a young woman’s face– and that’s not even the creepiest
part. The daughter is forced to wear a mask to hide
her disfigurement, and its proto-Michael Myers blankness is absolutely transfixing, and not
in a good or comfortable way. Of course, when we actually do get a look
at her under the mask, it is not any better at all. Despite a lukewarm reception upon release,
the film has come to be considered a masterpiece and its influence on other filmmakers has
been substantial. John Carpenter has acknowledged that Michael
Myers’ look was inspired by the film, John Woo largely copied the face transplant sequence
for his film Face/Off, and yes- Billy Idol also cited it as the inspiration for his hit
song of the same name. Un Chien Andalou (1929)
Un Chien Andalou was produced by the Spanish filmmaker Luis Bunuel and famed artist Salvador
Dali. As one might expect from any work in which
Dali is involved, it does not make a hell of a lot of sense. There is no actual plot; title cards jump
from “eight years later” to “around three in the morning” to “sixteen years
ago” with nothing seeming to change very much. The film is punctuated throughout with odd
and disturbing imagery, such as a shot of a woman prodding at a severed hand with a
cane, but it is the film’s opening sequence that earns it its place among the most disturbing
things one could ever hope to see. A man idly fiddles with a razor, contemplating
the moon. Suddenly, there’s a woman sitting in a chair. She stares ahead dispassionately, not even
flinching as the man slices open her eyeball, and the camera lingers as its insides spill
out. There were many theories as to how this effect
was achieved, but Bunuel eventually disclosed that used a dead calf, shaving its skin down
to make it appear as human as possible. Notes between the director and Dali revealed
that the film contains “No idea or image that might lend itself to a rational explanation
of any kind”, and that “nothing in the film symbolizes anything”.

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  1. Nice list! "The Brain that wouldn't die" os featured on MST3K so … I find it less disturbing than "Freaks" – which is an awesome movie!

  2. I know why you came to the comments section, so I'm just gunna leave these (film names) here (some not so old),
    120 days in Sodom,

  3. The man who laughs is a damn good movie. The make up is super scary and the love story is cute and heartbreaking. Very underrated movie

  4. I, watched Revenge of the Nerds 3: The Next Generation and then You-Tube this recommended video for me

  5. I, watched Revenge of the Nerds 3: The Next Generation and then You-Tube recommended this video for me.

  6. Forbid a film is very bullshit, i want to see all of those great movies, but especially the one with deformed anomalies at the circus

  7. I'm surprised they did not include "Salò."


  8. "Nothing in the film symbolizes anything". This usually is found in the closing credits of all Adam Sandler movies.

  9. I'm the child of the woman who miscarried due to this movie. I could tell you how that works, but I'd have to kill you.

  10. As a freshman in highschool (c.2009) we watched Number 1 in my Humanities class, which was a joint class between social studies and Language Arts, because we were learning about ambiguity.

  11. yeah well the joker you showed is an very bad version of him,on my opinion you should show the y'know old one,from the Tim Burton's Batman movie

  12. Y’all really just disrespecting the joker at 5:54 by showing that version of the jokers character Jared Leto was terrible

  13. I saw The Brain That Wouldn't Die at my grandma's house on TV early 70's on a Saturday probably. I remember the part the man getting his arm ripped off and that monster. She was always playing B&W movies like this whenever we'd visit her. I use to have nightmares about stepping quicksand.

  14. I feel bad for giggling when they said “one woman even threatened a lawsuit against production company MGM, claiming that the film had caused her to have a miscarriage.”

  15. A shame The Evil Dead wasn't on this list as it got an X rating for how utterly grotesque it is and dealt with a lot of backlash and censorship around the world. Sam Raimi even went to a UK court and nearly went to prison for obscenity charges, but he was found to be not guilty.

  16. I'm disappointed you guys didn't put begotten and cannibal holocaust among these. Absolute classics.
    U got a new sub anyway. Awesome content, great video!

  17. If I were different like the characters in 'Freaks' I would never want to be in a movie titled 'Freaks'…I dont understand why people would want to do that to themselves?

  18. "The Brain That Wouldn't Die" is legendary for being goofy as heck, and has more plot holes than you can shake a stick at.

  19. okay, that was dumb. You used the WORST version of Joker ever made, the most dumb, the most inane, and the least scary.

  20. A little obvious, but All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) held many harrowing wartime moments that still manage to discomfort modern audiences.

  21. I'm still waiting to be hororized with any of these films. I think more than horrifying they are actually masterpieces at least to me they are. As my favorite I would love to see #6 Lucifer., but all are good!!

  22. Seen most of the movies. They don't really hold up and it seems allmost hilarious how easily audiences cold be shocked. (well. movies were still a new thing). Please do list about "video nasties from 70-80's. Many of those hold up being absolutely disturbing. Works of luci Fulci at his prime and many others.

  23. Of all the fucking jokers to use he used literally the worst one. He could have used literally any other incarnation. That hurt my sensibilities

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