Thursday, 8 July 2010

Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom

Continueing the foray into the realm of “sickest films ever” is this 1975 Italian entry. Highly contreversial amd banned in several countries Saló tells the “story” of a group of Facists living in WWII Italy that kidnap and sysematically abuse and torture a group of teenage children.

I have struggled to find a trailer for this on the net so here is a fan made one:

Saló, or the 120 Days of Sodom

Like AFTERMATH Saló appears to be very much an Art House movie. It is very sparse on any kind of incidental noise or score and for very long stretches completely silent. It has been trumpeted as a great triumph against fascism, a must see movie on the nature of humankind and a “Great gory flick”. I must admit it left me feeling rather nonplussed. vlcsnap-2010-07-08-16h16m04s34

Saló has oodles of Nudity but is never erotic, it has loads of brutality but never feels brutal nothing ever seemed to ring true to me and I blame this on the acting (or direction) of the victims. At no point did we really ever get the impression of their plight. These are people that have been kidnapped. Fear for their lives. Brutally raped with no warning. Stripped and denied clothing and in several sickening scenes fed their own collected excrement. But still I feel nothing because nobody seems bothered. The kids generally lounge around, sometimes naked. Often one will be pulled out into another room to have indignities thrust upon them, they seem unconcerned. The only real emotion seems to come at the climax which is where the gore comes into it. Their characters are non-existent and entirely uninteresting preventing any attempt at sympathy ever occurring. Rather then be horrifid at what happens to our victims I simply do not care.vlcsnap-2010-07-08-16h16m39s132

You see despite the trumpeting of 120 Days as a classic film making a statement I see something else. A scatologically obsessed filmmaker who has sneaked through into the mainstream his own little porno. With nothing to titillate (due to the disturbing scenarios) Saló manages to make gratuitous nudity and perverted sex entirely dull. The message it sends that Men can be evil and do horrible things is passed far more effectively in films such as Schindlers List or even documentaries about Pol Pot or the Holocaust. This fiction rather detracts from those true horrors by pretending it has a role in picturing the inhumanity of Man to Man. vlcsnap-2010-07-08-16h20m49s75

In conclusion I would say that I was sickened by Saló, not by the coprophagia, rape, mutilation and nudity but rather by the flimsy assertion that it is a “worthy” film. Saló is worthy of nothing and if it wasn’t for the shit eating and buggery it would have faded away years ago.

Hugely overrated and not at all entertaining Saló is best avoided.

Paul Out

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