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movies everyone should see at least once
bizarre and/or disturbing edition

Interstate 60
Six-String Samurai
Battle Royale
People Under the Stairs
Cemetery Man
Session 9
Heavenly Creatures

[Note, I know that there are more popular bizarre/disturbing movies, i.e., anything Lynch, but this list is confined to those movies that most people I know have not seen, or even heard of in some cases]

One movie I hesitate to recommend but you may want to see in a "what the hell did I just watch?" kind of way:

Ichi the Killer

Additions welcome.


I'd add Primer to the list.

Santa Sangre fits in nicely with this topic:


His mother Concha is a trapeze artist who swings from her own hair, and his father Orgo is a knife thrower who drinks way too much. To complicate matters, little Fenix is in puppy love with the Tattooed Woman's deaf-mute daughter.

When the father isn't busy getting drunk and making out with the Tattooed Women, he's tying up Fenix and carving tattoos into his chest with a knife ...

The dead circus elephant being dropped over the side of a cliff and the peasants cutting it up for food was also kind of ... disturbing.

Very, very good movie though - HIGHLY recommended ... not disturbing for the sake of being disturbing, just disturbing.

I absolutely loved People Under the Stairs, and have watched it many times. Six-String Samurai, however, was too much even for me and I only made it about 30 minutes before I had to shut it off. And I've sat all the way through "You Got Served" and "Freddie Got Fingered".

Six String Samurai had some of the best quotes ever.

Mesh-Head: If I were you, I'd run!
Buddy: If you were me, you'd be good-looking.

I LOVE Titus. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one...

I saw Battle Royale at New Year. Quite frankly I wish that I had watched Casino Royale instead.
In my very own personal opinion it was the biggest load of shite that I have seen in a long time.
Two hours of my life gone for ever in a meaningless glut of violence masquerading as something deep and meaningful. Complete load of arse.

That's it! I'm taking my age and going home.

Two hours of my life gone for ever in a meaningless glut of violence masquerading as something deep and meaningful.

And therein lies the problem. I never viewed as deep and meaningful, just a shitload of violent, bizarre fun.

I liked "Titus" too, and I own a copy of "Battle Royale".

I too saw "Ichi the Killer", and I thought that was a total waste of time. I love violent movies, but in my opinion, "Ichi" was waaay too exploitive.

May I suggest: "Straight to Hell", and "Versus", and "Andy Warhols Frankenstein".

200 Motels is probably the weirdest movie ever made. "Directed by Frank Zappa" is all that needs to be said. I'm just not sure if people need to see it at all. I've heard "The Forbidden Zone" by Danny Elfman's brother is extremely bizarre. I'd maybe put "Blue Velvet" on that list.

Serpent and the Rainbow?
Naked Lunch?

I saw that "Ichi the Killer" movie on the Sundance Channel recently. That really was one violently f'd-up movie.

Dork (I love calling you that), I used to go see 200 Motels at a small cinema here many, many moons ago. They showed it at midnight. I can't say I remember a single thing about it except that it was directed by Frank Zappa. Damn drugs.

Serpent and the Rainbow - gave me nightmares. Will never, ever watch again.

Session 9 scared the crap out of me. And I love that it's not at all "startle" type scares. It just slowly gets under your skin and starts bothering you on a really primal level. ::shudder::

Yea, Session 9 fucked me up for a while. I couldn't sleep at all the night I watched it.

Of all of those movies the only one I have seen is Six-String Samurai. I mocked it at the time but it wasn't all that bad (at least it had some snappy comebacks from the always-deadpan hero).

There's a good one where a high school kid lives between the walls of his house. I thought it was "Twisted Brain," but looking at the reviews, I'm not sure that's it.

I've never seen it, but one of my friends swears by "Re-Animator."

And I'm not sure if it fits the genre, but "The Other" disturbed (scared the hell out of) me as a kid.

I love people under the stairs but six string made me fall asleep and I love movies. Probably as much as you. I'll watch anything but oh my god, I wanted to like gouge my eyes out.

I nominate Shallow Grave.

Heavenly Creatures: excellent choice, and a very good movie in its own right.

I'd also nominate the original (Norwegian) version of Insomnia; it's far more disturbing than the recent American remake (which nonetheless is relatively good for a remake).

You probably know this or you wouldn't be watching the movie, but Battle Royale the novel is a great book. (Much better than the film BTW.) Check it out!

Since we seem to be leaning toward Asian film:

I second that nomination of Versus.

Fans of Ichi might also like Tetsuo Body Hammer.

Cure was also disturbing, but you need to totally be paying attention and not petting your girlfriend's knee while watching it. Or you'll miss all the, you know, the psychology.

And, ummm, Audition was disturbing. But I wouldn't watch that again, and I wouldn't recommend that anybody else watch it.

Electra Glide in Blue

And therein lies the problem. I never viewed as deep and meaningful, just a shitload of violent, bizarre fun

You might be right there. The guy who brought the film along had prepped us on the fact that this is seen as some deep, meaningful thing in Japan. Two Japanese friends said the same thing. So perhaps my perception was coloured by my expectations.

Agains my better judgement I am toying with the idea of reading the novel...

Hey, I just thought of one: what about Liquid Sky?

Blue Velvet

I can't believe somebody else saw Electra Glide in Blue.

I nominate Reanimator


Disturbed me, anyway. Definitely bizarre.

I guess there are three of us who saw 'Electra Glide in Blue.' Who'd a thunk it?

We'll actually be doing a Lynchfest next fall down here at the college, largely because I just want to creep the hell out of the kids when they watch Eraserhead.

Movie fan story: The second time I went to see Eraserhead was with a bunch of my college friends in sophomore year. We got back from the showing at about 2 a.m., and we all just sat there in the dorm lobby, none of us saying anything... except:

"And then there was that... eeeewwww."

For two hours.

That's when I knew this was an important film.

For general disturbance purposes, let me nominate Brazil.

I second Shallow Grave. First movie I saw Ewan MacGregor in.

david cronenberg:


Holy Mountain--same guy who directed Santa Sangre. Inexplicably bizarre, drug-fueled weirdness.

Begotten. 90 minutes, no dialogue. High contrast, b&w "cinematography" with film looking like it was run through a trash compactor, making what it is actually occurring on screen extremely difficult to ascertain (whatever is going on is definitely not pleasant) esp. when slightly inebriated. Good times!

Gozu. Latest flick from Takehisi Mike (Ichii the Killer) to make it to the states. This is his "weird & Lynchian" movie. Slobbering cow-heads, lactation a-plenty, bizarre sexual kinks (of course), and a birthing scene for the ages to wrap it all up. You know, for kids!

Oh, and The Hellstrom Chronicle. 1970's pseudo-documentary about how insects are going to triumph over man. Like Microcosmos but evil.

"Hellevator: The Bottled Fools."
Another demented Japanese disturbo-film.

"meet the feebles"

Coincidentally, I watched Session 9 last night. Didn't do much for me at all.

For Miike, I'm not too crazy about Ichi. But I do recommend Audition, Visitor Q, and Fudoh; The Next Generation.

Battle Royale is great-on-a-stick; can't say the same about the sequel.

I saw People Under the Stairs years ago and didn't think much of it until someone clued me in on it being an allegory for the Reagan years. Then I was right on board.

bizarre/disturbing for different reasons:
The Apple
Can Heironymous Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?

People Under the Stairs was an allegory for the Reagan years? Wow, I had know idea. Still liked it

Fantastic Planet....first saw it in the 70's at a theater. We thought it was so trippy that we came back to see it after dropping mescaline. It was quite an experience.

Session 9 scared the bleep out of me, and I loved every twisty, spooky second. People Under the Stairs, on the other hand... bleh. It seemed to get too caught up on obvious social commentary at the end rather than making its point through allegory. That, and the kid turned into a SuperHero without even a scratch. But maybe it's just me.

I'd add City of Lost Children to the list. Extremely visual and weird.

Damn, Y'all already mentioned so many of the flicks that I like.

Ok, I'm going to nominate The Naked Lunch, Following, and The Doom Generation

Add memento & eternal sunshine of the spotless mind to the more recent bizarre/disturbing movie list. Blaine, wow...I didn't think anyone else has ever seen "Meet the Feebles". Think Muppets but waaaay twisted. I think we were pretty f-ed up when we came across it at the video store...don't remember much from those days but that movie is hard to forget. It's kind of traumatic in a way.

Battle Royale was a brilliant satire on the state of ruthless competitition in contemporary Japanese schools.

...Well no, actually it was just an excuse to have Japanese schoolgirls murder each other. Isn't that enough?