Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom

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Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom is a 1975 Italian gore horror film set in the mid 1940s. The plot is rather simple: four self indulgent men arrange an ordeal in the fascist Salò provence of Italy where they procure eighteen teenagers, nine of each sex, and submit them to various sexual tortures.

While this film is an allegory for the lingering effects of fascism in the post capitalist world, it goes about illustrating its points in a terribly ineffective manner. This film overwhelms the audience with a relentless depiction repressive sexual behavior against minors. It appears, at times, the film does not relieve its assault of uncomfortable tension on the audience to illustrate that the emotions and thoughts of the audience will not have an effect on the outcome of the film. This is an allegory to events, such as The Holocaust, where the destruction was so widespread and systematic that those who witnessed it were powerless to stop it.

Though this is an excellent idea, the issues plaguing its execution are rather difficult to describe. Well made films, in this genre, can depict scenes that are difficult for the audience to watch, but cause the audience to glance back at the screen to view what is to occur next. A film devoid of a logical plot or any substantial character development, such as Salò, however, makes the audience turn their heads and continue to do so as they vacate the theater.

The only redeemable scene comes toward the end where, amidst the mass torture surrounding them, two guards lay down their weapons, turn on music and begin to dance. This is representative of the desensitization to these perverse events once individuals have accepted them as commonplace occurrences. This, in no way, atones for the unfortunate nature of the film.

Rating: 2/10


  1. I like the part where they eat shit (just kidding).

  2. I saw parts of this and really didn't feel like seing the whole movie. Truly disturbing.

    Did you already see Irreversible by the way?

  3. Someone didn't get the film? You consider one of the Italian arthouse classics as 'gore-horror' and exploitation? Maybe it was too disturbing for the guys who write a website called Disturbingfilm? LOL

  4. ^Yeah, agree with the above poster, this site is horrendous. I know the saying "there's no accounting for taste" but fuck that. Negative reviews for 'Battle Royale', 'Last House on the Left', 'Gomorrah', 'Brazil', and 'Eraserhead', all films that have some sort of social message and at least a slight attempt to engage the intellect. You will mature eventually, teenager, and maybe one day, you will start to appreciate art. However, until that day comes, you will continue to write shitty reviews for a site that only a handful of equally dumb bastards read.