The 10 Best Ultra-Violent Films of All-Time

Everyone loves a little violence, right? And we are not talking about Michael Bay car chases that end with a slow 360 degree camera pan around Will Smith and Martin Lawrence violence; this list is all about the most shocking, bloody and unbelievable gut-wrentching cinematic adventures in the history of film. It’s not just about slashing up unsuspecting victims, it is about leaving a lasting imprint of terror in the minds of audiences…

The following list was a featured discussion on this week’s episode of Fat Guys at the Movies. Take a listen below. The discussion begins at the 29:20 mark, which is about 2/3 of the way through the show .


10. “The Hills Have Eyes” (2006)

While the original Wes Craven film is a classic, the 2006 remake pushed the limits on disturbing violence. It’s sequel the following year was arguably gorier and had more offensive scenes in it, but this modern smorgasbord of rape, murder and revenge had a bizarre level of class to it.

9. “Two Thousand Maniacs!” (1964)

Long before slasher films were chic, gore maven Herschell Gordon Lewis made this odd tribute to the old south. A group of snooty northerners stumble upon a small town only to be systematically eliminated by their hosts. Complete with red paint for blood, “Two Thousand Maniacs!” showed that Lewis was thinking of creative ways for people to snuff it long before Eli Roth was in diapers.

8. “Cannibal Holocaust” (1980)

Many horror films shock with fiction. “Cannibal Holocaust” has the notorious history for shocking with reality. Long before “Fear Factor,” the cast and crew of this cinematic violence spree gained infamy by slaughtering real animals. And it didn’t stop there. Some people thought the human murders in this film were real, prosecuting the filmmakers for making an honest-to-god snuff film.

7. “Saw” (2003)

Years from now, cinema historians will look back at the early 21st century and identify “Saw” as the movie that started it a modern horror movement. Gone were the days of zombies, vampires and werewolves. Filmmakers James Wan and Leigh Whannell kicked off the current trend of dirty-basement torture porno, for better or for worse.

6. “A Clockwork Orange” (1971)

Here’s a rare instance where an artsy film makes a list like this. Stanley Kubrick shocked filmgoers in the 70s with this bizarre and brutal adaptation of Anthony Burgess’s novel. It’s also notable for bringing the term “ultra-violence” into the mainstream vernacular.

5. “I Spit On Your Grave” (1978)

Also known as “Day of the Woman,” this often banned film from the 70s can be held up as a feminist classic. When a young woman is beaten, raped and left for dead by a bunch of hillbillies, she exacts a terrifying revenge. This ultra-low budget classic can be found remastered on DVD, despite the fact that it lacks a musical soundtrack.

4. “The Last House on the Left” (1972)

Before Freddy and before Jason, Wes Craven and Sean Cunningham teamed up to bring audiences a tale of rape, murder and revenge. This can be considered a companion piece to both “I Spit on Your Grave” and the original “The Hills Have Eyes,” since they all three follow similar storylines. There are countless versions of this film existing on VHS, DVD and as original theatrical prints. Due to heavy edits throughout the years, the film has evolved into various levels of violence.

3. “High Tension” (2003)

Who says the French are wimps? Alexandre Aja’s gender-bending horror flick “Switchblade Romance” was renamed “High Tension” for its American release. Not only does the film take the viewer through a series of grisly murders, it has one of the most shocking introductions of a villain ever recorded on screen.

2. “Hostel” (2006)

What assessment of shock cinema would not be complete without Eli Roth’s modern classic “Hostel.” Patterned after a 1980s slasher film, this film was reviled by critics but praised by gorehounds. Love it or hate it, no one can deny it’s impact on the horror genre.

1. “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” (1974)

After more than 30 years, very few films can stand up against Tobe Hooper’s terrifying trip into the Texas countryside. Inspired by the killings of Ed Gein, this film was actually shot with the hopes of a PG rating. By avoiding on-screen blood and graphic horror, “Chain Saw” became one of the most disturbing films to watch because your imagination did all the work.

“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning”
(2006), Not nearly as good as the original, but so horrifically violent that viewers wondered what would command an NC-17 rating in the future.

“House of 1000 Corpses”/“The Devil’s Rejects” (2003/2005), Horror fanatic and hard rocker Rob Zombie invigorated legions of fans by making two films that were meant to recapture the spirit of the genre.

The "Fat Guys at the Movies" have been called the "Most Influential Voices in Film", delivering the most interesting, humorous opinions about current releases and various other movie-related topics. What’s better than watching Roger Ebert talk about movies on TV? Listening to two Fat Guys from Film School Rejects spout off about movies in the comfort of your own office, car or even your bedroom (if you are Jessica Biel, that is. She listens to our show in the nude.)

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