Salo or 120 Days Of Sodom (1975): Sometimes Crap Is Just Crap

by robinhardwick

You may have heard this film mentioned as the most depraved ever. Of course, I watched it.

The Unwatchables

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One of the first things you learn in Art History 101 that art is really about “context.” A urinal is just a urinal, but when Marcel Duchamp placed that urinal in a museum, it was art. Not only was it art, but it was art that generated a lot of discussion.

An exploding diarrhea joke in Dumb and Dumber is low-bow juvenile humor, but the feces-eating scene in Salo or 100 Days of Sodom is art, because it is adapted from the Marquis de Sade, filmed by an Italian director. It even was given a Criterion Collection Edition.

The film itself is hard to digest (sorry for that pun). The premise, however disturbing, is intriguing: four aristocrats escape persecution from World War II by scouring Europe for eighteen teenagers, older prostitutes, and take up residence in an impressive estate. The four men use the teens as their personal sex…

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