ByLuis Rodriguez, writer at
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Luis Rodriguez

Gore is always controversial when it's involved in films. So much so that some countries actually have bans on what gruesome displays can be made or not.

A lot of people see it as a useless tactic just brought in to bring shock to audiences and get people talking. There's also the flip side, many people believe that it is an integral part of the storytelling, with many director's from Tarantino to, of course, the gore master Eli Roth, using it vigorously with the intent of just that - adding to the terrifying tale.

Hate it or love it, franchises are built alone off of this very element. In light of the new Eli Roth film, The Green Inferno - said to be a complete fright fest, I decided to make a quick list of the top five films that I think pushed the envelope when it came to using grit and gore in excess.

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If you're eating, I suggest you finish up or take a break before diving into this list...

Warning: The films mentioned below have extremely graphic and violent content

Saw (Franchise)

It'd be nearly impossible for me to only include one of the specific movies from this gut-wrenching series, so I am going to talk about the whole franchise. Saw really set the bar for gore and brought grotesque scenes to the mainstream audience. Saw is about a man that wants people to see the good in life, and that sounds like a happy-go-lucky movie until you start reading the details of the plot. The way the man goes about making people appreciate life is by making them try to survive a sadistic game of horror and pain, oftentimes setting them inside traps and puzzles that are ready to kill them at every turn by one means or another. These games are rarely survived, and they always end in a glorious bloodbath. Doubting how bad these friendly games are? Check the compilation video below...


This one is more of a psychological thriller than a horror film, really. Audition is a masterpiece when it comes to messing with your feeble mind. The movie revolves around a widowed man, Shigeharu Aoyama, who holds auditions for women to become his wife. He stumbles upon a seemingly nice young woman named Asami Yamazaki. She catches his attention... which turns out to be a big, big mistake for the lonesome man. The following events are pure creep-factor and sure to leave you with an unsettling feeling in your stomach. As the mystery of the woman unravels through the film, so does the respective creepiness of the situation. I personally can't look at pianos and needles at the same time after watching this film. Watch it. You'll see why. From dismembered bodies to sacks containing, well, things not for the faint of heart, you'll be scarred for a long time after watching Audition. That sack I was talking about? Yeah, it plays a crucial part in one of the most disturbing scenes in movie history. Make sure to watch this one with the lights on, and don't feel bad if you need to take proper breaks during your viewing.


This film is probably the oldest one on my list, but it still holds up to the others. Re-Animator relies not only on horror, but also its comic relief to drive the story. The film follows Herbert West, a man that brings back his dead professor. What comes next is a movie filled with dead people coming back to head, and a bunch of severed heads that talk. Yep, they're still yappin' away. You read that right. It's become a cult classic of a movie due to its extreme gore paired with the comedy that's speckled throughout the movie. Though it has been over 30 years, its iconic scenes full of both frightening and hilarious gore are absolutely timeless. This movie is for any fan of horror. It definitely has its over-the-top moments that leave you reaching for a bucket, so be careful when you laugh - something might just come up!

Cannibal Holocaust

Cannibal Holocaust is perhaps the most infamous on the list - or any horror list, for that matter. It's a cult classic and truly pioneers the concept of found-footage horror. If you haven't watched this notorious flick, prepare to be mesmerized by the blood and gore thrown about in what seems like every scene. The film deals with a team from New York embarking on a journey to find a missing documentary film crew that was sent to the Amazon to film cannibalistic tribes. The team has no such luck in finding the missing filmmakers, but do stumble upon their film and take it for viewing. The rest of the movie gives some of the most graphic and memorable scenes in horror history. We get footage of bodies being impaled, dismemberment, and all too graphic torture and violence. This movie is undoubtedly a big inspiration for The Green Inferno, so that might give you a clue just how disturbing the upcoming film is going to be - as if Eli Roth being the director wasn't telling enough.

The Green Inferno

Not having even been released yet, The Green Inferno is already causing a huge stir within the horror loving community. The film, directed by Eli Roth, is about a group of activists who travel into the Amazon jungle in efforts to aid the ailing environment. Their journey is taken down a much different route however, resulting in the group needing to be saved instead. The group becomes stranded among the lands ruled by a tribe of cannibals, and I am sure that you can guess from there that the expedition isn't a pretty vacation for the Westerners. Eli Roth is a man who is constantly out-doing himself, from Cabin Fever to Hostel, the director is no doubt a horror powerhouse, a true maker of nightmares. With Eli's track record of constantly topping himself, I am positive that The Green Inferno will not only make you cringe, but will have your skin absolutely crawling away from you. Roth is always one to push the boundaries in each of his film projects, and this one in particular has a special place in his heart which is sure to make it the most terrifying spectacle that he has put out yet. In fact, when the film was shown at the Deauville American Film Festival in France, a member of the audience literally fainted...

So, be prepared to strap yourself in for a maddeningly unsettling experience at the hands of one of horror's most skilled craftsman.

Hostel (Series)

I mentioned earlier in this article that Saw might have been the movie to bring back gore to the mainstream, but Hostel was the one that really made it bigger and better than ever. Eli Roth really made a name for himself with this series and defined himself as a household name in the genre of horror films. Hostel takes us on a vacation made entirely of fear. I know that I will now never go backpacking around foreign countries, no matter how beautiful they are. Thanks, Eli, thanks. Hostel is about a group of friends traveling through Europe, all is well and happy... until they end up being the torture victims of extremely wealthy and equally sick individuals whose favorite hobby is gruesome torture. It was extremely difficult to pick just one entry in the Hostel series due to them all having their own uniquely horrifying and hard-to-stomach moments, but one scene in particular that sticks out to me - and many others - is the 'Achilles Heel' scene. It's a cringe-worthy moment that is so graphic it will have you wanting to look away before you get physically sick.

These are the top most cringe-worthy gore films, in my opinions. The reason I hold these five films so high, is because they truly have the most unsettling scenes I have ever been witness to. There are several B-horror movies out there that may have been loaded with gore too, but they are much more campy and loaded just for shock instead of true storytelling. These films all engage you in an engrossing plot, and then scare you with all of the hack-and-whack, instead of just relying on shocking your senses with (senseless) blood. These films are true role models for all gore films, and I can't wait to see Eli Roth do it again in The Green Inferno.


For our next Moviepilot Magazine, it's all about fear. So we're polling our readers to find out what terrifies them. You can help by answering the question below!


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Make sure to catch The Green Inferno in theaters on September 25th!


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