ByPaul Donovan, writer at
A jerk with an opinion. An explorer of transgressive cinema. See more things about movies at
Paul Donovan

Call them art. Call them shocking. Call them trash. Some movies are just so bizarre or extreme that there is nothing else like them in the universe. They are meant for certain people only. Here are nine that will make you say "What the fuck?"

1. In a Glass Cage (Spain, 1986)

An ex-Nazi soldier that sadistically abused children is sick and must stay in an iron lung. A young man shows up to take care of him, but it's not the kind of care that the old man wants. This movie is about Nazis, torture, child abuse, pedophilia and revenge.

2. Enter the Void (France, 2009)

I could put any of Gaspar Noé's films on this list, but this is probably his most WTF film. It's a psychedelic mindfuck about a young druggie that overdoses and goes through the stages of dying outlined in The Tibetan Book of the Dead. It's violent, sexual, and outrageously colorful.

3. Tetsuo: The Iron Man (Japan, 1989)

This cyberpunk body-horror film is almost impossible to describe. It's basically about a man who turns into a pile of scrap metal, and transforms the world in the process. It's a frenetic metal-fetish fantasy; an industrial fable from your nightmares.

4. Under the Skin (Britain-USA, 2013)

This is a much quieter film than most on the list, but no less weird. Scarlett Johansson plays some kind of alien creature that picks up men and takes them to a place where only their skin remains. This is a hypnotic, beautiful, strange movie that I don't fully understand, but I love it anyway.

5. Meet the Feebles (New Zealand, 1989)

This early Peter Jackson film about a theater group that wants to make their own TV variety series is like the Muppets if they lived in hell. If you want to see puppets do drugs, get drunk, have sex, catch diseases, die, and basically hate each other, then this is the movie for you.

6. Escape From Tomorrow (USA, 2013)

This is either a surreal science-fiction-fantasy-horror-thriller, or a psychosexual exploration of a man's mental breakdown. Or maybe it means something else. Anyway, it's about a man who brings his family to Walt Disney World, and begins having bizarre visions and seeing demonic creatures while lusting after a couple of French girls. It's mostly famous for being secretly filmed at Disneyland and Walt Disney World without Disney's permission.

7. Naked Lunch (Canada, 1991)

William S. Burroughs's controversial, unfilmable novel was turned into a controversial film. Only David Cronenberg could have done this, and it's one of the most brilliant movies of the 1990's. Part of it tells the story of the novel, (don't ask me to explain it), it's partly a depiction of the real story of how the novel was written, and it's also partly an exploration of the creative process. It operates on at least three different levels of reality. It's grotesque, funny, and divisive.

8. ABC's of Death (international, 2012)

This anthology film goes through the alphabet. The alphabet of death! 26 directors were given a letter of the alphabet and they had to make a short film about that letter that involves death. It's a mixed bag of content - some are serious, some are funny, some are really upsetting. Do not use this movie to teach your kid the alphabet.

9. Beyond the Black Rainbow (Canada, 2010)

This is about a New-Age research facility that is trying to connect science and religion. It's run by a psychopath who keeps a girl prisoner in a hidden hospital and tries to exploit her psychic ability. There are drugs, and red alien things, and visions, and therapy, and imploding heads. It's a slow and hypnotic 70's throwback about a girl in unearthly trouble.

What did you think of these films? Do you have any other recommendations? Let us know!


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