Most Controversial Films
The 100+ Most Controversial
Films of All-Time


Written by Tim Dirks

The 100+ Most Controversial Films of All-Time
Movie Title Screen
Film Title/Year, Director

A Serbian Film (2010, Serbia) (aka Srpski Film)
D. Srdjan Spasojevic

This apparently allegorial Serbian film reached further levels of gratuitous violence, misogyny, and sexual abuse that would deliberately upset film censors and cause it to be excised and often banned throughout the world.

Writer-director Srdjan Spasojevic's unpleasant and highly disturbing film (his feature film debut) was supposedly created to symbolize how the Serbian people had been 'molested' and 'raped' by their own Serbian government. Its various extreme transgressions included sodomy, violent misogyny, sexual and physical abuse, incest, necrophilia, and graphic rape of a newborn baby (known as a new genre of film - "newborn porn"). As a result of its content, six minutes of cuts were made in the US in order to achieve an NC-17 rating and to allow screenings. It was also banned or faced extensive censorship in many other countries.

The main protagonist in the aberrant, exploitational film was:

  • Milos (Srdan Todorovich), a semi-retired Serbian porn star (known for his genital prowess and lasting erections), living with a beautiful wife Marija (Jelena Gavrilovic) and young six year-old son Petra (Luka Mijatovic) in Belgrade

Cash-strapped and facing financial problems, he was offered an art-film opportunity to make a hardcore art house film by his former co-star and porn actress Lejla (Katarina Utic) and a porno director named Vukmir (Sergej Trifunovic) - for a substantial amount of money. Not knowing the content of the film, Milos signed the contract, and then gradually learned the true nature of the 'snuff-style' filming as the work progressed.

Milos also faced issues with his jealous brother Marko (Slobodan Bestic), a corrupt police officer, who envied his family life and Milos' sexual prowess. Marko was known to hire a prostitute (Marina Savic) and then receive oral sex from her while watching Milos' home movies or one of his previous porn films, and asking himself: "What do you think, how does he manage to be so hard so long? It's not a dick, it's a police stick!...How come he's not tired? Why isn't he f--king limp, like all the normal people?"

At times drugged and followed around by a film crew over a period of three days, Milos was subjected to numerous instances of being filmed having sex (some of the sequences he watched later on videotape):

  • oral sex (fellatio) with a nurse in a dark room; he also watched (intercut scenes on two TVs - splitscreen, of a young female, Jeca (Anđela Nenadović) licking an ice popsicle, and combing her hair and applying makeup and lipstick)
Fellatio With Nurse - While Watching Young Jeca on Two TVs
  • sex in a dark room (with a black/white tiled floor) with Jeca's mother (Ana Sakic) - a physically-abused blonde whore while he was watched by the 'Alice in Wonderland' costumed young girl Jeca; when Milos wished to stop the scene and resisted commands to hit the woman, he was grabbed from behind by a male while the female bit his erection, forcing him to continue with the scene; he eventually ejaculated onto the woman's face; later, after she was bruised further and seemed unconscious, she suddenly revived and reached out for Milos' crotch
Misogynistic Sex With Jeca's Mother (Ana Sakic)
  • Milos was forced to engage in additional sex with the chained mother (Ana Sakic) who was handcuffed to a bed, while an earpiece with a frenzied voice urged him to brutalize her with rear-entry sex; she allegedly had disgraced her deceased war hero husband's memory by becoming a hooker: ("She's a dirty junky c--t! She destroyed her child, daughter of a war hero! Sweet little Jeca watched her mother f--k the junky bums. She is scum! Hit the whore! Hit the bitch! Yes, that's one of the bitch mothers who conceive babies in lust and then throw them into a river with endless gashes in them. Imagine she was your son's mother. Imagine her turning Petar into a dog-f--ker's bitch. Imagine that, Milos! Strike her! Hit her!"); the aftermath included her murder (by head chopping with a machete that he was handed), as he continued to pump her
Sex and Murder of Jeca's Mother (Ana Sakic)
Brutalizing Sex Ending With Machete Head Chopping
  • his own sodomization by one of Vukmir's security guards, while unconscious and catatonic
  • the videotaped graphic torture and death of a toothless Lejla (with a masked man's penis forced and stuffed into her mouth while her nose was held shut to suffocate her)

At one point in an orgy scene (with two hidden bodies under a sheet), Milos realized that he was being forced to have sodomy with his own drugged young son, while next to him, a masked Marko was violating his unconscious wife.

In the violent finale after realizing what he had been forced to do by Vukmir, Milos retaliated with his wife Marija:

  • Milos grabbed a gun and killed or seriously wounded Vukmir's crew and bodyguards
  • after regaining consciousness, Marija beat Marko to death with a sculpture
  • Milos also thrust his own long and erect penis into the empty eyesocket of Vukmir's bald-headed driver Rasa (Miodrag Krcmarik) (the one who had raped the newborn baby) in order to kill him
  • Milos angrily smashed Vukmir's head against the floor, while being complimented or praised as he died: "That's it, Milos. That's the cinema! That's film"

The film ended with the communal suicide of Milos' entire family (son and wife) in their basement, as they huddled together in bed in an embrace and he fired one fatal shot through all of them.

Then, their bodies were about to be sexually violated by another film crew with the new director advising necrophilia: "Start with the little one."

The Film's Violent Ending: Communal Suicide - and a New Film

Milos and Wife Marija

Milos' Brother Marko with Prostitute

Milos' Home Movies

One of Milos' Previous Porn Films

The Implied Scene of Newborn Violation After Childbirth

Toothless and Bloodied Lejla (Katarina Utic) - Murdered by Suffocation

Sex with Two Nude Bodies Under Sheets

Death of Marko by Marija Smashing His Head With a Sculpture Bust-Head

Milos' Murder of Rasa

A Dying Vukmir to Milos: "That's film!"

The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009 or 2010)
The Human Centipede II (full sequence) (2011)
The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence) (2015)
D. Tom Six

In the first of the trilogy of twisted, repellent shockers, a mad doctor turned three young victims into a 12-limbed abomination. It proved that it's still possible to appall horror buffs with a series of taboo-ridden films that completely lacked good taste.

One of the more perverse, twisted and repellent ideas for a film was found in this series of exploitative, torture-porn horror films by Dutch director/writer Tom Six. They brought to mind David Cronenberg's body-horror films, Japanese horror, and the S&M tone of films such as Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS (1975) that told of torturous "medical experiments" (performed mostly on naked females) by an evil Nazi at a death camp. All of the films faced controversy and censorship, resulting in outright banned showings and severe editing.

In the first of a trilogy of horrific midnight movies, two American girls Lindsay (Ashley C. Williams) and Jenny (Ashlynn Yennie) traveling in Europe on a road trip experienced a flat tire at night in the rain, and came into contact with demented retired Nazi-Germany surgeon Dr. Josef Heiter (Dieter Laser) at his luxurious modern villa. After drugging the drinks of the two girls, and tying them up on hospital beds in his basement operating room, he explained (via overhead projector slide-show) how he was a master at separating conjoined or Siamese twins. A third subject, who repeatedly swore and shouted in Japanese (subtitled) at the sadistic doctor as he lectured to the trio, was previously-kidnapped Japanese tourist Katsuro (Akihiro Kitamura), who was at the head of the daisy-chain.

The emphasis was upon the cold-hearted, unfeeling, maniacal and monstrous god-like doctor, Frankenstein-like, in his obsession to create a new life-form. Heiter bragged about an experiment in which he had transformed three rottweiler dogs into a "beautiful three-hound construction." He told them in clinical detail how he would proceed with his surgical operation on them, his lifetime goal, to create a "Siamese triplet" (a multi-legged human bug). He would first cut the knee-cap ligaments, so that knee extensions would no longer be possible. Further modifications would require incisions on the chins-cheeks of subjects B and C. He would then attach the three subjects via their gastric system (mouth to anus!) - forming a human centipede ("Ingestion by A, passing through B, to the excretion of C"). By the end of the first film, mad doctor Heiter succumbed.

Advertisements for the mostly-panned and grotesque first film claimed it was "100% Medically Accurate." Although the film's disturbing surgical procedure was described in great detail, the actual results were mostly implied rather than explicitly shown. The tension-inducing film was greeted with hatred and discussion, and although it received various awards, it was also described as garbage.

Two other parts (or sequences) were released (via direct-to-DVD or in limited release) over the next five years:

  • The Human Centipede II (full sequence) (2011)
    [Tagline: 100% medically INaccurate]
  • The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence) (2015)
    [Tagline: 100% politically incorrect]

In the second unpleasant and grotesque film shot in black and white (to de-emphasize the horror), obsessed maniac Martin Lomax (Laurence Harvey in a non-speaking role), a masochistic, chubby and balding security guard in a London car park building, was inspired by the first film (which he repeatedly watched) to create a 10-person centipede. He was afflicted with sociopathic tendencies due to degrading sexual abuse and molestation from his father. He abducted various individuals, imprisoned them in a warehouse, and crudely stapled them together to make one elongated human being. One of the ten victims was Ashlyn Yennie (Herself) portraying a Hollywood actress in London for an audition. (She had also appeared in the first film.) The most controversial scenes involved Martin masturbating with sandpaper, raping a female at the end of the chain with barbed wire wrapped around his genitals, and the flight of a naked pregnant woman who gave birth.

And in the third film, unrestrained, sadistic and insane prison warden Bill Boss (again Dieter Laser) of the George W. Bush State Prison in a remote part of Texas planned to connect the bodies of hundreds of orange-suited prisoners together. He believed the surgical connection of the inmates would ultimately cut down on criminal penal costs, as advised by his accountant/assistant Dwight Butler (Laurence Harvey from the second film) - "no more prison fights, no more assaults on guards, no more disrespect." The "brilliant" horrific idea was to create a human centipede of the prisoners, something affirmed by Boss ("This is exactly what America needs").

The most outrageous scenes included using a pocket-knife to castrate an inmate, boiling water-boarding as torture, sexual intercourse-rape through a puncture hole in a man's kidney, and the "candy" consumption of crispy-dried clitorises (imported from Africa).

Human Degradation in The Human Centipede 3 (2015)

The Human Centipede (First Sequence)
(2009 or 2010)

The Human Centipede II (2011)

Bill Boss (Dieter Laser) in
The Human Centipede 3 (2015)

Blue is the Warmest Color (2013, Fr.) (aka La Vie d'Adèle – Chapitres 1 et 2)

Writer/producer/director Abdellatif Kechiche's NC-17 rated (for "explicit sexual content"), three-hour French drama won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. The top honor was awarded to both the director, Abdellatif Kechiche, and the film’s two actresses, Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos. The film's screenplay was based on the graphic novel by Julie Maroh - it was an intense portrayal of first love and sexual awakening. Its domestic revenue total was only $2.2 million, although it did gross $19.5 million worldwide. The French film received a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globes, and lost to Italy's The Great Beauty (2013, It.) (aka La Grande Bellezza).

There was considerable controversy due to its explicit subject matter, and reports from the two actresses who later claimed that the filming was a grueling experience and that they would never work for director Kechiche again.

In an interview about the film, Léa admitted that they used prosthetic vaginas for the oral sex scenes: "We had fake pussies that were molds of our real pussies. It was weird to have a fake mold of your pussy and then put it over your real one. We spent 10 days on just that one scene. It wasn't like, 'OK, today we’re going to shoot the sex scene!' It was 10 days." Adele added: "One day, you know that you're going to be naked all day and doing different sexual positions, and it's hard because I'm not that familiar with lesbian sex."

It told of a developing romantic relationship over a few years between:

  • Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos), a teenaged, 17 year-old high-school student from a conservative, working-class family; entered an elementary school teaching career
  • Emma (Léa Seydoux), a blue-haired collegiate Fine Art student, a painter; from an open-minded, middle-class family

After an attempt at a heterosexual relationship with Thomas (Jeremie Laheurte), Adèle met the lesbian artist and it was 'love at first sight.' Immediately attracted to each other, they began with a few kisses in the park, then a 7 to 10-minute intimate and highly realistic lesbian sex scene (that took 10 days to shoot). Both of them became animalistic and feral as they contorted themselves into many positions, to kiss each other (in an oral '69' position). Eventually, the two had a falling out over other lovers, and they split apart but remain cordial.


Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos)

Adèle with Emma (Léa Seydoux)

Adèle Posing Nude For Drawing

Lesbian Love Scene

The Interview (2014)

A satirical comedy about the assassination of North Korea's dictator led to threatened retaliation against the US by North Korea's foreign government, for alleged state-sponsored terrorism against its country's leader. The computer systems of Sony Pictures were hacked and threatened attacks against theatres showing the film caused a wide-release cancellation.

Late in the year 2014, the FBI confirmed that North Korea was behind cyber-attacks on Sony Pictures. Sony was hit by hackers (dubbing themselves 'Guardians of Peace') on November 24th in response to the planned release of Columbia Pictures' (owned by parent company Sony) satirical comedy on Christmas Day, The Interview (2014).

The Sony Pictures' breach rendered thousands of its computers inoperable (caused the leak of personal employee data and some embarrassing emails by company executives), forced the company to take its computer network offline, disrupted the company's business operations (i.e., by releasing digital copies of yet unreleased films), and ultimately forced a cancellation of The Interview's release in major US national theatre chains in the wake of threats from North Korea and its supporters. Sony was expected to lose as much as $100 million on the film as a result of the state-sponsored attack.

Some critics called the move to censor the film a violation of First Amendment rights and freedom of creative expression - in other words, the right of a movie studio to make any movie they wished.

In spite of the controversy, over 300 independent cinemas showed the film around Christmas Day in limited release. Sony also made the film available on the Internet and it was available for rental and VOD, with end of year earnings of about $6.1 million (domestic), and $11.78 million (worldwide). It became their most successful online digital movie release despite mixed reviews. The Interview was the first mid-sized studio film to be available on VOD before it even reached theaters.

The humorous film was about a plot to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

[Other past films which used North Korea in their plots included: Olympus Has Fallen (2013), Red Dawn (2012), Team America: World Police (2004), the James Bond film Die Another Day (2002), Shiri (1999, S. Korea), and The Rescue (1988).]

The movie featured two popular TV show workers who were celebrating their 1,000th episode of successful shows of "Skylark Tonight":

  • Dave Skylark (James Franco), a talk-show host and interviewer
  • Aaron Rapaport (Seth Rogen), a producer

It was arranged for them (now designated as legitimate "journalists") to have an audience with the dictatorial North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (Randall Park) who was declared to be a "fan" of the show. Behind the scenes, they were recruited by the CIA's Agent Lacey (Lizzy Caplan) to assassinate him ("take him out"). The plan was to poison the "bat-shit crazy" North Korean leader with a handshake that exposed him to a fatal dose of the poison ricin.

Although the deadly plan wasn't actually carried out due to various mishaps, the two 'journalists' who arrived in Pyongyang were able to interview the Supreme Leader during an internationally-televised show in which they soiled his reputation and tarnished his cultish personality by causing him an emotional breakdown.

During a climactic pursuit sequence, Kim Jong-un was killed in a helicopter explosion after a missile strike, and Dave and Aaron escaped the country and were rescued.

Dave Skylark (James Franco) Announcing Interview

Dave Skylark and Aaron Rapaport

President Kim Jong-un
(Randall Park)

Party Scene With Korean Women

Death of Supreme Leader

Cuties (2020, Fr.) (aka Mignonnes)

Amy - a 11-year-old Senegalese immigrant girl living in Paris, joined a dance group known as 'Cuties' in order to rebel against her conservative Muslim parents and her upbringing. The film came under intense scrutiny and criticism for its hypersexualization of young girls' bodies in order to critique the sexualized environment of Western culture.

Although Netflix defended and promoted its streaming of this highly-controversial and sensational comedy-drama, there were many lawmakers and others who criticized the coming-of-age movie for its abusive hyper-sexualization and exploitation of children, and also called for its removal. The hashtag "#CancelNetflix" skyrocketed on Twitter, with parents, politicians and conspiracy theorists calling to remove the film or even to get the Department of Justice involved.

The film's French-Senegalese director Maïmouna Doucouré premiered her debut film at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah in early 2020, and received the festival's Best Director-Dramatic award in the World Cinema section. Netflix acquired the independent French production for its streaming platform before the Sundance Film Festival in January.

The film's trailers (and Netflix's revised artwork on its marketing poster) portrayed pre-adolescent, scantily-clad female dancers suggestively twerking on stage with semi-pornographic gestures. Some argued that the film would only normalize pedophilia, and endanger child welfare. The most controversial scene was one of the young girl taking an X-rated photograph of her genitalia and posting it on social media. Netflix defended the "social commentary" film as a way to highlight and call attention to an important issue.

In the film's plot, 11-year old Senegalese immigrant girl Amy (Fathia Youssouf) was living in a tiny housing-development apartment in Paris. She was part of a very conservative and patriarchal Muslim family with strict rules, where her mother Mariam (Maïmouna Gueye) had just learned that her polygamous husband was taking a second wife. Amy happened to spy on four young girls in a dance troupe (known as Cuties or Mignonnes) rehearsing for a dance competition, led by her disobedient young neighbor Angelica (Médina El Aidi-Azouni). Soon after, Amy was able to work her way into the group, assisting them with suggestive twerking dance tips and serving as videographer by filming their provocative moves for Instagram on her stolen cellphone.

The rivals in the competition were known as the Sweety-Swaggs, an older more developed and sexualized group. During the actual competition performances, the dance moves even shocked members of the audience, and an upset Amy also left before its conclusion. The film ended with a traditional Muslim wedding ceremony, which Amy did not attend. In the final sequence with obvious symbolism, she decided to wear a non-descript pair of jeans and a T-shirt (instead of either the traditional wedding garb or her dance costume).

The Original Poster

Netflix's Controversial Marketing Poster

The 100+ Most Controversial Films of All-Time
(chronologically, by film title)
Intro | Silents-1930s | 1940s-1950s | 1960-1961 | 1962-1967 | 1968-1969
1970-1971 | 1972 | 1973-1974 | 1975 | 1976-1977 | 1978 | 1979
1980-1982 | 1983-1986 | 1987-1989 | 1990-1992 | 1993-1995 | 1996-1999
2000-2002 | 2003-2005 | 2006-2009 | 2010-present

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