Video Nasty Pick: Salo: 120 Days of Sodom

Salo is a film about fascism. Tormentors who absolutely HATE their victims and take pleasure out of their pain. This is how the director feels. He absolutely hated the victims and laughed at their torment. The films purpose is to corrupt and destroy. Salo also GLORIFIES the ass hole. So many detailed conversations about how lovely the butt hole can be actually made my butt feel sore. None of the boys in this film were circumsized. Was circumcision not allowed in Italy around this time? It centers around 18 teenagers that are tormented, raped, and humiliated by four fascists and corrupt libertines. This depraved film is divided into three categories. The Circle of Manias, The Circle of Shit, and the Circle of Blood. These three categories of sick entertainment are carried out by three old hags that share disgusting tales of their pasts, several including eating shit and the joys of having a man ejaculate all over them when they were just a little girl. One of the women begins to talk about her own daireair and shows it. I gagged at the pimples and boils on her butt. These horrific stories raise a passion within the four men to molest, devour, and immorally annihilate anything of goodness within the remaining adolescents. It remains to be banned in several countries to this day and remained banned in Australia for 17 years. Based on Marquis de Sade’s novel even though the novel doesn’t actually talk about fascism.

Some say the images in this film are cinematically brilliant. I have to disagree since it was so poorly shot.  Some say that this film has been misfiled in the pornography section, the horror section, and it’s categorized with films like The Beast in Heat and Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS. I do categorize it along with Nazisploitation. The film holds the same exact material and elements and even though some disagree, it’s either not as shocking as some of the others or it’s just as shocking. To me, the most shocking part of the film is the constant eating of shit. They even serve a platter of shit which is what this film is to me. A giant pile of shit. All the rape and torture is no different than every other 70s exploitation film that I have seen. I think what shocks most people about this film is that the actors look so young. It just so happens that some of these kids were only 16 years of age but I think that’s old enough in Italy. Elsewhere, it’s frowned upon.

 Aldo Valletti, what is his deal? I couldn’t help but take several screen shots of his ridiculous face. He’s always smiling and he appears to have a lazy eye. This got on my nerves. I couldn’t bar to watch and take his scenes seriously. I do remember him from The Perfume of the Lady in Black but I don’t remember him in Salon Kitty. It appears that his role in the film was uncredited. Pier had this to say about him, “This is a generic actor that in more twenty years of work has never told a word.” He died in 1992.  STOP WITH THE CLOSE UPS! I cannot get over that face. Even when he’s fucked in the ass he has the very same face.

Pier Paolo Pasolini forces the audience to witness catachresis and ludicrous behavior. The audience’s testimony to the depravity on the screen is to invoke a notion that the viewers are accessories to the horrific crimes committed in the screen while residing seated watching. Even though I am appreciative of Pier’s previous work and agree that he was a beautiful poet, this film was badly directed. He’s changing the angle of the camera of less than 30 degrees between two shots. The film has slow moments and it’s not well structured. Perhaps the only goal Pier made with this pile of shit is to make a statement against fascism. There was no logical story behind it and no dramatic composition. There’s also no character development but I think that was the directors point as he said before that he hated the victims. We aren’t given a chance to get to know them, feel sorry for them, or even care about what’s going on. Pier wants you to view fascists the way he does and it is a thought that should be neglected, if you want to remain angelic and pure to the horrors of the world….or should I say film-making?

Interesting facts thanks to IMDB: In 1994, an undercover policeman in Cincinnati, Ohio rented the film from a local gay bookstore, and then arrested the owners for “pandering”. A large group of artists, including Martin Scorsese and Alec Baldwin, and scholars signed a legal brief arguing the film’s artistic merit; the Court dismissed the case because the police violated the owners’ Fourth Amendment rights, without reaching the question of whether the film was obscene. The notorious scene where a young woman is forced to eat excrement was intended by Pier Paolo Pasolini as a metaphor for consumer capitalism and the rise of the junk food culture. Pier was also murdered before the release of Salo and people often debate over the motive of his killer. He was a known homosexual which I totally could of gotten after watching this film.

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