1. The Last House on the Left (1972)
Banned in UK, Singapore, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway, Germany and Australia, the first film Wes Craven ever wrote and directed is full of rape, torture and murder scenes. Craven represented this extreme violence in a non-glorifying way, showing its raw and nasty face, so it is easy to see why it had been banned. It is a significant movie for the horror genre, but truly difficult to watch, not just because of the certain scenes, but because of the “feel of the movie as a whole”, as the British Board of Film Classification explained the banning of the movie. However, this ban has been lifted, and then placed again, multiple times since the movie was released. A remake of Last House on the Left exists, but it is less brutal compared to the original, which was allegedly based on The Virgin Springby Ingmar Bergman, that won an Oscar for The Best Foreign Film in 1960.
2. I Spit on Your Grave (1978)
Banned in Australia, Finland, UK, Ireland, Germany, Norway, Iceland, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore and China, this rape-and-revenge film was allegedly based on the experience director Meir Zarchi had after encountering a rape victim in New York and his disgust after seeing how the police handled her. The heroine Jennifer is brutally raped at the beginning of the movie, and then she proceeds to mutilate and kill her assailants in various unsettling ways. The original title of the film was Day of the Woman, and that made it critically reappraised as a feminist masterpiece, but that doesn’t make its multitude of scenes containing extreme sexual violence any easier to watch.
3. A Serbian Film (2010)
Banned in Brazil, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Finland, Norway,Australia, Malaysia, and Singapore, it was declared “the nastiest film ever made”, and for good reason. It tells the story of an aged porn star trying to earn enough money to get out of Serbia. In order to do that, he accepts a role in a hard core porn film, and it soon becomes his own personal hell. The amount of violence and obscenity in this movie is so over the top it sometimes seems the director wanted to see which scene would anger the censors more. From newborn porn to incest and necrophilia, and a whole range of perversions in between, it easily deserved a place on this list.
4. Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
Banned in UK, Singapore, Australia, Norway, Finland, Ireland, Iceland, New Zealand, Germany, Italy and Malaysia, this was the first movie to utilize the found-footage story arc in which an anthropologist goes into the Amazon jungle to find a crew of filmmakers that ventured there in order to shoot a Mondo-type documentary. He finds the footage, and it shows what they did to the natives and what was done to them in return. The movie is infamous for the needless animal cruelty among other reasons, and the director Deodato had to prove that things that happened in his film did not happen in reality. Cannibal Holocaust is still as shocking, disturbing and disgusting as it was back in the day.
5. The Evil Dead (1981)
Banned in Singapore, Finland, UK, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, this film was one of the most wanted “nasties” back in the day of its ban in UK. It was the debut film of Sam Raimi, telling the tale of college students that become victims of demonic possession when they go to a secluded cabin in the woods. The controversy that surrounded the film only made it more popular and it was an instant sleeper hit, earning eight times more than what it cost to make it. A lot of scenes had to be cut in order to make a version that censors were pleased with, which ought to say a lot about its horror quality.
6. Faces of Death (1978)
Said to be the most banned movie in the world, with over 40 countries on the list, it was only initially banned in Norway, UK and Australia among a few others. It had many sequels, and, unlike most horror movies, the majority of the deaths shown in it are real, with footage originating from various sources such as newsreels. Of course, this made the movie graphic and real and – controversial, which earned it its bans, but, probably much less bans than the numberit boasted about.
7. The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) (2011)
Banned in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, it was refused for classification in Australia and UK due to its repulsive and disgusting content without any redeeming quality. The story is about a man who is obsessed with the first Centipede film and who sets out to make his own human centipede. His victims only exist as objects of his depraved fantasy and don’t have much strength to oppose him. It features an actress from the first film, now playing herself. The movie eventually got severely cut in order to be allowed.
8. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Banned in Finland, UK, Chile, Iceland, Ireland, Brazil, Australia, Norway, Singapore and Sweden, the directorial debut of Tobe Hooper is one of the great movies of the horror genre that inspired a bunch of (mostly subpar) sequels. It ended up being the highest-grossing movie of 1974, despite Hooper having problems finding a distributor. Although it has a reputation of being particularly gruesome, most of the violence is actually only implied, but that amplifies the terror it inspires. As most other movies on this list, it also had to be severely cut in order to even be released.
By: Catya Sarkissian