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Lars Von Trier's Antichrist and Shocking Body Horror Films
Jeremy Allen , July 24th, 2009 13:15

Antichrist's harrowing scenes of genital mutilation have the power to shock even today's desensitised viewers. Jeremy Allen wonders if the controversy is overshadowing this sophisticated drama. Plus The Quietus collect 10 similarly shocking scenes of body horror.


10 Body Horror Scenes

The genital mutilation scenes in Antichrist are a perfect reminder that despite the oversaturation of Saw style torture porn, splatter core B-movies and Toxic Avenger style cartoonish deaths, onscreen violence still has the power to make you wince. Perhaps it's humankind's natural empathy for other humans that allows a male film critic to temporarily grow a mental clitoris when Charlotte Gainsbourg goes after it with some scissors. But this is the thinking man's violence; it's not a matter of special effects or what you see or don't see, but a certain idea that's so strong it elicits something like phantom limb pain in the viewer — that is, if you're not already averting your eyes.

So for your reading pleasure(?) The Quietus has collected 10 scenes of body-related violence so vivid, they'll make your toes curl.


Cronenberg's great sci-fi innovation is that he imagines the effects of sci-fi concepts on the body. You'll never see a simple Star Trek 'beam me up' or a gentle metamorphoses — everything is physical, visceral and full of fluids. In the world of Scanners, telepathy is not about fingers pressed gingerly to temples and eyes that stare right through you; it's a painful and sometimes deadly process. The head exploding is not nearly as bad as the vein popping and brain wrinkling noises that preceed it.