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Salo or the 120 Days of Sodom

Paolo Bonacelli , Laura Betti , Amaury Voslion , Pier Paolo Pasolini    Unrated   DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
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Most helpful customer reviews
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Uncomfortable but Still Worth Watching July 5 2007
This is a version of the Marquis de Sade's story, The 120 Days of Sodom, a story about four powerful men who enslave two dozen teenagers and torture them repeatedly. Unlike the book the film is set in the Salò Republic, the Nazi puppet state in northern Italy, in the year 1944. Pier Paolo Pasolini directs his final film. The four powerful men in the story are referred to as the Duke, the Magistrate, the President and the Bishop. To kick things off they marry each other's daughters and then begin to have young males and females kidnapped (18 in all, 9 of each gender). They also have four older prostitutes join in and this whole multitude marches over to some palace. Mind you, the time period means that the Nazi occupied Salò Republic is on its last legs and on the cusp of being crippled by the Allied forces. So the setting gives us sort of an end of days feeling right from the get-go. The content and commentary certainly continue with that subject matter throughout.

The film is set up in four stages, the first being the ante-inferno, which refers to those who are not quite condemned to hell but also not allowed into heaven either. The film's setting is meant to feel like a brief moment in purgatory with its isolated party of characters doing unspeakable things before judgment, and then it all must end. The second stage is the circle of manias, or obsession, where we see the sexual humiliation of the film manifest itself further. The third stage is the circle of excrement, which is where we see the characters consume feces. Pasolini has used this as a metaphor broadly for the perverse level of consumption depicted in the film overall, and directly as a commentary on mass-produced foods and consumerism.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stop! May 24 2004
By Tommo
This is not a review of Salo, enough words have been said about it already. What this is is just a few words to all you people thinking of shelling out lots of money for a (probably fake) second hand Salo DVD from the Criterion collection. Go to Amazon.co.uk and get a fully uncut BFI (British Film Institute) print for a lot less. Hope this saves you some money!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Strange To Say the Least Oct. 12 2003
Pasolini's last film is one of the strangest films I've ever seen. It's also one of the most uncomfortable. Based loosely on the Marquis de Sade's 120 Days of Sodom the film transports that work to fascist Italy in the ending days of WWII.
A group of powerful men kidnap a large group of young innocents and essentially turn them into their personal slaves. The point of all this seems to be that power has the ability to currupt totally.
The images on the screen are some of the most depraved that have been committed to film. Pasolini is more indebted in my mind to Dante than to deSade. The film is presented in "Circles" much like Dante's Inferno.
This is not a film that you will want to see over and over. It is not a film in any way erotic. It is a film that will make you think and evaluate man's place in society.
Is it worth the price of the DVD? More than likely not, but Criterion has found this to be one of the most important films of the 20th Century. Watcher beware and " Abandon all hopes ye who enter here."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Power Corrupts Nov. 11 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Visually, a triumph of cinematic art. Morally. a greater triumph still, as it shows the depths to which humans are capable of sinking under certain circumstances. Power corrupts. as Lord Acton said, and abosulte power corrupts absolutely. The real victims of power in this film are not the victims of it, but those who wield it and so lose all human dignity in their lust for satisfaction at the expense of helpless victims.
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3.0 out of 5 stars For me, this was not worth more than one ... July 1 2014
By nobody
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
For me, this was not worth more than one viewing. I was curious about the controversy and merit of this film. Viewed out of historical context however, I found very little to appreciate personally. I admire the uncompromising experiment and appreciate the bold treatment but the meaning was lost on me and all other aspects of the film (cinematography, story, acting, editing) were not strong enough for me to hold my interest.
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3.0 out of 5 stars You need to be at least -40- to view this film! Feb. 10 2014
By Len the Sound Guy TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I finally sat down and watched this whole thing in one sitting (I've seen bits of it before). I guess it's kind of a documentary. showing the lives of very corrupt and powerful people and what they can do when authority is absent. I also think the story teller was a bit obsessed with excrement, this is a very shi__y film! If you don't have a strong stomach, you may want to watch with an air sickness bag within easy reach. The end of the movie contains some gory torture scenes, I looked away just because I don't need those graphic memories! This is not really a horror film, but in some ways it IS horrible. More of a mental sickness fest, or a crap carnival!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone Feb. 16 2004
I've wanted to see this film for the longest time as it is known as "the most disgusting movie ever made." This of course intrigued me,but I also heard it was a very artistic film, incorporating many themes of human degradation and facism. Pier Pasolini directed this film and later was killed by a male prostitute (stabbed to death) and it was rumored he was killed FOR making this film.
Now, I'm not going to go on and on about artistic values and philosophical thoughts, because I really don't know that much about the subject at hand, I merely was curious about the film and watched a friend's copy. Now, lots of parts are difficult to watch (especially if there are parents around); like extremely degrading sex acts, human torture, and sodomy. The film centers around a group of 4 middle aged men who decide to capture a large group of random young teens (about 14-17 years old) and bring them all back to a mansion to a former prostitute who would tell them stories about her life, very sexually explicit stories, with the help of other older women they would keep these children captured basically as sex slaves- most of the time they were naked, fondled and just toyed with for the pleasure of these men. One scene which almost had me gagging was one where they all sat for a dinner, the main course was a huge silver tray of steaming human feces, they all were forced to eat (the "bad" guys loving every morsel of it). Other scenes where some of the children actally enjoyed some homosexual acts with these men made me cringe (not because I have anything against gays, but this film was just so perverse, yet strongly intriguing about it).
Well, there were a few girls in the group who wanted to rebel. Not much came of that except more punishment.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars What a bore
I bought this DVD out of interest and found the film quite boring, no point in watching it, bunch of perverted people aimlessly enjoying humilating others, doesn't deserve the... Read more
Published on July 26 2009 by Richard T. Daoud
1.0 out of 5 stars destroy all copies
This is the most twisted, worthless movie of all time. All copies of it should be destroyed. Do not waste your money on it. Amazon should remove it as a item for sale.
Published on Oct. 3 2008 by moth
1.0 out of 5 stars if you like true snuff films
This is a real life snuff film. If you watch it you're just as disgusting as the maker.
Published on June 6 2005
3.0 out of 5 stars Let the madness end...
The conspiracy theories, the bootlegs, the ceremonial passing around of 'sealed' copies (gonna watch it, son?) on eBay for obscene amounts of money... Read more
Published on June 25 2004 by S. Lu
5.0 out of 5 stars Aristotle
I'm giving this movie the highest rating because it made me understand the definition of the word CAPTHARSIS (the process of releasing strong emotions-pity and fear-through a... Read more
Published on June 15 2004 by Amal
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting movie - plus how to find the dvd cheap
Salo is an interesting movie if you watch it for what it is. If you're into disturbing movies you'll find that this isn't incredible disturbing, if not then be prepared to see... Read more
Published on June 9 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterwork!
First of all, this movie is a great adaptation of Sade's book. In " 120 days of sodom" the sadist nobles were taking their power by their money. Read more
Published on May 23 2004
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the most disturbing movie ever made, also not very good
First off, I don't see why anyone who is easily offended would be motivated to watch this movie except by sheer stupidity and/or the desire to be morally outraged. Read more
Published on April 4 2004 by proteusyndrome
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