I write a lot of list articles. I enjoy doing it, it’s fun and seems to amuse the audience that I have inexplicably garnered. The only drawback is that, with every list I write - every. single. fucking. one. - there is always That One Asshole who feels the need to point out a glaring omission, i.e. “What about blahblahblah? How could you NOT include that one?” or “You really dropped the ball in failing to include yaddayaddawhatever.” It is to those people that I direct the following statement: “Fuck you morons. You think I’ve seen every single goddamned movie ever made in the history of the world? You think I have nothing better to do than sit on my ass all day with a bag of Cheetos and a pile of Netflix envelopes, committing the annals of cinema to memory? If I didn’t include a film in my list, it’s because I HAVEN’T SEEN IT!” Believe it or not, it is not a requirement of film reviewers/critics to see every film ever made. For one thing, it’s impossible. For another, there are some films that I simply absolutely and irrefutably refuse to watch. For example: if it stars Julia Roberts or was directed by Ulli Lommel, forget it. I’d rather give myself a vinegar and Clorox enema.
I’m a horror film reviewer. I’ve seen a lot of horror films. A LOT. Thousands. Maybe tens of thousands by now, who the hell knows? I’ve seen everything from Oscar Winners and Cannes Palme d'Ors to every stinking turkey shitbomb ever dropped on USA Up All Night. And believe me, I’m not bragging. Sitting through some of these movies is torture, and I do not have the option of shutting them off and returning them for a full refund. I HAVE to watch them in their entirety in order to deliver a thorough and honest review.
However, there are a handful of horror films that I will not watch. Ever. I flat out refuse to view them, and I don’t give a shit if you think it makes me less of a horror fan/film reviewer. I’ve seen the trailers and/or assorted clips, enough to know I couldn’t handle the full impact of the whole film upon my psyche. I have a pretty damn high tolerance for violence and gore, but I do not enjoy sadism, suffering or depravity for depravity’s sake.
The following seven films are the only films, thus far, to make my personal “I Will Never Watch” list. I’m not going to change my mind, and you can’t make me. I know I’m going to get shit for this, and I don’t care. Let the flood of hate mail begin.
#1 - PHILOSOPHY OF A KNIFE
SYNOPSIS: A four hour long mockumentary (although actual archival footage is included) of the real life atrocities committed by Japanese Army Unit 731 during World War 2. Live autopsies, compression chamber experiments and organ removal without anesthesia are just some of the procedures covered in this grainy exposé.
WHY I WON’T WATCH IT: I got two and a half minutes into the almost five minute long trailer and wanted to vomit hard enough to eject my soul from my toenails. And just to clarify: it’s not the gore that puts me off. It’s the dismal soundtrack, the jumpy, nausea-inducing camerawork, the all-too realistic screams of pain. The fact that it is based on actual documented experiments doesn’t help either. I work retail. I am perfectly aware of how unfathomably evil people can be.
#2 - CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST
SYNOPSIS: The original (I think) found footage film, documenting the ill-fated journey of a group of stupid Americans who decided it’d be a great idea to venture into the Amazon Basin in search of a cannibal tribe. And they were never seen again. Who’s surprised?
WHY I WON’T WATCH IT:The turtle scene. I watched Apocalypse Now in complete ignorance of the cow slaughter scene. If I’d known about it in advance, I would have skipped that one too. I am aware that animals are routinely slaughtered for a variety of purposes, but it doesn’t mean I have to watch it happen, or support those who script and film it.
#3 - A SERBIAN FILM
SYNOPSIS: A semi-retired porn star is recruited to make one last skin flick, unaware of the fact that it’s going to be a snuff film and he and his family are going to be the stars whether they like it or not.
WHY I WON’T WATCH IT: Because I could just as easily spend an hour and a half staring at a neon sign that spells out: “WE ARE DESPERATE TO SHOCK YOU!!!” I don’t give a fuck what statement(s) it might make about the Serbian culture: I have no desire to see a “newborn porn” scene, no matter how subtly implied it might be.
#4 - SALO: THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM
SYNOPSIS: A group of corrupt officials in post WW2 Italy gather up a group of eighteen captives (nine girls and nine boys) and subject them to 120 days of rape, torture and humiliation, hence the title.
WHY I WON’T WATCH IT: Again, I work retail. I have to eat shit on a daily basis. No way am I going to watch eighteen people force fed a feast of fresh turds in my free time. Plus, I’ve heard the whole movie is actually pretty silly and not worth the time anyway. Fuck it.
#5 - MEN BEHIND THE SUN
SYNOPSIS: See the synopsis for “Philosophy of a Knife.”
WHY I WON’T WATCH IT: Again, see “Philosophy of a Knife.” Uh, I mean, see my explanation for why I won’t watch “Philosophy of a Knife” because it’s essentially the exact same thing. I didn’t mean “see the movie.”
#6 - THE JOY OF TORTURE 2: OXEN SPLIT TORTURING (a.k.a. SHOGUN'S SADISM)
SYNOPSIS: Feudal era Japan, where torturing the shit out of Christians is the national pastime...which seems only fair since torturing the shit out of non-Christians was the national pastime in every other country around the same time.
WHY I WON’T WATCH IT: Drawing and quartering is just one of those things that I don’t really want to think about, let alone see. I know it’s happened. I saw both The Hitcher and Faith No More’s video for Mid-Life Crisis (great song). That was enough.
#7 - GUINEA PIG: FLOWER OF FLESH AND BLOOD
SYNOPSIS: A guy in a samurai suit kidnaps a girl, straps her to a table and slowly dismembers her. That’s it.
WHY IN WON’T WATCH IT: Why are the Japanese so prolific in sadistic torture films? That was a rhetorical question, and if there IS an answer, I don’t want to know what it is. That said, why the fuck would I want to watch ANYTHING that Charlie Sheen expressed an interest in?