Christmas is over and now it’s my favorite time of the year. The week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve is the best. Usually, the bulk of the travel and holiday insanity is over. Presents have been bought, wrapped, and then unwrapped again. Children are getting back on their sleep schedules and adults are indulging in plenty of wine and booze courtesy of White Elephant gift exchanges.
Nothing says bloated bellies like body horror. You know your own body feels like a freak show and nothing but your sweat pants fit, so load up some body horror to feel better about your situation. Shudder has some of the very best in the subgenre. If body horror isn’t your thing we curate a list each week. Maybe you are still dreaming of horrific Christmas tales, maybe you want a good mind-bender? You can find all our previous lists here. Here’s the Best Body Horror on Shudder.
Tetsuo The Iron Man
This surreal Japanese cult sensation profiles a man who mutates into a metal being. Somewhere between a modern-day nightmare and a techno-fetishist’s ultimate fantasy, this incredible film from Shinya Tsukamoto took viewers on a surreal journey into a dark and disturbing world where self-inflicted body transformations and post-human women form the fabric of a strange new reality. Likened to the work of David Lynch and David Cronenberg, TETSUO molds explosive violence, bizarre sexual imagery and jet-black humor into a cinematic experience unlike any you’ve seen. (In Japanese with English Subtitles)
Cast: Tomorowo Taguchi, Kei Fujiwara, Shin’ya Tsukamoto
Easily the weirdest psychosexual body horror thing you will ever see, Tetsuo is iron penis madness. If you are really into surrealism and giant penises this is the movie for you. This one would be weird with anyone but a longterm relationship. Definitely not first date material.
Broadcasting through a makeshift network of discarded televisions, KUSO is a shifting series of vignettes tangled in the aftermath of Los Angeles’s worst earthquake nightmare. Travel between screens and aftershocks into the twisted lives of the survived. Blending nightmarish visions, animation and a shocking image of a distorted America, this is the daring debut and Sundance sensation from director Steve, aka renowned musician Flying Lotus. Delirious, provocative and darkly hilarious, KUSO is as verbose with macabre, music, melancholy and unimaginable imagery. You won’t believe your eyes, or your mind. A SHUDDER EXCLUSIVE.
Cast: Hannibal Buress, George Clinton, David Firth, Tim Heidecker, Anders Holm
This movie is also on my grossest horror movies on Shudder list because it is disgusting. Be warned you can’t unsee some of these images. Flying Locust must have some super bizarre dreams. You are about to enter the mind of one sick twist. It’s a great party movie because it’s so strange it’s funny.
Are We Not Cats
After losing his job, girlfriend, and home in a single day, a desperate thirty-something accepts a delivery job upstate. There he stumbles upon Anya, a beguiling and mysterious young artist who shares his proclivity for eating human hair. While their shared obsession bonds these two loners together, it also takes them on a perverse and disturbing journey in one of the most exciting and singular American indies this year.
Cast: Michael Nicholson, Chelsea Lopez, Michael Godere
This film freaks me out. I love kitties, but there is no way I’m down for turning into one. A story that is as repulsive as it is romantic you will find yourself rooting for this one of a kind love affair. Cats will haunt and charm you in equal measures. It isn’t all hair eating though, there is one particularly nasty bit of gore so don’t let your guard down.
Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci, Evil Dead, Thumbsucker) is a young American fleeing to Europe to escape his past. While backpacking along the Italian coast, everything changes during a stop at an idyllic Italian village, where he meets and instantly connects with the enchanting and mysterious Louise (Nadia Hilker). A flirtatious romance begins to bloom between the two; however, Evan soon realizes that Louise has been harboring a monstrous, primordial secret that puts both their relationship and their lives in jeopardy. A beautiful, fluid genre-bender from directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (Resolution), SPRING is an unforgettable romance of mythical proportions.
Cast: Lou Taylor Pucci, Nadia Hilker, Francesco Carnelutti
I’m a huge fan of Moorhead and Benson and am all in for their kind of ambiguous storytelling. Although this is body horror, there is something quite beautiful about this film. This film actually would make a good date movie. There is a little something for even the non-horror fans.
Meet Elmer. He’s your local, friendly parasite with the ability to induce euphoric hallucinations in his hosts. But these LSD-like trips come with a hefty price tag. When young Brian comes under Elmer’s addictive spell, it’s not long before he finds himself scouring the city streets in search of his parasite’s preferred food source – brains!
Cast: Rick Hearst, Gordon MacDonald, Jennyfer Lowry
You won’t find a better B movie for sheer fun. It’s hilarious, campy, and gross. A classic from the ’80s this is a party waiting to happen. Grab some tequila(with a worm of course) and some pals. This one is best watched with a group. Prepare for some gut-busting laughter.
Do not forget to tune into the Horror Pod Class and their weekly podcast on all things horror and science fiction, you might just learn something. Look for our newest podcast called Drafting Horror. Every two weeks the hosts draft two top five lists in a specific subgenre and then debate to the death. JK, mostly they crack jokes and give fun and obscure facts about the films.
The movies must be all be available for streaming so it’s a great place to learn more about all your favorites on Shudder. It’s something new every other week. We have a free trial that lasts twice as long as their normal offer. Signal Horizon readers can sign up for a 30-day free trial using the link below. Tell us what you think and let us know if you find something in the streaming service that warrants further discussion.
I hope we have given you some new movies to consider. Let us know what you enjoyed this weekend. Don’t forget to use the promo code SIGNAL for a whole month free! Catch us back each week with a new Shudder list.
As the Managing Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre entertainment. I grew up with old-school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. My work can be found here and Travel Weird, where I am the Editor in Chief.