There are some films out there that are so tough to watch they require advance notices, intense planning, and an empty stomach. Just because they are hard to watch doesn’t mean they aren’t worth your time. Some of them are cult classics from masters of the macabre. Others are gross-outs that must be seen to be believed. A few of them even elevate violence to an art form. If you are watching for shock value, escapism, or to disgust your friends Shudder has something for you. Here are the grossest films on Shudder right now.
A man begins a relationship with a very deadly female killer in Takashi Miike’s ultra-gory masterpiece. Widower Aoyama falls for the radiant and mysterious Asami. But as he delves into her past, he learns her former acquaintances have either gone missing – or have missing limbs. Will he be next? Thanks to its heart-stopping final act, Miike’s chilling tale put him in the pantheon of great horror directors and led to the J-Horror genre becoming a worldwide phenomenon. If you haven’t seen it, be warned: when the needles come out, there’s no turning back…. (In Japanese with English Subtitles)
Cast: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina
You can’t have this kind of list without including something from Takashi Miike. His brand of horror is deeply visceral and disturbing. Everything that happens in this movie is brutal and hard to watch. Eat before watching, but avoid soup.
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
Hands down, this is one of the weirdest, most disgusting things you will ever see. If you took the worst dreams, that made the least sense from every person you have ever known and put them together in a film you would come close to capturing Flying Lotus’ vision. It/s not so much horror as it is horrific.
A teenager suspects his family are part of a cabal of monstrous socialites who literally prey on the lower classes. Bill’s enjoying life’s privileges when he hears a recording of a family party that suggests it was actually a murderous, incestuous orgy. But that couldn’t be so, could it? Though SOCIETY was released in 1992, it was only recently that its reputation as a masterpiece began to swell like a fleshy blob of aroused aliens. The Cronenbergian final act – filled with outrageously disturbing and blackly comic FX – never loses its power to shock. Essential viewing. Contains strong language, sexual scenes, violence, and gore.
Cast: Billy Warlock, Devin DeVasquez, Charles Lucia, Patrice Jennings
If orgy sex parties that morph into things I can not ever unsee are your thing, Society is a must-see. There is so much wrong with the events in this film. This poor kid has one of the absolute worst horror families ever. Grab so buds and load it up. I strongly suggest avoiding this film as part of a date night. There will be no “chill” to go with your film-watching, if you know what I mean.
After a drunken night on the town, Oh Dae-su is locked up in a strange, private prison for 15 years. When freed, the once-ordinary businessman is on a quest for answers and a vicious journey of vengeance in Park Chan-wook’s acclaimed, shocking modern revenge classic.
Cast: Choi Min-sik, Yoo Ji-tae, Kang Hye-jung
A great story of vengeance that is a strangely thoughtful as it is violent. It is a beautiful, psychological twister that also happens to be brutal AF. This one has a little something for everyone as long as your stomach is strong enough to take it.
A documentary crew get on the bad side of the cannibals they’re filming in this gruesome exploitation classic. A researcher recovers footage a crew of filmmakers shot before they disappeared. But when he watches it, he sees horror far worse than he imagined. Made in 1979, but not released here until 1985, this controversial film quickly became a grindhouse smash. But it’s biggest impact on horror is surely its innovative found-footage conceit, which led to the emergence of an entire subgenre in recent years. Vegetarians beware: the animal violence is very real.
Cast: Robert Kerman, Francesca Ciardi, Perry Pirkanen, Luca Barbareschi
In many ways, this is the film that started the gross-out trend. There have been tons of homages to the all-out filth that this film showcases, and arguably some of them are better, but you have to give credit where it is due and there is a reason this one remains on most people’s all-time grossest movie list.
Ichi The Killer
A masochistic yakuza and a vicious hero face off in Takashi Miike’s gory cult hit. Ichi is a repressed man who becomes aroused only when inflicting violence – which he does at a level few others can match. Kakihara is the masochistic enforcer who dreams of experiencing the pain Ichi can inflict. As the two circle each other in a deadly dance, everyone who crosses their path meets a horrific end. A title sequence which emerges from ejaculate sets the tone for this highly controversial film, which features some of the most repulsive gore ever put on film. (In Japanese with English subtitles.)
Cast: Asano Tadanobu, Ohmori Nao, Shin’ya Tsukamoto
If sadomasochism is your thing get ready to be excited. Violent with a capital V you won’t find a movie more bathed in depravity than this one. It is probably the hardest film to watch on the list because the cruelty and deviancy have no boundaries. It’s worth watching once.
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 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. Just for Signal Horizon readers, 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 TV/Streaming Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre tv. I grew up with old school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. When I’m not watching and writing about my favorite movies and series, I’m introducing my family to the wonderful world of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. My only regret, there is not enough time in the day to watch everything.