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SalÚ: The 120 Days Of Sodom (1975)

DVD Cover (Criterion Collection Reissue)
Genres:
Drama, Political Drama, Sadistic Horror
Director:
Pier Paolo Pasolini Pier Paolo Pasolini
Starring:
Paolo Bonacelli Paolo Bonacelli
Giorgio Cataldi Giorgio Cataldi
Umberto Paolo Quintavalle Umberto Paolo Quintavalle
Aldo Valletti Aldo Valletti
Caterina Boratto Caterina Boratto

6.3 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Christopher
Added: March 22, 2004
We start off with the Fascists choosing their young attractive people (boys and girls from seven to fourteen years old) and bringing them back to their mansion. The Fascists read the kids the rules of their now torture filled life. Everyone meets in the orgy room on a daily basis for a story. The first day, story time is told by Signora Vaccari. After the story, everyone is eating in the cafeteria. When one of the naked maids is bringing everyone their food, one of the guards trips her and begins having sex with her. One of the Fascist's starts showing his rear to everyone at the lunch tables, then bends over in front of the guard and has the guard have sex with him.

When the intercourse ends, Vaccari brings out a dummy and tries to teach one of the girls how to masturbate a man. She fails and gets beaten for her troubles. Back to the orgy room for another Vaccari telling. Her story inspires the men to check on a boy and girl that they are unsure about. A guard masturbates the boy and Vaccari does the same to the girl. When the boy cums first, his is rewarded by marrying the girl. The wedding begins and end pretty quickly. After the wedding, the newlyweds are forced to have sex with each other as the Fascists watch. The guards then interrupt the two. Both of the guards bend over, covering each of their bodies. One the Fascist's then pulls down the pants of the guard hovering over the girl and has sex with him.

Back to the orgy room for yet another Vaccari story. During the story, one of the Fascist's takes one of the girls to the bathroom and makes her urinate. At the same time, he makes her watch him do the same thing. The Fascists are now shown walking up the stairs with all the kids naked and on leashes. Making them act like dogs and making them beg for food. One of the Fascist's grabs a handful of corn bread and sticks needles in it. Then calls one of the female kids over and has her eat it. She starts heavily bleeding from the mouth. Orgy room, now with a new story teller, Signora Maggi.

The story of hers manages to upset one of the female kids to tears. When she starts getting nasty with one of the Fascist's, he gets angry and defecates on the floor. He then makes the crying girl eat it. Maggi finishes her story, which leads to all the kids not being able to use the bathroom when ever they feel. Instead, they are only allowed to go in this tub downstairs at some given time of the day. Later on, the President (of the Fascists) checks on each kid to see if they have used the chamber-pots they are given, just in case they aren't able to hold it. One girl and one boy used the chamber pots. They were written on the list of people to be punished (as was the girl who had to eat the Fascist's feces).

It's dinner time in the cafeteria, everyone is fed that tub of feces, even the Fascists. The Fascists are eating the meal with a smile on their face, as the kids are puking. After the fancy meal, it's back to the orgy room for a story. During Maggi's story, one of the Fascist's takes one of the girls into the bathroom and has her urinate on his face. The Fascists have all decided to judge which one of the kids has the nicest rear. The kids are all bent over to where they can't tell who's a boy or a girl. The winner ends up being a boy. The prize he wins is a gun shot to the head. The gun is not loaded, the kid about has a heart attack. The Fascists killing him would not be enough suffering, they told the kid.

Three of the Fascists dress up as women and head to one of the rooms to be married to three selected boys. As it comes to an end, one of the Fascist's is shown on his 'honeymoon' having sex with his new husband. In the morning, it's time for the kids on the punishment list to be punished. The few girls that were on the list had to bath in a tub filled with feces. Different men had different things done to them. A penis got lit on fire, nipples got lit on fire and branded with a branding iron, a tongue gets cut off with a knife, and an eye gets gouged out with the same knife. The Fascists take turns participating in the torture and take turns watching from a room up above.

SalÚ has a ton of things going on and it all takes place in one mansion. It's hard to focus on what surrounds the movie with such happenings going on. In any case, the Fascists did an excellent job in enjoying their disgusting habits and the kids did an excellent job in fearing for their lives. The plot is pretty basic, the Fascists do whatever they can to get their rocks off. The storyline is easy to follow when actually watching the film. Sometimes when there is so much going on, it's hard to keep up. This had a nice pace going to it all.

Some people see this as more of a disturbing picture than an actual movie, I like to look at it as both. As the film keeps shocking the viewer, it continues to play through with solid acting, good camera shots, natural lighting, and several other elements that are over-looked due to the contents of the movie. Any Criterion collector and most big time DVD collectors have at least heard of this film and have read the hype. It definitly lives up to everything everyone complains about and praises. Anyone who appreciates all movie genre's should watch this movie. An excellent film for Pasolini to leave us with.

Final Conclusion: 9/10
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Christopher #1: Christopher - added 08/23/2004, 04:15 PM
Any of the bootleg DVD's on eBay are worth purchasing.
Crispy #2: Crispy - added 09/24/2004, 06:00 AM
this movie sounds like really sick shit
Christopher #3: Christopher - added 01/14/2005, 05:40 AM
Judging from your praised films, you'd do best to stay away from this one.
Crispy #4: Crispy - added 02/28/2005, 11:41 AM
forgive me for not finding kids getting sodomized and eating shit entertaining
Tristan #5: Tristan - added 04/22/2005, 01:26 AM
I recentley downloaded this movie. It was a little disturbing at first, but if you get through that, and see it for the cinematography, it's decent. Even just the opening credits, which are about 7 minutes long, are interesting to watch, how it's portrayed in an old style, and with great music.
Symx #6: Symx - added 05/22/2005, 04:14 AM
How was making a movie like this legal? Has anyone killed the director yet?
Chad #7: Chad - added 05/22/2005, 09:14 AM
Indeed they have. He was murdered shortly after this movie came out.
Symx #8: Symx - added 05/26/2005, 12:53 AM
I did some reading and he was killed by a male prostitute. I found it interesting that Pier also directed a movie about the Gospel of John
Tristan #9: Tristan - added 10/13/2007, 12:10 AM
I could be wrong, but the original DVD distribution of this film is one of the rarest DVDs in the world. I think it goes for $10,000+ or so. They've re-issued it numerous times, but still. To think that a movie like this is worth so much money is crazy. Aaaaaaand since I didn't give it a rating before...10/10
Ginose #10: Ginose - added 10/13/2007, 12:21 AM
Has nothing on the book, but it's still an incredible movie (Got the CC relatively cheap). 9.5/10
Tristan #11: Tristan - added 10/13/2007, 12:55 AM
Same here. $14.99 on eBay. The book cost me $40. But it was a nice big one with all sorts of essays and such about the story. Long read, 600+ pages.
Ginose #12: Ginose - added 10/13/2007, 01:03 AM
I got the book in a collection of De Sade's works for about $20... pretty bitchin'. But, seriously $14.99!?Lucky, bastard...
Tristan #13: Tristan - added 10/13/2007, 01:12 AM
I misread that. I didn't get the CC. I have the plain Jane release.
Ginose #14: Ginose - added 10/13/2007, 01:28 AM
...Oh, you bastard. Making me shit my heart... jerk. That'd have been possibly the greatest find in DVD history.
Tristan #15: Tristan - added 10/13/2007, 01:29 AM
No kid-ding?
I suck.
Chad #16: Chad - added 12/14/2008, 04:18 AM
Finally saw this, and I have to say that it seems to be highly overrated. It's a good movie and it has some shocking moments (and these two statements aren't necessarily connected - it's not good because it's shocking), but with all of these 9/10 and 10/10 ratings flying around, I expected a masterpiece. What I got is a movie that, again, is good, but is by no means a classic. 7.5/10.
George Snow #17: George Snow - added 04/12/2015, 06:53 PM
If this movie was made in the US there would have been a revolt at the end and the Fascists would have died as tragically as possible. However, there is nothing compatible for them to get their just desserts. That's my main problem with this film, this is sickness for sickness sake. There's no ramifications for your actions. While this is true in real-life, why would you glorify it on cinema? I liken this to The Wolf of Wall Street. I sat there for 3 hours waiting for this asshole to die, and he didn't.

Sick, disturbing film, just not satisfying in the end.
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