Top 10 worst things ever to happen to the human body on film

Well, it’s happened, as the grim prophecy foretold: The Human Centipede: Full Sequence is soon to be out in cinemas. We’d love to be able to say this article is a ‘celebration’ of this fact, but no. The fact that a sequel is coming out says one thing about humanity, and one thing only. We must be punished.

So here are ten films that do really, really unpleasant things to the human form.


#10 – Chestgina (Videodrome)

There’s nothing wrong with vaginas, but there is a time and a place for them. Specifically, any time except 1983 and any place except James Woods’ chest. Putting fleshy, pulsating videotapes inside it doesn’t exactly help matters, nor does using it to store handguns. Deeply unpleasant. “Long live the new flesh”, sure, but we hope it lives long far away from us.


#9 – Buckwheating (Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead)

It’s not always about being explicit with abusing that quintessence of dust (and blood and organs) that is the human form. This seminal gangster movie sets this out in crystal clear terms by introducing the idea of ‘Buckwheating’: a form of execution in which, Christopher Walken gleefully explains, the offender is shot in the anus, taking days to die in agony. We’re told about it in such detail that, when it happens, we don’t need to be shown the inner workings, as it were, it’s enough to know and see a victim curled in agony. Eeesh.


#8 – Brain Pencils (Eraserhead)

Sometimes making no sense is the worst thing you can do. David Lynch’s twisted mindfuck of an everything is the only film you will ever leave knowing less about than you started. One thing you will know, however, is where the title comes from. It comes from when some dudes in a pencil factory make some erasers. From Jack Nance’s severed head. More existentially terrifying than gory or painful, but horrific nonetheless.


#7 – Defibrillator (The Thing)

John Carpenter’s certainly no stranger to the game of Oh God What Are You Doing To My Flesh!, but far and away his stand-out credit in this field is 1982’s The Thing. Full of suspicion, paranoia and goo, the moment every viewer remembers is the defibrillation attempt that gets a little bit… out of hand. Don’t worry, Doc: he’s armless!


#6 – Razor-wire Torso Flossing (Silent Hill)

The film adaptation of this superbly surreal videogame franchise disappointed both fans of the series and fans of films that aren’t shit. Despite a promisingly atmospheric opening half hour, it doesn’t take long to descend into a pit of Hollywood cliché so deep even Sean Bean couldn’t save it. In the final scene, however, we are treated to something rather special. What can only be described as a razor-wire demon seizes the head witch and sends barbed tendrils up her dress, out her mouth and just flosses her all to death. What’s that I hear? Is it your legs clamping together? You know it is.


#5 – Spacing (Event Horizon)

Again, it’s not always about the gore, and often it’s the knowledge of what’s happening that is the most unpleasant part of a scene. They don’t even have to die. Cue those awful minutes of this Paul W. S. Anderson hellfest in which poor young Jack Noseworthy gets trapped in a depressurising airlock. It’s not even as graphic as the scene in Total Recall where Schwarzenegger’s head bulges, but we’ve been told exactly what’s happening here, so after we’ve heard his plaintive cries for help, his eventual survival seems cold comfort.


#4 – Evil Head-Hand Sister (Imprint)

Alright, you caught us. Technically Imprint isn’t a movie, it’s a long-form episode of Masters of Horror, but it’s directed by Takashi Miike. And he’s a feature film director through and through, so it counts. Plus, that shit is nasty – in an hour filled with needles, torture and rural abortions, the stand-out gruesome would have to be the protagonists sister. If by “sister” you mean side-of-head-hand-with-a-face-that-graphically-kills-people, because we do.


#3 – The Flesh-Orgy (Society)

As with many examples on this list, this 1989 body-horror classic is rife with points that could have made this list. The finale, though is just one long nightmare of flesh-melting, flesh-fusing and OH-MY-GO-A-FACE-IS-COMING-OUT-OF-HIS-ANUS! [we’re not showing that, use a stretched-face picture – Ed]. It’s so… um… just… fleshy.


#2 – Zombie Mother’s Womb (Braindead/Dead Alive)

There’s so much twisted shit going down in this film. Do we go with the fly-mo? The zombie baby in a blender? The killer intestines? No, we go with the point right at the end, where the protagonist’s overbearing mother, now a giant zombie monster, shoots out an undead umbilical cord and tries to drag him back into her open zombie womb. We’re not allowed to show that, so here’s a picture of the zombie baby ripping its way out of a woman’s head. [We’re not using that one either – Ed.] What the fuck, Peter Jackson? Where are the adorable hobbits?


#1 – Drill Cock (Tetsuo: the Iron Man)

You remember that scene in Se7en, the one where we see the Lust crime and a woman is killed by a razor strap-on. No? That’s because we didn’t see it, it was merely implied. Not so in Tetsuo. In this fucked-up warcrime of a film we see a man gradually and extremely graphically getting turned into a twisted junkyard cyborg. Naturally, his penis becomes a GIANT POWER DRILL, and, even more naturally, he uses it to graphically kill his girlfriend. That was as hard for us to write as it was for you to read, we’re sorry. When the machines achieve sentience and start their march on our world, this film will be the document they use to justify our extermination. And they will be completely in the right.

What have we missed? What grotesque abominations against the sanctity of our lovely limbs and torsos can you think of? Provide your arguments for mankind’s annihilation in the comments below.

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