The 20 most disturbing sex-themed movies

We were going to do a top ten list but there are so many disturbing movies made about sex, we had to bump it up to 20. Let us know if there are any others you think should have made the cut.

  1. Irreversible: If you can get through the first ten minutes of hard-core sex and violence at the gay club (subtly called “Rectum”) in this brutal movie about rape and revenge, then you’ve got a stronger constitution than we do.

  2. Breaking the Waves: The simple-minded wife of a newly disabled man misinterprets his desire for her to find the pleasure he can no longer deliver elsewhere and engages in riskier and riskier behavior until she (spoiler alert) ends up killed via gang bang. The feel good movie of 1996! 

  3. Black Snake Moan: The moral of the story: Chaining a young, skimpily dressed, drug addicted, abuse victim to your radiator against her will in order to cure her of her raging nymphomania is the right thing to do. Jesus would be proud.

  4. Spanking the Monkey: Five words for you: sex with your own mother. Ew!!!! (And with a title like that, it’s not exactly Oedipus.)

  5. Black Swan: The issues around bodily control and sexual repression aren’t so much disturbing as they are unintentionally hilarious. For example, when the main character finally gets round to an intense bout of self-diddling, only to discover her mother sleeping in the corner or her room, we could have sworn we were watching a clip from Funny or Die.

  6. Happiness: The easiest way to describe this follow-up to Todd Solondz’s first flick “Welcome to the Dollhouse” is to say it’s the exact opposite of its title. Failed marriages? Check! Sexual harassment? Pedophilia? Check!

  7. Dead Ringers: Scary gynecological tools and sexual hangups don’t mix. That goes double for creepy twins (played by Jeremy Irons).

    Dead Ringers | Jeremy Irons | G. Bujold | Movie Trailer | Review

  8. Boxing Helena: The only thing more disturbing than the premise of this movie (a man keeps his love interest dependent upon him by removing her limbs) is the absolutely atrocious acting. How could Julian Sands have gone from “A Room with a View” to this steaming pile of dog poop?!

  9. The Piano Teacher: She’s a sexy librarian-type with a domineering mother and an insane institutionalized dad who has some peculiar requests of her love interests (e.g. tie me up, sit on my face, and punch me in the stomach hard to force my tongue up your bum). Students beware.

  10. Exit to Eden: How did a movie about BDSM starring Rosie O’Donnell ever get made? The new podcast “How Did This Get Made” needs to discuss.

  11. Kissed: Don’t you hate it when the only way you can get off is to screw a corpse?

  12. Downloading Nancy: It’s a psycho-sadomasochistic love story: she wants to die and he’s willing to help. See, Internet personals really do work! (Now we’re just waiting for the film version  of that German cannibal who, via the Internet, found, killed and ate his willing victim…after they had sex and then tried to dine on his dismembered penis together — any festival submissions yet? No?).

  13. The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover: Peter Greenaway’s weird, arty and kind of nauseating take on the relationships between eating and sex, love and death. It may just make you a vegetarian.

  14. Savage Grace: Mothers can have such high expectations, like when they expect you to orgasm during intercourse with them. And when you don’t, they give you that aggressive I’m-so-disappointed-in-you handjob. Thanks a lot, Mom.

  15. Towelhead: This flick, about the sexual awakening of a 13-year-old Arab-American girl, proves the world would be a much better place if all pubescent girls were given a vulva puppet to love and cherish, a box of tampons, and a copy of the book Are We Having Fun Yet: The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Sex.

  16. Little Children: A movie about the depressing consequences of misplaced affection. Especially disturbing are Kate Winslet’s eyebrows. 

  17. Teeth: Your first time should be special, romantic, and, most of all, consensual. If it’s not, then you have every right to bite off your assaulter’s penis with your sharp vagina dentata. (Makes us cross our legs just thinking about it.)

  18. Last Tango in Paris: Worst line of dialogue in cinematic history: “Go get the butter.”

  19. 9 and 1/2 weeks: Initially the affair looks like something straight out of Cosmo — there’s the playful stripteases and the blindfolds and strawberry feedings. But when you date a man without a sense of humor, don’t be surprised if he eventually makes you crawl around on the floor like a dog and watch him get it on with a prostitute.

  20. Sex and the City 2: Downright scary.