TMP: 3 Body Horror Movies to Never See Again

tetsuo the iron man

thursday movie picks is a feature created by wandering through the shelves

T his week’s theme on Thursday Movie Picks is Body Horror Movies. It’s a subgenre of horror films that focuses on body disintegration, deformation, mutilation… you get the picture. Can’t say it’s a favourite – in fact, I am yet to find a single movie from the genre that I wish to see again. Hence the nature of this list: these are the three best body horror movies I never ever want to rewatch. Read on, if you can stomach it.

[ In order of disgustingness ]


03. Audition (1999)

While I’m not rushing to watch it again, this japanese horror flick is actually one of my favourites. And that is because Audition spends most of its running time building the characters in apparent normal fashion, against a sense of unease you can’t shake. The two main characters are Shigeharu (Ryo Ishibashi) and Asami (Eihi Shiina) – the first, a widower who holds auditions to find his future partner, the second, a shy, meek young girl who gets the part. As the movie and their relationship progress, Asami’s dark past comes to light in news of murders and mutilations, pictured in Shigeharu’s grotesque dreams and hallucinations of flapping body parts.

audition 1999 movie gif
audition 1999 movie gif

Spoilers Ahead!

It all builds up to the final scene, which gave Audition its notoriety. In the climax, Asami, filled with jealousy, reveals her true nature when she kidnaps Shigeharu, drugs him with a paralysing substance, and tortures him at will. As he lays powerless and scared, so do we as we watch him suffer, unable to stop director Takashi Miike‘s vision from unfolding. Kiri-kiri-kiri…


02. Eraserhead (1977)

This is where is starts to get really uncomfortable. In David Lynch‘s nightmarish industrial tale, Eraserhead, a father (Jack Nance) is driven to insanity by the cries of his deformed newborn child. And so are we. Not just because of the aesthetics and sounds which alone are bound to suck the joy out of you, but also because of how mind boggling it is. Scene after scene you’re hit with horrific imagery, unable to make sense of it or find steady ground.

It’s exhausting and just thinking about it gives me headaches. I suppose that makes it brilliant, too.

tetsuo the iron man movie

01. Tetsuo, The Iron Man (1989)

I think my body actually hurt while watching Tetsuo, The Iron Man. To this day, I don’t know why I saw it. This Japanese extreme body horror classic is not for the faint of heart. Really. It’s not about blood or flesh – it’s about metal. Rusty, old metal. And pain.

tetsuo the iron man
tetsuo the iron man

After killing “The Metal Fetishist” (yes, expect NSFW scrap) , a man’s body begins to turn into pieces of metal garbage, and it’s… disgusting. With gritty black and white visuals and scratchy irksome sounds, Tetsuo is almost unwatchable. In fact, I’m positive forced showings of it would be an effective method of torture.

Have you seen any of these movies?
What are some of the most unwatchable body horror movies
you’ve ever suffered through?
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  1. October 20, 2017 / 1:23 AM

    Tetsuo: The Iron Man is a film that I’m dying to see. I’ve seen the other 2 as Audition is one film I never want to see again. It scared the fuck out of me.

    • October 20, 2017 / 5:40 PM

      I think you’ll like Tetsuo. It’s a cool kind of freaky.

    • October 20, 2017 / 10:46 PM

      I first heard about when I learned Trent Reznor did a track for one of its films and it has me intrigued.

  2. October 20, 2017 / 8:37 AM

    Audition is just something else, imagine watching it without knowing the twist? Sadly, I the film ingrained itself so much into horror culture that is was impossible to aviod what type of film it becomes.

    • October 26, 2017 / 6:05 PM

      That would’ve been amazing but yes, sadly, we all know where it’s going!

  3. October 20, 2017 / 12:24 PM

    Egad! I have not seen any of these and doubt I will except for Eraserhead which is one film I have always wanted to see knowing what a F-up it is(David Lynch, no explanation needed). The images alone are disturbing

    • October 20, 2017 / 5:44 PM

      I think Eraserhead is the freakiest thing I’ve seen from Lynch! I understand where you’re coming from with the others, though. It’s funny because these are movies that I like, but they are such disturbing watches that I hope never to see them again. Which, I suppose, is their whole point.

  4. October 20, 2017 / 2:52 PM

    Oh, Lord, Audition. It flips the script so perfectly in the second half that the best way to see it is really to not know anything about it going in, although that last scene is so justly (in)famous that that’s pretty much impossible now. Brilliant film, but yeah, I don’t think I’d ever be able to watch it again.

    • October 20, 2017 / 5:47 PM

      So true. It’s a shame that the final twist is not a surprise, but still, it’s quite shocking.

  5. October 23, 2017 / 9:31 AM

    I haven’t seen any of these and I probably never will though the first movie seems interesting.

    • October 26, 2017 / 6:07 PM

      Well you made me fall for YA so MAYBE I can get you to like horror. Audition is a pretty heavy place to start, but at least you get like an hour of drama before the horror begins!

  6. October 25, 2017 / 10:19 PM

    Wow, Tetsuo sounds absolutely insane. The only reason I rewatch Audition is because it is so much fun watching that with someone who has no idea what it’s about. Watching THEM watch the movie is almost better than watching the movie yourself.

    • October 26, 2017 / 6:10 PM

      It IS insane! I think it’s a worth a watch though. I knew where it headed the first time I watched Audition, so I missed out on the surprise but oh that must be priceless – I need to do that sometime.

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