5) Men Behind The Sun
Few films have caused quite so many fierce tremors of outrage as T.F. Mou’s Men Behind The Sun, a movie that sought to show a contemporary audience the brutal and abhorrent reality of the experiments enacted by the Japanese during World War II at the infamous Unit 731 in Pingfang, China.
Released back in 1988, Men Behind The Sun was subject to a barrage of criticism for its sickening representation of blood, gore and torture. Mou pleaded with people to try and see it from an educational perspective, but many critics labelled it as exploitative, and the movie gained such a reprehensible reputation that Mou even received death threats.
There were corners of the world that expressed pity for the director and admiration for the movie, but even these quiet voices began to fall silent when it was revealed that some of the malice and death caught on camera for Men Behind The Sun was very, very real.
Amid the screams and torture in Men Behind The Sun lies an authentic corpse of a young boy, apparently acquired from a local hospital. Once it was deduced that this footage did indeed show a real dead body on screen, the cinematic rumor mill pumped into action and all sorts of theories about the film began to get banded about; with several claiming that the corpse was acquired outside of the rules of the law. What’s more, one scene of unspeakable cruelty sees a cat left to a horde of ravenous rats, with these rodents then subsequently set alight to burn to death – all of which appears to have been filmed authentically and illegally.
Men Behind The Sun continues to find itself in the company of Salo: 100 Days Of Sodom and A Serbian Film as one of the most profoundly disturbing pieces of cinema to ever hit the big screen. Although, it arguably trumps those two in terms of vulgarity, given the venomous reality that lurks within its frame.