10 Controversial Films With Scenes Of Explicit Sexual Violence
11. Matador (1986)
My favourite Pedro Almodóvar film, Matador is packed to the rafters with sexual violence. The title sequence starts off with a man masturbating to Bava's Blood and Black Lace and Franco's Bloody Moon. Then there is Angel (a young Antonio Banderas) who gets called gay and tries to rape a poor girl to prove he is a man. Ultimately, he fails at raping her and when she falls down and cuts her face, he faints at the sight of blood. Angel goes to the police to confess to the rape and ends up confessing to the murders of two women, but when it is shown that he faints at the sight of blood, he is no longer considered a suspect. There are two perverts in the movie - Maria - Angel's lawyer who has rampant sex with unfortunate men whom she kills with her hairpin at point of orgasm. The other pervert is Diego - an ex bullfighter who was the gentleman masturbating to slasher films at the beginning of film and also the killer of the two women that Angel claimed to have killed. Whenever Maria and Diego meet, they realise they are soul mates and that they can finally satisfy each other's needs. They eventually die in the movie in a shocking climax (no pun intended) where they are having sex and kill each other at point of orgasm. Diego gets a hair pin in the back and Maria shoots herself. The movie clearly has many acts of sexualised violence starting from Diego masturbating to horror movies (basically a big shout out to directors Mario Bava and Jesus Franco from Almodóvar) which is a startling beginning and sets the tone of the movie - sex and death are twin partners in the film. It is a dark and shocking movie yet Almodóvar injects a streak of comedy into the proceedings which strangely works. The would be rapist Angel is clearly tormented by religious guilt over his urges. This is probably due to his insanely religious mother. So Almodóvar is cocking a snoop at the Catholic church. Although Spain had been freed from the oppressive Franco regime (and Almodóvar is clearly revelling in this - pushing the limits of what he could get away with), the Catholic church still exercised a modicum of power in Spain - particularly among older people. Angel represents old school Catholicism versus a newly liberated generation and the conflict between the two - resulting in his vast confusion over who he is and what he has done. Diego is a very macho man who turns to killing women when he can no longer vent his sadism at bulls. Whenever he meets his twin flame in Maria they begin a dance of death, circling around each other like sharks. The final act of sexual violence in the film is mind blowing but inevitable. There was always a morbid sense of doom in the film's atmosphere and two sex crazed murders died an inevitable death. Pretty scandalous viewing for the average film fan, Almodóvar considers this one of his poorest works. I disagree with him. The movie is unique - one of a kind and stands as Transgressive Art House masterpiece.
My first film watched was Carrie aged 2 on my dad's knee. Educated at The University of St Andrews and Trinity College Dublin. Fan of Arthouse, Exploitation, Horror, Euro Trash, Giallo, New French Extremism. Weaned at the bosom of a Russ Meyer starlet. The bleaker, artier or sleazier the better!