The horror genre is in the business of making people squirm. Whether its gruesome violence, incomprehensible monsters, or impossible decisions thrust upon characters forced to choose their limbs or their lives, there's a fine line films walk between campy over-enthusiasm and just straight overindulgence. The exploitation sub-genre in particular is one that takes one look at the line and runs as far as it can into the distance. What's a line if you can't even see it, eh?
And while violence is an easy way for these movies to cross the threshold of what we're comfortable with, horror continually challenges viewers in other ways, too. Whether its through sinister implication, behind the scenes pressure, or through approaching themes that are too reprehensible to really touch on screen, many films have famously flown too close to the sun and felt the burn of criticism at the way they've handled their horror.
A fare few manage to work this to their advantage, but mostly, we're just faced with films that don't know when to stop. Take a lesson from MC Hammer, guys.
10. Cannibal Holocaust
While it would be easy to point out Cannibal Holocaust as a film that went too far for its narrative alone, where a rescue team head into the Amazon rainforest to find out what happened to a missing film crew, it's in the details of it's creation that pushes it over the edge. Where most of the film is a clever trick played on audiences to make them question the authenticity of the found footage framing device, there's one part that was all too real. Sadly, that was animal cruelty.
Throughout the course of the movie, director Ruggero Deodato decided to go with as realistic a spectacle as possible by setting aside props and effects and instead going the whole hog with actual animal murders. His list includes a coati, a tarantula, a snake, a sea turtle, two spider monkeys, and one - well - whole hog.
Filming out in the Amazon meant that the strict codes of conduct for filming with animals for the United States didn't have to be upheld, but that hasn't stopped the movie from receiving multiple bans for how far it pushed its realism ever since its release in 1980.