in about 100 words or less
Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini; Cast: Paolo Bonacelli, Giorgio Cataldi, Umberto Paolo, Quintavalle, Aldo Valletti, Caterina Boratto, Elsa De Giorgi, Hélène Surgère, Sonia Saviange, Renata Moar, Franco Merli, Inès Pellegrini
Based upon the writings of Marquis de Sade, Salò is a controversial film adaptation which utilized Italian fascists from 1944 in place of the 18th century French libertines. In portraying de Sade’s graphic descriptions of sadism, the film follows four scatologically obsessed men of power who subject eighteen young men and women to prolonged sexual abuse, torture and ultimately death. Despite the film’s infamous notoriety, and its stated purpose as a depiction of the abuse of power, etc., Salò has few, if any, redeeming qualities, nor has it any particularly noteworthy technical or artistic merit. Despite the almost universal condemnation of this film upon its release, many of its themes have become the basis for some of the most popular and repugnant modern horror films (Klaus Ming April 2012).