Saturday, August 13, 2011

The "Rape List" (Take Two)

Roman Polanski
Cover of Roman Polanski
When Joey and I decided to tackle the subject of rape in cinema for an entire episode of our podcast, Moviesucktastic, we knew that were were treading into sensitive areas. Otherwise, we wouldn't have begun Episode #38 with the rather silly disclaimer that neither of us were actually "Pro-Rape," and were covering the subject matter of rape in a cinematic context because, with all due respect, there are a lot of films, including well respected ones (we're talking Oscar nods here) that broach the subject. So, yes, we were expecting the possibility of some push-back.

But we hadn't been expecting it so quickly. As a sort of companion piece to the show, we posted a list of films including rape scenes that we mention in the episode on our Moviesucktastic Lunch Community page, hosted by We have partnered with as an easy way to both get our reviews out in written format and allow our listeners to share their own film choices and reviews with us and each other, and we have had nothing but positive things to say about as whole.

And we still have nothing but positive things to say about, even after they chose to take down our list because of a user's complaint. Hell, we understand. Even though the list in know way promoted or trivialized rape (at least, no more than the films we discussed did), it was sure to offend somebody just out of its very existence. If Joey and I were actually making any kind of money off of Moviesucktastic, we'd have probably played it safe and not done the episode at all.

So, no hard feelings. In fact, the only real issue I had with over their removal of the list was their claim that its censoring was due to "sexually explicit material," of which the list contained none whatsoever. However, my displeasure with that was fully expressed in the polite email I sent them in response, and as far as I'm concerned, that's the end of that. is still a groovy awesome site, and the Moviesucktastic Community will remain there as long as they'll have us.

So, just to ensure that the time and effort expending on the list isn't wasted, and to share with those note offended when the word "Rape" is mentioned in regards to the narrative properties of cinematic entertainment, I hereby re-post for your enjoyment and perusal:

The Moviesucktastic "Rape Films" List

Serbian filmThis was the launching pad for the Moviesucktastic "Rape Episode," one of the most disturbing, depressing, and otherwise soul-scarring films you will ever see.

Flesh And BloodRutger Hauer gets down and dirty in a semi-consensual group-assisted rape scene, gaining extra style points for wiping Jennifer Jason Leigh's virginal blood on his shirt.

Sudden Impact (1983)The fourth Dirty Harry film, Clint Eastwood tracks down and ends up helping perpetual girlfriend and co-star Sondra Locke hunt down and exact vengeance I-Spit-On-Your-Grave-Style on the members of the biker gang that gang-raped her years ago.

DVD frontThe Devil did it this time, as an unsuspecting wife is systematically raped by the devil himself during a rather awkward Tenant's Board meeting. Ironically directed by Roman Polanski.

Movie posterCharles Bronson's wife and daughter are brutally raped during a home invasion featuring a surprisingly well-cast Jeff Goldblum in a Jughead hat. A film not to be found on New York City's tourism brochures.

Poster of the film.Charles Bronson's Daughter and Housekeeper are brutally raped and murdered by an LA street gang, dispelling the idea of escaping inner-city violence by simply switching coasts.

IrreversibleShaky-Cam Memento-style reverse narrative centered around what has to be the lengthiest and most uncomfortable rape scene ever. I dare you to make it through the entire scene without fast-forwarding.

Movie posterAbel Ferrara's charming little rape-revenge film, based upon the old adage that Hell hath no fury like a psychosomatic seamstress raped repeatedly in the same afternoon.

Raging BullRobert De Niro stars as a slow, abusive championship boxer with a penchant for statutory rape. Joe Pesci co-stars.

The Evil DeadTree-Rape. 'Nuff said.

Original Film Poster"Does Marsellus Wallace look like a bitch?" It's a good thing Jules never got a chance to ask Zed that question.

The Stendhal SyndromeOverrated Italian filmmaker Dario Argento writes and directs his own daughter's rape sequence. Let's see Francis Ford Coppola top that.

13: Monster
Monster (2004)Charlize Theron plays the titular lead character in this film based on the true story of Aileen Wuornos, the Daytona Beach prostitute that turned murdering her rapist johns into an entrepreneurial cash cow.

Poster of the film.Susan George's former boyfriend and his buddies do to her what Sam Peckinpah would later do to audiences with Convoy.

15: Frenzy
FrenzyFunniest Rape Scene Ever. Even Hitchcock's cinematic genius could overcome the rigid restrictions of the film censorship of the era. Also features the un-funniest Rapist Wrestles With Corpse Of Victim In Potato Truck scene ever.

Street TrashIn a film featuring severed penis touch football, oxy-acetaline decapitation, hip-daggers carved from human femur bones and lots of melting homeless people, the humor surrounding the rape and murder of a crime boss' girlfriend is surprisingly one of the least offensive parts of this film. A great movie all around.

I Spit On Your GraveThe Citizen Kane of Rape Revenge Films.

The Last House on the Left (1972)aka Charlie Manson vs. Mr. and Mrs. Brady.

Evil Dead TrapA late 80s Japanese horror film about a television news crew lured to a desolate location and brutally murdered one by one. Includes a baffling pillow-talk rape scene that takes place in the reporter's vehicle. There's that news van again.

Boys Don't CryConsidering that this is based on a true story, it is very unsettling that the immediate response of the young southern men in the film to discovering that one of their friends is a girl in disguise is to rape him/her.

Deliverance (1972)Ned Beatty on the receiving end of one of the most unfortunate pop-culture references ever.

Movie posterAn Honorable Mention for being a film notorious for the brutality of its rape scene despite the complete lack of an actual scene depicting rape.

Eye for an EyeSally Field listens to her own daughter being brutally raped by Kiefer Sutherland over the phone. Can you hear me now?

The Skin I Live InAntonio Banderas comes up with one of the most twisted, insane, and brilliant rape revenge plots ever. Trust me, just see it.

Blue Velvet"Don't look at me!"  

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