40 Disturbing Movie Scenes

The Exorcist (1973)

The Scene: Possesed girl Regan (Linda Blair) is caught masturbating with a crucifix.

Look Away When: Her head spins around 180 degrees.

BBFC Reaction: 'Banned' - or, technically, never submitted - on home video after the 1984 Video Nasty scare, but a mainstay of late-night cinema screenings. Passed uncut for DVD in 1999.

Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)

The Scene: The young prisoners of a clique of fascist sickos are invited to dinner. Today's special, however, is more cordon bleurgh than cordon bleu.

Look Away When: They tuck in to a feast of human faeces.

BBFC Reaction: Banned in 1976, to the extent that a cinema club which screened it was raided by police. Eventually passed with no cuts in 2000.

Martyrs (2008)

The Scene: Anna (Morjana Alaoui) is imprisoned and tortured by a secret society that thinks her suffering will provide insight into the afterlife.

Look Away When: She is flayed alive.

BBFC Reaction: Passed uncut for DVD and limited cinema release.

Natural Born Killers (1994)

The Scene: Warden McClusky (Tommy Lee Jones) is attacked by his vengeful prisoners during a riot.

Look Away When: His severed head is displayed on a spike.

BBFC Reaction: Stone had already cut 4 minutes (including this scene) to get an R ratiing in the US. The BBFC passed this version without further cuts, although the Dunblane massacre delayed the VHS release of the film.

Stone's preferred cut, complete with 'head on a spike,' was released in 2001.

Ichi the Killer (2001)

The Scene: A prostitute is tortured by corrupt cops Jiro and Saburo.

Look Away When: A knife is drawn across the table, slicing off her nipples.

BBFC Reaction: Film cut by 3 minutes, 15 seconds, mostly of "scenes of mutilated, raped or savagely beaten women or of sexual pleasure from violence."

The Evil Dead (1982)

The Scene: Holidaymaker Cheryl is chased into the woods by a demon, which proceeds to possess a tree and molest her.

Look Away When: A large branch turns the assault into full-blown rape.

BBFC Reaction: Achieved notoriety as one of the Director of Public Prosecution's 'Video Nasties' and not passed uncut until 2001.

Crash (1996)

The Scene: Auto-eroticist James Ballard (James Spader) has sex with car-crash victim Gabrielle (Rosanna Arquette).

Look Away When: Ballard's chosen hole: a wound in Gabrielle's thigh.

BBFC Reaction: Passed uncut, but others were less lenient. Westminster Council, for one, refused cinemas permission to play it in the West End after a high-profile campaign against the film by the Daily Mail.

Straw Dogs (1971)

The Scene: While her American hubby is away, Amy (Susan George) is raped... twice, by ex-lover Charlie and then by sadistic yokel Norman.

Look Away When: Amy stops enjoying it (see below).

BBFC Reaction: A notorious one, because Amy appears to enjoy the first assault. However, distributor pre-cuts to the second, more horrific attack compounded the problem, which was why the BBFC refused a video release for that version in 1999. The uncut version was finally passed in 2002.

Antichrist (2009)

The Scene: Grieving mother Charlotte Gainsborough decides to take extreme actions with a pair of scissors.

Look Away When: She clips off her clitoris.

BBFC Reaction: Passed uncut. In fact, the poster caused more controversy, with seven people complaining to the Advertising Standards Agency.

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

The Scene: Serial killer Henry (Michael Rooker) and partner-in-crime Otis invade a home to kill a family.

Look Away When: Otis gropes the family's mother after he's killed her.

BBFC Reaction: Different cuts on three separate occasions, primarily to this scene. Finally passed uncut in 2003.