Recommend me some seedy weird foregin movies from the last decades!
July 3, 2020 7:38 AM   Subscribe

Weird, unsettling, ugly, violent, perverted and just plain odd preferably foreign movies?

A few movies I watched that kinda describes what I'm looking for:

Old Boy - Really messed up south Korean movie. Shocking reveal at the end.

I Stand Alone - French movie, deals with very unsavory subjects. Very creative violent editing and style.

Bullhead - A Belgian movie about the mob, steroids and revenge.

Under the skin - Set in Scotland. Alien femme fatale seducing randos to harvest their meat. Strange and unsettling.
posted by Sentus to Media & Arts (64 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
My absolute favorite is the campy/artsy Italian zombie flick from 1994, "Delamorte Delamore", marketed in the US as "Cemetery Man".
posted by mezzanayne at 7:52 AM on July 3, 2020 [2 favorites]


Holy Motors
posted by dobbs at 7:54 AM on July 3, 2020 [5 favorites]

Bad Boy Bubby
posted by phunniemee at 7:57 AM on July 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

Tetsuo the Iron Man fits the bill.
posted by Young Kullervo at 8:01 AM on July 3, 2020 [3 favorites]


Sexy Beast and 44 Inch Chest (depends on your definition of foreign)

The Pusher Trilogy (trailer for I)

Valhalla Rising


Come and See


Boiling Point


Le Samorai and Le Cercle Rouge
posted by dobbs at 8:14 AM on July 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

Midsommar I didn't really like this movie, but, a lot of other people did.
posted by trbrts at 8:15 AM on July 3, 2020

Trouble Every Day by Claire Denis
posted by minervous at 8:16 AM on July 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

A Serbian Film directed by Srđan Spasojević
posted by Balthamos at 8:29 AM on July 3, 2020

Audition by Takashi Miike
posted by crocomancer at 8:31 AM on July 3, 2020 [4 favorites]

The Kingdom and Breaking the Waves
posted by dobbs at 8:32 AM on July 3, 2020 [3 favorites]

Most things by Claire Denis. I found High Life to be tedious but it's definely bizarre.

The Pillowbook

Irreversible (warning - graphic extended rape scene and violence)


Raw by Julia Ducournau


The Last Circus

Meet the Feebles and Dead Alive

A Serbian Film is a notoriously fucked up weird movie but I don't think there's any actual reason to watch it.
posted by Candleman at 8:35 AM on July 3, 2020

Look up Lars Von Trier and Peter Greenaway.
posted by bendy at 8:42 AM on July 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

The Platform
posted by so fucking future at 8:43 AM on July 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

I feel like this list needs some Verhoeven. His oevre is more sort of marginally fucked up, but that's the kind of fucked up I prefer.

I'd recommend Flesh + Blood (apparently this film inspired the manga Berserk? Which is crazy, I never knew that). Also Black Book... maybe only marginally perverted but it is a movie about fucking Nazis and it's also really good!
posted by selfnoise at 8:45 AM on July 3, 2020

Another vote for both Dogtooth and Valhalla Rising, mentioned above.

Morvern Callar


A Ma Soeur!/Fat Girl

Batalla en el cielo/Battle in Heaven

posted by Dip Flash at 8:51 AM on July 3, 2020

Possession you asked for it
posted by supermedusa at 8:52 AM on July 3, 2020 [3 favorites]

How could I forget...
Why Don't You Just Die?
The Boxer's Omen
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 8:54 AM on July 3, 2020

posted by VirginiaPlain at 8:58 AM on July 3, 2020

Seconding Border. Phew.
posted by chr1sb0y at 9:18 AM on July 3, 2020

Brat or "Brother"(Russian)
posted by canoehead at 9:27 AM on July 3, 2020

Look at any of the selections from the FanFare "Strange Club". The first of their films was: Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010, written/directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul.)
posted by Obscure Reference at 9:30 AM on July 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

Wings of Desire
In the Mood for Love. Not as weird as some, but one of the most beautiful movies I've ever seen
Chungking Express, odd and fun
White God, it's a dog revenge movie. If Charles Bronson were a dog, he'd be this dog.

All of these except White God are available on Criterion and prob some other places.
posted by Jungo at 9:46 AM on July 3, 2020

Ichi the Killer or really almost anything by Takashi Miike
posted by fellion at 10:11 AM on July 3, 2020 [4 favorites]

Seconding Island of Death. That's...a whole thing.
posted by fairlynearlyready at 10:13 AM on July 3, 2020

I Saw the Devil - Korean

Ho. Lee. Sh*t. Revenge thriller. More accurately, a dark, violent, gruesome revenge thriller. Direction, cinematography and acting are excellent. The psycho is played superbly by Min-sik Choi, best known for the title role in Oldboy.

The international version has 5 scenes as the director intended, not what was in the domestic release. You will have no problem identifying them, though you may have trouble watching without squirming in your seat.
posted by Homer42 at 11:18 AM on July 3, 2020

Let the Corpses Tan. The trailer really doesn't do it justice, but I'm not sure how you would cut a trailer for it. It's a formalist western and their most approachable film. If you want weirder and darker then The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears is the film of theirs to watch. I'd also say the trailer for that one will give you a better idea of what to expect from Let the Corpses Tan as well.

Also, I want to say to be careful with some of the recommendations. Please make sure you're researching these movies before you watch them. Provocateur film making is an acquired taste and I feel like some of these recommendations are throwing you into the shark infested deep end when you've hardly got your feet wet.
posted by forbiddencabinet at 11:37 AM on July 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

Mod note: Just a note on phrasing in the original question text: though “foreign films” has been a common classifier in the US film industry, it hasn’t aged well and has a US-centric feel to it besides. No harm inferred on the part of the asker, but talking about e.g. non-English language or non-US based films would be better and clearer. We’ve emailed the asker to check in about changing the text of the question with their permission.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:48 AM on July 3, 2020 [9 favorites]


Sex and Lucia

Abre Los Ojos
posted by hazyjane at 12:01 PM on July 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

Knife in the Water is a 1962 Hitchcockerish movie that has the retroactive creepiness of being directed by Roman Polanski.

Extra points if you happen to be into sailing.
posted by SemiSalt at 12:13 PM on July 3, 2020

The director of Old Boy, Park Chan-Wook, made 2 other movies in his so-called Vengeance trilogy: 2002's "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance," followed by Old Boy, followed by "Lady Vengeance," which also features Choi Min-Sik, the Old Boy actor, in a major role.

He also made a very twisty tale in "The Handmaiden," an erotic thriller featuring a pair of con artists trying to rob a wealthy heiress, during the period of Japan's occupation of Korea.
posted by Sunburnt at 12:29 PM on July 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, & Her Lover (1989) is a wild British art house movie filled with sex, cannibalism, Thatcherism, bad manners, and other sordid things.

Suicide Club (2001) is a gory and surreal Japanese brain teaser about teen angst, pop music, cults, and yes, suicide.

Man Bites Dog (1992) and Funny Games (1997) are meta explorations of violence and the people who enjoy fucked up movies (hi). The former is more of an overt comedy, both are super influential classics.

Oh, and if you like Funny Games you should definitely check out Haneke’s The Piano Teacher (2001), it is sordid and disturbing with an amazing lead performance from Isabelle Huppert.

The Kingdom (1994) is an early Lars Von Trier work, a miniseries about a haunted(?!) hospital. Basically everything Von Trier has done is worth checking out, but this one is especially funny and entertaining.

Seconding Ichi the Killer, which is about as weird, unsettling, ugly, violent and perverted as you could want. If that isn’t too intense you can also try Mike’s Visitor Q, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
posted by cakelite at 12:32 PM on July 3, 2020 [3 favorites]

The Isle Korean, fishhooks...
posted by supermedusa at 12:37 PM on July 3, 2020

The Trap (Polish) about a pair of mermaid sisters working as strippers in a Warsaw night club.

Men and Chicken (Danish) - two eccentric brothers find they have three more brothers living on an isolated island, and discover a horrible truth about their ancestry.

The Green Butchers - two dimwitted apprentice butchers set up their own shop and accidentally kill an electrician. Cannibalism ensues. A surprisingly funny comedy.

Princess Raccoon (Japanese). Completely indescribable - I think it's a musical? Does not actually feature any raccoons.
posted by Fuchsoid at 12:41 PM on July 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

The Tunnel (2011) and Train to Busan (2016) might be worth a look.

(Also, Delicatessen, The Hole (the 1998 Tsai Ming-Liang one), Kontroll, and Battle Royale among older films.)
posted by eotvos at 1:26 PM on July 3, 2020

(And I've just discovered that Coin Locker Girl is a film adaption of Coin Locker Babies. I haven't seen it yet. . . but, if it's anything like the book, it should qualify.)
posted by eotvos at 1:30 PM on July 3, 2020

Relatos Salvajes from Argentina
posted by doctord at 1:33 PM on July 3, 2020

Tokyo Fist
posted by methroach at 1:46 PM on July 3, 2020

'La Cabina' from Spain. 35 minutes long but scarred the minds of pretty much everyone that saw it as part of Alex Cox's Moviedrome on BBC2 here in the UK. Quite possibly the greatest horror film I have ever seen.

'Threads' from the BBC. An early eighties film about the build up and aftermath of a nuclear war. Filmed and broadcast the year after 'The Day After'... makes 'The Day After' feel like a fluffy Hallmark movie of the week. Bleak as the bleakest thing in the world. Utterly disturbing. Memorable. An outstanding production (especially given the BBC budget limitations), but not one you would watch repeatedly. You'll need to look for this on streaming, but here's a YouTube link to the 'pre-show' introduction by a very earnest Newsnight presenter setting the scene...
posted by ewan at 2:22 PM on July 3, 2020

The Fourth Man.
posted by essexjan at 2:47 PM on July 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

As already mentioned above, you want “Sympathy for Lady Vengeance”. It’ll disturb.

There’s also The Chaser, about a pimp trying to find a serial killer who’s killing his prostitutes. Some pretty unsettling scenes in there.
posted by fso at 3:10 PM on July 3, 2020

I saw Pieta at a film festival in 2013, and I still think about it today.
posted by batter_my_heart at 3:16 PM on July 3, 2020

I'm going to sneak in with a Canadian/US coproduction but Mandy is seedy and weird AF. One of my favorite movies of the past decade for sure.
posted by Special Agent Dale Cooper at 4:15 PM on July 3, 2020

Symbol (2011).
posted by user92371 at 5:11 PM on July 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

Looking through the other responses, I see some titles I was going to mention so I'll nthing those with some addendums - the films of Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani [mentioned by forbiddencabinet] (their first feature Amer you might find interesting though I think Let the Corpses Tan fits your description better), nthing Seom (known as the Isle in English), nthing Knife+Heart but Yann Gonzalez's first film Les rencontres d'après minuit (You and the Night) is sleazy fun. Andrzej Zulawski's Possession (which is pretty bonkers) was mentioned farther up but a lot of Zulawski's films would qualify based on your criteria (particularly L'amour braque, La femme publique, and L'important c'est d'aimer). Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives was mentioned (which is great) but if you can find it, Hua jai tor ra nong (Adventures of Iron Pussy) it is odd and trashy. Chan-wook Park is named checked a few times so I'll suggest I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK (Ssa-i-bo-geu-ji-man-gwen-chan-a).

Other new titles come to mind:
The Golden Glove (Der goldene Handschuh), Liza the Fox-Fairy (Liza, a rókatündér), Luz, Tormented (Rabitto Horâ 3D), from Lithuanian director Kristina Buozyte Kolekcioniere or her better known Vanishing Waves, Hard To Be A God (Trudno byt bogom), Hakkyousuru kuchibiru (Crazy Lips) and its sequel Chi wo sû uchû (Gore from Outer Space).

A few old ones that occurred to me:
Christiane F., Singapore Sling (1990), Belladonna of Sadness (Kanashimi no Beradonna), Abnormal Family (Hentai kazoku: Aniki no yomesan). Betty Blue would likely qualify too (or frankly any French film depicting L'amour fou).
posted by Ashwagandha at 5:30 PM on July 3, 2020

Thirding Dogtooth.

And for a lighter side of odd, One Cut of the Dead.
posted by iamkimiam at 5:52 PM on July 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

Daughters of Darkness.

"An erotic nightmare of vampire lust." Seedy 1970's Belgium, French, German vampire movie, but far better than most. And it's on Amazon Prime
posted by rtimmel at 5:55 PM on July 3, 2020

Walkabout (1971)
The Last Wave (1977)
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)
the Netherlands
The Vanishing (1988)
Red Desert (1964)
Performance (1970)

posted by Rash at 8:02 PM on July 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

Little Otik!
posted by ajarbaday at 8:52 PM on July 3, 2020 [3 favorites]

Man bites dog (1992), IMDB. Warning: rape and violence.
posted by rjs at 9:51 PM on July 3, 2020

Also Australian:
Wake in Fright
CW: Actual animal death during a hunting scene.
posted by Transmissions From Vrillon at 9:52 PM on July 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

"Irreversible" is mentioned above, but with a caveat that might... totally put someone off from the movie. I wanted to underscore how great this movie is. It's among my favorites. The first time I saw it, I couldn't get it out of my head for days. There are two scenes—at least—that are difficult to watch, one referenced above. Even in their brutality, though, they have so much potency in the storytelling that, damn, I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

Highly recommend it.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 10:13 PM on July 3, 2020

Also -

Spain - Tesis
Japan - Cure
posted by Transmissions From Vrillon at 10:27 PM on July 3, 2020

New Zealand - The Quiet Earth

(Caveat, very 1980s and made on the budget left over after selling all the shoestrings at a loss, still very good)
posted by arha at 11:47 PM on July 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

I admittedly haven't watched it myself (I know my limits), but apparently Salo: 120 Days of Sodom set the bar for Fucked Up movies. It was released by Criterion, so it's most likely on their channel.
posted by gtrwolf at 12:54 AM on July 4, 2020

Maybe not recent enough for you, but certainly weird: La grandes bouffe.
posted by rjs at 2:37 AM on July 4, 2020

I don't think anyone has mentioned La Jetee.
posted by wittgenstein at 2:00 PM on July 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Gaspar Noé's Love and Enter the Void
posted by kokaku at 9:19 PM on July 4, 2020

Survive Style Five +
(It took me 3 days to remember the name of this movie)
posted by Obscure Reference at 12:28 PM on July 8, 2020

I went through a phase where I devoured fucked up movies.

My favorite was The Holy Mountain. Probably because its strange but not too much gore.

I would like to disreccommend Cannibal Holocaust, Salo: 120 Days of sadom, Caligula, and A Serbian Film. There is just no point to these films unless you are the type that would just love a job reviewing suspected child and rape porn videos circulating online or something. Whatever points the makers were trying to make could have been made in better ways without indulging the fringe extreme of human suffering fans.

The rape scene in Irreversible was really hard to watch and I found it unecessary and drawn out. I didn't find it to be making any sort of stylistic statement and years after seeing the movie its the only thing that really stands out to me. I don't think I would watch it again.

I think the most unsettling (because it's real) is Bulgaria's Abandoned Children which was in a previously on the blue recently.

I would watch Fat Girl, 4 Months 3 Weeks 2 Days, and The Piano Teacher.

You may also enjoy Burden of Dreams which is a documentary about the filming of Fitzcarraldo, Y Tu Mama Tambien, or My Summer of Love if you want movies that are not trying to scratch the deepest darkest pits of the human mind but are still very moving.
posted by WeekendJen at 12:54 PM on July 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

Ben Wheatley’s Kill List. Fulfills all of your criteria except foreign (although it is from the UK :D).
posted by freem at 8:04 AM on July 10, 2020

Persona (not from the last few decades, so you may want to disregard, but this movie has sections that gave me chills like nothing else I've ever seen.)

Phenomona (The last 20 minutes of this, good god.)

Perfect Blue (Probably don't read anything about this before watching.)

Caché (strange enough I went down a rabbit hole reading analysis and theories after viewing)

2nding Possession and Wake In Fright, but take the animal CW seriously on Wake In Fright, it was a nasty surprise.
posted by imabanana at 2:46 AM on July 12, 2020

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