5 Old-Timey Movies Way Too Disturbing for Modern Theaters

If we asked you to think of an old-timey black-and-white movie, odds are you'd think of something earnest and family friendly, like It's a Wonderful Life or, at worst, a Three Stooges routine. You know, back in the innocent old-timey era when the most shocking thing you could see on a screen was some "guy smacked with a shovel" slapstick. Back when people cared about family values, damn it.

Yeah, it's funny how we rewrite history to make the present look worse. Because in reality, there's shit from your great-grandfather's day that would instantly get nailed with an NC-17 rating today:

#5. The Mystery of the Leaping Fish (1916) Contains More Cocaine Than All of Modern Hollywood

Triangle Film Corporation

The Mystery of the Leaping Fish is a Sherlock Holmes spoof starring "scientific detective" Coke Ennyday, and it has one punchline and one punchline only: Ennyday does a metric shit-ton of cocaine. The opening shot of this 1916 film shows him wearing a bandolier of needles, and it only gets less subtle from there:

Triangle Film Corporation
He's sitting next to a jar labeled "COCAINE." No, seriously.

Our hero casually shoots up three times before the two-and-a-half-minute mark, because 1916 was a magical time when Hollywood had no rules and you could still score a coke prescription if your doctor was cool.

Triangle Film Corporation
The cocaineman can 'cause he mixes it with love and makes the world feel good.

And our Sherlock Holmes stand-in has his very own Watson, of course, who inexplicably dresses in bondage gear while he helps his boss get high with a gigantic needle.

Triangle Film Corporation
See the jar? And we bet you didn't believe us.

But because this isn't an Adam Sandler film, there's more to it than watching our hero goof off -- the Secret Service needs his help stopping a smuggling ring! Ennyday accepts the job and psyches himself up by literally throwing a pile of cocaine in his face.

Triangle Film Corporation
"Let it snow, bitches!"

Our hero learns that "Japs" (1916 was also the heyday of casual racism) are behind the ring. It's not clear why he'd want to stop opium smugglers when at one point in the film he downs a bottle of laudanum like Popeye pounding back spinach, but maybe these early movies were more morally complicated than we give them credit for.

Triangle Film Corporation
He's using his hands to shovel opium into his mouth, because junkies don't have time for forks.

Eating smuggled opium gives Ennyday the energy he needs to chase the opium smugglers. Rather than fight them, Ennyday converts them to his side by shooting them up, leaving them too busy hopping around on that sweet, sweet cocaine high to bother stopping him.

Triangle Film Corporation
Rick James would later do the same to get out of speeding tickets.

In the final confrontation, all the henchmen rush Ennyday together. Our hero calmly wields a vial of cocaine like it's goddamn holy water, spraying it at them and immediately incapacitating the lot.

Triangle Film Corporation

And now we suppose it's only a matter of time before this gets a reboot starring Seth Rogen. You're welcome, Hollywood.

#4. Haxan (1922) Is Full of Torture and Satanic Rim Jobs

Janus Films

We're going to cut to the chase here -- Haxan is a movie where a woman gives Satan a rim job.

Janus Films
"Keep the hat. We don't want to seem too immodest."

What, you want context? All right, fine. Haxan sounds like a video game title, but it's actually a Swedish silent film about witchcraft. Known in English as Witchcraft Through the Ages, the film is the 1922 equivalent of a docudrama. It uses classic documentarian tools like re-creations and gratuitous nudity.

Janus Films
"Baby, I swear I was only watching it to learn!"

The movie is a series of vignettes, including one where a young maiden uses a potion made from cat feces to seduce a pious monk. Said monk is later visited by Satan himself, who pops up like a demonic jack-in-the-box.

Janus Films
"Yo, did someone say 'feces'?"

Satan also shows his seductive side by tempting multiple women away from their husbands and into his strong, sensuous arms. In fact, through most of the movie, he acts less like the Prince of Lies and more like a frat bro looking to score some Swedish babes.

Janus Films
"Spring break, y'all."

The movie pulls no punches in treating us to a vivid montage of medieval torture techniques that includes spiked shackles ...

Janus Films

... hands getting crushed by hammers ...

Janus Films

... and whatever the heck this is.

Janus Films
We're not entirely sure, but man, it looks painful.

Also, Satan tosses a baby that's been drained of its blood into a cooking pot. Ah, good old baby stew. Keeps you warm on those cold winter nights.

Janus Films
"Add the baby to a salad and use the blood in a vinaigrette for a refreshing summer dish!"

That's after he goes to town on a nun with a bat. Nun batting works up a hunger.

Janus Films
"Credit goes to Ty Cobb for fixing my stance."

And did we mention the gratuitous nudity? Because boy is there ever some gratuitous nudity.

Janus Films

Haxan is widely considered to be a masterpiece, but in the uptight year of 1922, all it took was a maniacal Satan and lustful women to get it axed from playing in the United States.

#3. Eyes Without a Face (1960) Has Gruesome, Close-Up Face Removals

Lux Film

Eyes Without a Face is about a surgeon, Dr. Genessier, obsessed with restoring his daughter Christiane's disfigured face. While he looks for a suitable replacement, he makes her wear a mask that doesn't exactly do her features any favors.

Lux Film
It doesn't do your sleep any favors either.

Where's he looking for a replacement? We're glad you asked. It's pretty simple -- he's luring innocent women into his home and then cutting their faces off.

Lux Film
John Travolta and Nicolas Cage ain't got shit on this.

The movie opens with the doctor's assistant dumping the body of a failed subject into a river, because apparently Genessier is kind of a shitty surgeon. The second attempt at defacement goes better, but Christiane's body rejects the new tissue. Because he can't face the thought of failure, Genessier soon gets his hands on a third victim.

But watching her father murder innocent people has taken its toll on Christiane, and she rescues the new girl by stabbing her dad's assistant in the neck.

Lux Film
Heroism takes all kinds of forms. Crazy, for example.

Then she unleashes the dogs her dad used for experiments, and they promptly display an appreciation for dramatic irony by ripping up his face.

Lux Film
Not pictured: the dog using his leg for an experiment.

Christiane then strolls off into the night and your nightmares.

Lux Film
She brings a dove, because symbolism.

Keep in mind that throughout all of this Christiane is almost completely mute and wearing dresses that look like they were designed for dolls instead of humans. Say what you will about modern horror, but the face removal surgery scene is fucked up no matter how many Saw movies you've powered through. Hell, it supposedly made seven people faint during a film festival viewing, which the director responded to by calling them giant pussies. To be fair, that does seem like a bit much, it's just a mov-

Lux Film
Oh God get it away from us ohGodohGodoh-



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