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One of the most controversial films of all time had sex scene so graphic it was banned across the world

Kit Roberts

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One of the most controversial films of all time had sex scene so graphic it was banned across the world

Featured Image Credit: New Line Cinema

There have been a lot of controversial films over the years, but one film from 1996 is certainly up there.

It was directed by David Cronenberg, famed for his 'body horror' movies, and was viewed with such distaste and disgust that there were several attempts made to ban it.

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When the movie won a prize at the Cannes Film Festival, it was booed by audiences who had seen it there.

Not only that, but Cronenberg even claimed that Francis Ford Coppola, director of The Godfather, blocked the film from being awarded the Palme d'Or.

Critics weren't done with it then either, as rightwing UK newspaper The Daily Mail started a campaign to have the movie banned completely.

Though the British Board of Film Classification eventually passed the film uncut after a long delay, Westminster Council overruled their decision and banned it from being shown in parts of London.

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Theatre managers in Ohio and Norway also banned the film from playing in their cinemas because they were so disgusted by it.

So much for free speech.

But what on Earth does this film contain to have drawn such a visceral reaction?

Well, it all comes down to the central premise of the movie.

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The movie was booed at the Cannes Film Festival. Credit: New Line Cinema
The movie was booed at the Cannes Film Festival. Credit: New Line Cinema

The film is called Crash, and was released back in 1996.

It begins by following a married couple with an open relationship who are dissatisfied with their sex life.

That is, until one of them is involved in a near fatal car crash and finds that the experience, well, gets his engine running so to speak.

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The couple then end up meeting with others who share their unorthodox interest.

It contains graphic sex scenes which begin extremely violently, and contain some extremely disturbing elements.

Fair warning - if you don't want to read descriptions of graphic sex scenes then stop here.

The film follows people who are turned on by car crashes. Credit: New Line Cinema
The film follows people who are turned on by car crashes. Credit: New Line Cinema
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One particularly graphic scene involves a man having sex with a woman by penetrating a scar on her leg, which was from an injury sustained during a car crash.

The conclusion of the film also implies that the thrill-seekers wish to actually die in a car crash as the final goal of their fetish.

Ultimately, the Daily Mail failed in its campaign to have the film completely banned, though it was still not shown in parts of the UK.

A review from the time by film critic Roger Ebert called Crash 'challenging, courageous, and original', 'strange and insightful', and a 'dissection of the mechanics of pornography'.

The critic added: "I admired it, although I cannot say I 'liked' it."

Whether you're fascinated or horrified, or a mixture of both, there's no doubting that Crash certainly got people talking.

If you want to see what all the fuss is, Crash is available to stream on Apple TV+ in the US.

Topics: Film & TV, News, World News, Film and TV, Horror

Kit Roberts
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