Next time you go to the cinema be careful. The outcome could be far from rosy. Some films are just so powerful that they can trigger the most violent and unexpected physical reactions from viewers. That apparently innocent and innocuous movie could have a devastating impact on your mortal body. And I’m not talking about sobbing and crying: that’s very vanilla. These films have made people vomit, urinate, ejaculate, have a heart attack, commit suicide and much more. Cinema can have incendiary and deadly implications to your health.
Of course we are not asking you to stop going to the cinema or to shudder in fear every time you press “Play” on your DVD or Blu-ray. We just want you to be aware that it’s never “just a film”! And sometimes your body has very strange ways of telling you something just isn’t right! So be prepared!
By the way, the picture at the top of this article at the top is not from a hysterical and bedazzled moviegoer reacting to a film. That’s instead Isabelle Adjani in the dirty 1981 classic Possession (Andrzej Żuławski). She’s expelling bodily fluids from pretty much every orifice of her body, as she has an alien miscarriage in a Berlin subway. Her reaction is not very different from some you are about read, so we thought this was a good way to start our discussion!
1. Vomiting during Raw (Julia Ducounau, 2017)
Raw tells the story of 16-year-old Justine (Garance Marillier), who arrives for her first year in veterinary school somewhere in provincial France. She comes from a family of strict vegetarians, and she has never eaten meat herself, but she’s then forced to consume rabbits kidneys during an initiation ritual. She’s goaded by her upperclass sister Alexia (Ella Rumpf) to engage in the bizarre procedure for sake of acceptance. Soon after, a very bizarre accident happens, causing Justine to have her first contact with raw human flesh and to develop a taste for cannibalism. Click here for our review of the film.
Hailed as one of the most disgusting horror movies ever made, Raw saw people faint and vomit in all corners of the planet. In fact, audiences found it so grim that they were provided with sick bags in various cinemas across LA, it was reported by the Metro.
2. Explosion of bodily fluids during 50 Shades of Grey (Sam Taylor-Johnson, 2015):
The infamous 2015 American erotic romantic drama stirred a lot of controversy, churned plenty of stomachs and also, of course, aroused many viewers. Despite receiving generally negative reviews as well as winning six nominations at the 36th Golden Raspberry Awards, it was an immediate box office hit. The film is based on the eponymous 2011 novel by British writer E. L. James and stars Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele, a college graduate who begins a sadomasochistic relationship with young business magnate Christian Grey, played by Jamie Dornan.
A female at a packed showing of the film at the Cineworld Milton Keynes caused the entire audience to be evacuated after losing control of her bodily fluids. The woman, believed to be under the influence of alcohol, started vomiting. But then things got even worse when she lost control of all her bodily fluids, including her bladder and bowels. It’s not entirely clear which part of the film triggered such extreme physical reactions. She certain to make Isabelle Adjani jealous, and would be at the front of the queue for a remake of Possession!
3. Mass ejaculation, also during 50 Shades of Grey (Sam Taylor-Johnson, 2015)*:
In New Zealand, Matthew Garelli, general manager of Hoyts Cinemas New Zealand, told media today that he “understands fully” just how exciting the film will be “for some,” but asked viewers to please respect cinemas’ private property, and try not to leave “too much of a mess”. Moviegoers were kindly requested not to ejaculate on their seats or on each other, and instead to use specially designated cups handed out with their tickets.
4. Seizures while watching Twilight: Breaking Dawn (Bill Condon, 2011)
This apparently harmless romantic fantasy film is based on the eponymous novel by Stephenie Meyer, and it is the first part of a two-part film, and it also forms the fourth and penultimate installment in The Twilight Saga film series. All three main cast members, Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner, reprised their roles.
The unexpected problem with this film is a birthing scene, which could have triggered episodes of photosensitive epilepsy, according to medical experts in the US. A California man named Brandon Gephart, was reportedly rushed to hospital after getting sick while watching the sequence. He started convulsing, snorting and trying to breathe, and the screening had to be stopped when the paramedics arrived. Not quite the jolly experience you’d expect from a fantasy movie!
5. Heart attack while watching porn:
Be thrilled: we’re now back on British soil! Back in 2010, authorities found the seminaked body of Nicola Paginton with a sex toy and porn. The nanny was found in her bed by her employer after she did not turn up for work and police were called to investigate. She was without pants and had a pornographic movie on her laptop. A sex toy was found under the covers near her body. A subsequent pathologist’s report determined that she likely suffered a heart attack as a result of sexual arousal. Gloucestershire coroner Alan Crickmore had determined that her “sexual activity” triggered a heart attack.
6. Miscarriage during Freaks (Tod Browning, 1932):
Carnival sideshow performers with real deformities and medical conditions are the stars of the controversial Freaks. They includesthe Bearded Lady, the Stork Woman, the Half-Boy Johnny Eck, the conjoined twins Daisy and Violet, the Human Torso, the Armless Wonder as well as various sufferers of the Virchow-Seckel Syndrome (which gives humans a bird-like appearance with a narrow face and pointy nose). The central plot is around an able-bodied trapeze artist called Cleopatra, who deduces and marries the sideshow midget Hans upon finding out about his large inheritance.
The film was so shocking that it was heavily edited down to just 62 minutes (from the original 98 minutes). Still, viewers convulsed, vomited and left the cinema in droves. And a woman allegedly had a miscarriage while watching it. Just click here in order to find out more about Freaks and its impact on the people’s lives and the cinema industry as a whole.
7. Suicide after watching Stroszek (Werner Herzog, 1977):
Ok, we’ve cheated. Suicide isn’t exactly a physical reaction. But the implications for your body are immediate, and so we decided that it was just too closely associated.
A lot of people know that Joy Division’s lead singer Ian Curtis listened to Iggy Pop’s album The Idiot shortly before he committed suicide in 1980. But what a lot people don’t know is that he also watched the bleak Stroszek, by the German enfant terrible Werner Herzog.
The film follows the footsteps of Bruno Stroszek, an alcoholic recently released from prison in Berlin. He joins his elderly friend and a prostitute in a determined dream to leave Germany and seek a better life in Wisconsin. This is some sort of twisted American Dream, which obviously never comes to fruition. In fact, the characters excel in aimlessness, selfishness and scrupulousness. So much that Curtis decided it was no longer worth being part of this world!
This is not the first time that we’ve discussed the effects of cinema on people. Last year we wrote about the top 10 films in which the character eventually found their way into the real world, often to catastrophic results. Real life imitates fiction, quite literally. Don’t be scared, click here for our very dirty list of films that became a tragic reality.
* Since the publication of this article, we have been reliably informed by a reader with a sharp eye for detail that the “mass ejaculation” source was a satire website. Blimey, why did it have to be the most fun of the physical reactions on the list?