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Home > Goriest Films of the Early 2000s

Goriest Films of the Early 2000s

Image via Instagram/ Twitter Left to Right: Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman as the Bride.

Y2K Craziness in Nutshell

Is there anything better than gore?.Seeing a film set get covered in red corn syrup and deli meats is a uniquely primal experience. Seeing gore up close instead of a screen will elicit a feeling of disgust, so why is it so satisfying to see it happen on the big screen? For whatever reason, the early 2000s were particularly rife with gore in films. There seemed to be a genuine obsession with all things gore. The term “torture porn” started making rounds at this time and it was the perfect way to describe the films coming out. This was around the time shock sites such as Ogrish and Liveleaks were gaining notoriety. Sites like these provided viewers with access to real life gore with pictures and videos from warzones and gang violence. For whatever reason, the world had developed a taste for blood. This list is a compilation of some of the goriest films of the early 2000s. If the film has red corn syrup and pig intestines then it might have made this list.

7. Kill Bill Vol 1 (2003)

Image via SBS.com Uma Thurman as The Bride
Image via SBS.com Uma Thurman as The Bride

Due to the nature of gore, most people would associate it with horror films in general. However, action and gore are just as compatible as chocolate and peanut butter. Similar to horror, action films can be packed to the brim with over the top violence. Unsurprisingly, Tarantino takes this idea to heart. The director has never been one to shy away from cartoon levels of violence and gore. Kill Bill Vol. 1 is a prime example of this. For the uninitiated, Kill Bill follows a woman on a mission for vengeance. Starring Uma Thurman, the first film is arguably one of the goriest (although not the most violent oddly enough) action films out there. It’s the last quarter of the film in particular that makes the gore here stand out. Thurman is pitted against an entire gang armed with swords. The set itself literally ends up being drenched in fake blood with dismembered body parts strewn everywhere. The coup de grâce comes in the final sword duel in which Thurman cuts the scalp off of her rival.

6. Saw (2004)

Image via Lionsgate Cary Elwes as Lawrence Gordon
Image via Lionsgate Cary Elwes as Lawrence Gordon

A classic staple in gore and torture porn. The original Saw is still highly regarded as an original horror piece. The central concept of this gorefest is that a serial killer with a “code of ethics” will design elaborate death traps with the intention of rehabilitating his victims. The charm of this series is watching all of the fun and creative ways in which these victims are tormented. From bear traps attached to the face to having to climb through barbed wire, in an alternate world this is the set up to some crazy reality game show, Wheel of Fortune: Death Sentence Edition. What makes the first film such a fun watch even amongst others in the series is its twist ending. Without spoilers, the set up leading to the final scene was genuinely fantastic with one victim sawing off his own foot in order to escape. While not the goriest entry on this list, it certainly is one of the most gnarliest.

5. Hostel (2005)

Image via Lionsgate Jay Hernandez as Paxton
Image via Lionsgate Jay Hernandez as Paxton

The main fear most people have when traveling abroad is getting pickpocketed. What could be worse than being in a foreign country and having all your money and passport stolen. Thanks to this film, people (Americans) had a new found fear of getting kidnapped and tortured. While Saw may fit into the torture porn category, Hostel proudly took it to new heights. Literally, there are multiple scenes of people getting tortured with someone even getting their eye gouged. Directed by Eli Roth, this film doesn’t shy away from the gore in the least nor does it pretend to focus on anything else. What separates this gorey afternoon delight is that compared to every other film on this list is how much more likely it is to happen. The chances of the average person getting cut up by a katana or made an unwilling participant in a game of death are unrealistic. Getting kidnapped or trafficked?  That can and does happen to normal people. While disturbing, the final scene involves someone jumping in front of the train and getting turned into fish paste.

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4. Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Image via Universal Studios
Image via Universal Studios

This gore list wouldn’t feel complete without at least one zombie film. Watching someone get eaten alive will always be a unique experience within the world of gore films. Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead feels right at home on this list. Before the opening credits even have a chance to roll, viewers are greeted with a little girl ripping a grown man’s jugular out. The opening sequence makes it clear that the world is beyond saving with a montage of realistic news footage of the dead flooding the streets. Factor in a zombie baby and a sea of decaying bodies which equate to one of the best modern zombie films out there (28 Days Later doesn’t have enough gore to make it onto this list). Pausing whenever a zombie appears on screen will show the attention to detail went into the special and practical effects. Zombies won’t just be covered in blood but also have visible wounds or missing limbs. It’s not enough for a movie to have copious amounts of gore, it should also have attention to detail.

3. Martyrs (2008)

Image via Wild Bunch Marjana Alaoui
Image via Wild Bunch Marjana Alaoui

Directed by Pascal Laugier A highly controversial film, it will also be a controversial entry on this list. One of the more disturbing entries on this list, this film is not for the faint of heart. Despite not having nearly as much gore as the rest of the films on this list, the events that occur are uniquely disturbing. Strictly classifying this film in a specific genre is nearly impossible. It starts off as a tale of revenge but quickly morphs into something else. The ending is so unique in its gore that it makes up for the lack of it in the rest of the film. The film is a wild ride from start to finish that is the least cartoonish with its depictions of violence and gore. Similar to Hostel which is intentionally shocking, Martyrs aims to make its audience as uncomfortable as it can with depictions of self harm, torture, and an ending scene so shocking that even Hostel couldn’t top it.

2. Cabin Fever (2002)

Image via Lionsgate
Image via Lionsgate

Another entry by the edge lord himself, Eli Roth. Not only is this film gory but it’s also toys with body horror. The premise is simple enough with a group of friends traveling to a cabin in the woods. The friends contract a mysterious bug which begins to cause hallucinations and destroy them from the inside out. The gore in this film is the kind that makes your skin crawl…literally. There are some gnarly scenes where someone’s skin peels right off the bone like some sort of KFC commercial. Now that’s finger lickin good! Jokes aside, this is the second film on the list that has an extra kick to it because of how somewhat plausible it is. The idea of contracting a flesh eating bacteria while out in the woods isn’t too far fetched. In fact, there are numerous instances of people contracting brain-eating amoeba from swimming in lakes so this is certainly a possible occurrence. The film also has added depth considering everything that happened with Covid just a few years ago.

1.Ichi the Killer (2001)

Image via Emperor Motion Pictures Tadanobu Asano as Kakihara
Image via Emperor Motion Pictures Tadanobu Asano as Kakihara

The true creme de la creme in terms of early 2000s gore.This japanese masterpiece stands far above the other gore films on this list from the early 2000s. Directed by Takashi Miike, this delightfully weird gorefest is a sadist’s wet dream. Based on the cult classic manga of the same name, Ichi the Killer follows a small gang out to find the ones responsible for their leader’s murder. While the other films indulge in gore for shock value, this film indulges in gore for pure pleasure and perversion. It somehow feels like a more surreal version of Hellraiser. For example, one of the characters voluntarily cuts the tip of his tongue off. The violence and gore in this film are in a league of their own, often feeling gratuitous but not quite cartoony. The visual effects in this film are also amazing with believable dismemberment and death scenes so wild that each one will stick with viewers long after the credits roll. One of the central characters is a martial artist who wears these shoes with a hidden blade inside. He literally cuts someone in half (vertically) with an ax kick. On a side note, ichi means one in japanese.

Ichi The Killer (2001) Official Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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Author

A lover of gore and over the top violence, no movie can make my stomach squirm. The only thing better than a bloody death scene is a well choreographed stunt. Whether it be action or horror, if it has blood in it, then I've likely already seen it.

Hi! I am a Dramatic Writing and Performing Arts major at SCAD from Puerto Rico. I have an intense passion for all things film, tv, and music. I believe everyone has a story to tell, and putting it out there is the most important.