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Torture Porn

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"In her absolutely splendid novel Alif the Unseen, G. Willow Wilson has a character ask whether a given book counts as eastern literature. In reply, Vikram the Vampire says, "There is a very simple test. Is it about bored, tired people having sex?" When the character confirms that the book does, Vikram proclaims it western literature. It's terribly clever, but omits a key subgenre: bored, tired people being terribly violent."

Any work which gives heavy, focused attention to Cold-Blooded Torture and/or mutilation of someone. The point usually isn't to show how wrong it is, but to disgust the audience while also giving them some visceral thrills. Thus, works will give lots of details (whether written, verbal, or visual) of the torture.

The term is usually associated with popular Horror Films from the 2000s; it was coined in 2006 by film critic David Edelstein to describe films like Hostel, Saw, The Devil's Rejects, and Wolf Creek. Horror of this ilk is also known as "sadistic horror".

The genre struck a chord amidst the post-9/11 cultural climate of the Turn of the Millennium, when The War on Terror and the revelation of widespread abuses of captives at internment facilities like Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay put torture at the forefront of public debate and became fodder for a generation of horror filmmakers. However, it can be found in older Exploitation Films, books, comics, plays, and more, as long as seeing or reading about people suffering slow, agonizing, torturous deaths is the point of the work.

Not to be confused with hardcore BDSM (since the torture there is more playing around), nor finding torture to be attractive (although some suspect some of these films invoke that). However, with that in mind, some films have indeed combined graphic violence and pornography, and have thus become notorious for it.

A Sister Trope to Gorn, Mutilation Interrogation (both of which it often overlaps with) and Cuckold (the emotional equivalent). Genres that more often than not center around this include Nazisploitation and Rape and Revenge.

Not to be confused with the popular terminology for a work of fiction that focuses on humiliating and ridiculing a Butt-Monkey to a rather undeserving or at least excessive degree.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Crossed, which has most of humanity being infected by a "rape-murder-insanity" virus. Of special note are the story-arcs Psychopath and Family Values.
  • The first issue of the Hack/Slash ongoing series had Cassie being captured and mutilated by a torture porn-inspired slasher named Doctor Gross.
  • Parodied in The Multiversity, in which the mass villainous team-up of all the alternate versions of Dr. Sivana includes a Darker and Edgier "depraved serial killer" Sivana. He wears a Hannibal Lector mask, and his constant brandishing of rusty surgical instruments and ranting about how he wants to torture the young Marvels to death creeps the other Sivanas out.
  • The Punisher MAX one-shot Naked Kill has Frank taking on a company creating Snuff Films.
    The Punisher: Another day, another nest of scumbags. Got a street tip about a bunch of mooks on the distribution end of a torture porn ring. Real torture. Nothing Hollywood about it. Sure enough, bunch of jerkoffs watching women get beaten. Raped... Ruined. Makes me embarrassed to even have a dick.
  • Rivers of London: Tony Harden, from the first casefile of Detective Stories, decorated his flat with this kind of still life artwork in a deliberate attempt to desensitize himself to others' suffering.

    Fan Works 
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fandom, particularly the brony community, is notorious for producing dark fics that dive straight into this trope.
  • Reprise, the prequel to Hivefled, is explicitly described as torture porn by the author. Uhh, somewhat more literal than most examples, all things considered.
  • The notorious The Lord of the Rings fanfic Celebrian, which speculates on what the Orcs may have done to Celebrian to traumatise her so much in unbelievably obsessive and physically-implausible detail. It's commonly used as a challenge fic to see how much you can read in one sitting before, depending on your level of sensitivity, being squicked out or bored into submission.
  • Chapter 12 of Rise Against dips into this, spending most of its time as a graphic torture scene. As for who's being tortured? Meta Knight. Also, the fic is currently on hiatus, and that's the most recently posted chapter.
  • Episode 67 of Sonic X: Dark Chaos is this trope, inflicted on Chris and Cosmo. With emphasis on the "porn."
  • A series of stories featuring heavy scenes of torture written by The Dark Ranger and posted to Usenet in the 1990's.
    • Agony In Pink featuring the torture, rape and mutilation and death by torture of Kimberly, the Pink Ranger, by Lord Zedd and Tortura, a specially created Torture Technician in The Power Rangers universe. This one was bad enough to single-handedly spark a moral panic over online pornography in Australia.
    • Agony In Pink 2 - A New Ending another Power Rangers fic featuring the torture, rape, mutilation and death by torture of Kimberly the Pink Ranger by Rita, Lord Zedd and her friend Kat.
    • Agony In Yellow featuring the torture and mutilation of Ashley, the Yellow Ranger by Astronema of The Power Rangers universe. Her friends put out of her misery through a Mercy Kill.
    • Suffering Scully featuring the interrogation, torture and rape of Dana Scully from the X-Files universe. In the story she is broken through the use of Electric Torture.
    • Interrogation of Leia featuring the interrogation, rape, torture, mutilation and death by torture of Princess Leia by Darth Vader and General Largo in the Star Wars universe. She is broken early in the story through the use of a dentist's drill.
    • Holly's Home Invasion featuring the home invasion and torture of a woman by a gang of women.
  • Chapter 55 of In The Dark doesn't hold back on what Melanie was put through, causing her her bandmates to break down while the rest just had the Mass "Oh, Crap!" look. Add to what Otis Darwin informs Melanie of her fate, it's pretty much nightmare Fuel.
  • The Greatest Betrayal — A Sonic the Hedgehog fiction with scenes of indescribable horror averaging at more than once a chapter. It's a Roaring Rampage of Revenge for Shadow the Hedgehog, and the torture ranges from waterboarding, to rape, to beating people half-to-death with broom handles, to at least one character being stabbed to death and then being chopped into their component organs, as well as weird psychological stuff. And when all else fails, the writer is all up for torturing Shadow too. Amazingly there is a plot.
  • Girls (Scream) Aloud, in which the members of Girls Aloud are kidnapped, raped, dismembered, and murdered by their tour bus driver, who then sells their embalmed body parts on eBay with video recordings of what he did. Its graphic content caused such a furor in the British press that its author faced obscenity charges in a trial that sparked debates over online censorship, and while the case was ultimately dropped, the original fic remains difficult to find to this day outside of MST readings.

  • American Mary is about a medical student who becomes a Back-Alley Doctor specializing in extreme body modification to pay the bills, and later a Mad Doctor after she gets raped by her professor Dr. Grant. She kidnaps him and uses him to "practice" a number of procedures that she happily lists for him, including "tongue splitting, implants (sometimes referred to as 3D implants), teeth filing, genital modification, and voluntary amputation." While we don't see the fourteen-hour surgery session she subjects him to, we do see what's left of him afterwards, a limbless, mute head and torso hanging from hooks who she then photographs for her portfolio as a body modification surgeon.
  • Cannibal Holocaust contained scenes that were believable enough, at the time, to result in the arrest of the director, foreshadowing Charlie Sheen's snuff film fears by about twenty years. Includes rape with a foreign object followed by bludgeoning of the victim, dissection, cannibalism (of course), and an incredibly well-designed impalement scene which still is occasionally posted online as a real occurrence. To make it worse, all the animals that died in the movie were actually killed, leading to the "No Animals Were Harmed In the Making of this Film" disclaimer at the end of every movie; and the director made all the cast sign contracts to keep out of public sight and take no new work for a year to help sell the illusion that the film was genuine; the director in fact had to bring the actors onto a talk show to prove that he hadn't actually killed them during filming.
  • Captivity. Even before its release, it became notorious for an incredibly tasteless marketing campaign that nakedly appealed to people who might want to watch a real-life snuff film, and led Joss Whedon and Jill Soloway to campaign for the film to be re-rated. Its critical and commercial failure ended up killing off the genre in mainstream cinema releases, and did lasting damage to the careers of both its star Elisha Cuthbert and director Roland Joffe. The film itself is so obsessed with its own premise that it gives pause to wonder if actually is torture porn in the literal sense.
  • Carrie (2013) incorporates a lot of this into the prom scene massacre. The first two adaptations gave Carrie Adaptational Heroism and suggested she'd lost control of her powers somewhat (the 2002 film outright having her go into a trance where she can't remember anything of what she's done). Here however, Carrie targets her tormentors individually (the deaths in the other films were more accidents brought on by the escalating chaos) - notably crushing Jackie in the bleachers, whipping Tina with electrical cords until she burns up, and holding Nicki and Lizzy on the floor while everyone tramples them to death. This is actually closer to the original book - where Carrie's revenge was 100% premeditated.
  • Carver, which is about a hillbilly Snuff Film maker prone to mutilating some of his victims through means that include pliers to the balls, or a nail hammered into a bodypart, then wrenched out and hammered in again.
  • The Collector (2009) is about a masked Serial Killer who breaks into people's homes, fills them with Death Traps, and brutally tortures them to death before kidnapping one survivor to make a part of his "collection". The sequel The Collection shows what happens to those "lucky" survivors: the Collector tortures them further, but with the intention of keeping them alive in a manner that drives them into feral madness, leaving them in a zombie-like state where they violently attack anybody they encounter. When they do finally die, he mutilates their corpses, rearranging their body parts to make them into twisted, arachnid-like "sculptures".
  • Detention parodies the genre with the Film Within a Film Cinderhella II: Beauty Scream, which can be roughly described as a teen slasher version of Saw, complete with that series' ridiculous traps and a killer with a similar moralistic attitude. The titular killer forces a teenage girl to dig a red slipper out of her abdomen within two minutes as punishment for having premarital sex, lest her head be blown up with an assortment of buzzsaws and drills. Sloan, a cheerleader from 1992 who's stuck in her daughter Ione's body (long story), is absolutely blown away by the film and how different it is from the slashers she grew up with.
  • Evil Dead (2013). Not only is the tone much Darker and Edgier than the campy, low-budget first film and its overtly comedic sequels, the gore has been amped up, and the main characters all start mutilating themselves as they are possessed by demons and turn into Deadites.
  • The Final is a Teen Horror version inspired by real-life school shootings. A group of teen outcasts stage a costume party for the popular kids who bully them in school, whereupon they drug them, chain them up, and torture them one by one while the rest are Forced to Watch, all while filming it on webcams to send their message to the world. Notably, they don't plan on actually killing anyone, but want to leave their victims alive so that they're forced to live with their trauma and disfigurement.
  • In found., Marty and his friend David watch a '70s Slasher Movie called Headless (which the filmmakers later defictionalized) that his brother Steve stole from the video store, which is comprised largely of scenes of a killer in a skull mask torturing tied-up women to death in a gratuitous, highly sexualized manner before defiling their corpses, all of it shown in such graphic detail that the British and Australian cuts of found. had to censor most of it. Steve left a note in the videotape's box marking the times at which each of the film's kills takes place. David is impressed by the gore effects but disappointed by the lack of a plot, while Marty, who at this point knows that Steve is a Serial Killer, keeps picturing him as the killer and can't help but wonder if he took inspiration from this film.
  • Friday the 13th (2009) updates the classic slasher killer Jason Voorhees for the 2000s by giving him elements of this trope. Now, the backwoods machete maniac is also a Crazy Survivalist who has filled the woods with booby traps and a hidden Tunnel Network. In the Prolonged Prologue, he roasts a girl alive in her sleeping bag while her boyfriend is Forced to Watch with his leg stuck in a bear trap (the damage shown in vivid detail), then he captures and imprisons the Final Girl from that scene for most of the rest of the movie.
  • Many of Lucio Fulci's films, especially The New York Ripper, where a stripper is killed by having a broken bottle ground into her crotch.
  • Mel Gibson got this kind of reputation through his movies The Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto, which both featured prolonged and graphic scenes of torture, punishment and human sacrifice. Critics of the former often nicknamed it "The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre" for its extreme violence. Some touch on the "Porn" aspect of "Torture Porn" as well regarding Passion, with David Edelstein (the Trope Namer) calling it tantamount to a Snuff Film and Stephen King arguing that its violence is taken to a fetishistic level.
  • Goodbye Uncle Tom, an Italian Mondo film that provides an extensive catalogue of the horrors of slavery in the United States and practically revels in the exploitation, humiliation, and torture.
  • The two first films from The Guinea Pig Collection, Devil's Experiment and Flower Of Flesh and Blood, the latter of which was mistaken for a real Snuff Film by Charlie Sheen.
  • The Hellraiser films, which feature the hedonistic, extremely sadomasochistic Cenobites, hellbound humans who have Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence and, if summoned, return to torture and kill their victims.
  • Holidays:
    • Halloween has three cam girls who were abused by their pimp Ian making him emasculate himself (offscreen, thankfully).
    • The brief shot in Christmas of Sarah sawing away at her boss Ed with an electric knife also counts.
  • House of 1000 Corpses by Rob Zombie feature a backwoods clan of deranged serial killers who commit various physical, sexual, and psychological tortures on their innocent victims. The sequel The Devil's Rejects flips it around and turns the killers into Villain Protagonists, now on the run from the law after the events of the first movie, with a vindictive sheriff eventually torturing them in kind as revenge for their killing his deputy brother.
  • The Human Centipede trilogy combines this with Body Horror. The worst stuff was merely alluded to in the first film, though the second one went out of its way to show it in full, gory, scatological detail, before plunging straight into Self-Parody with the third installment.
  • I Spit on Your Grave, probably the most infamous Rape and Revenge movie of all time. Not so much the original film, save for the horrifying rape scene, but the revenge portion of the remake definitely falls into this. Most of Katie's revenges in the sequel also qualify, one of which involves a lengthy session with a cattle prod applied to one rapist's groin in revenge for him having done the same to her prior to his rape of her.
  • Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, the Trope Codifier for Nazisploitation, has as its Villain Protagonist a sexy yet depraved Kommandant at a Nazi concentration camp who rapes and castrates male prisoners who fail to satisfy her sexual appetite, and conducts medical experiments on the female prisoners in order to prove that women, with their higher pain tolerance, would make better soldiers than men.
  • Inglourious Basterds. While most of Quentin Tarantino's works veer more towards Gorn and Exploitation Film than Torture Porn, this film features a fair amount of lovingly depicted torture inflicted mostly on Nazis. Several Nazi soldiers have swastikas carved onto their foreheads with a Bowie knife, one officer is psychologically tortured before having his head crushed with a baseball bat, and a character sticks his finger into a bullethole in a woman's leg, among other examples.
  • The Last House on the Left: Most of its drama comes in the form of the torture and rape of two young women. But it then twists it around so that when the parents discover what has happened to their daughter - they take their revenge.
  • Law Abiding Citizen has, as one of its most famous scenes, Gerard Butler's character Clyde Sheldon strapping Clarence Darby, the man who murdered his wife and daughter, to an operating table after injecting him with a paralyzing tetrodotoxin and describing to him, in graphic detail, all of the ways in which he is going to dismember and torture him to death. All the while, a large mirror hangs over the operating table with a picture of Clyde's family taped to it so that Darby is Forced to Watch as he's tortured to death, with his eyelids cut off so he can't look away and adrenaline being injected into his veins so he doesn't pass out. We don't see much of the actual torture beyond Butler taking a buzzsaw to Darby's leg, but the police do find what is left of him later.
  • The Loved Ones, in which a teenage girl and her father kidnap the boy she has a crush on and then torture him in a twisted parody of the senior prom. It starts with them injecting bleach into his vocal cords so that he can't scream for help, all the while taunting him with a chant of "WE CAN'T HEAR YOU!".
  • The French film Martyrs (which a lot seem to categorize as "too good to be mere torture porn") starts as a bloody revenge flick on a seemingly normal family, devolves into humiliation torture, and ends with the martyr being graphically skinned alive, left to hang that way, and her long-sought otherworldly revelations driving her captor to suicide.
  • Megan is Missing turns into this once the viewer learns what happened to Megan, especially after Amy is kidnapped, raped, tortured, and eventually killed by Josh. The film itself is so disturbing that a public warning about its potentially traumatizing content was released by its director.
  • Melancholie der Engel (The Angel's Melancholy) is an absolutely nauseating 2+ hrs of nihilistic torture, sex (both consensual and not), coprophilia, suicide, murder, and very real animal deaths, all with an extremely thin layer of attempted philosophical pretension.
  • The films of Takashi Miike in general are notorious for this.
    • Audition starts out as a Romantic Comedy, onto to rapidly, and disturbingly, transition into this trope when Asami's true nature is revealed, as she kidnaps and mutilates boyfriends of hers who she felt had failed her as lovers. This very wiki's page for that film describes it as a movie that "makes you wonder about the mental health of the director."
    • When his adaptation of the manga Ichi the Killer premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, barf bags were distributed to the patrons, and at least one person actually had to use theirs.
    • His Masters of Horror episode "Imprint" was never shown on television in the US and was saved for the DVD release, with even the show's creator Mick Garris saying he was disturbed by it. Keep in mind that the show aired on the premium cable network Showtime, not known for squeamishness.
  • Nekromantik, which features several people being killed by a necrophiliac and includes a graphic, real scene of a rabbit being killed and skinned. And that's not even half of the horror.
  • Pink Flamingos, the film to start with if you're interested in the work of John Waters, plays with this trope mockingly. One scene, one very long and uncomfortable scene, features a man having sex with a chicken (resulting in bloody lacerations for the nude gentleman and an onscreen death for the chicken), and another features what can best be described as "a heartwarming torture sequence wherein women are beaten in a basement and raped with a turkey baster, with the resulting babies being sold to lesbians." Thankfully, John Waters is parodying the True Crime genre, so it's usually meant to be (disturbingly) funny.
  • Eli Roth is a filmmaker who made his name as one of the leaders of the "Splat Pack" of ultraviolent horror filmmakers in the 2000s.
    • His directorial debut Cabin Fever is structured like a Slasher Movie, but instead of a person or monster killing the horny teenagers, it's a waterborne illness that slowly eats their flesh and leaves them in agony wishing for the quick mercy that a normal backwoods stalker would bring.
    • Hostel and its sequels, in which tourists (in Eastern Europe in the first two films, in Las Vegas in the third) are kidnapped to be tortured to death by rich sadists. The franchise has become so successful that it became the Trope Namer for the entire genre.
    • The Green Inferno, his Genre Throwback to '70s/'80s jungle cannibal movies.
  • Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, based on an infamous novel by the Marquis de Sade. Updating the plot of the novel from 18th century France to the closing days of World War II, its Villain Protagonists are four fascist libertines (along with assorted collaborators) who, knowing that their days are numbered as the Allies close in, kidnap eighteen teenagers from nearby villages and make them unwilling participants in the most depraved sex party imaginable. It is often considered an early example of this genre, and a nasty enough one that it was banned in numerous countries and its page on this very wiki (which calls it "the single most vile, most depraved, most despicable, most infamous and most controversial film of all time") is locked to prevent the trope list from getting too lurid, as is that for its source material.
  • The Saw films.
    • While the first film is actually fairly light on explicit gore (and was more of a straight serial-killer story along the lines of Se7en than a straight example of this genre), the sequels (especially from the third one on) most certainly aren't, and the series as a whole is the Trope Codifier for the genre. Its twist on the formula is that its villain, the Jigsaw killer, makes use of elaborate Death Traps to kill his victims as punishment for their moral failings, while always giving them the ability to escape the trap with their lives by making a painful Life-or-Limb Decision. This made the deaths into massive set pieces beyond just simple stabbings, with entire rooms turned into mechanical torture chambers and the people placed within them forced to mutilate themselves to survive and escape.
    • Ironically, the third film had an aversion of the literal meaning of this trope. In one of the traps, a woman in a room-sized freezer is sprayed with ice-cold water, and will freeze to death unless the protagonist can reach the key to her escape. The woman was to be fully clothed in the original version, but the director chose to have her naked instead — not to make the scene sexier, but to make it less sexualized and avoid a wet T-shirt scene.
  • Discussed and mocked in Scream 4, where one character is complaining about her friend being obsessed with Torture Porn. The film was released when the genre was beginning to die out.
  • A Serbian Film made this trope literal, with the villains shooting a pornographic Snuff Film. It features such scenes as a woman having her teeth removed and then being suffocated to death via oral sex, a woman being decapitated while she's being sexually penetrated, a young boy being raped by his well-endowed father, and, most infamously, "newborn porn". Much like Salò, its trope page on this very wiki is locked to prevent it from just becoming a catalog of depravity.
  • Sick Girl, which has what is possibly the most disturbing girl on girl rape scene ever.
  • Averted for the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), which was almost Bloodless Carnage. However, the Bloodier and Gorier sequels and remakes can count for this.
  • Tetsuo: The Iron Man crosses into this as you see the Salaryman's life spiral rapidly down the drain as his body transforms into a mass of scrap metal and machinery, aided by the stalking and abuse of the so-called Metal Fetishist.
  • Turistas, in which American tourists in Brazil are kidnapped by criminals running an organ harvesting/smuggling ring.
  • Unthinkable: Nuclear bombs are set to go off, and it's up to Samuel L. Jackson to torture their whereabouts out of the man who planted them.
  • Untraceable: A website called Kill With Me is set up in which people are subjected to brutal Saw-style deaths on a live stream, the pace of their deaths speeding up as more people watch. Special mention goes to the man whose flesh is dissolved in battery acid.
  • Videodrome: Subverted in-universe. When Max first sees the pirated Videodrome transmission, he thinks that it's the most realistic torture exploitation he's ever seen, which is exactly what he thinks his channel's viewers will want. Only later does he realize that Videodrome's 'actors' don't ever return and is a real Snuff Film operation. Special mention goes to the copious amounts of Body Horror that has made David Cronenberg a household name.
  • A group of people are captured and forced to mutilate themselves in order to produce endorphins in Vile.
  • One of the earliest films to get this reputation was Witchfinder General, which was very loosely based on actual incidents of seventeenth-century witch-hunting in East Anglia and paid unusual attention for the time to the detailed torture and execution of victims. It went on to inspire a number of more gratuitous imitators, such as Mark of the Devil and The Bloody Judge (which star Christopher Lee, who repeatedly butted heads with the director over the unsavory content, refused to watch after it was finished).
  • Wolf Creek is something of an Unbuilt Trope in that most of the torture has either already happened or happens off-screen, and the suspense comes from what Mick Taylor might do. When characters meet their ends, it's through rather mundane means.
  • The "fucked up fondue" scene in Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings, along with a few other instances, like death via electroshock, and dismemberment on a makeshift, barbed wire rack.

  • The Marquis de Sade is the Trope Maker, and one of the most infamous authors in history; the word "sadism" was named after him, and, unlike most examples on this page, his torture porn is also literally porn. His stories are full of rape, incest, bondage, sadomasochism, pedophilia, coprophilia, and necrophilia. His most infamous work was The 120 Days of Sodom which had four libertines and their accomplices kidnapping and horrifically abusing sixteen teenagers over 120 days. Napoléon Bonaparte had him thrown into an insane asylum after reading Justine (about a young woman who is raped, tortured, and sexually abused over many years for her virtue and purity), which is actually one of his milder works, where he spent the rest of his life.
  • A British pulp fiction publisher, New English Library, specialized in this sort of stuff, which garnered it the nickname "Nasty, Explicit and Lurid". Their short novellas (usually around 128 pages each, and supposedly written mainly by Ray Slattery under names like "John Slater" and "Jim Kent") were primarily set during World War II, and focused on the experiences of prisoners-of-war or others who opposed the Japanese or Nazis in any way. The covers had lurid illustrations of torture scenes, and the titles included the likes of Torture Road, Women of Ravensbruck, Pleasure Camp, and so on in endless permutations. A few of the novels were outside the war setting but came up with other settings in which similar scenes could occur, such as white women being sold into slavery in Middle-Eastern countries. For a while, the novellas could be found quite easily in used bookshops, but then they became quite rare and expensive. Some suspect that one reason why the books became rare was that the lurid covers and titles offended the conservative sensibilities of the older people who often worked in these charity shops, and so they got tossed out in the rubbish.

    Live-Action TV 
  • There's a reason that Jack Bauer from 24 has a trope named after him. The ways in which he acquires information from his prisoners - and how these ways are both shown and described - fall about as close to this category as one can get on network television.
  • Doctor Who remains fairly tame, but considering it was aimed at children:
    • "The Sontaran Experiment" is pretty grim on-screen, being about a particularly depraved Sontaran torturing captive humans in "experiments" to determine their vulnerabilities, but jumped straight into this in the novelisation. Due to the shortness of the story, it was padded out with lots and lots of torture scenes that are irrelevant to the plot.
    • "The Deadly Assassin" had quite a lot of torture scenes.
    • The story "Vengeance on Varos", which is set in a depraved far-future society which tortures and kills its rebels in inventive ways on live TV, and exports the videos to other worlds as Snuff Films. Depending on your view it is either a prescient satire on the genre or an early, ugly example.
  • Parodied in Love Bites. In "Coming Attractions," the protagonist couple Max and Katie are watching previews in the theater, when the trailer for a movie called Open Hearts comes up. It looks like a romantic drama at first, but it quickly turns out that the boyfriend in the movie is a depraved Serial Killer who proceeds to graphically torture the woman to death in very prolongued fashion while laughing psychotically. The two are rather disturbed by it.
  • The base-breaking Six Feet Under episode "That's My Dog", in which David is kidnapped, sexually-assaulted, tortured and nearly killed by a psychopathic hitch-hiker.
  • Supernatural: The show features both its protagonists and many of its villains being tortured, and sometimes torturing, regularly. Sometimes it's done subtly but other times, it pushes the television envelop.
    • There is a brief but intense scene of Dean in Hell at the end of season three. He is bleeding, battered, crying out for his brother and he is hanging from hooks that you can see have pierced through his shoulder.
    • The show features two separate scenes of female demons being sexually tortured, with knives, in ways that were deeply uncomfortable for viewers. In happens to Ruby in Season 4 and Meg in Season 6.
    • Crowley tortures an innocent angel named Samadriel very gruesomely.
    • In early Season 12, The British Men of Letters torture Sam, for several episodes.
  • The Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead (2010). Newly introduced Big Bad Negan brutally murders two main characters, gleefully smashing their skulls with a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire until nothing is left but Gorn. He taunts and torments their friends, who are Forced to Watch the entire time. He psychologically breaks series protagonist Rick Grimes, physically dominating him and later almost forcing him to sever his own son's arm with a hatchet until he is left a sobbing, blubbering wreck.

  • Frank Zappa's "The Torture Never Stops" from Zoot Allures. It evokes medieval dungeon imagery, with sounds of two women screaming and moaning throughout. The sounds they make sound suspiciously like orgastic moans, though...
  • The music video for the Eminem song "3 a.m." was described as this by New York Magazine.
  • "Back Pack" by Andrew Jackson Jihad invokes this in the second verse to sad and horrifying effect.
  • Horrorcore is a genre that thrives on this, going into lurid detail on people getting brutally tortured and murdered in all manner of excruciatingly brutal ways. Not surprising, given that much of it is an homage to classic horror films, especially those of the sort that are considered torture porn.
    • clipping.'s song "The Show", from their horrorcore-inspired album There Existed an Addiction to Blood, was inspired by mid-2000s torture porn movies. It's an extremely graphic lyrical depiction of a person's torture and eventual death being live-streamed over the Dark Web.
  • In 1993, Nine Inch Nails created a twenty-minute short film titled Broken to go with the EP of the same name. Never officially released but circulated in bootlegs for years and currently available from the Internet Archive, the video is filled with graphic imagery, most notably a man (played by performance artist Bob Flanagan) being brutally tortured and dismembered by a Robotic Torture Device, all of it set to NIN's music. Thanks to the ever-degrading quality of the VHS bootlegs as they circulated in The '90s, many young NIN fans at the time mistook it for a real Snuff Film.

  • Big Finish Doctor Who dives into this trope on occasion.
    • The episodes "Spare Parts", "Jubilee", "Scherzo","The Creed Of The Kromon" and "The Natural History Of Fear" (the last three of which follow each other directly) immediately come to mind.
    • The Fifth Doctor is a frequent recipient of torture in Big Finish in general, to the point where it hardly even fazes him anymore. His very first episode had him breaking his leg, being strapped into a torture device and screaming in agony in the background for an entire scene while Seven and Six calmly discussed how to save the day.

  • You may or may not be surprised to learn that there's a William Shakespeare play that comes about as close to this as you can get on a stage: Titus Andronicus, his first big play.
  • The Grand Guignol theater in Paris, open from 1897 to 1962, was a legendary purveyor of this, especially during its height in the interwar period. The name of the theater is still occasionally used as shorthand for graphic, highly stylized and fetishized violence.
  • Oedipus the King has Oedipus emerge having learnt of what he's done, now having gouged out his own eyes. Medea features an extremely graphic description of what happened when Glauce put on a dress covered in highly acidic poison, and when her father hugged her body with this skin-dissolving venom still in effect.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • Some mature-only visual novels may constitute literal torture porn, i.e. feature characters being sexually tortured non-BDSM-wise. Clockup is one of the visual novel producers that make games where characters are raped and mutilated/amputated/decapitated at the same time.

    Web Original 
  • Some of the scenes in Survival of the Fittest can fall into this, particularly in earlier versions. In more recent history, handlers have been attempting to avert this due to both realism and good taste. However, you still get moments where Gorn conspicuously comes up in a manner similar to this trope.
  • The Cinema Snob reviews some of these films, and even admits the term was just made up by snobs like him so they could look down on modern horror movies (not that he thinks highly of many older horror films).
  • Happy Tree Friends combines this with Subverted Kids' Show hard. Bones are broken, eyes are cut or ripped out and squished, almost everybody has had all of their skin peeled off at least once, and it's all animated with bright, cheerful colors.
  • The fake movie Slew from Something Awful's Awful Movie Database is a parody of the genre, in which gorgeous women are forced to mutilate themselves in a highly sexualized manner, taking the "porn" part of the trope a bit too literally. It's implied that the film exists purely as an excuse to showcase eroticized violence against women; the Saudi Arabian cut runs an extra twelve minutes, it's noted that "6.8% of the audience achieved an erection during the torture scenes", and the snippet we get of one of the user comments tells us way Too Much Information about the sort of people who enjoy this film. The main characters are also Too Dumb to Live, and the death traps are ridiculously convoluted to the point that one person asks if he can rewind the tape to make sure he gets all the instructions right.
    Incorrectly Regarded As Goofs: When Lucy gets caught in the breast vice it shows her cutting her breasts off to escape, then cuts to her with her breasts back again, then she cuts them off a second time in greater detail. The first sequence of her cutting her breasts off is intended to be her imagining cutting her breasts off before she cuts them off to escape the breast vice trap and deactivate the water pump filling the room with water.
  • The short-lived series Mis-Directed spoofs this in the first episode. It's about a brother and sister trying to make one of these films, and in addition to the camera problems, the sister Julianna plays the victims with heaps of Bad "Bad Acting" and acts like The Prima Donna while wearing a purple rabbit fur jacket.
  • This series by Horrible Reviews is essentially an examination of the surprisingly extensive examples of this subgenre in cinema over the years (including a number which largely fell off the radar).
  • This short film is literally titled Torture Porn and is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. A man kidnaps a man who his wife cheated with, straps him down to a table, and starts torturing him to death. It turns out it's all innocuous foreplay, with the Torture Technician and his victim being gay lovers with a torture fetish shooting a Home Porn Movie.
  • A few of the more violent and detailed creepypastas can venture into this, and a lot of the poorly-written ones tend to ignore biology hard enough to even cross back over into Nightmare Retardant.
  • GoAnimate's "Punishment Day" videos, while usually consisting of Humiliation Congas that are meant to be more funny than disturbing, can reach this level if sufficiently brutal enough. Some videos, believe it or not, are rated 18+ and have even been removed from YouTube for guideline-shattering content. The ones involving Caillou and Dora tend to be the worst, with noteworthy "punishments" (that, at this level, are more crimes than anything) including:
    • Shitting in the victim's mouth.
    • Spitroasting the victim with strap-ons.
    • Forcing the victim to read the "Offended" page on Encyclopedia Dramatica (with the single webpage alone having enough disturbing content to rival entire Shock Sites).
    • Locking the victim in a freezer until their body turns to ice, then shattering their body parts with a hammer.
    • Gouging the victim's eyes out.
    • Forcing the victim to eat their own hands.
    • Forcing the victim to drink the "punisher's" piss.
    • Straight-up murdering the victim.

    Western Animation 

  • Various "extreme" haunted houses exist that are designed to simulate the experience of being dropped into a film like this, with guests signing waivers and going through a physical screening before they are subjected to a grueling, full-contact experience that may (and often does) include being Bound and Gagged, waterboarding, physical assault, sensory deprivation, nudity, being forced to eat bugs and worms, and anything else short of actually, seriously hurting the participants. McKamey Manor is one of the most infamous examples, with their YouTube channel filled with highlights.

Alternative Title(s): Sadistic Horror