Gore, violence, and inhumanly possible amounts of blood are just some of the reasons why the horror genre isn’t a stranger to the dreaded X rating.
Due to the rating association with a sleazier side of filmmaking, the MPAA agreed to remove the X in favor of the NC 17 tag in 1990.
However, the damage was already done and many classic horror movies suffered from being X-rated, labeled by some conservative families as morally questionable.
On the other hand, it also gave an entire generation of teenagers more reasons to sneak out of their houses to watch some of the bloodiest and goriest films ever known to man.
In this list. We are taking a look at the top 10 X-rated horror movies.
The 10 Best X-RATED Horror Movies (18+)
In this article, I’d like to share with you a list of our favorite X-Rated horror movies. Here is the top 10 list of best X-RATED Horror Movies.
#10. Snuff (1975)
For years, urban legends about snuff films have been passed around curious teenagers and movie fans with morbid curiosities.
These films supposedly show real murders caught on camera, somehow evading the strict censorship that movies have to go through before they’re released.
Seeing a chance to market a mediocre flick as a real snuff film producer, Alan Shackleton took a movie that was already filmed and added some extra violence to it.
The result is 1976’s Snuff. Directed by Michael Findlay, Snuff is actually based on a movie called The Slaughter. In the film, a group of filmmakers visits an undisclosed location in South America, where they’re attacked by a satanic biker cult.
The publicity for snuff was truly revolutionary for its time. Shackleton decided to turn the film into a cultural phenomenon, marketing it as real murders, caught on tape, and even hiring fake protestors to oppose the film’s release.
In the end, and despite its cheap visual effects and cheesy acting snuff, ended up getting its coveted X-rating, branding it as one of the most violent, theatrically released films of its time.
#9. The Gore Gore Girls (1972)
It takes some serious guts to turn your most violent film into a comedy, but that’s just what Herschell Gordon Lewis did with his 1972 film The Gore Gore Girls.
Popularly known as The Godfather of Gore, Lewis was responsible for creating the splatter subgenre of horror. A style dedicated to portraying gore and bloody violence in great detail. So you probably know where this is going.
The Gore Gore Girls is a sleazy comedy horror, the kind that could only have been made back in the 70s. The plot follows a young female reporter investigating a series of violent stripper murders happening in Chicago.
With a title like The Gore Gore Girls, the movie attracted the media’s attention way before it even hit theaters. Because of its raunchy subject and extreme depictions of violence, the film was denied a proper theatrical release, having to be released exclusively on VHS.
Due to its extreme content, The Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification outright banned the film from the country, a veto that remains even to this day.
#8. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)
More than a decade after the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre traumatized an entire generation of moviegoers, a sequel The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 was ready to hit the theaters.
Tobe Hooper, who directed the 1974 original film, returns as the director. The first Chainsaw Massacre was applauded by critics for its restrained use of gore. However, the sequel would go the opposite way.
The second film in the franchise serves as a parody of its predecessor, as the director thought that audiences had misinterpreted what the original flick was about.
When the MPAA reviewed the film, it immediately gave it an X-rating. This was terrible news for Hooper and his team, who desperately needed to make a profit. They were forced to release the film as unrated to avoid the usual problems that X-rated films have to deal with.
Upon releasing home video, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 was banned in Germany and Singapore, with the heavily edited version barely being released in the UK. It was also banned in Australia for 20 years, finally making its home media debut in 2006.
#7. I Drink Your Blood (1970)
In the early days of the 70s, just months after the Manson family wreaked havoc in Hollywood, hippies and satanic cults mixed together were usually seen as a recipe for disaster.
I Drink Your Blood capitalized on this going down in history as one of the first films to get an X-rating for violence rather than nudity.
Presented as a double feature with the also tastefully titled I Eat Your Skin, the movie follows a cult of satanic hippies terrorizing a small town.
As we mentioned before, the Manson murders were still fresh in the memories of many across the United States, and the over-the-top hippie violence of I Drink Your Blood was too much to handle for some moviegoers.
For almost a year, the film ran unaltered in most theaters, its X-rating still in full display. However, the producers of I Drink Your Blood finally conceded and agreed to re-edit the film to be rated R by removing some of the more intense scenes.
#6. The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
When it comes to exploitation films, not every flesh-eating monster has to be an undead abomination. Sometimes your run of the mill family of cannibal crazies will do as demonstrated by 1977’s The Hills Have Eyes.
Directed by Wes Craven, The Hills Have Eyes has become a cult classic among horror film fans for its crude violence and dark plot.
The movie follows a suburban family stuck in the middle of the desert on their way to California. Their lives are turned upside down when they’re attacked by a group of cannibals who terrorize them in increasingly violent ways.
The movie is infamous for its raw portrayals of all kinds of violent acts, including some that we can’t even mention in this article. This prompted the MPAA to give the film the dreaded X-rating.
Faced with the possibility of the film flopping at the box office, Craven recut the film to get an R rating instead. For the longest time, horror fans have searched for the original director’s cut of the hills have eyes, but the film is believed to be lost.
Who knows? Maybe one day we’ll get to see the movie in its pure, shockingly violent form.
#5. The Quatermass Xperiment (1955)
Released in 1955, The Quatermass Xperiment is a sci-fi horror drama that was absolutely ahead of its time. The movie features an intriguing story about a spaceship that returns to Earth, missing two crew members. The third astronaut on the ship is unable to communicate, and his behavior is more than a bit odd.
Adapted from a BBC television serial, the quartermaster experiments saw decent success, with horror fans bringing public attention to hammer films.
In the UK, the movie received an X certificate by the British Board of Film Censors. It was only the 12th movie to receive such classification since it was introduced in 1951.
While it may look tame for today’s violence standards, the flick was considered too shocking for mid-century audiences.
However, Hammer Films decided to use the X-rating to their advantage, dropping the E from the movie’s title and renaming it as a Quatermass Xperiment, a name that wouldn’t feel out of place in a 90s grunge album.
#4. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)
Shot on a budget of around $100000, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer embodies what the X-rating was all about. A crude, shockingly raw look at a murderous killing spree. The movie amassed some controversy even before it was released.
Despite the film being finished in 1985, it wouldn’t get a distributor until 1986. Most companies just didn’t want anything to do with the movie.
After touring through some film festivals, the movie got the attention of the MPAA, which gave it an X rating. Even the poster had to be recalled after the first ones painted by Joe Coleman were considered too graphically extreme. Needless to say, the movie had an even harder time with its release overseas.
The UK’s BBFC outright refused to rate the film for years until 1991 when it got an 18 rating after receiving some heavy censorship.
#3. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
It’s hard to overstate just how much the Texas Chainsaw Massacre changed the history of horror movies. Its clever use of gore and its McJob atmosphere are hard to match, even to this day.
By using the less is more approach, director Tobe Hooper created a true genre classic. However, despite the movie showing just a few excessively violent scenes, censors still deemed the film too disturbing for casual audiences.
The somber tone throughout the film might be to blame, as it looked like no other horror movie before. The film ran into some issues in San Francisco, where moviegoers were leaving theaters in disgust.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is also infamous for having been banned in Chile, Brazil, France, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Singapore, and many other countries around the globe.
A somehow baffling band, especially considering just how tame the movie can actually be compared to some other contemporary horror flicks.
#2. The Evil Dead (1981)
Sam Raimi’s horror classic The Evil Dead has influenced countless films throughout the decades, but it was also a pain to produce. Nowadays, the movie’s plot might sound a bit cliché.
Five friends travel to a secluded cabin in the woods, where forces of evil devour them one by one. However, the Evil Dead established many genre tropes that would live on as influences for the horror filmmakers of the future.
That said, it almost didn’t release at all as it received an X-rating and was labeled as 1981’s Nastiest Picture. The movie remains banned in some countries like Finland and Ukraine.
While the absurd amounts of blood might be to blame, there’s a particular scene involving a possessed three and a young woman that’s regarded as one of the most disturbing moments in horror cinema.
#1. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Stanley Kubrick is a master of transgressive cinema. While it might not look like a conventional horror movie at first glance, 1971’s A Clockwork Orange shows us the evil that lurks in the depths of the human psyche. Even worse, the main character, Alex de Large, is an example of how enticing this evil can be.
Based on a novel by Anthony Burgess, the original book also received some negative criticism, being considered a justification for juvenile delinquency. Gang violence aside, the movie is also infamous for its more obscene scenes.
Even now, some of the scenes involving Alex and his gang having their way with innocent people can be hard to stomach. The film was immediately given an X-rating, prompting Kubrick to remove 30 seconds of explicit material to acquire an R rating.
A Clockwork Orange ended up being one of the most influential films of Kubrick’s career, with filmmakers like Zack Snyder citing it as their favorite movie.
Currently, the picture scores an impressive 8.3 out of 10 on the IMDb website based on more than seven hundred thousand votes,
This was our top 10 list of the best X-Rated Horror movies ever made. It is a great list of the best X-Rated Horror movies of all time.
Do you agree with our list? If you have any suggestions or comments please shoot them down in the comments below.