Gorno Films

Although it isn't sexually stimulating, gore porn, otherwise referred to as gorno or splatter film, has earned its name from its aim at satisfying those hidden desires to see lots of blood, body parts, and outright gore on the silver screen. Yes, there is sometimes nudity, but it is not focused on foreplay so much as carnage.

In this film genre, not only is the body left exposed, but its fragility is revealed in a dramatic way right before the eyes of the audience. You can either shrink away from it in disgust and/or fear or watch with eyes glued to the scene and leave eager to see the next installment in theaters.

For those unfamiliar with the term, perhaps you would recognize some of the movie titles that fall under this genre such as Saw and Hostel. With movies like these upping the game to newer and newer heights of grossness, it's no surprise that this genre has come and gone as audiences finally turn to those movies where fear comes from the unseen and unknown rather than the in-your-face gruesomeness. Instead of yet another addition to the Saw series, we see more pictures like Paranormal Activity steal the spotlight.

Gorno first appeared in movies in the form of Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages in 1916. Directed by D.W. Griffith, this silent film depicts four story-lines that run parallel to one another and reveal mankind's intolerance over 2500 years. It features decapitations and a spear slowing going through a soldier's stomach.

In the late 1950s and 1960s, films such as Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) revamped the splatter film genre. Still, it wasn't until the latter part of that decade when films of this sort really became popular after George A. Romero's Night of The Living Dead (1968) made its way into theaters.

All the earlier works of this genre aimed at shocking and repulsing its audience while keeping it entertaining enough to get them to by those tickets to see them. At the same time, they had a message to convey about society as a whole that could either go unseen amidst the blood and gore or add more depth to what would otherwise just be a show.

From Hostel II
From Hostel II

It wasn't until the 2000s that the genre earned it's name "torture porn." Each film released, starting in the year 2000 with Scream 3 and Final Destination, contained graphic violence, nudity, and mutilation, amongst other features, while also making a huge profit for its producers. For example, Saw (2004) cost $1.2 million but made over $100 million worldwide while Hostel (2005) cost $5 million and made $80 million with its release.

It's no surprise, then, that these movies inevitably became parts of a series that seemed to go on with no end. Saw alone has seven parts to it. As they continue to add a new part to a movie it seems that the story-line begins to lag behind the gruesome factor that takes center stage.

© 2012 LisaKoski

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Comments 8 comments

morozov924 profile image

morozov924 4 years ago from Grove City, PA

I'm sure you knew this already, but the grossest example of this is "A Serbian Film." It even has the synopsis that these things are happening to a pornstar.

Excellent hub.


CarltheCritic1291 profile image

CarltheCritic1291 4 years ago

Speaking as a horror filmmaker, I for one am not really pleased with "gorno" films. I feel like horror is a genre that may filmmakers go into thinking "all I need is some dismemberment, nudity, and women being tortured and that will sell tickets." In my opinion, horror needs to be more than gore, you can have it, but use it carefully, don't just fill the entire film with it.

At any rate, this is a well written hub, and I'm impressed with your knowledge of films. Keep up the great work. Voted Up, Useful, Awesome, and Interesting.


LisaKoski profile image

LisaKoski 4 years ago from WA Author

Thank you both so much for reading. morozov924, I haven't heard of "A Serbian Film" but I'm not much into this genre, even though I found it interesting to research. I agree with you, CarltheCriti1291, that horror needs to be more than gore. I find that I enjoy any film from any genre better when it's more than just about appearances.


OMGirdle profile image

OMGirdle 4 years ago from United States

"Itchi The Killer" is a Japanese film which is the ultimate, at least to me, in "gorno." It's not so much horror as it is gory. The Asian horror films have a uniqueness to them. Our attempt to repeat their techniques are produced in movies like "Grudge 3." Many of the movies made in the States are take offs of Asian horror films, such as: "Grudge," and "The Ring." Not only are we copying Asian horror films but other countries as well. The movie "Let Me In" is actually a take off of a Norwegian film "Let the Right One In." Great Hub - signed a true horror fan!


Kael Myril profile image

Kael Myril 4 years ago from Tacoma, WA

Nicely done. A person investigating gorno that's really "not much into it"...interesting to me. I've got my eye on you, love.


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 4 years ago from Columbia, MD

Horror is my favorite genre, and I've never considered films like Saw or Hostel to be Horror. it is exactly this, films like The Exorcist, Paranormal Activity and even The Shining have scared me to the core when I first watched them. Hell, even the Clown in Stephen King's It terrified me when I was a kid because all of these films take something from normal everyday life and make it real to you to scare you. Gorno does none of that. Very well written hub and voted up. Well done


mannyalice 4 years ago

Heard of the term but never knew what it meant, so this was interesting read for me, I like horror movies, but can't say I am a connoisseur and interesting Hollywood has helped popularize this genre with monster hits such as 'Saw'


Vicky 23 months ago

It's spooky how clever some ppl are. Thnask!

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