Graphic violence is the depiction of especially vivid, brutal and realistic acts of violence in visual media such as literature, film, television, and video games. It may be real, simulated live action, or animated.
The "graphic" in graphic violence is a synonym for "explicit", referring to the clear and unabashed nature of the violence portrayed; this is what differentiates true graphic violence from lesser forms of violence in media productions, including "real" violence, "cartoon" violence and "fantasy" violence.
Graphic violence generally consists of any clear and uncensored depiction of various violent acts. Commonly included depictions include murder, assault with a deadly weapon, accidents which result in death or severe injury, suicide, and torture. In all cases, it is the explicitness of the violence and the injury inflicted which results in it being labeled "graphic". In fictional depictions, appropriately realistic plot elements are usually included to heighten the sense of realism (i.e. blood effects, prop weapons, CGI). In order to qualify for the "graphic" designation, the violence depicted must generally be of a particularly unmitigated and unshielded nature; an example would be a video of a man being shot, bleeding from the wound, and crumpling to the ground.
Graphic violence arouses strong emotions, ranging from titillation and excitement to utter revulsion and even terror, depending on the mindset of the viewer and the method in which it is presented. A certain degree of graphic violence has become de rigueur in adult "action" genre, and it is presented in an amount and manner carefully deliberated to excite the emotions of the target demographic without inducing disgust or revulsion. Even more extreme and grotesque acts of graphic violence (generally revolving around mutilation) are often used in the horror genre in order to inspire even stronger emotions of fear and shock (which the viewing demographic would presumably be seeking).
It is a highly controversial topic. Many believe that exposure to graphic violence leads to desensitization to committing acts of violence in person. It has led to censorship in extreme cases, and regulation in others. One notable case was the creation of the US Entertainment Software Rating Board in 1994. Many nations now require varying degrees of approval from television, movie, and software rating boards before a work can be released to the public.
On the other hand, some critics claim that watching violent media content can be cathartic, providings "acceptable outlets for anti-social impulses."
Graphic violence is used frequently in horror, action, and crime films. Several of these films were banned from certain countries for their violence. The snuff film takes horror to its furthest extreme as torture and murder are not simulated.
Violence in films is not an old topic, recently a study presented in an annual American Academy of Pediatrics conference showed that the "good guys" in superhero movies were on average more violent than the villains, potentially sending a strongly negative message to young viewers.
News media on television and online video frequently cover violent acts. The coverage may be preceded with a warning, stating that the footage may be disturbing to some viewers.
Sometimes graphic images are censored, by blurring or blocking a portion of the image, cutting the violent portions out of an image sequence or by removing certain portions of film footage from viewing. However, more and more throughout the years, it has been a ploy for media companies to attract more and more viewers by trivializing various events like the ones mentioned above for shock appeal.
Graphic and gory violence has started appearing in music videos in recent times, an example being the controversial music video for the song "Rock DJ" by British rock vocalist Robbie Williams, which features self-mutilation. Another example of a music video containing strong violence is the music video for the song "Hurricane" by American rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars and "Happiness in Slavery" by American industrial rock group Nine Inch Nails. The music video for "Forced Gender Reassignment" by American deathgrind band Cattle Decapitation displays such intense graphic violence that it is not hosted by many popular video hosting sites like YouTube and Dailymotion and is only hosted by Bloody Disgusting.
Violent content has been a central part of video game controversy. Because violence in video games is interactive and not passive, critics such as Dave Grossman and Jack Thompson argue that violence in games hardens children to unethical acts, calling first-person shooter games "murder simulators", although no conclusive evidence has supported this belief.
On the internet, several sites dedicated to recordings of real graphic violence, referred to as "gore", exist, such as Bestgore.com and Goregrish.com. Furthermore, many content-aggregator sites such as Reddit or imageboards and 4chan have their own subsites which are dedicated to or allow that kind of content. Some of those sites also require that gore material to be marked as it, often by the internet slang "NSFL" (shorthand for "not safe for life"). This kind of media might depict reality footage of war, car crashes and other accidents, decapitations, suicide, terrorism, murder, or executions.
Cannibal films, alternatively known as the cannibal genre or the cannibal boom, are a subgenre of exploitation films made predominantly by Italian filmmakers during the 1970s and 1980s. This subgenre is a collection of graphically violent movies that usually depict cannibalism by primitive, Stone-age natives deep within the Asian or South American rainforests. While cannibalism is the uniting feature of these films, the general emphasis focuses on various forms of shocking, realistic and graphic violence, typically including torture, rape and genuine cruelty to animals. This subject matter was often used as the main advertising draw of cannibal films in combination with exaggerated or sensational claims regarding the films' reputations.
The genre evolved in the early 1970s from a similar subgenre known as Mondo films, exploitation documentaries which claimed to present genuine taboo behaviors from around the world. Umberto Lenzi is often cited as originating the cannibal genre with his 1972 film Man from Deep River, while Antonio Climati's Natura contro from 1988 is similarly regarded to have brought the trend to a close. Ruggero Deodato's Cannibal Holocaust, released in 1980, is often considered to be the most well-known film of the genre due to the significant controversy surrounding its release, and is one of the few films of the genre to garner mainstream attention. In recent years, the genre has experienced a cult following and revival, as new productions influenced by the original wave of films have been released.
Due to their graphic content, the films of this subgenre are often the center of controversy, and many have been censored or banned in countries around the world. The animal cruelty featured in many of the films is often the focal point of the controversy, and these scenes have been targeted by certain countries' film boards. Several cannibal films also appeared on the video nasty list released by the Director of Public Prosecutions in 1983 in the United Kingdom. Nonetheless, the genre has occasionally fallen under critical interpretation, and certain films have been noted for containing themes of anti-imperialism and third world oppression.Dracula Lives!
Dracula Lives! was an American black-and-white horror comics magazine published by Magazine Management, a corporate sibling of Marvel Comics. The series ran 13 issues and one annual publication from 1973 to 1975, and starred the Marvel version of the literary vampire Dracula.
A magazine rather than a comic book, it did not fall under the purview of the comics industry's self-censorship Comics Code Authority, allowing the title to feature stronger content — such as moderate profanity, partial nudity, and more graphic violence — than color comics of the time. featuring Dracula stories.
Running concurrently with the longer-running Marvel comic The Tomb of Dracula, the continuities of the two titles occasionally overlapped, with storylines weaving between the two. Most of the time, however, the stories in Dracula Lives! were standalone Dracula tales by various creative teams. Later issues of Dracula Lives! featured a serialized adaptation of the original Bram Stoker novel, written by Roy Thomas and drawn by Dick Giordano.Elfen Lied
Elfen Lied (Japanese: エルフェンリート, Hepburn: Erufen Rīto) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Lynn Okamoto. It was originally serialized in Shueisha's Weekly Young Jump from June 2002 to August 2005, with the 107 chapters collected into twelve tankōbon volumes. Elfen Lied revolves around the interactions, views, emotions, and differences between human beings and the Diclonii, a mutant species similar to humans in build but distinguishable by two horns on their heads and "vectors", transparent telekinetically controlled arms that have the power to manipulate and cut objects within their reach. The series is centered on the teenage Diclonius girl "Lucy" who was rejected by human beings and subsequently wants revenge.
The series' title is German as well as Dutch for "Elves' Song" or more formally "song of the elves'" and takes its name from the song "Elfenlied", which is featured in the story. Elfen Lied involves themes of social alienation, identity, prejudice, revenge, abuse, jealousy, regret and the value of humanity. It is also noted for the graphic violence, emotional themes of how the characters change through, and the overall transgressive subject matter of the whole story. A 13-episode anime television series adaptation was produced by the studio Arms and broadcast on AT-X from July to October 2004. The anime began airing before the manga was complete; as a result, the plot differed between the two, especially the ending. The anime series has been licensed in North America by ADV Films and in Australia by Madman Entertainment. ADV Films said the series was one of their bestselling and "most notorious" releases of 2005. The Anime Network is streaming the series in English, German, and French.Faust (Avatar Press)
Faust is the lead superhero character and title of a collective series of comic books by Tim Vigil (art) and David Quinn (stories), published by American companies Rebel Studios and Avatar Press. Writer David Quinn wrote that his work's tone and main character, Faust, may have been inspirations for an blend of Batman, Spawn, Daredevil, Wolverine, Nite-Owl II, The Phantom, The Crow, Guyver, Scorpion, Deadpool and Hellboy.The series featured strong graphic violence and sexual situations. The main series is known as Faust : Love of the Damned and started publishing in 1987, with new issues being published irregularly, roughly once a year, or sometimes every two years. David Quinn completed a script in 1996 (when writing the proposal to sell the film). The gap between issues grew wider with time. Issue 13 was published in 2005. It then took seven years for the authors to deliver the two last issues, 14 and 15, which concluded the story 25 years after the first episode.Halls of Illusions
"Halls of Illusions" is the first single by American hip hop duo Insane Clown Posse from their fourth studio album, The Great Milenko. The song shows their hate towards child abuse and domestic violence and the damage their victims suffer. The lyrics speak about child abusers and woman beaters who take a hellish amusement park ride representing a fun-house to reflect upon their actions, as they are shown the consequences of their ways as they pass through the "Halls of Illusions". These illusions shows what could have been their lives if they chose to be better people instead of living a life inflicting violence and pain upon their families who have been destroyed by the abuse. The clean version of the music video removes all language and graphic violence by changing the lyrics. Slash (the Guns N' Roses guitarist) was featured in the song performing background rhythm guitar.Happy Wheels
Happy Wheels is a ragdoll physics-based platform browser game developed and published by American studio Fancy Force. Created by video game designer Jim Bonacci in 2010, the game features several player characters, who use different, sometimes atypical, vehicles to traverse the game's many levels. The game is best known for its graphic violence and the amount of user-generated content its players produce on a regular basis, with game maps shared on a public server.Ilsa, the Wicked Warden
Ilsa, the Wicked Warden (originally released as Greta: Haus Ohne Männer, and also known as Greta, the Mad Butcher, Ilsa: Absolute Power, and Wanda, the Wicked Warden) is a 1977 sexploitation film directed by Jesús Franco and starring Dyanne Thorne. The film is considered to be the third entry in the Ilsa film series, but was not originally filmed with the intent of being as such, despite starring Dyanne Thorne. The film's plot follows Ilsa (also titled Wanda or Greta in the varying titles), a warden at a psychiatric hospital for young women, and a girl who feigns illness so that she can investigate what happened to her sister who stayed at the hospital.
Ilsa, the Wicked Warden contained scenes of graphic violence, which writer Ric Meyers commented was "sicker" than its predecessor in its depictions. Meyer also opined that the movie had been filmed at the same time as Franco's Barbed Wire Dolls due to the shared cast and setting of the two movies.Images in a Convent
Images in a Convent (Italian: Immagini di un convento) is a 1979 sexploitation film by Italian cult filmmaker Joe D'Amato starring Paola Senatore, Marina Hedman and Donald O'Brien.
The film belongs to the 'nunsploitation' subgenre. It contains strong scenes of graphic violence relating to demonic possession and is among few films containing original hardcore pornography that already passed Italian censorship in 1979 and were projected in some Italian cinemas. It includes explicit lesbianic depictions of digital penetration and cunnilingus.Nowhere (film)
Nowhere is a 1997 American black comedy drama film written and directed by Gregg Araki and starring James Duval and Rachel True as Dark and Mel; a bisexual teen couple.
The film is part of a series of three films by Araki nicknamed the "Teenage Apocalypse Trilogy". The other films in that trilogy are Totally Fucked Up (1993) and The Doom Generation (1995), with Nowhere being the third and last. The film is highly sexual and contains scenes of graphic violence. The film is notable in that it features a variety of actors who had, at the time, not yet reached their current level of stardom, including Ryan Phillippe, Mena Suvari, Kathleen Robertson, and Denise Richards.
As in other films by Araki, various celebrities from the past 40 years make cameos, including Shannen Doherty, Charlotte Rae, Debi Mazar, Jordan Ladd, Christina Applegate, Jeremy Jordan, Jaason Simmons, Beverly D'Angelo, Eve Plumb, Christopher Knight, Traci Lords, Rose McGowan, John Ritter, Staci Keanan, Devon Odessa, Chiara Mastroianni, the Brewer twins and Brian Buzzini.Shigurui
Shigurui (Japanese: シグルイ, "Death Frenzy") is a Japanese manga series by Takayuki Yamaguchi, based on the first chapter of the novel Suruga-jō Gozen Jiai by Norio Nanjō. An anime television adaptation, based on the first 32 chapters (or the initial six and a half volumes), aired on WOWOW from July 19 to October 12, 2007. The series was directed by Hiroshi Hamasaki, written by Seishi Minakami, and produced by Madhouse Studios. The anime was licensed in North America by Funimation under the fully translated title Shigurui: Death Frenzy. The licensing was announced in May 2008 and the full series was released on March 31, 2009, on Blu-ray and DVD. The manga and anime are both known for their graphic violence and sexual content.Splatter film
A splatter film is a subgenre of horror film that deliberately focuses on graphic portrayals of gore and graphic violence. These films, usually through the use of special effects, display a fascination with the vulnerability of the human body and the theatricality of its mutilation. The term "splatter cinema" was coined by George A. Romero to describe his film Dawn of the Dead, though Dawn of the Dead is generally considered by critics to have higher aspirations, such as social commentary, than to be simply exploitative for its own sake.During the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the use of graphic violence in cinema has been labeled "torture porn" or "gorno" (a portmanteau of "gore" and "porno"). By contrast, films such as Braindead, Evil Dead II and to some extent Dawn of the Dead, all of which feature over-the-top gore, can be construed as comedic, and fall into the category of splatstick.Superjail!
Superjail! is an American adult animated television series produced by Augenblick Studios in its first season, and by Titmouse, Inc. in its second, third, and fourth seasons. It follows the events that take place in an unusual prison. The pilot episode aired on television on May 13, 2007, and its first season began on September 28, 2008 on Adult Swim.
Superjail! is characterized by its psychedelic shifts in setting and plot and extreme graphic violence, which give the series a TV-MA-V rating (for graphic violence, including scenes of bloodshed, dismemberment, torture, and extreme cruelty). These elements are depicted through highly elaborate animated sequences, which have been described as "Baroque and complicated and hard to take in at a single viewing".The series was the creation of Christy Karacas, Stephen Warbrick, and Ben Gruber. Karacas was a member of the band Cheeseburger (who provided the show's theme song "Comin' Home" until season 4), a background designer for MTV's Daria, directed Robotomy for Cartoon Network, and later created Ballmastrz: 9009. Stephen Warbrick was originally known for his work on MTV's Beavis and Butt-Head and Daria, was a digital artist on MTV's Celebrity Deathmatch and was also an animatic artist at Blue Sky Studios. Ben Gruber originally wrote for Ultracity 6060 on MTV's Cartoon Sushi, and would also later write for shows like Teen Titans Go!, Breadwinners, and SpongeBob SquarePants.
Karacas originally created a student film in 1997 for MTV's Cartoon Sushi, entitled "Space War". He then partnered with Stephen Warbrick in 2001, creating another film known as "Bar Fight", which caught the attention of Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, who allowed them, and Ben Gruber, to create a show of their own.TV parental guidelines (US)
The TV parental guidelines are a television content rating system in the United States that was first proposed on December 19, 1996, by the United States Congress, the television industry and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and went into effect by January 1, 1997, on most major broadcast and cable networks in response to public concerns about increasingly explicit sexual content, graphic violence and strong profanity in television programs. It was established as a voluntary-participation system, with ratings to be determined by the individually participating broadcast and cable networks.
The ratings are generally applied to most television series, television films and edited broadcast or basic cable versions of theatrically released films; premium channels also assign ratings from the TV parental guidelines on broadcasts of some films that have been released theatrically or on home video, either if the Motion Picture Association of America did not assign a rating for the film or if the channel airs the unrated version of the film.
The ratings were designed to be used with the V-chip, which was mandated to be built into all television sets manufactured since 2000 (and the vast majority of cable/satellite set-top boxes), but the guidelines themselves have no legal force, and are not used on sports or news programs or during commercial advertisements. Many online television services, such as Hulu, Amazon Video and Netflix also use the guidelines system, along with digital video vendors such as the iTunes Store and Google Play and digital media players including Apple TV and Roku.Tales of the Zombie
Tales of the Zombie was an American black-and-white horror comics magazine published by Magazine Management, a corporate sibling of Marvel Comics. The series ran 10 issues and one annual publication from 1973 to 1975, many featuring stories of the zombie Simon Garth by writer Steve Gerber and artist Pablo Marcos.
A magazine rather than a comic book, it did not fall under the purview of the comics industry's self-censorship Comics Code Authority, allowing the title to feature stronger content — such as moderate profanity, partial nudity, and more graphic violence — than color comics of the time.The Forgotten (TV series)
The Forgotten is an American crime drama television series which premiered on September 22, 2009 on ABC. On November 9, 2009, ABC ordered five additional episodes of the series, bringing the first season's total to eighteen episodes. The final two episodes of The Forgotten aired on July 3, 2010.The Forgotten was rated R16 in New Zealand for graphic violence and sex scenes.Vampire Tales
Vampire Tales was an American black-and-white horror comics magazine published by Magazine Management, a corporate sibling of Marvel Comics. The series ran 11 issues and one annual publication from 1973 to 1975, and featuring vampires as both protagonists and antagonists.
A magazine rather than a comic book, it did not fall under the purview of the comics industry's self-censorship Comics Code Authority, allowing the title to feature stronger content — such as moderate profanity, partial nudity, and more graphic violence — than color comics of the time, featuring Dracula stories.Videogame Rating Council
The Videogame Rating Council (V.R.C.) was introduced by Sega of America in 1993 to rate all video games that were released for sale in the United States on the Genesis, Game Gear, Sega CD, and Pico. The rating had to be clearly displayed on the front of the box, but their appearance in advertisements for the video game was strictly optional. It was later supplanted by the industry-wide Entertainment Software Rating Board.