The (5) all-time greatest cinematic mindfucks


Amid the buzz over whether Twin Peaks and its dead homecoming queen Laura Palmer are set to be resurrected by creator David Lynch, we've gathered our fave films of that ilk into a veritable K-hole of mind-bending weirdness.


French provocateur Gaspar Noé, whose Irreversible features sound at nerve-shredding riot-dispersal frequency, delivers a startling sensory assault from the very opening credits with this film, based on The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Set in neon-lit Tokyo, it's seen from the point-of-view of small-time drug-dealer Oscar, who drifts through post-death hallucinations after he's shot dead while tripping on DMT.


Darren Aronofsky's unapologetically grandiose romantic SF flick sees a doctor struggle to accept that his ailing wife is about to die. Interweaving different planes from the story the characters are writing – a Mayan jungle through which a 16th-century conquistador is questing for the Tree of Life for his queen, and a future outer space of golden nebulas where the connection between all existence can be gleaned – the film is a mad trip of sprawling complexity.

PERSONA (1966)

In Swedish maestro Ingmar Bergman's profoundly eerie and unsettling psychological horror, a nurse (Bibi Andersson) and a famed actress who has inexplicably stopped speaking (Liv Ullman) torment each other at a seaside cottage. Reality's borders mutate as the division between the two women begins to dissolve in this bleak masterpiece of startling images.

STALKER (1979)

The laws of physics as we know them don't apply in the "forbidden zone", a water-drenched wasteland of flux cordoned off by the military that provides the mystical setting of Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky's visually stunning Soviet-era masterpiece. A stalker leads an expedition there toward a room said to fulfill innermost desires.


An entry is surely due for the man inspired this list, a filmmaker whose career is a mental oeuvre of what-the-fuckness. My personal David Lynch favourite is this alarming and eerie neo-noir number in which a saxophonist and his wife are terrorised by anonymously delivered videotapes, a mystery man with seeming teleportation powers, and warping space-time that doubles them into doppelgangers.

5 more @ the source

always here for Noé & Lynch <3 and Stalker is one of my absolute fave films.
what are your favourite fucked-up / mindfuck films, ONTD?