Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom is a 1975 Italian-French art film written and directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini, with uncredited writing contributions by Pupi Avati. It is based on the book The 120 Days of Sodom, by the Marquis de Sade. The story is in four segments, inspired by Dante's Divine Comedy: the Anteinferno, the Circle of Manias, the Circle of Shit and the Circle of Blood. The film also contains frequent references to and several discussions of Friedrich Nietzsche's 1887 book On the Genealogy of Morality, Ezra Pound's poem The Cantos, and Marcel Proust's novel sequence In Search of Lost Time. It was Pasolini's last film; he was murdered shortly before Salo was released. Because it depicts youths subjected to intensely graphic violence, relentless sadism, sexual deviance, and brutal murder, the film was extremely controversial upon its release, and remains banned in several countries. For instance, it was only in the year 2000 that it was granted an uncut release in the UK.
The film focuses on four wealthy, corrupt fascist libertines after the fall of Benito Mussolini's Italy in July 1943. The libertines kidnap eighteen teenagers and subject them to four months of extreme violence, sadism, and sexual and mental torture. The film is noted for exploring the themes of political corruption, abuse of power, sadism, perversion, sexuality and fascism. It has been praised by various film historians and critics and Salo was named the 65th scariest film ever made by the Chicago Film Critics Association in 2006 and is the subject of an article in The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural (1986).