The Best Movies You've Never Seen Featuring Bonkers Bodily Fluid Scenes

(Welcome to The Best Movies You've Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. This week we get a little gross.)

Bodily fluids. Mention the term to someone and you'll get a variety of responses as their thoughts move between the biological and the sexual, but the shared reaction on all of their faces will most likely be a slight cringe. Bodily fluids. It's gross! And that's precisely why movies will occasionally go overboard with a bodily fluid visual as it's guaranteed to earn a reaction.

Think the blood in Dead Alive (1992), the vomit in The Meaning of Life (1983), the – stuff – in Happiness (1998), or the sweat in Airplane! (1980), and you'll see what I'm talking about. But what happens when you've already seen these movies and are still craving more of the on-screen bodily fluids? Well lucky for you this week's column is here to plug that hole.

So with an apology in advance for what you're about to endure, please keep reading for a look at the best movies you've never seen featuring bonkers bodily fluid scenes! (Seriously, there's some pretty gross stuff below and this is your final warning.)

A Lonely Cow Weeps at Dawn (2003, Japan)

Noriko is a young woman and already a widow, and she lives on a farm with her senile father-in-law. It's a quiet life, but their sedate world is ruffled with the arrival of relatives hoping to cash in off the old man's land.

Sounds so simple and sweet right? Well I should mention that the film lands on this list because Noriko is something of an extremely kind soul. She heads out to the barn each morning, strips off her clothes, and gets down on all fours – so that the senile old man, who doesn't know his beloved cow Bessie has died, can pull up a stool and try to milk her. Yup.

This feels like the right time to mention that this is a "pinku" film – a Japanese sub-genre of sorts in which movies run about an hour, are made on a miniscule budget, and have to feature a minimum number of skin-baring sex scenes. They come in all varieties from action to horror to comedy, but this one is a straight drama. We get a lot of naughty bits, but the story being told between the old man and the young woman is touching. Okay, poor choice of words, but it's an affecting bond they form of platonic love as each provides comfort to the other long after the man who connected them has gone.

A Lonely Cow Weeps at Dawn is available on DVD.

Sex Is Zero (2002, South Korea)

Eun-shik is new to college despite being older than his peers, and his struggle to fit in is an uphill battle. He and his friends are goofy, the girls are playful and have their own quirks, and life is a bumpy as hell adventure. Some of it's fun, some of it's tragic, and all of it is necessary to finding out who he wants to be and who he really is.

This gem of a "teen sex" comedy delivers big laughs, saucy scenes, and real heart, but it also gives us a body fluid sequence blending science and culinary skills into something that might leave curious viewers feeling adventurous in the kitchen. Broke college students are a universal reality, and finding food to eat can be a challenge – so when one remembers a biology lesson about semen containing as much protein as egg whites, well, he fries some up in a skillet. And then an unaware Eun-shik eats a fried spunk sandwich.

The film succeeds at showing that Hollywood doesn't have a lock on this sub-genre and that horny young adults are an international scourge, but while it earns comparisons to the likes of the American Pie films it's also unafraid to go dark. The film's back half is actually most closely aligned to the likes of The Last American Virgin (1982) and Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) as fun and games take a heartbreaking turn. South Korean filmmakers are better than most at shifting tone so drastically within a single scene, and this funny and affecting film is a fine example of that.

Sex Is Zero is available on DVD.

Taxidermia (2006, Hungary)

A soldier struggles to keep his focus despite wanting to fornicate with everything and everyone. A competitive eater struggles to earn respect even while disrespecting his body. A lonely taxidermist struggles with his distaste for his gluttonous father and his desire for permanent perfection.

The themes running through György Pàlfi's interwoven anthology are fluid, and its fluids are thematic. Each of the three men gets their hands messy here with all manner of wet, sticky, and smelly substances, but while most are gross one is surreal (and more fascinating than disgusting). The sex hungry soldier enjoys a rich imagination, and one session sees him enjoying the company of a lit candle – don't worry, it doesn't go where you think it's going – that he suckles before ejaculating a large flame from his erect member. See? Not what you were expecting.

The film is filled with fluids, most of them not flammable, but they're merely building blocks for a story about the impulses and desires that take hold and rule lives. The three men are related – the soldier is father to the eater who's father to the taxidermist – and while their hungers differ in detail they work collectively to tell the same tale of destructive obsession.

Taxidermia is available on DVD.

Visitor Q (2001, Japan)

The Yamakazi family are as dysfunctional as they come. The teenage daughter is a prostitute, the teenage son is bullied by classmates and takes it out on his mother, and the father is so prone to infidelity that he's just as likely to mount his daughter as he is a corpse. Things only get weirder when a stranger enters their life without reason or explanation and changes them for the better.

It shouldn't surprise anyone that a Takashi Miike film features scenes with various bodily fluids – the title card from his Ichi the Killer (2001) is written out in semen – and this cruel and ridiculous ode to the importance of family is no exception. Various fluids splash and smear about, but the highlight is a scene in which the mother, freed from repression and her contentment as a punching bag, fills the kitchen with her lactating breast milk. It splashes the ceiling, falls like a rain shower, and begins to flood the kitchen floor, and the visitor watches satisfied from beneath an umbrella.

It's a fantastic scene and probably the least offensive moment in the film too as Miike's twisted sensibilities are moving in overdrive here. Seriously, while I adore the film I actually wouldn't recommend it for most viewers. Violent cruelties are the norm here, but they reach a point where the kinds of atrocities on display become funny – like, "blackly comic, ashamed of yourself for laughing aloud" funny, but still, funny. And if you can wade through the muck it's also a beautifully sincere film about the value of family. I swear.

Visitor Q is available on DVD.

Warm Water Under a Red Bridge (2001, Japan)

Yosuke (Kôji Yakusho) is a working-class salesman recently let go from his job, and as if he didn't feel worthless enough he has a wife whose every word is critical and nagging. He's a man without strength or purpose, but he thinks he finds both when he hears about a hidden treasure in a small town by a river. What he finds, though, is something far more special.

More specifically, he finds a woman named Saeko, and she's the reason that lands this film on this particular list. It seems she has a peculiar problem in that water builds up in her body and can only be expelled through "wicked" acts. It can be as simple as shoplifting, but she gets a more torrential response through orgasm. Done right it's enough to gush from between her legs, down the steps, and into the river where it feeds the sea life in ways that delight the local fishermen.

It's an absurd conceit at the center of Shôhei Imamura's (The Ballad of Narayama, 1983) final film, but it's in service of a joyous celebration of happiness through connectedness (and yes, the female orgasm). Yosuke needs Saeko, she needs him, and their story unfolds through a combination of humanity and magical realism. It's a kind-hearted and unexpected look at love, life, and the value of experiencing both.

Warm Water Under a Red Bridge is available to stream and on DVD.

Wetlands (2013, Germany)

Everyone's teen years are awkward, but not everyone leans into the uncomfortable like Helen (Carla Juri). She's turned her body into a walking science experiment through sex, drugs, and an aggressive disregard for good genital hygiene, but her ultimate goal is the child-like dream to see her divorced parents reunited.

If you've seen this glorious film then you know it's filled with bodily fluid shenanigans, so narrowing it down to a single highlight isn't easy. It's a sexually graphic movie, but one scene in particular pairs that visual frankness with unexpected artistry. Helen tells a story that comes to life before our eyes involving angry pizza makers who contaminate a spinach pizza before sending it off to some verbally abusive customers – to put it delicately, they shoot their own special sauce onto the pizza. We see it fly and splash in slow motion while Johann Strauss' "The Blue Danube" plays over the scene, and it's... well, it's pretty damn memorable.

The film is far more than just a series of gleeful grotesqueries, though, as Helen's journey of self-discovery leads her to a truth about what she really needs. She starts the film as an outcast still harboring resentment towards her indifferent parents and narrates her observations with a matter-of-fact delivery despite their potentially shocking nature, but the film doesn't punish her for those interests or take them away. She finds her own peace and real joy by the end, and she doesn't have to change or stop being herself. It's a beautiful film filled with cringe-worthy ugliness, but uh, make sure the blinds are drawn while you watch it.

Wetlands is available to stream and on Blu-ray/DVD.

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