For all of Mr. Pasolini’s desire to make “Salo” an abstract statement, one cannot look at images of people being scalped, whipped, gouged, slashed, covered with excrement and sometimes eating it and react abstractedly unless one shares the director’s obsessions.
Vincent Canby, The New York Times, 1 October 1977
Through a panoply of the unspeakable – blood, excrement, torture and murder – Salò comments on the exercise of power, and on a consumer culture where a limitless choice of gratifications disguises an absence of all choice and all resistance.
Gary Indiana, The Guardian, 22 September 2000
Pasolini’s radical political insights regarding Sade, Fascism, and the violence at the heart of all culture came through brilliantly, but the scenes of torture were agony to watch, and, back out on the street after the sun had set, the world itself seemed spoiled upon contact with them. I wondered, literally, how I’d go on living withsuch knowledge.
Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 11 May 2010