The 14 most Surreal Films from the opinion of a 23-year old surrealist

The 14 films listed are the most discombobulating, imaginative, and/or free-formed narratives I've seen. They are NOT the best surreal films, in fact the average rating I've given them is barely positive (roughly 6 out of 10) but they are the more mesmerizing and enchanting of the genre. Two short films and 12 live-action feature length films make the list. I won't give much of a description on the surreal elements of the films because that always ruined films of these types for me. I still have about 40 more surreal films on my must-see list so I will update this one periodically if a newly viewed film has bested these 14 films.
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1.
The Holy Mountain (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In a corrupt, greed-fueled world, a powerful alchemist leads a Christ-like character and seven materialistic figures to the Holy Mountain, where they hope to achieve enlightenment. (114 mins.)
“ The most visually over-stimulating film ever made "La Montana de Dios" is the pinnacle of modern surrealism. Alejandro Jodorowsky and his fellow Panic-ers wanted to separate themselves from the hole contemporary surrealists were digging by catering exclusively to the lives of the bourgeoisie. Thus, "Fando y Lis", "El Topo", and "The Holy Mountain" were made (in addition to Arrabal's films, one of which is on this list). All the props in the film contain no significance to a story or oddly enough to this world. It's beautiful, poetic, and maddening. I can't recommend it enough. ” - KafkaArtist
 
2.
Fando and Lis (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Fando and his partially paralyzed lover Lis search for the mythical city of Tar. Based on Jodorowsky's memories of a play by surrealist Fernando Arrabal. (93 mins.)
“ I love it. It's Jodorowsky's first feature-length. It has no narrative, just surreal situation after situation. It would have been amazing had it been shot in color. Jodorowsky said that this was his most ambitious film because his imagination was so free and contained no limitations when making it. I whole-heartedly agree. ” - KafkaArtist
 
3.
Sweet Movie (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
The intercut story of two women: a nearly-mute beauty queen who descends into withdrawal and madness... (98 mins.)
Director: Dusan Makavejev
“ Please, do not watch this film if you can't handle bodily fluids. "Sweet Movie" couldn't keep my attention in the first twenty minutes but if you can get past that, you'll be "treated" with probably the most surreal, untamed, insulting, and distasteful cinematic experience you'll ever see. I've seen a lot of shocking films (i.e. fake snuff films), yet this film rubbed me the wrong way and shook my insides. Nonetheless, after dwelling on the surreal substance of the film, I came to realize that "Sweet Movie" most certainly pushes the boundaries of art and surrealism with its nihilistic, sodomistic content matter. ” - KafkaArtist
 
4.
Freak Orlando (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
(126 mins.)
Director: Ulrike Ottinger
“ German Art-house spectacular Ulrike Ottinger comes up with some stupidly random images for her audience. The costumes in the film are masterfully done and the choreography throughout the film is well executed. That said, this is not a well done film and it can drag on at times. Right now, I do not believe that there is a high quality copy circulating as the copy I viewed was ripped from a VHS that recorded it off of German television. Moreover, no English subtitles are available. ” - KafkaArtist
 
5.
Suicide Club (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A detective is trying to find the cause of a string of suicides. (99 mins.)
Director: Sion Sono
“ Sono's first feature length and his best film (tied with "Love Exposure"). The events that unfold in the film are never really tied together and are meant to be depicted as a physical manifestation of pop culture in the form of today's youth becoming overly excited about ending their lives. If you can't follow that, don't worry, I can't either because it doesn't make any sense; such is the beauty of surrealism. Arguably, the best film to exemplify situational surrealism. ” - KafkaArtist
 
6.
Tokyo Gore Police (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
In future Tokyo, a young woman in the privatized police force tracks down her father's killer while battling against mutant rebels known as engineers. (110 mins.)
“ TGP is one messed up movie. I wanted to take a bath after watching it. It contains mostly surreal images and concepts with hardly any situational events, making it a very superficial flick when considered for its surrealism. But its ideas are so over-the-top I decided to include it on the list. ” - KafkaArtist
 
7.
Un Chien Andalou (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí present seventeen minutes of bizarre, surreal imagery. (16 mins.)
Director: Louis Bunuel
“ What can I say about this one. It's not the first surrealist film as many say, but its the most influential artistic short of all time. Dali and Bunuel after making the film more or less said that no one should try to analyze or make any implicit understanding of "Un Chien Andalou" because it is not meant to make any sense. ” - KafkaArtist
 
8.
Themroc (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Made without proper language, just gibberish and grunts, this is an absurdist comedy about a man who rejects every facet of normal bourgeois life and turns his apartment into a virtual cave. (110 mins.)
Director: Claude Faraldo
“ Quite timid in terms of imagery but the whole movie is brilliant in regards to abstract situations. A large portion of the film is done in mime while the actual voiced dialogue throughout the film is incomprehensible gibberish (so no need for a subtitled version). If one tried to explain the plot of the film, it would probably sound like gibberish too. An existential exercise in lunacy, anarchy, and barbarism. ” - KafkaArtist
 
9.
The Exterminating Angel (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
The guests at an upper-class dinner party find themselves unable to leave. (95 mins.)
Director: Luis Buñuel
“ The epitome of situational surrealism, only rivaled by Sono's "Suicide Club." Nothing about the actions of the bourgeoisie in this film make any sense, making it all the more entertaining. It's my favorite Bunuel feature-length, his "Simon of the Desert" being my favorite short. ” - KafkaArtist
 
10.
I Will Walk Like a Crazy Horse (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Running away from the police, Aden goes to the desert where he meets an uncivilized man who has a special link with Mother-Earth. He ends up by convincing the hermit to come along with him into another desert... the big town! (100 mins.)
Director: Arrabal
“ Basically, a man from a middle-class upbringing falls in love with a magical dwarf. In honesty, I too fell in love with the dwarf by the end of the movie. Lots of surreal imagery intercalated with the various scenes throughout the film. ” - KafkaArtist
 
11.
Fellini's Satyricon (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A series of disjointed mythical tales set in first century Rome. (128 mins.)
“ Certainly not an exceptional film, nevertheless, Satyricon is the pinnacle of Fellini's surrealistic aesthetic. The scene where the protagonist is walking through the brothel with his lover is quite memorable and perfectly realized. The film can be hard to watch but its spot on the list is well deserved. ” - KafkaArtist
 
12.
The Grandmother (1970 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A young boy plants some strange seeds and they grow into a grandmother. (34 mins.)
Director: David Lynch
“ Not a huge fan of David Lynch; however, this short is amazing. It is comprised of haunting live-action scenes accompanied by free-formed, highly imaginative stop motion compositions. I was quite bored with Lynch's other films that I've seen thus far, yet this film blew me away and I now plan on investing more time and speculation into his works of art. ” - KafkaArtist
 
13.
The Howl (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
A runaway bride and an eccentric vagrant embark on a surreal journey in a twisted world reflecting 60s pop culture, sex, and politics. (93 mins.)
Director: Tinto Brass
“ L'Urno can easily lose one's interest at times but it is one crazy free-form anarchistic flick. ” - KafkaArtist
 
14.
What Is It? (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
What Is It? is a bewildering, unnerving, surreal, blackly comic film from the visionary mind of Crispin Glover that tells the inner and outer struggles of a young man facing villains and demons on multiple planes. (72 mins.)
 
15.
Dream City (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A married couple of artists move to a utopian town known for its absolute freedom, but behind the surface perversion and violence are spreading. (124 mins.)
Director: Johannes Schaaf