I've been looking up a few of the films mentioned in this thread, typed Salo into youtube, hoping for some sort of trailer or brief clip to get the general gist of it so I didn't have to ever see it. Then I notice the video I've clicked on goes on for almost 2 hours and is the complete film. I was like 'Hey wait a minute!'
I ended up watching it though.
It seemed to have a plot initially but then just became about the warped minds of the men in-charge.
After the bleak ending, in my head I came up with a more satisfying conclusion where one of the young people, or even one of the soldiers, finally lose it after all they've experienced and get revenge on the four men in power. It could have been a good message if the corruption of power was to the detriment of everyone, including the perpetrators, rather than just the victims.
But I guess that twist would take away from the artsy style of the film and make it more like a Hollywood remake or something. Oh well, it was an amusing thought to distract myself with.