WARNING: If you don’t want to read about death… CAUTION skip over this review!!!

TRACES OF DEATH


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(5/5)


ProsNo movie about Death can compare to this series.
Death in its most frightening form!!!

ConsAnimals, children and all life are dead or die in this series!!

This series is so shocking it will have you asking… “Why am I watching a movie like this?”  When you think it can’t disturb you further it upsets you more.


AH HA!!! Grabbed your attention didn’t I? 
I must have if you’re reading this review and if you keep reading you just might learn something that can save your life in the long run. I don’t know what else to say about Traces of Death but it is the most supremely shocking, graphic and frightening collection of death from around the world that I have ever seen. 

The Product:

This DVD set has been digitally remastered and contains all 4 previous releases and features the latest additions only available inside this box set including Traces of Death Part V Back in Action.: Traces of Death parts 1-5 are in color and in black/white;  has an approximate total running time, (including the extra features), of 8 hrs & 20 min. (Price varies from seller to seller.)

Each disc has its own special features: bonus footage, bonus interview with the producer Darron Fox and animated scene selection.  It comes in a cardboard box, each disc in its own separate case including the original cover art for each one.  On the back of each is a brief description of what one will find in the DVD. Parts 1-5 have bonus features and interviews that are broken down in segments for each individual disc. This is fine for the bonus footage but makes it a real pain to watch the most eagerly awaited feature: The final reveal and interview with Darron Fox. In my book that is the best thing this set actually has to offer. It finally gives you some closure to his motivations behind the series and some good explanations of scenes previously speculated on.



Traces of Death 
has a lot of actual vintage footage included,  and this time we are treated to a different kind of sound track instead of the usual spooky tracks. Producer Darron Fox attempts to upset his viewers further by uniquely placing Death Metal music in the background from such bands as Unleashed, Morgoth, Grave, Asphyx and many more!!! This is absolutely perfect because this genre of music is so fitting for a shockumentary and something I have not heard before the Traces of Death series.

There is a lot of footage on these DVD,s that I have never seen before on T.V or in other shocumentary’s and nothing is explained in detail in this series… It will take your conscience to the highest peak of inhumanity and leave it with no one to help “talk” you down. 

What I know about Traces of Death

Traces Of Death Box set Vol.I-V 9 Years of Hell, was released in 2003  and has became fairly well known since it’s release. Traces of Death Part 1 It doesn’t get any Deader than this was originally released to the public in 1993, Part 2 It just got deader! (1994), part 3 Dead and Burried (1995)  part 4 Resurected (1996) and part 5 Back in Action (2002) looks like it could have been filmed yesterday with crystal clear and up to date images and Live Video from around the globe.


Most versions were available to rent at your favorite neighborhood video store; they were the most controversial during that time as reality TV had not yet taken off when they originally became available. Shortly after 1990, a new kind of television show was introduced and became more popular than any other reality show of its kind, that show was and is called “COPS” and has been on the air ever since. Traces of Death may have paved the way and created new ground for the “caught on camera” craze that still exists to this day. 

Traces of Death
 will show you the accident on the side of the road without you having to crane your neck to see if something brutal has happened (most of the time you see absolutely nothing and can cause a backup on the freeway and has the potential to cause even more accidents ) Many of us watch movies and television shows about the “traces of death” and for most of us we feel safe, by a impersonal illustration of  killers and violence on the screen but if a man in a hockey mask would smash through your living room window (you know the one directly behind the couch that usually you watch stuff like this from?), I seriously doubt that you would continue to believe that it’s all fake would you? 

Is Traces of Death Staged?

Traces of Death
 makes it very clear about why most of us are so afraid of exploring the “traces of death” when you are suddenly painted into the picture. You will see what has already started to become shown more commonly now on the news and it is allot like what is seen in  forensic shows on prime time T.V. (For real!) The “traces of death” are all around us and it is the one constant that we all must face at some point, so why face it now? 

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Do you dare look into the many rooms of death…  If so, be thankful (at the very least) you will be spared the smell!  

 I have seen just about every series exploring death out there and Traces of Death is unmatched. No one yet has rivaled Darron Fox’s (not Damon) ultimate collection of brutal on camera deaths and shocking aftermath footage like he has compiled here for the first time on DVD. I received this set as a gift back in 2003 and I eventually gave up on spending my hard eared cash on repulsive garbage that is repeated over and over in copy cat productions. Rest assured that this is the definitive reality death collection I have ever gotten my hands on.  It is for this reason I am not even going to mention in comparison one of the dozens of other sets like this. There is just no equal to the Traces of Death series (to my knowledge). My favor to you is letting you know firsthand, do not waste your time or money endlessly searching for that next unbelievable shocking scene. No need to look any where else but here for the ultimate reality death shockumentery ever!!!

Part one is basically put together like most death scene movies; it has spooky music playing in the background and features some really graphic photographs and live footage. It is approximately 90 minutes long and price varies depending upon where you buy it from but I have bought most of my collection from BLUELIPS.COM.  It has actual scenes of suicides, embalming, murders and some of the most brutal medical vault footage ever! It is shocking, disturbing,  and contains no recreated scenes in any way… making Traces of Death the first true shockumentery series ever.

It has an on camera suicide of a former state treasurer of Pennsylvania pulling out a large hand gun from a manila envelope, placing it into his mouth and blows the top of his head off.  Falling to the floor and ending up slouched against the wall behind him, we are subjected too close ups captured by the news media as the blood pours from his nose in an never ending spicket of blood… yikes!

There is a lot of footage on this DVD that I have seen before and nothing is explained in detail in this series… adding to the unflinching shock value as your imagination runs wild. It will take horrible hold on your conscience, for example in a segment where a newborn baby has its scalp pulled down over his face while surgeons drill and chisel away at his skull… unbelievably disturbing; it is unbearable to watch!!! (I found out later from another series that doctors were removing a brain tumor and actually saved the infants life… well thank god for that!!!)

Also there is another scene of a male to female sex change operation and even though this footage is foreign, outdated and (not how it would be done today) it caused me pain from across the room…. Ouchy!!! There are tons of footage of actual autopsies and an updated video of an actual embalming (cremate me please!!!)

To bring the movie to a close, there is live footage of a 1975 vicious Lion attack on an amature photographer who ignorantly gets out of his car and proceeds to snap pictures of a pack of lions. (uh duhh) you can imagine how the king of the jungle pays back the favor all in front of the unbelieving eyes of his helpless wife and two year old son, allowing this man to capture his own death on the documentary about wild animals he was creating…   Compliments from the lions!!!

Traces of Death will probably haunt you for days, perhaps your entire life… So watch with discretion! Traces of Death… It doesn’t get any deader than this!!!

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If you have thoughts of hurting yourself or others… Then (crank up the volume)  here is one you can really “bang your head” to. 

Traces of Death II… in the shockingly graphic series, is my least favorite entry in the set and for some reason I have had more difficulty trying to acquire this film then any of the others ones. Don’t get me wrong though, it is still equally disturbing and I had never seen it before I owned the box set. Again, this shockumentary is put together like most death scene videos, and run time is approximately 90 minutes. It is in color and black/white and it continues with absolutely no staged scenes of close-up exploding limbs, splayed cadavers, devastating car wrecks and much, much more! 

It has little to no narration sticking to the tradition from Traces of Death and has allot of actual vintage footage included, which for me makes it highly collectible, and this time we are treated to a different kind of sound track instead of the usual spooky music. I personally like the music and in my opinion this gives it better watch ability (sometimes I have left this movie on while I am cleaning just so I can hear the wicked music).

The movie begins with a corpse of a woman at a morgue who was already prepared for burial, only coroners are cutting the body back open huh you ask? That’s right it’s what’s inside that counts and there going back in to retrieve…  well, I won’t give away the motive so easily, but let me just say “May the bird of paradise fly up your nose.”

Also in this installment is some rare rescue footage (or should I say the attempted rescue?) of people from burning buildings jumping out of windows and hitting obstacles on the way down. (There are, if you know your history, actual pre 911 footage of similar instances of large skyscrapers and people lunging to their deaths in trade for the wham bam thank you ma’am instead of a slow burn… what a choice huh?)

In one scene you can almost hear the smack of a foolish tight rope walker where on a windy day gets a little push (with shall I say some gusto?) before becoming one with the pavement whoa!!

There are some scenes of torturous castration that can only be described as something to lose ones head over and for one unfortunate African man he has a whole lot to offer if you get my meaning (Remind me not to “P’O'” this tribe if I ever get to visit this continent please?)

Once again Traces of Death brings you some never before uncut footage of an execution of a rapist and molester of children… while he is being escorted by police to a courtroom, the understandably enraged father of one of the victims, patiently waits on a payphone to enact his retribution on the scum!  When this (undoubtedly sick) man walks by, “Daddy” seizes the opportunity and places a single well timed bullet right through his (thick) skull. As he falls to the ground, enjoy the never before seen footage as the blood squirts out of the head of this low life’s now lifeless body!!! I love that scene and better yet the brave father (who took careful aim) was later acquitted of all charges!!!

In another segment we see a group of Shamans, display there unique method of corpse removal and to put it lightly, this one is definitely for the birds… There is also (as advertised on the packaging) a giant robot transformer act at a monster truck rally where it malfunctions and goes crazily wrong, but again if you don’t know the actual history, then it isn’t all that spectacular and most will have no idea what went wrong (as this piece of equipment explodes a large shard of steel pierces the chest of an unfortunate controller of the large robot!!!)

There are (what I call cool down periods) in each of these installments of motorcycle and auto racing accidents allowing you to catch your breath,  but none of these periods last very long and your thrown right back in to more shocking and disturbing deaths. To bring this shockumentary to a close, there is a gruesome finale of an execution that is known as being “drawn and quartered” a form of capital punishment where one is tied from the arms and legs (traditionally between two horses) and then pulled in opposite directions ripping the extremities away from the body this time, however, it is between two Jeeps and you see the arm of the executed rip from the shoulder as the rest of him is dragged down the desert. All the while, onlookers watch and follow with glee and in case you didn’t catch it all the first time it is shown again in slow motion just for good measure!!!

I really like this series but the poor quality of the vintage footage gets a little “old” also (for most people) once you’ve seen one “grey matter” then you’ve seen them all but Traces of Death somehow finds a way to present it to you in more bizarre and disturbing ways that will keep almost any “gore hound” begging for more.

Turn down the lights…flame a candle…and prepare yourself… Traces of Death II… IT JUST GOT DEADER!!!

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What in the world were they thinking…  This movie is a testament to what different parts of the world actually do think… and it’s maddening to think about! 

Traces of Death III…Is the third installment in the ultra disturbing shockumentary series and I’m back to share with you my unique take on this widely popularly  “unpopular” series Traces of Death III is put together like most death scene movies and it continues in the tradition of the previous installments in the series it is approximately 90 minutes long and has photos and live videos in black/white and gives you little to no narration and this aids in making you speculate and adds to the shock value and on top of this is another soundtrack with some of the hottest bands in the death metal industry including  such talents of artists like: Purge, Sinister, Meshuggah, Brutality, Dead World, Dismember, Deceased, Gorefest, Core, Macabre, Benediction, Hypocrisy, Incantation & Repulsion just to name a few.

This installment is one of the worst and (for some odd reason) one of the most readily available installments in the series to acquire. This shockumentary contains more murders, autopsies, rare vintage medical vault footage, aftermath of suicide bombers and an introduction to one of the vilest storm troopers of death on the planet: The El Salvadorian Death Squad!!!

The movie begins with a statement and introduction from Darron Fox now known as Brain Damage and he gives you a brief history of the music and what’s in store for you inside his compilation of death scenes.

Traces of Death III… Begins with shocking scenes of the aftermath of suicide bombers whose victims include men, women and children.  I must inform you that during some graphic footage showing decayed remains you’ll hear some exerts of the original movie Helter Skelter and the voice of the actor playing Charles Manson!!!

There is lots of animal footage in this movie as well, including but not limited to: Pit Bull fights, Bull Fighting, Hunters drinking cups of blood from a slaughtered cow, a man eating live scorpions, the illegal slaughter of dolphins for false tuna sales and a disturbing look into hunger as an impoverished group of people cut up and eat a beautiful white camel, (This is by far my least favorite segments in the traces of death series but I can perhaps ease your qualms by saying, from my researches most of this repulsive activity was done  for food and survival purposes only.)

This movie border lines on what many would consider Satanic and it is possibly one of the most disturbing additions to the series for this reason.

There is a long segment about a crude circumcision rite performed on young boys and after more than 30 nonstop cuts back to back of this brutal ceremony will leave most with a lack of respect for the tactless and overly reinforced cruelty upon the viewer and if that were not bad enough they show a pre-teen girl (in this same country) in a puberty rite where they remove her c——- (In this region of the world women are for work and to bear children only and their belief is that it is not needed.) thankfully that segment is all but just a few seconds. I can understand the difference and acceptance of such rites in other foreign cultures but it is shown way too carelessly. That is however Brain Damages strategy as he has this belief that if one scene doesn’t disturb you than the next one surely will and he makes certain of it.

I can tell you from experience that Darron does not pull any punches at what it is he shows you. Once again, the lack of any explanation for scenes such as these, on top of the thundering music, will most definitely overpower and successfully disturb the viewer.

There is also lots of body modifications such as, the ancient art of tattooing in another country where they use razor blades to cut on the skin of people (including a woman’s breasts) and then rub some kind of make shift ink over the open cuts creating scarifications and a permanent tattoo all at the same time. In another we are shown modifications to the teeth as enamel is scraped off and then chipped away by a chisel.

All and all this one is not as bad as it sounds but it will certainly offend some. There is also a segment showing a woman having a snake flick its tongue all over her body as Brain Damage says, and I quote, “You will have to use your own imagination as to where this snake ends up” and that’s the end of that (WTF?) that would have been a rite I actually would have rather seen VS the before mentioned puberty rites (Thanks for nothing Darron)!  The movie closes with a segment of the torture and mutilation inflicted by the El Salvadorian Death Squad after which is another statement from Brain Damage.

There are a lot of new elements introduced here that do not necessarily have to do with death per se’ but actually they might, a good example of this, is where they show you a quick segment of child birth… The baby comes popping out of the birth canal followed with the afterbirth splashing out everywhere (I find that more puke inducing then almost anything I have ever seen and most of all my male friends agree) and probably insinuates “the moment your born your dying”.

There is also some very graphic scenes of a girl who fell victim of a true “Silence of the Lambs” story, the only problem is it is divided into two separate sections and they go by lightning quick. The first section shows you the inside of what appears to be someone’s (dungeon like) basement where you see a person who is gagged, bound by their wrists and hanging by chains from the ceiling (this is all in a split second and unless you slow the video down you probably won’t notice it). The second section (which is later in the film) is a camera immediately entering a room where another girl is bound by chains from the floor and has evidently been shackled for so long that when they are removed you see where her ankles have decayed and rotted from lack of breathing room, right after this they show yet another split second of the killer who did these crimes.

I liked this addition in the series as well as the others especially for the very good music and some off topic oddities of mankind from around the world. There is an obvious display that Darron is showing off some of his other bizarre collection of footage (and from the look of things) I seriously doubt he’s going to run out of more shocking video and photos any time soon, but for now… Traces of Death III is… Dead and Buried!!!

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Traces of Death 4 gives you a good reason to be “Proud to be an American” and reaffirms that there is “No prayer for the dying”. 

Traces of Death IV Resurrected:

I started this movie with hesitant curiosity, as I knew the after effects from watching the previous installments; I anticipated in dismay what horrors waited behind the (play-less) state from this episode at the time being. Already being fully aware of the vulgar display of frightening realism (that undoubtedly progressed) through-out 3 prior installments I unknowingly stepped into another fantastically gruesome “hay-ride” headed straight for and visiting “the gates of hell” regarding humanity.

I knew I could “hack” it, hell I just made it thru extreme footage of horrendous deaths such as someone in great political power “blow his brains out” with a 357 Magnum “Dirty Harry” style, over past wrong doings. Am I at fault for decidedly showing an interest in such atrocious activity? As much as I wanted to push away the thought of such repulsiveness I could not stop myself from watching even more. I shoved back the thoughts of horror that awaited and unwittingly pressed play…

Darron (Brain Damage) stood in a cemetery full of old and gothic tombstones. He wore a black leather jacket that displayed “Dead Alive Productions” underneath his “NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD” drawn letters that advertised “TRACES OF DEATH”. His back was again to the camera. Who was this man with the long “80’s metal hair” who offered no explanation to his apparent display of unrelenting morbid fascination with utterly disturbing media footage? Just as history had shown this was not something someone involved in this supposed “cult” was willing to share.

This is demonstrated by recorded narration from “BRAIN DAMAGE” proclaiming the following message (this is all said as he is digging up a fresh grave within this gothic cemetery!): “When we left before, you were “dead and buried” locked six feet under. From beyond the grave I‘ve heard your agonizing screams, like a blood drenched vision you burned in your brain. Your images of death are growing stronger. The message is clear… Brain Damage is back and traces of death is resurrected!!! {Beep… Beep… Beep… The title screen pulsates like a beating heart for a brief moment before ———

Let the spectacle of death resume… Ghastly “haunted house” like music quietly plays in the back ground. “During the elections in El-Salvador these two male bodies were found on the side of the road.” The camera zooms in on two men with their throats cut so deeply that ear to ear would be an understatement. Someone at the crime scene is rotating the first man’s head by the hair to allow better examination by a camera. His neck looked like a second mouth that would only speak out against the horrid fate that had descended down upon it.

The “media eye” moves to his partner in crime opposite the road beside him. His neck is slashed so deeply that only the spine has kept its connection with the rest of its body.

Why would someone do this? What terrible wrong did they do to deserve such barbaric cruelty? Knowing that basically “spitting on the sidewalk” is punishable by death in certain parts of the world led me to believe that this brutality cannot be rationalized. Apparently those who live in this region by tradition felt the same way. Military police stood around the road as the bodies were roughly picked up and slung into beat around pickup trucks as carelessly as they were tossed on the side of the road. Their faces are cold and unaffected. This is business as usual in the day in the life of El-Salvador.

If any notion of remorse was felt by the people or the authorities it was kept hidden. Obviously who’s calling the shots around here is no other than the El-Salvadorian Death Squad. A code of silence is in effect here and even the authorities know that if it is broken they too will meet with the same or even more wickedly disastrous results.

Get ready to “head-bang” Darron’s selection of Death Metal from the hottest bands in the underground music industry blast forward… The song “Bastard Saints” is played over footage of poor third world countries and its citizens that are stricken with neglectful and punishing untreated diseases and deformities. Men, women and children lie helplessly on crude steel beds (with a blanket to help ease the suffering as they lie in agonizing non-treatment).

This is watched over by those that secretly have compassion for their fellow man. It is sad to see anyone endure such atrocity especially the children! Let it be said that even if provisions were available to aid in these impossible states of suffering thru recovery and treatment, their efforts will no doubt, be answered with violent repercussions. A deep throat slashing and discarding of your remains (dumped like trash) at the side of a road.  It is clear that sometimes mercy is death.

Shortly after this tearful display they show a pregnant patient at another “underground” clinic discovered by the Death Squad.  Pay back for this unforgiving compassion was allowing this woman to rot and steadily decay as a public display on her blanket of comfort; this woman was treated low budget style like the “David Blaine trapped in ice for 3 days” gag… Imagine the slow but rapid chemical change in the decaying body and living with that visually on your street every day? The rotting dead human has the most rancid smell that at the more advanced stages of decay is carried for Miles and miles and will be a warning and a reminder to all who oppose the Death Squad.

A torture segment displaying the Death Squads handy work will include victims without eyes, headless and brutally slashed bodies lined up in a row.

A cool down period begins with foolish stunts by those jumping off extremely high structures and doing flips in the air, one man doesn’t complete his sixth flip and lands on his neck. His neck cracks out in a deafening silence. In a scene from “When animals attack” a Moose strikes back unexpectedly on a passerby in a public street in Colorado. The music is completely kick as$ here, so close your eyes if necessary and enjoy the music. More Third world children are shown while suffering along with severe cases of leprosy as an old woman shows her skills of knitting without any fingers… That is a display of strength and courage in the face of “true” adversity.

Also a disease known as elephantiasis has plagued a man through his testacles for so long that three men must lift up and carry them behind him. When he sets down this gigantic deformity is used as a built in table for the man to eat, write and work on!  Don’t get too warm and cozy yet, Darron is now going to show you his most extensive collection of deformed, pre- maturely born infants with afflictions too terrible for me to repeat through words or another viewing.
Some of them are actually still clinging to life!

This is followed by a series of “Birth defects” from all different sources from a vast period of time. The miracle of birth, in all of its unique and unusual forms (Siamese twins hermaphrodites and fleshly distortions that are hard to recognize as human, among many other freakishly disgusting oddities endured by humans.

The “killer music” continues as more montage murders, mass executions and senseless bombings are featured. This will include tapes smuggled out of Iraq and Afghanistan. A new direction will take course from this point on and it begins with a brief narration from Brain Damage as is quoted here: “PLO” terrorists high- jacked  this boat and made their way to Cypress there were no living witnesses to tell of this crime”! People spree murdered, captured, bound and “left for dead”.

(One interesting note was that I noticed in all of these foreign countries that are controlled by participants of these types of atrocities, (not crime) as this would imply illegality on the part of the violent order that is controlled by Death Squad regimes) was that they all use the same kind of rope: a blue twine like material… one of my friend’s from the Gulf War noticed this as well and said “I’ve heard about being “all wrapped up in RED TAPE” but evidently all of these terrorists must shop at the same store because every one of them f’ers is tying up people with personal politics with “Blue Velvet” like rope… maybe it could be intertwined???

The rest of the sequences back off a tad bit and go back to the basics: Dead bodies, decaying worm eaten skulls and maggots engulfing the decaying human (the classic TOD stuff) now however having withstood the series this long feels like a “slow stroll through the park” as this now becomes the cool down periods instead of auto accidents and motorcycle wrecks. Darron is on to something here but I’m not sure why I feel mentally toughened by reinforced rapid desensitization.

No time to think about it now because Darron is going to show a body art and piercing segment to get your mind back in the game. It starts out innocently enough; a woman having a (click) piercing and then showing a woman who has 37 vaginal piercings and lets not forget TOD never forgets the men! Out of the Previous TOD’s this one is the shortest and sickest one yet!

Once again Darron has succeeded in causing me as a viewer to feel a sense of guilt for watching it to this point, no accusations by him are made and no explanations are given as to what it is I was actually seeing. I was left on my own to wrestle with speculative thought based on the vastness of probability: My convictions and my own accusing.

…Beep…/\… Beep…/\…—\/\….Beep… …/\Beeeeeeeep….___________________

2 thoughts on “WARNING: If you don’t want to read about death… CAUTION skip over this review!!!”

  1. A couple years back, I found a distributor who was apparently clearing out their warehouse, selling this five disc set for all of about $6. Needless to say, I immediately snapped up this and the (somewhat more iffy) FACEZ OF DEATH 2000 series.

    I think it is probably true that TRACES OF DEATH is the hardest of the hardcore death video series out there – this series does feature more real footage than was seen in most mondo/shockumentary/death video titles, but it has its own share of sketchy/inauthentic footage as well even as it piles on the brain matter at certain points in time.

    Still, I can’t help but call this series middle of the road at best; clearly put together by a dude and a VCR. Not that there’s anything wrong with that: the grittiness adds to the effect of something like this, making a viewer feel dirty for having watched it. One can only wonder what could be thrown together today. Technology surely has improved – and the sheer amount of positively BRUTAL video footage out there leads me to believe that a death video masterpiece (??) could be right around the corner…

    Considering the limited number of people who regularly use veryhelpful, it’s amusing to me that there’s another “true death enthusiast” on here. To which I say Rock on!

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