Faces Of Death (1978) 30th Anniversary Collectors Edition on  DVD/BLU-RAY:

Faces Of Death

Pros: Truth is stranger than fiction.

Cons: Truth is stranger than fiction.



Faces Of Death (1978) 30th Anniversary Collectors Edition on  DVD/BLU-RAY:

Anyone who has not heard of this Halloween staple needs to. When I was a kid, this is the forbidden movie I would swap between friends.. Maybe it was forbidden because no one had seen anything like this before or maybe it was because it really was forbidden to watch actual deaths executed in front of a live camera. Either way, a movie that once had my friends and I sneaking to watch it has now become an international Halloween cult classic.

Who could forget the surgeons as they performed open heart surgery only to have the patient’s heart rate flat line in front of your disbelieving eyes?

Or the unrelenting footage of a slaughterhouse whose Kosher technique would saw a cow’s throat with a huge blade as the blood gushed forth?

Or the infamous and genuinely fake, “monkey brain sequence”, showing you people killing a monkey at a restaurant in order to dine on its brains?

Or how about the unbelievable live execution of a killer who gets fried in the electric chair?

For over 25 years Faces of Death has remained the first true godfather of the now common Shockumentary genre. When I was a kid in the early 80’s the last thing you wanted was to get caught watching or found to be in possession of this kind of movie, which at the time and for many, many years to come, would be blamed as responsible for teen suicides and grizzly cult murders for anyone brazen enough to commit to a fan following. Oh. but there was a fan following, a huge one in fact, and one that I was not openly admitting I was a part of for more than two decades.

Proclaiming to be banned in over 40 Countries and purporting to be real, Faces Of Death was one of the most talked about and easily most misunderstood motion picture in history. Now for the first time ever Gorgon Video releases Faces Of Death 30th Anniversary Collector’s Edition and lets us all in on one simple and amazing fact:

That we as viewers had been had, by believing what we were seeing was actually real; it wasn’t. 98 percent of all included footage either was re-created with special effects or was news footage that had been altered to paint a more grizzly visual for, as it turns out, a Japanese movie audience. That’s right, Faces Of Death, was never intended for American audiences at all.

Faces Of Death was created by a Conan Le Claire, a filmmaker who mainly did nature and animal documentaries, and where more than 80 percent of F.O.D’s footage came from.

This is all revealed for the first time on the special features, where the people involved in the creation of F.O.D, spill their guts (so to speak) and show you how we all were fooled and made to believe what we were seeing was absolutely real. Watching F.O.D now after 25 years; it is easy to spot most of the phony scenes but even scenes you could still swear are real…. well those are fake too. Quite amazing for a movie that’s more than 30 yrs old. I can count on one hand all the scenes that were actually genuine and they all had to do with common, every day survival.

Conan even points out that some of the footage, perfectly acceptable when included in his nature films, was absolutely taboo when shown under a different light and context, and wasn’t at all acceptable here in America. America, where death to this day is taboo, a taboo almost entirely unique to this country. Why that is, is something I have been trying to figure out to this day. Especially in a place where watching killers and violence on TV or hearing about it in music, cartoons and video games is the standard for almost all entertainment groups/genres.

True Reality Death Enthusiasts had dubbed this “Faces of Fake” and despised even including its name in the same breath as other films. Not me, not anymore, and not now after learning all the secrets and mysteries of Faces Of Death. I have become a fan all over again and can enjoy this now more than ever… Admitting we were wrong and laughing at ourselves and with the Faces Of Death filmmakers because they succeeded in fulfilling our worst nightmares and accomplished this feat entirely on a movie magic level that even I must admit was a pure genius Hollywood spectacular.

This DVD is loaded with special features. Including rare insight on one of America’s biggest hoaxes of the century since Big-Foot, Faces Of Deaths own Special Effects Artists and a long and eagerly awaited ‘tell all’commentary from the movies director Conan Le Claire.

I say “long awaited” because on prior releases Faces Of Death Box Set or an individual DVD release called Faces Of Death: Fact Or Fictiononly a few details are divulged; with a very disappointing  and a laughable approach as Conan is disguised from in back lit room and his voice is electronically…Talk about ultra cheesy!

There were also a couple of quick references to my all time favorite Shockumentary series ever: {Traces Of Death}. No real bashing done here but again no mutual love shown between the two ‘Godfathers of Gore’ this was completely acceptable to me and no love lost between myself concerning it.

Faces Of Death 30th Anniversary Collectors Edition
has been fully restored and is available on DVD and BLU-RAY with very little difference in clarity between them…  Very crisp and clear unlike MOST copies of this Faces Of Death 30th Anniversary Collectors Edition is the first Shockumentary on BLU-RAY, my hopes are that Traces Of Death will follow suit.
For now, however, let us gaze into the many Faces Of Fake Death.

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