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Faces Of Death (1979)

Faces of Death, the most infamous of all Mondo Movies and with no doubt the most vicious exploitation title ever filmed. This pseudo-documentary features the aptly titled Dr. Frances B. Gross, as he studies death and how fragile life can be. Before I proceed, I must sadly inform you all that this movie is fake. Most of the scenes are staged recreations of death scenes and in many cases are very badly staged. Even knowing its dubiousness the overall style and makeup of the film is one of disgust and pure exploitation. The movie is like watching a sick video slideshow that draws you in and sucker punches you along the way. We travel to Mexico to view catacombs containing mummified corpses that are real and fairly interesting. Video of slaughterhouses is shown as animals are killed and prepared for your grocery stores. The images are graphic and genuine as well as unsettling for those not used to seeing how the sausage is made.

A trip to a restaurant presents one of the most infamous moments in the film as patrons are seated and allowed to hit a small monkey with a mallet. This scene is quite vile and even knowing it is fake it still makes one cringe in disgust. The brains are eaten by the group and the look on the patron's face's shows they are not quite happy with their meal. The films also feature video of people being attacked by wild animals. A couple makes the mistake of feeding a bear only to face the grim aftermath of such a stupid activity. A staple of Faces of Death films is the stock footage of accidents and disasters mixed with staged events that are meant to horrify and give the film its dubious reputation. Banned in over 43 countries, but like many similar films the ban is more of marketing ploy. Produced in Japan, the film in all its entirety is widely available in this country and can be purchased by mail order on Amazon or eBay or watched on any number of streaming services. You will more than likely not find it on Netflix, but a little searching and a stop at an independent video store may yield you good results. There are as of this writing five sequels and a Worst of Faces of Death.

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