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Killing for Culture: Death Film from Mondo to Snuff (Creation Cinema Collection) Paperback – January 1, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-1871592207 ISBN-10: 1871592208 Edition: 3rd

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Product Details

  • Series: Creation Cinema Collection (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Creation Books; 3rd edition (January 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1871592208
  • ISBN-13: 978-1871592207
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #732,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A captivating read...Creation's most accomplished film publication so far. This study on the way death has been treated on film is cleverly structured, well researched and lucidly written. It comprehensively covers films made as fiction - e.g. "Peeping Tom", "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer" - films purporting to be real - e.g. "Faces of Death" series - and material that is all too real, such as car-crashes, autopsy films and news footage. -- Shivers

A definitive study...thoroughly examining both traditions - mondo and snuff - and picking apart the myths surrounding the latter. -- Sight and Sound

The definitive guide to the history of snuff. -- Empire

Utterly unputdownable. -- Melody Maker

Well-researched and highly readable, Killing for Culture is a must-have. -- Film Threat

About the Author

Editor of Headpress and co-author of Killing For Culture and See No Evil, David Kerekes likes old horror comics, in particular he likes Skywald, which he came to understand at an early age were quite unlike anything else in the literary world.

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Customer Reviews

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The writing style is fairly sloppy.
Steward Willons
It makes for a fascinating, if gruesome, study of the various death genres of film and video.
Scott C. Smith
A must have for anyone interested in film history and/or the Mondo/death genre of movie.
Azathoth

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Manfred Zeichmann on April 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
Autopsies. Car crashes. Suicides. Executions. Horrible accidents. Human remains. Assassinations. Welcome to the horrifying and disturbing yet often weirdly fascinating world of death in film. Face it, most people are strangely attracted by images of violence and death - just like stopping and watching when an accident has happened.
KILLING FOR CULTURE concerns death in films. The book starts with the story of an obscure movie named SNUFF in 1976. Originally titled SLAUGHTER, this 1971 ultracheapo horror flick about a MANSON - style murder spree was considered unwatchable and remained unreleased for several years until movie producer Allan SHACKLETON got an idea: He shot a new ending, where an actress was seemingly "killed" on camera for real (though the basement special effects clearly proofed otherwise). Cleverly promoted with the slogan "shot in South America, where life is cheap" SNUFF turned out to be a huge success. This was how the concept of snuff movies (where people are killed for real) was introduced. Other feature films like EMMANUELLE IN AMERICA or LAST HOUSE ON DEAD END STREET further elaborated on this concept. The authors review the above mentioned films and many more in great detail and with much knowledge.
Further chapters revolve around the socalled "mondo" (shockumentary) film and how this genre evolved, starting with MONDO CANE in 1962. Writers KEREKES and SLATER show in a very detailed way, how mondo directors faked and re-enacted death footage, which was allegedly "real". I found this making - of approach particularly interesting. Many of the horrifying mondo films (like THE KILLING OF AMERICA and the infamous FACES OF DEATH series) are dealt with in lengthy reviews. Considering the subject matter one might expect that the book is written in an exploitative way.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By MightySpork on May 15, 1998
Format: Paperback
If you are sickly curious, this is a fabulous book. One of the best I've ever read, it is a very thourough documentation on "snuff" films (the murder of someone on camera for the purpose of selling for entertainment). It's chapters completely cover the subject of snuff in ficticious films, mondo, or "shockumentaries," and the actual myth of snuff. So good, it prompted me to write a research paper on it. If you can find a copy of this book, by all means read it, especially if you are fascinated by taboo films, don't have access to these films, or simply don't have the stomach for them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Copp on June 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
CREATION books has taken over the world of publishing books about cinema and this is the best one the have released. A very thourough, well researched and fascinating journey into the subterrainian world of the Mondo movie. David and David approach the subject with abject skill and make every word count even when describing films that would send the average person into a coma for years to come.
This book breaks the barriers and dispells the myths makig it an essential purchase for anyone interested in the darker regions of cinema.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Keath@webtv.net on February 1, 1998
Format: Paperback
Weird movies, splatter movies, mondo documentaries, snuff films, and psycho films are profiled and detailed with cast, credit and plot summaries. The focus is on movies which seem to glorify killing, or justify violence. The graphic descriptions and many photos are hard to stomach but written in a clever, dispassionate style with minimal judgements over the content. To their credit, the authors reveal their suspicions about many on-screen death and violence scenes, often revealing how the carnage may have been faked.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Will Errickson on July 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
A much-needed, carefully researched book that looks into the darkest of cinematic shadows. I especially like that they debunk the snuff film industry. Also commendable are the copious footnotes and the exhaustive index that lists movies by their alternate titles, directors, and years of production--very helpful when scouring the video stores for "Guinea Pig 2," "Man Behind the Sun," or even "Gimme Shelter." Certainly it gets into some stomach-churning descriptions, but I appreciate the dispassionate approach to a topic usually dealt with by pandering, slavering idiots. These Creation books, man I love 'em.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Steward Willons TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 14, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Killing for Culture is the first and most sought after of the Creation Cinema series. It covers all types of death in film looking at how it is portrayed and why. Nothing is left out from the real death seen in the Faces of Death video series to the elaborately staged "real" killings in fictional films to the wanton slaughtering of animals in the Mondo series. Yes, even "snuff" films are discussed in various sections first looking at their depiction in Hollywood films such as Hardcore (1979) and then speculating on their existence.

The chapters on snuff films is definitely the most interesting if for no other reason than this is probably one of the only available filmic studies of it. Kerekes and Slater share the opinion that while there probably ARE a small number of snuff films in existence, it's highly unlikely that there was ever any sort of underground market for that sort of thing. They define snuff not as a film of someone simply dying, but as a film made for the sadistic pleasure of the viewer. In that sense, TV news clips of plane crashes and such do not constitute snuff. Along the way, they examine some films rumored to have actual deaths onscreen. Films like Last House on Dead End Street (1977) and Snuff (1974) were made with the entire cast and crew using assumed names. Thus, they are sometimes seen as obscure films made by a bunch of psycho killers. Kerekes and Slater do a great job of finding out who actually made them and how they staged what many thought to be real murders.

There is a nice history of Mondo film and it looks at various cultural implications of Italian and, later, American film crews invading other countries, exploiting and terrorizing natives, and slaughtering animals senselessly.
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