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The Original Faces of Death: 30th Anniversary Edition

47 customer reviews

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(Oct 07, 2008)
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30th Anniversary Edition
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Original Shockumentary Is Back With a 30th Anniversary Edition DVD

It began as a graphic exploration of the one destiny we cannot escape. It would soon become the most controversial, critically reviled and fastest selling documentary in home video history. Parents tried to stop it. Video stores had to hide it. Yet across the nation, millions found ways to secretly watch it...if they dared. Renowned pathologist Dr. Frances B. Gröss is your guide to the most bizarre and grisly death scenes ever recorded, from executions, assassinations and mass murder to suicide, disease and disasters. Three decades later, is it hardcore gross-out, elaborate hoax or still the ultimate forbidden movie? One thing is certain: you will never forget the original FACES OF DEATH!

New HD transfer from extremely rare vault materials.
Includes never-before-seen bonus features that will lift the veil on the most discussed/debated documentary in history.

5.1 Audio/2.0 Stereo
Feature-length commentary with director Conan Le Cilaire, who has never before publicly discussed FACES OF DEATH
Choice Cuts with Editor Glenn Gurner Featurette
The Death Makers with Special Make-Up FX Creators Allan A. Apone and Douglas J. White Featurette
Includes trailers, outtakes, and deleted scenes


The Ultimate Taboo... --Entertainment Weekly

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Frances B. Gross
  • Directors: Conan Lecilaire
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, HiFi Sound, NTSC, Surround Sound, THX, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: GORGON VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: October 7, 2008
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,536 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By J. A Miller on August 18, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A film like FOD deserves to have a special release for it's 30th anniversary. I think this release will spark a lot of new comers to the film. Because of this, I think it is important to view this film completely within the context of when it was made. This hardly seems shocking in 2009 and we also now know much of it was faked. However, the way in which it was faked is pure genious. The way they were able to match film stocks, exposure and shooting style for each individual scene is really quite remarkable. Sure, you can tell now that some of the famous scenes are not real, but it is still hard to tell which shots are original and which are recreated within each individual scene.

The overall transfer is very good looking. It was also released on Blu-Ray but I really can't imagine that it looks so much better than this version. The special features are very nice. Special segments from the FX team and the editor are very interesting to watch. The audio commentary is also very good.

Anyway, nice treatment to such a classic and noteworthy film.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kane Mercer on April 7, 2013
Format: DVD
In the year of our lord 2013, there are only 26 reviews for this classic piece of trash. Blasphemy.

Faces of Death, you have heard of it in some form. Maybe through those panic-fest newspaper articles from the 1980s or more recent coverage relating to the amount of the film that has been faked. For those who don't know, this is the film that supposedly contains all real death footage captured on camera. Face it (no pun intended),this film is a rite of passage. There really two types of people in the world, those who are clueless and the rest of us cynical, jaded folks who have seen Faces of Death.

The premise of this film is that it documents one man's journey to seek and understand the many faces of death. No credible reason is given for this personal journey, meaning the viewer can engage in transference and substitute their own reasons for wanting to see this film. This is a brilliant ploy on the part of the film-makers as it allows the audience to achieve an unparalleled sense of empathy with the host and - okay so I'm full of it, sue me.

This film was one of the first that offered viewers a chance to vicariously view the ultimate misfortune of others. Whether it was the man who was mauled by the bear, the guy who got the electric chair or the man who entered into a shoot-out with the police (to name a few). The host attempts to shoehorn these scenes into a linear narrative, with limited results.

Being a first-mover of sorts, this film continues to hold a degree of notoriety even in the age of ubiquitous death footage on the internet. However, as other reviewers have stated, this approach has been followed time and again and without the large amount of staged and faked footage, which will put off some viewers.
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful By RKO Mom on June 1, 2011
Format: DVD
First of all, I am a female. Not only guys look for stuff like this. I, too, watched this, as a young, naive girl. Huddled up with girls at a slumber party...thinking of the WORST thing we could watch. It is a classic, cult or otherwise. A reminder of a time when freedoms were celebrated, not policed. When individuality stood for something. At time, when we were not berated or ostracized for quirky (or outlandish) interests. Quit judging!!! To each his (or her) own!! Find something more productive to do than criticize those who have different interests than your own. Gain some tolerance, why dontcha!?!? And get a little happiness while you're at it!!!!
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Steward Willons TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 1, 2008
Format: DVD
If you're like me, you've been hearing about the mysterious Faces of Death - a film supposedly banned in 43 countries, a film so depraved and disgusting that one could barely stand to finish it. The following comments are my reactions to the film as a fan of exploitation cinema, and cultural extremes in general.

Faces of Death has quite a reputation, but it seems that very few people have actually seen it. Needless to say, there's no way the film will live up to its own hype. The narration is predictable, all the scenes involving human death are faked, and the final twenty minutes are basically newsreel footage, which we've all seen elsewhere. The film runs around 105 minutes, which is way too long for something of this nature. If the film was cut to 68-80 minutes, as most exploitation films are, all we would lose is some bland narration and a lot of World War 2 footage.

However, the film is now a cultural artifact and it's most definitely worth seeing, provided you're a fan of horror movies, exploitation films, or bizarre fringe relics. Even though it isn't really a strong film itself, its influence makes it worth viewing. I image that your viewing experience will greatly effect your reaction to the film. If you're in high school and you're sneaking this movie into a slumber party, I'm sure it's amazing. It's not that I expect a film like this to be high quality - that would be silly. I just want to help prospective viewers manage their expectations.

The only real death you see is in the beginning where we see all sorts of animals slaughtered. It's not as bad as it sounds though. The animals weren't killed for the film, but rather as part of the routine slaughtering that happens everyday.
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