Few films have been the subject of so much debate, speculation and cold-blooded lying as there has been of “Faces of Death”. The mix of horror film, shock documentation and fake documentary is a series of fictional murders, staged accidents and real footage, in which people and animals die painfully. Unsurprisingly, the scandal film originally titled “Faces Of Death” was banned in many countries – which, however, only fueled the curiosity of generations of film fans.
This in turn became part of the marketing legend behind “Faces of Death”: Advertising slogans such as “banned in more than 40 countries” and “banned in 46 countries” cannot be proven watertight, but are almost inextricably linked to the film. But there is a grain of truth behind it: The rough shocker was actually banned or severely cut in many countries. In Germany, “Faces of Death” was on the index for four decades – now it is released uncut from the age of 18. On August 26, 2022, the notorious scandal classic will be released in strictly limited 3-disc media books.
» “Faces of Death” at MediaMarkt: Cover A* / Cover B*
The media book with cover A is published in a quantity of 500 copies, cover B is even limited to 250 pieces. Both versions are identical in terms of content and, in addition to a booklet, include the film on Blu-ray and DVD. The media books also contain a bonus DVD with alternative versions of “Faces of Death”.
While many other once-indexed horror movies from the 1970s and 1980s now easily get an 18- or even 16-year-old rating, “Faces of Death” had a much tougher fight to fight: In 2019, the FSK even refused to release a “Faces Of Death” cut version that was shortened by almost twelve minutes. In 2020, however, this version still received the 18 seal. However, this did not raise hopes for an uncut release approved by the FSK.
After John Alan Schwartz’ scandalous directorial work was published in strictly limited media books last year without an FSK rating, the Astro label celebrated a surprising victory in spring 2022: “Faces of Death” was unexpectedly removed from the index in March 2022 in the uncut version. This is good news for genre fans looking for frontier experiences, as well as for anyone wanting to reassure themselves what the decades-long debate surrounding the film was actually about.
But if you’re hoping for an exciting, substantive movie night from “Faces of Death,” be forewarned. Because even among genre fans, the clip show of real and feigned atrocities, held together by a framework story, doesn’t exactly have the reputation of a successful film experience. Instead, “Faces of Death” has the status of a kind of cinematic test of courage. Or a big, macabre puzzle that involves separating the documentary passages from the staged ones. The media book’s bonus material now provides you with all sorts of orientation points that previous generations of film catchers didn’t have at hand.
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