Faces of Death creator interviewed

 Posters 08 04 1978 77533 L 77533 Deb67364 Faces Of Death is the infamous 1978 shockumentary depicting a variety of violent and horrible ways that humans and animals can die. Much of it was faked, some of it obviously so. Regardless of its semi-authenticity, it is a classic of mondo VHS cinema. Radio show/podcast On The Media's Brooke Gladstone recently spoke with Faces of Death creator John Alan Schwartz. "The Legacy of Faces of Death" (Thanks, Rob Walker!)

Update: More from Schwartz in this great Deadspin article, "'Cut Back To A Wide Shot. Open The Skull': The Faces Of Death Guy Looks Back" (Thanks, Evan G!)


  1. I saw the first video of the series in the mid 1980s. I remember being kind of freaked out by the electric chair scene and the monkey/restaurant scene. Ironically, about a month after watching the video one of my uncles was sentenced to death by electrocution.

  2. Back in the early eighties, “Faces Of Death” and “Taxi Driver” were the only two items that were ALWAYS rented at the video store, never available.

    1.  I remember that being true up until maybe the early 90s. At least in my backwater hometown video store.

      1. The video store had several copies of “Porky’s”, but only one each of “Faces” and “Taxi”.  But if you wanted to rent the only copy of “Billy The Kid vs Dracula”, it was always available, which was cool :-P

        Maybe it has to do with how some VHS tapes could cost up to $100 back then, while others were closer to $35-$40.  In eighties money, jeez!

        In fact, I seem to remember (hazily) that the first “cheap” VHS (in the $12-$15 price range) was “Top Gun”, because they put a Pepsi commercial at the beginning of the tape.

        1. Yeah, my video store would have the prices on there. I always assumed that they were to discourage stealing the tapes, but I wonder if anyone actually shelled out $100 for a VHS of some movie. 

  3. To add my own impression of the series… The one that stands out for me, and I don’t even remember which one it was, is the bloated greenish-colored guy they pulled from some type of sewer, or waterway thing. 

    I also remember the monkey/restaurant thing with the hammers and OI!!!

    That’s about it for me. Back then I thought they were all real, but if I watched them today i’d probably be able to spot the fakes.

    anyone remember rotten.com in the early days? I used to make my band’s flyers with at least one picture from that site for each of our gigs!

  4. I remember renting these flics in the mid-80s.  Will never forget the monkey brains episode.  Did the first tape feature some idiot name Bob who was feeding a loaf of bread to a bear, then trips over a log and gets mauled?  Good times.

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