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Today’s fact: the movie FACES OF DEATH was faked


How many of Web Watch readers have seen the shock-umentary film FACES OF DEATH?

Would you believe that the film is over 30 years old now?

And for those of you who have seen it, what is the most memorable scene in the film?   (We’ll give you a moment to think about it… we’ll get back to this question in a moment.)

Faces of Death - Blu-Ray
Faces of Death – Blu-Ray

Deadspin recently did a feature piece on John Schwartz, the creator of the FACES OF DEATH films, and in the interview, we learned a little something about the film:

It wasn’t real.

Well, not entirely.

Some of it was real, archival footage from around the world that did make it into the film.  But a large majority of what he had compiled into the movie was definitely fake.  Staged to look as real and disturbing as possible, but not real at all.

That one memorable scene we asked you about earlier — it’s the Monkey Brain scene, isn’t it?

There’s nothing that Web Watch can do to explain what happens in the scene ourselves, so we’re just going to isolate some specific items from Schwartz:

  • The monkey didn’t die.
  • The brain was califlower, not real brain.  The blood was theater blood, not real blood
  • The hammers being used to hit the monkey’s head were made out of styrofoam
  • We used a prosthetic head for the close-ups.

While it’s nice to know that much of the film was faked, for some younger viewers, this may be a little “too little, too late” to know the truth.  But at least we can comfort them later by telling them – truthfully – that the nice group of people sitting around the table weren’t actually killing a monkey and eating its brains.

Here’s a little bit “behind the scenes” discussion of how the scene was filmed. Sure, it’s a little disturbing to watch, even with this commentary added.