Sunday, June 7, 2009

Faces of Horror (1989)

Directed by:

Here’s one of the most clear-cut examples of scam artists exploiting the video market. During the 1980s, the FACES OF DEATH series, which (as most of us know) basically promised audiences real-life corpses, crashes, autopsies and various animal and human mutilations, were some of the hottest rentals out there. Yes, we are indeed a society are sick individuals who get our kicks out of violent voyeurism and the makers of those tapes made millions and millions of dollars off of not underestimating good old-fashioned American bloodlust. And every video store seemed to stock the Faces of Death tapes as well as all the similar tapes (TRACES OF DEATH, DEATH FACES...) they spawned. This video copies not only the title, but also the FOD ad art (a simple box with a large skull on the front) so closely that it would trick hapless renters into thinking they are in for a 'real' death-fest. But inspect the back of the box carefully and you'll notice a few familiar names. The print is small and on the bottom, so look closely... Hmm, Basil Rathbone... Well, he's dead, I guess. And... Bruce Dern, Dennis Hopper.... Hey, they aren't! Wait just a moment.... Oh shit, I just got duped! This long-out-of-print pathetic pastiche from Fantasy Home Video (who usually released pornos) is simply footage from three then-obscure films senselessly slapped together with zero attention to narrative cohesion by some folks who wanted to make a quick buck and most certainly succeeded. And that's all it is, so if you see on the shelf somewhere, turn around, scream and run in the other direction.

The films used here are PLANET OF BLOOD (1966; aka QUEEN OF BLOOD), YOG, MONSTER FROM SPACE (1970) and THE INCREDIBLE TWO-HEADED TRANSPLANT (1971); which you'd probably be better off catching in their full form (or in the case of the latter, just avoiding all together). I'm almost certain that all three films are (or were) public domain titles that nobody had to pay to get the footage from. In any case, this title is here solely for the sake of completion. And I really need to find a cover scan for it.


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