Faces of Death (1979)

mono, English

An American movie, banned in many territories, including the UK where it was designated a “video nasty”. Directed by John Alan Schwartz (using the pseudonym Conan Le Cilaire), its end credits contain a curious and ambiguously worded statement that suggests that some of the supposedly genuine footage was faked. Three official sequels followed, along with three compilations and a “making-of” documentary.


Coroner Dr Francis B. Gross presents a collection of footage showing the various horrible ways in which people (and sometimes ) can die. Executions, tourists eating monkey brains and satanic orgies are all included (all faked) along with possibly real newsreel footage of accidents and disasters.


* = uncredited

Director: Conan Le Cilaire [real name: John Alan Schwartz]
© MCMLXXIX [1979] F.O.D. Productions
Executive Producer: William B. James
Producer: Rosilyn T. Scott
Associate Producer: Herbie Lee
Production Manager: Derek Walsch
Writer: John Alan Black [real name: Alan Schwartz]
Creative Consultant: Dr Francis B. Gross [real name: Michael Carr] [opening credits]
Creative Consultant: Dr Francis B. Gross portrayed by Michael Carr [closing credits]
Director of Photography (American Unit): Michael Golden
Director of Photography (European Unit): Dimetri Fermo
Editors: James Roy, Henri Ivon Simoné, Lauri Cushman
Music by: Gene Kauer
Make-up Effects Supervisor: Peter Knowlton *
Art Design: M.E.L.
Exiguous scenes within this motion picture have been reconstructed to document and further clarify their factual origin

Dr Francis B. Gross [real name: Michael Carr] (narrator)
Thomas Noguchi [himself] *
John Alan Schwartz [leader of flesh-eating cult] *

Alternative Titles

O anthropos, afto to ktinos – Greek title
Las caras de la muerte – Argentine video title
Le facce della morte – Italian title
Face à la mort – French title
Gesichter des Todes – West German title
Gesichter des Todes Vol. 1 – West German title
Junk – Shi to sangeki – Japanese title
The Original Faces of Death – US video title
Wei shi da jie shu – Hong Kong title

Faces of Death 2 (1981)
Faces of Death 3 (1985)
Faces of Death 4 (1990)
Faces of Death 5 (1996)
Faces of Death 6 (1996)

Extracts included in
Tesis (1996)
The Worst of Faces of Death (1987)

See also
Death: The Ultimate Mystery (1975)
Faces of Death: Fact or Fiction? (1999)


The Dark Side September 1995 pp.8-9 – article

Art of the Nasty by Marc Morris and Nigel Wingrove – credits, note
Hoffman's Guide to Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.129 – credits, review
Killing for Culture: An Illustrated History of Death Film from Mondo to Snuff by David Kerekes, David Slater pp.142-146, 190-196, 331 – article
The Seduction of the Gullible (2nd edition) by John Martin pp.81-83 – credits, review