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|Index||13 reviews in total|
Faces of Death 2 (1981) C-85 min. D: John Alan Schwartz. Hosted by Michael Carr. Having not seen the original FACES OF DEATH or any of the sequels, it allowed me to keep an open mind when viewing this. Carr plays Dr. Francis B. Gross, who presents in documentary style the various aspects of death, trying to come across as informative and scientific but we as the viewers all know it's just an excuse to show grisly images & footage of monkeys on drugs, dolphin slaughters, public executions, deadly stunts, leprosy, autopsies, funerals, corpses, etc. Cheesy, yet adequately disturbing lacks in the technical aspects (most footage is horrible quality and the late 70s-early 80s production values border on pathetically lame) but this kind of film just aims to shock and repel. The entire FACES OF DEATH series has a big cult following, like any film of this nature. All in all, adequate for what it intends to do. RATING: 5 out of 10.
Okay...this sequel does have more of the same graphic violence and gore as the first one...and all but 1 scene is real, not faked, but still as a connoisseur of this type of thing, I didn't "enjoy" this one as much, and I use the term enjoy loosely. These things are not enjoyable viewing, but more of curiosity pieces, and as that I found the first one to be a lot better, even if several of the scenes in it were faked. Still, there is animal slaughter, a shootout, an execution by firing squad, some stunts gone awry, and a boxing match that ends in tradgedy, and alas, the filmmakers cashed in even more, as this is not the last entry in the "popular" series. "Fans" of gore and violence will still have plenty to look at in this one and marvel in the brutality.
I was relatively kind in my review of the first "Faces of Death" movie. Sure, it was utter trash, but I could see at least a reason for its exsistence: to scare the hell out of people. The sequel's only goal is to make more money off the original's infamous reputation. What kind of inspiration is that? The idea of a film comprised of footage of real people and animals getting killed in front of the camera is sick and disturbing. The first time around, there was merit, the idea of making more, just for the sake of making more is totally wrong. (F) Not Rated, but equivalent to an NC-17 for continual graphic carnage and gore from man and beast.
"Faces of Death 2" is more serious than its predecessor.It has only one fake scene,the rest of the footage is real.The extensive padding includes a nearly ten-minute segment on the death(in the ring)of boxer Johnny Owens,a horrifying Japanese mass dolphin slaughter,a monkey on drugs etc.Some of the worst scenes in this film are actually real footage of corpses in varying degrees of decomposition.I can't recommend this title to anyone but exploitation cinema buffs.Check this stuff out,if you can stomach it.
Faces of Death 2 does not live up to the pure gore style of the first film, which makes it not quite as good. The one thing that makes this film stick out is the amount of real footage. Faces of Death used fake footage to get fame, which was okay because the footage was still so graphic and disturbing that it didn't really matter. But almost all of the footage found in Faces of Death 2 is real, with the exception of a few scenes, such as the drugstore shootout. It has some good stunts gone wrong, a few disgusting animal scenes, and a really brutal boxing match where a heavyweight takes on a man who looks like he hasn't eaten in five years. Faces of Death 2 isn't the best in the series, but it isn't the worst either.
After the huge success of the first Faces of Death film in 1978, John
Alan Schwartz wasn't going to turn down the opportunity to capitalise
on audience's unquenchable thirst for death and returned to the
'director's' chair in 1981 to make another collection of grisly events.
Michael Carr returns once again as our host Dr. Francis B. Gross, this
time sporting a shirt and jeans combination, rather than his doctor's
jacket (he was fooling nobody). We have more animal slaughter,
decomposing bodies, shoot-outs and executions, as well as a large focus
on stunt accidents, a fatal boxing match, animal experimentation, and
the aftermath of an avalanche.
While the first entry was mainly a collection of badly-filmed and thoroughly unconvincing staged scenes, the sequel has much more real footage, and only the police shoot-out scene, where director Schwartz plays one of the criminals and proves himself to be as useless at acting as he is at directing, is seemingly faked. While the staged scenes was the main factor I criticised from the first film, the distinct lack of them takes the (should I say it?) charm out of the film. The clips are simply thrown in together, lacking the first's narrative structure, taking whatever 'meaning' the FOD series tries to convince us it has and coming across as simply low-rent exploitation.
One of the longest scenes focuses on the boxing match between Welsh Bantamweight boxer Johnny Owen being knocked into a coma by Mexican champion Lupe Pintor. Gross' narration fails to really acknowledge Owen as anything other than a face of death, but knowing that Owen's statue stands in Merthyr Tydfil not far from where I live where he is fondly remembered (the statue was unveiled by Pintor), it hammers home how bad taste this film really is. So, certainly not as 'good' (I've never used so many inverted commas) as the first, which at least provided some unintentional laughs, but this series will still remain a curiosity to me, and will no doubt reluctantly seek out the rest of the series in time.
This is simply a continuation of the first film. More of the same bits of footage thrown together interspersed with a supposed Doctor of Death patronisingly telling you why you should be shocked and think about what you are seeing. Watch it if you had any form of enjoyment or interest from the original.
Faces of Death II (1981)
* 1/2 (out of 4)
FACES OF DEATH became a huge phenomenon when it was originally released so it was only time that a sequel would follow, which would of course turn into more sequels and countless rip-offs from around the world. FACES OF DEATH II pretty much is the same film as the first one, although I think an argument could be made that this here is much darker in terms of its tone.
I say that because the first film featured a lot of obvious fake or staged footage that wasn't fooling anyone. This one here contains some obvious fake footage like an incredibly stupid robbery sequence but there's a lot of real stuff here. Perhaps the goriest footage comes from scenes of dolphins being captured and slaughtered. Animal lovers will certainly want to skip a very long sequence where we see several creatures killed. This also contains real footage of various stunts gone wrong including a man who tried to jump over a one mile river. Another memorable sequence deals with boxer Johnny Owens who was killed in the ring.
Is FACES OF DEATH II a good movie? Certainly not. Whereas the first film was somewhat original this one here is basically just an excuse to try and make more money. The scenes are poorly edited together and there's no question that the majority of them just aren't anything overly special. In fact, the entire series would be viewed as many people as being disgusting and I'm sure younger people would watch this and not understand what the big deal was back in the day.
Even when I viewed these films as a teenager I knew they were mostly garbage but those who grew up in the 80s knew that it was something important to get to rent these and then watch them with your friends just to see how much you could take. It was a badge of honor if you could make it through the entire film and if one of your buddies didn't it meant he was being made fun of throughout the rest of the night.
FACES OF DEATH II does feature an incredibly creepy music score over the credits though. Your entertainment level is certainly going to depend on what you're looking for.
Best (HAH!) of the series.
Most of this was real footage.
Accident scenes from the autobahn.
Johnny Owens' last fight.
Only the cop shootout at the drugstore seemed fake. Too many camera angles and too much OTT acting to pass off as real.
Digging the bodies out of the avalanche was tough to see because most of the faces of the dead were easy to see.
The fire at the German nursing home will NOT be easy to stomach.
And the autobahn's traffic deaths were also a little heart rending.
My one question; Did 'Francis B. Gross' really make that much money off the first film that he could afford expensive boots, a new motorcycle, and to drink tequila in Mexico?
Faces of Death, one of the most infamous movie series in existence, is nothing less than disturbing. This, the second movie in the series provides the viewer with heart stopping visuals, totally sick ideas, and best- exploitation of DEATH. What else could be scarier than this? Nothing. This is the type of movie that could make you sick to your stomach and even make you scared to go outside. This is a must see for horror fans. The movie DOES what horror movies try to do: SCARE YOU. It really makes you think. Could this be YOUR last day???
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