XXXXer's Top 10 Shockumentaries


Feb 10, 2002


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The Bottom Line If I could give you some advice, I'd tell you to avoid these films at all costs, but since I know there's some people out there as sick as me...

If you’re looking here for my thoughts on the best “wholesome” documentary films of all time, I’d advise you to check out someone else’s advice. Yes, that’s right folks. I’m going to give you the goods on my top 10 mondo/ shockumentaries; those films dealing with showing the viewer the most disturbing and sickening footage available for public consumption. Keep in mind that many of these films contain disturbing scenes that will warp the fragile minds of many viewers. As you will note, I don’t include entries in the FACES OF DEATH series on here, because as some people know, most of that is total crap. This is the real deal, loyal reader, and I’m not choosing these based on technical merit, educational content or any redeeming value, really. The following list is the most whack and disgusting of the lot of such films ever produced I’ve encountered in my search. The sicker the better; the hardest of the hardcore. Most of these films will probably make most people that would view them sick, so keep this in mind before you go on a search for any of these. These films really do have a specialized audience. I’ve scoured the globe in search of this nastiness so I can help you “make an informed decision” about where to look for disgusting footage of atrocities. Go ahead and call me a sicko. I’ll consider it a compliment at this point. As some of these films are rather obscure and hard-to-find, I’ll try to give you some info about each one.

10. SHOCKING ASIA

Originally released on Magnum Entertainment's video label, this one takes the viewer “not of a faint heart” on a trip through all the most bizarre, violent, offensive and otherwise disturbing rituals that take place on the vast Asian continent. This one is more of a true “mondo” and doesn’t really contain any human death, but nonetheless, the content is very graphic and includes a sex change operation performed on a transsexual prostitute, Indian body piercers, and lots of sex.

9. TRACES OF DEATH

Released on the appropriately named Dead Alive video label, this one claims to be the “first true shockumentary,” but a few instances from the 5 tape series prove to be fabricated. This first one includes a number of pretty nasty scenes including a pig being blow-torched to death, gruesome crime scene photos, a tourist getting eaten by a lion(fake?), and R. Budd Dwyer blowing his head apart with a .357 Magnum. “You can almost taste the brain matter...” As a side note, skip TRACES OF DEATH volumes 2 & 3.

8. DEATH SCENES

Hosted by Anton La Vey, author of the Satanic bible; knowing that, you just KNOW this one can’t be pretty. A collection of grisly crime scene images from Hollywood circa 1930 is presented for the camera in this entry. Victims of gang style executions, shotguns, pistols,
explosives and worse are all up for your viewing displeasure in this one. Some really sick stuff. Not sure where you can even find this one anymore; it was originally released on some cheapjack video label, Wavelength Video, and was produced by Nick Bougas.

7. MONDO MAGIC

Another one released on Magnum Entertainment's label, this one is exploitation with a capital X. Lots of rather graphic sex rites from around the world, and besides that, you get an elephant getting carved up like a thanksgiving turkey, a man getting a finger hacked off to relieve a “headache,” close-ups of female and male genitalia, and much, much more. Probably one of the most exploitative films I’ve ever seen, with the possible exception of Ruggero Deodato’s cannibal films.

6. AFRICA ADDIO (a.k.a. AFRICA, BLOOD AND GUTS)

The only film by Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi, who made the original mondo film, 1962’s MONDO CANE, worth mentioning in this context. A chronicle of the African continent at war, with lots of real life wartime atrocities, piles of severed hands, people getting shot, etc. Even worse than this is the full-scale animal slaughter, the likes of which have never since been equaled. This film is sick. I believe this one is available on home video as AFRICA BLOOD AND GUTS from Woodhaven Entertainment.

5. TRACES OF DEATH V

Another rewarding entry from Dead Alive productions, this one features a wide array of horrific images. There’s a lengthy segment dealing with tattooing and suspension; that is hanging from hooks inserted through flesh, and numerous clips of extreme backyard wrestling featuring insane wrestling bumps. The real deal is the seemingly endless utterly sick footage of head injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents. You CAN taste the brain matter in this one.....ugh!

4. BEST OF BANNED FROM TELEVISION

Not a true Mondo or Shock film, per se, but still contains all the elements of which that genre is based on. This reality video contains a number of pretty disturbing scenes. A woman is completely obliterated by an oncoming train, a man is shot point blank in the chest with a shotgun, criminals taking police on high speed chases only to be killed by horrific accidents, a shark attack, etc. This DVD is pretty bad with much authentic, nasty video death and destruction.

3. TRACES OF DEATH IV

The most sick in this video series full of disgusting footage guaranteed to make you wanna puke. In this one, we have nasty car accidents, unbelievably hideous and incredibly graphic birth defects, mass executions in Iraq, and Iraqi criminals having their hands sliced off with a knife. This one is just terrible... more than enough to put all but the most hardened viewers over. Came close to putting me over at times if that tells you anything.

2. SNUFF VIDEO: VOLUME RED

An anomaly that I happened upon in my local video store one day, released by Flatline Productions and supposedly, this “volume red” is the first in a series, but I haven’t seen any subsequent entries. This one borrows footage from a variety of sources, but nonetheless, is one of the most brutal entries in the annals of shock film. We see various suicides, murders recorded on surveillance cameras, executions, animal cruelty, car accidents, and much more. This film would have my bet for anyone new to the exploration into the realm of morbid curiosity. It is very graphic, mind you, but it is a pretty well-rounded portrait typical of the death footage that is readily available on these tapes.

1. ANY ENTRY IN THE MANY TABOOS OF DEATH SERIES (except the first one)

OK, I said that I was basing these ratings on videos with the most disgusting actual death footage on them, but besides meeting this criteria hands down, this series also features an informative narration. This series, eight tapes worth, also known as THE MANY FACES OF DEATH, contains nearly every scene that was ever compiled for any of the previous films I’ve listed here, making it perhaps the most comprehensive series of death footage. Shark attacks, riots, fires, mutilation, animal slaughter, war, gunfights, suicides, crime; you name it, it’s here. And most of the footage contained in this series is coupled with an excellent narration that explains almost all of the footage on the series. This would be my money bet to anyone interested in this kind of film. This is the source where almost all film makers making such a film would turn to get their material. Skip the first one, because it plays like a bad episode of “Cops,” with all kinds of crime and car accident victims. My copies of these videos were manufactured by P.F. Films, and I believe they are still around.


So there you have it folks. My top 10 sickest, most disgusting shock films ever produced. There are many such films out there, but I believe this list compiles the very best that the genre has to offer for “fans.” You may think I’m sick, a fact that I cannot possibly argue with, but at least I’m not murdering innocent people. In fact, I think my interest in these films has, if anything, given me more of a respect for human life, and at the very least, made me appreciate mortality to some degree. At the very least, I hope this list will help you
“Make an Informed Decision...” albeit a bad one. =)

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