Pros: All real footage here....
Cons: except that "PCP-driven" drug store robbery
The popular FACES OF DEATH series returned with this installment, featuring more of the ultraviolence, gore and graphic death. What is surprising is the fact that the only blatantly obvious faked scene was the drug store shootout that occurs near the end of the film. Unfortunately, they didn't seem to get a whole lot of great footage for this tape, and the result is a whole lot of ultra-familiar animal slaughter, which is frequent filler material in almost all of these "shockumentaries." The thing that sets one of these films apart from the others is the inclusion of new and exciting footage, and in FACES OF DEATH 2, there isn't a whole lot of new material.
Actor Michael Carr is back to portray "Dr. Francis B. Gross" in this one. The fact that they had to get an actor to play "Dr. Gross" leads me to believe that he really doesn't exist. Why get an actor to play the guy when you could GET THE MAN HIMSELF? Especially when "Dr. Francis B. Gross" was supposedly involved with the production anyway as a "medical consultant" or something like that. Ridiculous. Carr, as "Gross," informs us that many of his views on death have changed, and now his thoughts on the possibility of life after death have been "greatly diminished." Thank you, Mr. Obvious. What kind of crap is that? If he were HALF the medical professional that he CLAIMS to be, why would he even be involved in some kind of cheapjack video that makes a fortune off of the misfortunes of REAL HUMAN BEINGS, and I don't care what anyone says, this Gross (pun fully intended) character had no optimism about the possibility of life after death to begin with. Way to read the script cards there, buddy. But enough about "Dr. Gross," ON TO THE TAPE...
If you're looking for real videos of people getting offed, I'd advise you to look elsewhere. FACES OF DEATH may have been the original--and possibly the most easily accessible, but believe you me, there's a lot better stuff out there if you look for it. And it somehow reduced my opinion of the series when I found out that the electrocution of "Larry DeSilva" in the first tape was filmed in a friend of writer Alan Black's garage, and used toothpaste for the foaming at the mouth effect. Just thought I'd key you in on that.
We start out with a look into the origins of necrophilia. No footage, just lame explanations. Next, we are treated to a bunch of violent stunt mishaps, including a ridiculous attempt to jump the St. Lawrence river using a rocket-powered car. How stupid is that? Johnny Owens, a Welsh boxer who looks like a 95 pound starving weakling, goes down "for the final count" in a brutal match where his brain is literally turned into jello. Death squads in El Salvador kill multiple people, and a cluster bomb in Lebanon takes out a bunch of children in some nasty footage of their bodies being removed. Through all this, Carr delivers the usual monotonous crap narration where he attempts to sound philosophical, or even profound, but instead falls quite short of sounding anything close to intelligent. Instead he sounds like a sicko, who enjoys this kind of stuff way too much. But wait, you're saying. You're the one who goes out of his way to hunt these videos down and review them for this website. You're just as bad as he is. True, perhaps. But at least I don't claim to be a scientist while doing it.
Following this "rewarding" footage, we are treated to more of the standard footage from the Vietnam war. All the napalmed children, beheaded communists, and bullet-riddled corpses your heart desires. There's a few airplane wrecks, a train derailment, avalanche recovery operations, a wild west outlaws severed head, and autopsies of cancer victims.
There's also an faked section where two druggies under the influence of PCP stage a shootout with police in a drug store. Then, we are witnesses to everyone's favorite footage, the obligatory animal slaughter section!
I wonder how many animals were actually killed in the makings of all these mondo and "death" films. I probably don't even want to know. Maybe all of them were killed legitimately by people who intended to use them as food, or make products from their liver, but nonetheless, there is so much totally outrageous animal killing footage, its just disturbing. And while the people killed in these tapes are tragedies, I think the animal slaughter contained here is even more of a despicable occurance. We see seals, dolphins, whales, lambs, minks, chickens, and more all killed point blank before the camera. Gore, blood, and death. Yippie-ki-yay motherf*ckers. This animal slaughter is totally unwarranted. Anyone who has seen any of these mondo or death films has seen more than their share of animals killed left and right, all for our "entertainment." I'm quite frankly sick of seeing this kind of footage. It's a cheap and very easy way to get footage, but that's what makes it so pathetic. People don't watch these types of films, especially not FACES OF DEATH, a series that prides itself on showing "real human destruction" to see helpless animals brutally exterminated before the cameras. If they wanted to see this, they could watch one of dozens of Italian made animal blood-baths from the 1960's, or any of the cannibal flicks made in the late '70's/early '80's and see the same thing. And in the case of the F.O.D. series, you could even see faked human execution and death in the cannibal flicks too, so why don't you go watch one of those instead. They're more entertaining, I'll say that.
FACES OF DEATH 2 ends with a lengthy and pretty worthless footage of the execution by firing squad of a bunch of the leaders of Liberia who were captured during a coup d'etat that overthrew their corrupt government. This footage isn't especially graphic, and I thought it was way too long and slow to be included on this tape, especially as the final thing we are shown.
Overall, FACES OF DEATH 2 will give you a nice serving of real death, but it is by far not the best example of such material out there. I'd recommend one of the DEATH SCENES tapes--which I might add include NO animal slaughter--; an ultraviolent tape I happened upon called SNUFF VIDEO, which features a truckload of real human atrocities; or if you're looking for a "mondo" type film featuring death and bizarre footage, SHOCKING ASIA I or II. These films are much more interesting than FACES OF DEATH in many ways. Skip FACES OF DEATH 2 unless you're a DIE-hard fan.