Real Blood - Real Death "Death - The Ultimate Horror"

Apr 13, 2001 (Updated Jan 5, 2004)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Real video footage from television, military and everyday life.

Cons:Extreme gore - not suited for anyone under 21.

The Bottom Line: Keeping true to shock video - Death the Ultimate Horror presents real video footage from all over the world. Not for the faint at heart.


My first in a series of horror reviews - just for Friday the 13th

You might ask yourself why I own a copy of Death: The Ultimate Horror. I came a across it about five years ago when a small video rental store was going out of business. It was tossed into a box marked TRASH and I offered to buy it for the American equivalent of three dollars. I chalk this purchase up to one thing and one thing only – morbid curiosity. If you want real shock – look no further. If this video doesn’t get to you then I doubt anything will.

Now, I have rented or viewed a tremendous amount of shock video – and lets face it - that is why these tapes were compiled – pure shock value. None have shocked me more than the events that were captured on this tape. I must say it once again, this is real footage – nothing on this tape is contrived, created or pasted together. Some of the contributing sources are television stations that happened to capture events that were just too grotesque to broadcast. The foreign market also contributes to this tape – with car bombings in Ireland to hangings in Africa. Then you have the home video footage – mostly of fire, natural disasters and accidents. There are a few autopsy clips included as well – one of the most gruesome is that of a man who jumped off a 20-story building and was impaled onto an iron fence.

So why would I want to watch something that horrific? I have always loved horror movies – regardless of the amount of post viewing terror I endured I have an obsession with watching movies. Jellypoem’s made a great remark in her recent review of tear jerking movies – that she loves to make herself cry. Well, for me it is horror movies – the lower on the budget scale the better. This isn’t exactly a horror movie – it is real life – or shall I say – real death.

But What About All Those Faces Of Death Tapes?

I hate to say it but most of the video footage contained on those tapes are faked, staged or out right lies. Example: In one scene there is a man filming a bear and suddenly the bear turns on him and attacks him – all the while this scene is being shot by another person with a video camera. Seems a bit fishy to me that two people would be that far into the woods to encounter a bear that just happened to attack one of them and not the other. Then you have the famous monkey brain scene – a small money is placed in the center of a table and banged repeatedly in the head with small hammers until it is dead – then the patrons of the noir establishment proceed to remove the skull and eat the brains. Ummmm – here’s a clue – the monkey they were hitting about the head with hammers wasn’t real. Why do you think the only part of the monkey that was visible was the head and neck? When the camera cut away to film the patrons a dummy monkey was switched for the real one.

There are so many series of these films that claim to be real; Faces of Death, Traces of Death and The Talking Dead that one could literally get lose with the scenes and scenarios. Also I must warn that this movie is very rare – you might see advertisements for it on web sites that cater to shock videos – be warned – these are copies of copies of copies and the quality is so poor it makes beta movies look like DVD’s. If you do come across a copy for sale be sure to ask if it is new, previewed or a transfer copy. Also ask for a scanned copy of the movie box, not just a general picture. I am not sure if this type of movie would be on any of the auction sites but buyer beware – sometimes what you order isn’t always what you get. The original box should have red lettering and no picture – subsequent copies have yellow lettering with a picture of a man with a gun to his head.

So What’s On The Tape?

You have your run of the mill car accidents, suicides and killing sprees. Once you get through the general items you delve a bit deeper into the blood and guts of the movie – no pun intended. From the Middle East you have car bombings as well as executions. In Africa you see a man get shot while an English journalist assures him that “They just want to ask you a few questions, they aren’t going to kill you” and then he’s promptly shot a few times and dragged off the side of the dirt road. I fast-forwarded through the animal scenes – but not fast enough to see men hunting baby seals in Alaska. In India you see a man having his hand chopped off for stealing as well as a man being flogged for committing adultery.

There is also footage of earthquakes and the aftermath. AS far as the news footage; one of the most famous and most talked about scenes is that of State Treasurer Bud Dwyer and his live, uncut suicide. This was shot during his press conference when he was supposed to step down from office amidst scandal and accusation. I think the producers saved this as the last scene for a reason. You are also taken inside a few morgues to view gang members who were shot in drive by shootings.

The events are narrated from scene to scene so you are well aware of what part of the world you are seeing the events from. The narration is brief and descriptive and does not carry over much into each scene – nothing ruins a presentation more than someone talking over the people in the scene. Some of the footage is up to 20 years old so be prepared for some old news stories – or even urban legends – to come to light.

My copy runs well over two hours and has over 50 scenes. Some of the segments are only 30 seconds long while others are up to five minutes. In any event, this is a tape that is not for the squeamish or weak hearted. I had a few people borrow it and they had mixed feeling about the content. In every case I warned them that it is all-real – no Hollywood magic. Copies that are for sale on the internet are 90 minutes and are all poor copies – I am not sure what has been edited from the first run and I am not going to waste my money buying a tape to find out.

This movie is clearly not for anyone under the age of 21. The graphic nature, nudity, violence and overall gore is too extreme. For those who like the Faces of Death and Traces of Death series – and are interested in seeing this video - you should try to find it at small “mom & pop” video stores. I doubt mainstream video rental establishments would carry this although I did see a copy of Faces of Death at Hollywood Video – after I asked why this was in the Science fiction section the copy mysteriously disappeared.

As always, thanks for reading.. ^V^ Freak ^V^

I have elected to check the NO box when asked if I would recommend this to a friend. My reason is simply that most people would find this a bit too offensive. I only suggest this film to friends who have seen the Faces of Death and Traces of Death series with little or no post viewing disturbances.

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