In perhaps one of the weirdest genre news stories to come out since we first reported on it two years ago, The Hollywood Reporter announced Barbie Ferreira (Euphoria) and Dacre Montgomery (Stranger Things) will star in a Faces of Death remake.
For those who don’t have the number 19 at the start of their birth year, and may not know what Faces of Death is about, it is a “found-footage” documentary of people and animals dying in a myriad of horrific ways. All apparently non-produced and real. We know now that was a false claim and most of the material was (effectively) manufactured
Faces of Death (1978)
About eight years ago iHorror talked to Michael R. Felsher, owner, and founder of Red Shirt Pictures, a production company that provides documentaries, director commentary, and bonus content for DVD and Blu-Ray distributors. He went into detail about his experiences with Faces of Death and its director, Conan Le Cilaire (nee John A. Schwartz), who provides the commentary for the Blu-Ray edition.
“One of the things that I found really fascinating about [Faces of Death] was talking to both the special effects crew who worked on the movie and also the editor,” Felsher told iHorror at the time, “who had a really interesting task in that he had to blend stuff that existed at the time, and also sometimes create something out of whole cloth.”
Faces of Death (1978)
What?! The footage isn’t entirely real? Gen-Xers were duped? For a period of time in the mom-and-pop video rental era, Faces of Death was one of those grails hidden behind the counter and only rented out if you were cool enough to be trusted by the cashier.
The content was so disturbing the film was banned in several countries. One famous triggering scene involves a monkey and a dining table with a small hole in the middle, used as a pillory for the animal’s head. Dining guests then beat the monkey’s head with small mallets until it became unconscious and dined then on its brains. Of course, all of this was fabricated with cauliflower substituting for primate gray matter.
Scenes like this would help the film become fodder for the video nasty era and get it banned in the U.K. The censorship only flamed the hype and Faces of Death became an underground cult classic with a few sequels to follow. But it is the original that remains the jewel in the crown of the franchise, having earned over $60 million in its lifetime.
Schwartz (Le Cilaire) passed away in 2019, but apparently, his legacy will live on in a new “re-imagining” of his original film. There are no details on what that means. Only that it will be written by Isa Mazzei and directed by Daniel Goldhaber (Cam).
We will keep you updated.
In the meantime, check out our story about the secrets of Faces of Death HERE.