60 Days of Halloween – “Faces of Death”

A lot of other pop-culture sites have already started with their 2 month long Halloween celebrations and since Junkiosity – The Pod is pop-cultureish, we will jump on the bandwagon too! So get ready for our version of the “60 days of Halloween Spectacular”!




Today’s entry is an early memory for Matty. Browsing the dusty VHS racks at his local “mom n’ pop” video store (remember those?), he came across a series of videos entitled, “Faces of Death“. The series that spanned 4 sequels as well as a “worst of” was a collection of “death scenes” presented by coroner Frances B. Gröss. The “documentary” on death turned out to be a fake  “shockumentary” of sorts (many of the supposed “death scenes” were faked) interspersed with old newsreel footage of actual accidents, slaughterhouses, & autopsies.

The series of films were inspired by the Italian documentary film, “Mondo Cane”, from the early 1960’s. “Mondo Cane” has had quite a cult following since it’s theatrical debut and spawned a genre of film (the “shockumentary“). Because of the hunger for VHS rental fodder during the early 1980’s, “Faces of Death” gained great popularity as well as spawned other “copycat” film series such as “Banned in America” & “Traces of Death“.

The movie is available on Amazon in a 30th Anniversary edition as well as a DVD collection of the first 4 films. Here are some “tamer” screen caps of the film:


Coroner & host Dr. Frances B. Gröss


One of the faked scenes involving a death row inmate & the electric chair


A serious car accident in Germany (the footage gets worse…)

Definitely not for the squeamish or faint-of-heart due to the extreme gore & violence. One scene involving a cute little Capuchin monkey, although faked, still has Matty wetting his drawers a little whenever he sees it…

And there we have the first installment of our “60 Days of Halloween Spectacular”!


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