Faces of Death II

"When Make Believe Is Just Not Enough!"

One part Hollywood makeup effects and one part documentary of death, Faces of Death II is the second in a series of six that claims to be "banned in more than 40 countries." This second installment focuses on stunts gone wrong and accidental death in sporting events and competitions, and there are plenty of scenes, both real and staged, depicting this very thing.

One of the legitimate, newsreel-style inclusions involves an infamous boxing match that took place in 1980 between Lupe Pintor and John Owen. Owen was knocked out during the match and then afterward died of injuries sustained during the fight. Several scenes in the film, in a twist on the urban legend of the rocket car, depict motorists trying to jump a mile of river from Canada to New York in a boosted vehicle. None of them are successful.

This film was written by John Alan Schwartz, who was credited as Alan Black and Conan Le Cilaire in different roles. The writer also has a cameo in a scene involving a wounded criminal in a drug store, marking that scene as clearly staged. However, other scenes that involve police on the scene, films shot in mortuaries or depicting accidents are definitely genuine films of violent death. The film is also narrated by "Dr." Francis B. Gross, actor Michael Carr in his second stint as the narrator.

This particular film in the series grossed over $35 million dollars in theaters internationally, and the number of video sales and rentals is difficult to count. It has been banned temporarily in some places, adding to the infamy of the film, and that has created more interest in the events that it depicts. While rumors that everything in Faces of Death II is a legitimate event of death caught on film are false, there are more than a few genuine and upsetting death scenes that are fact rather than fiction.

| 1985 | 1 hr 25 min | 3.3/10
Michael Carr
John Alan Schwartz
Faces of Death II
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