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Killing for Culture: An Illustrated History of Death Film from Mondo to Snuff (Creation Cinema) Paperback – Illustrated, 14 Oct 1993


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Product details

  • Paperback: 285 pages
  • Publisher: Creation Books; 3rd illustrated edition edition (14 Oct 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1871592208
  • ISBN-13: 978-1871592207
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 17.1 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 794,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

A definitive study...thoroughly examining both traditions (mondo and snuff) and picking apart the myths surrounding the latter. -- Sight and Sound

The definitive guide to the history of snuff. -- Empire

Utterly unputdownable. -- Melody Maker

Well-researched and highly readable, Killing for Culture is a must-have. -- Film Threat

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 Sep 2001
Format: Paperback
An in depth look at death on film and the myth off "snuff" movies. The book basically sets about showing that there is no evidence whatsoever for the existence of any snuff films ever being made or distributed. It does this while along the way taking a detailed look at "mondo" films, documentary death footage and every other kind of death or purported death on celluloid. Gruesome and intriguing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Nov 1999
Format: Paperback
The authors have done a great job with their very detailed chapters of how a myth can be awakened by mass -hysteria/-ignorance. This book will, by its objectivity, hopefully contribute to an unnerving approach of the perpetuum mobile of the 'snuff' hype machine.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By james.sibley@talk21.com on 7 July 2001
Format: Paperback
A thouroughly disturbing read which I find myself picking up again and again. A comprehensive analysis of the subject of death on film.
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By Glosblue on 13 May 2011
Format: Paperback
A "snuff" is where a person is killed on film purely for entertainment purposes.
This is a highly intelligent journey through the darker side of film entertainment. Documenting the development of death on film from the thrities through to the Death documentaries of the "Faces of Death" type.
I have to say having read many of the descriptions of what is in these films I have no interest in viewing them, even though the authors point out many of the set scenes are fake there is more that enough real footage to make up for it.
Highly recommended reading for those interested in the darker side of life.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 12 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
where life is cheap 15 April 2003
By Manfred Zeichmann - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Autopsies. Car crashes. Suicides. Executions. Horrible accidents. Human remains. Assassinations. Welcome to the horrifying and disturbing yet often weirdly fascinating world of death in film. Face it, most people are strangely attracted by images of violence and death - just like stopping and watching when an accident has happened.
KILLING FOR CULTURE concerns death in films. The book starts with the story of an obscure movie named SNUFF in 1976. Originally titled SLAUGHTER, this 1971 ultracheapo horror flick about a MANSON - style murder spree was considered unwatchable and remained unreleased for several years until movie producer Allan SHACKLETON got an idea: He shot a new ending, where an actress was seemingly "killed" on camera for real (though the basement special effects clearly proofed otherwise). Cleverly promoted with the slogan "shot in South America, where life is cheap" SNUFF turned out to be a huge success. This was how the concept of snuff movies (where people are killed for real) was introduced. Other feature films like EMMANUELLE IN AMERICA or LAST HOUSE ON DEAD END STREET further elaborated on this concept. The authors review the above mentioned films and many more in great detail and with much knowledge.
Further chapters revolve around the socalled "mondo" (shockumentary) film and how this genre evolved, starting with MONDO CANE in 1962. Writers KEREKES and SLATER show in a very detailed way, how mondo directors faked and re-enacted death footage, which was allegedly "real". I found this making - of approach particularly interesting. Many of the horrifying mondo films (like THE KILLING OF AMERICA and the infamous FACES OF DEATH series) are dealt with in lengthy reviews. Considering the subject matter one might expect that the book is written in an exploitative way. This clearly is not the case.
Further chapters concern films where real atrocity footage was used - like the US porn movie FORCED ENTRY about a posttraumatic stress disorder suffering Vietnam veteran rapist, whose "activities" are interspersed with actual combat newsreel footage. The last chapter details how tabloid papers and feminists are propagating the urban legend of snuff films.
The sheer amount of facts concerning real reel death the authors have crammed in the relatively small book is amazing:
Hospital documentaries like the 6 hour long NEAR DEATH. Nauseating underground films. The famous ZAPRUDER amateur film of the assassination of president John F. KENNEDY. Autopsy films like THE ACT OF SEEING WITH ONE'S OWN EYES. Driver education films depicting the daily carnage on the streets. Incidents where people committed suicide live in front a camera - like Pennsylvania state treasurer Budd R. DWYER, who blew his brains out with a .357 revolver during a press conference after being convicted of bribery. The GIMME SHELTER concert film, where a camera by accident caught some Hell's Angels stabbing a man. (Please note that these are only a few examples of what to find in this excellent book.)
The book is illustrated with dozens of highly interesting pictures (video covers, stills, posters, ad material, newspaper clips).
And, yes, the infamous Japanese GUINEA PIG series is covered as well. On a lighter note, the authors also review a hoax autopsy film of a Roswell alien (!)
As you can image this book is disturbing, sometimes revolting and could be offensive to some. Clearly it is only for the most devoted fan of extreme and obscure cinema/film and the most hardened horror buff. But for these groups it is absolutely indispensable. I can't praise it high enough.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The most intriguing book I've ever read 16 May 1998
By MightySpork - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If you are sickly curious, this is a fabulous book. One of the best I've ever read, it is a very thourough documentation on "snuff" films (the murder of someone on camera for the purpose of selling for entertainment). It's chapters completely cover the subject of snuff in ficticious films, mondo, or "shockumentaries," and the actual myth of snuff. So good, it prompted me to write a research paper on it. If you can find a copy of this book, by all means read it, especially if you are fascinated by taboo films, don't have access to these films, or simply don't have the stomach for them.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Creation's best volume 14 Jun 2000
By A. Copp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
CREATION books has taken over the world of publishing books about cinema and this is the best one the have released. A very thourough, well researched and fascinating journey into the subterrainian world of the Mondo movie. David and David approach the subject with abject skill and make every word count even when describing films that would send the average person into a coma for years to come.
This book breaks the barriers and dispells the myths makig it an essential purchase for anyone interested in the darker regions of cinema.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Perversely Entertaining 1 Feb 1998
By Keath@webtv.net - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Weird movies, splatter movies, mondo documentaries, snuff films, and psycho films are profiled and detailed with cast, credit and plot summaries. The focus is on movies which seem to glorify killing, or justify violence. The graphic descriptions and many photos are hard to stomach but written in a clever, dispassionate style with minimal judgements over the content. To their credit, the authors reveal their suspicions about many on-screen death and violence scenes, often revealing how the carnage may have been faked.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
For the discerning film buff.... 7 July 1999
By Will Errickson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A much-needed, carefully researched book that looks into the darkest of cinematic shadows. I especially like that they debunk the snuff film industry. Also commendable are the copious footnotes and the exhaustive index that lists movies by their alternate titles, directors, and years of production--very helpful when scouring the video stores for "Guinea Pig 2," "Man Behind the Sun," or even "Gimme Shelter." Certainly it gets into some stomach-churning descriptions, but I appreciate the dispassionate approach to a topic usually dealt with by pandering, slavering idiots. These Creation books, man I love 'em.
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