The last official entry in the notorious FACES OF DEATH series (to date), FACES OF DEATH 4 starts rather predictably with bodies being wheeled into a morgue.

Next, we are introduced to Dr Louis Flellis (James B Schwartz), successor to Dr Francis B Gross, presenting footage of actual death that he has collated through his worldwide journeys.

And so we get an hour and a half of Houdini-type stage acts going wrong, aeroplane and helicopter disasters, footage culled from news broadcasts - such as a seige at a dentist's office, a puppy being ripped apart by a Chinese family, evidence of gory Satanic Mass killings, a man whose leg is trapped under the wheel of a huge truck ... the list goes on.

Scwartz returns to the screen occasionally, staring wild-eyed at his audience, adding unintentional humour to the proceedings. When he's not onscreen, Schwartz is narrating his own script with near-comical gusto. The music that accompanies the narration is often similarly inappropriate and sensational.

FACES OF DEATH 4 is an unnecessary addition to a series well past it's sell-by date. It serves no purpose whatsoever. The death scenes are all fake (some embarrassingly so) and while this is not a complaint, it rather renders the existence of this film as a "shockumentary" as null and void.

FACES OF DEATH 4 features a modicum of competent special effects work, and some passable acting. At best, it can be said that some of the footage looks almost like real TV newsreel footage. But, how come there's so many different camera angles?!

For completists only, and if you are even remotely interested in this tedious trash you should check out the DVD of the original FACES OF DEATH, for it's FACT OR FICTION documentary which actually shows how some of the FX in FOD 4 were created. But only if you REALLY must ...

The film is shown in it's original full-frame aspect ratio and although grain is minimal, the video quality here is quite soft. What's good (?!) to report is that the BBFC have passed this turkey uncut.

The mono audio is problem-free and consistent.

There's no real extras to speak of on this disc, just a wealthy selection of trailers for other Hardgore titles - 19 in all, including NIGHTMARES COME AT NIGHT, and TURKEY SHOOT.

The static menu pages include a scene selection option offering access to the main feature via 24 chapters.

A short review, then. But what else is there to say about such a negligble chapter in one of the most unnecessary film series' of all time?!


Review by Stuart Willis

Released by Hard Gore
Region 2 PAL
Rated 18
Extras : see main review