The most notorious shockumentary of the 1970s gets an unexpected Hollywood makeover.
I know that we live in a world where practically anything can be remade and rebooted, but the news that we are to get a new version of Faces of Death still comes as a genuine WTF? level surprise. But according to The Hollywood Reporter, that’s what we are about to get – from Legendary, the studio behind blockbusters like Godzilla vs Kong.
Faces of Death, as you no doubt know, is the 1978 mondo movie that mixes real and fake death footage in a sensational study of… well, death. Banned in Britain as a Video Nasty, used as an initiation rite by US college students and famously more popular than Star Wars at the Japanese box office, the film spawned several official sequels, more unofficial ones and numerous copycat documentaries, with varying levels of authenticity and repulsiveness in the death scenes.
It’s hardly the sort of thing that lends itself to mainstream Hollywood remakes, you might think, but we should never underestimate the power of a well-known title. And the title is pretty much all that is being used here, it seems.
While the original films used the fictional figure of Dr Francis B. Gross as our jovial host, allegedly exploring the world of violent death in order to further understand humanity (or something like that), the new film throws all of that aside and instead has a female internet moderator who is employed to remove violent content from a video site – while recovering from a major trauma, because why wouldn’t you take a job looking at excessively violent content under those circumstances? – only to stumble upon a shady group who are re-enacting deaths from the original movie. But is it real or fake? Ooh, how meta!
Isa Mazzei and Daniel Goldhaber will write and direct. Audiences will probably flock to it. Legendary are probably already lining up Faces of Death Vs The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, given that they also own that property. The whole thing seems absolutely ridiculous. Can we at least demand that the female lead is named Frances B. Gross though?
What next, you might think? Leonardo DiCaprio replacing Jamie Gillis in a big-budget reinterpretation of enema classic Waterpower? A knockabout comedy revamp of Snuff? At this point, nothing seems too outlandish an idea.
Thanks to Marc at Nucleus Films for pointing us at this.
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