Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Snuff: A documentary about Killing on Camera (2008)
The question asked by the film is do snuff films really exist?
A snuff film as defined by the producers is a film that was made purely to record the death of a person who was killed for the film which was then sold for a profit. The film acknowledges films like Faces of Death and the plethora of real death DVDs and put them into a separate category since they are merely a collection of footage of already existent.
The film also examines the videos of serial killers Lake and Ng who kidnapped people and filmed their murders.They also touch on war reporting and the films of terrorists (like the death of Daniel Pearl) The film talks to producers, law enforcement people, film historians and other about the subject.
It is a thought provoking and disturbing look at the subject. I don't know how accurate the film is in some regards (some of the discussions of horror films isn't completely correct) but the stories of Mark Rosen about a Philippine film he says he saw and the reports of a Russian gangster who arranged for children to be mutilated and tortured seems to make one think they do exist.
The film will make you think about what you watch and why. As one person muses why are we okay with horror films but a real depiction of the same thing would make us ill?
If there are any problems with the film it maybe that it seems to wander too far a field, some of the sections seem to end up going on too long. I also found Raymond Whalen too over the top and any points he may have scored for his position the films don't exist are lost in his bothersome insistence he knows all.
Problems aside its graphic food for thought, and the sort of thing that will leave you feeling uneasy.