A snuff film is a genre that purports to show scenes of actual homicide. The promotion of these films depends on sensational claims which are generally impossible to prove, and there are sophisticated techniques for simulating the appropriate special effects. A snuff film, or snuff movie, is "a movie in a purported genre of movies in which a person is actually murdered or commits suicide ". He alleges that The Manson Family was involved in making such a film in California to record their murders. The noun snuff originally meant the part of a candle wick that has already burned; the verb snuff meant to cut this off, and by extension to extinguish or kill. It was defined in as a "term very common among the lower orders of London, meaning to die from disease or accident".
There are horror movies that will give you nightmares, and cause you to fear showers and shallow waters for decades. And then there are the ones that push so many social-taboo envelopes, strike so many collective raw nerves and tweak so many communal gag reflexes that they are a cut, if you will, above the rest. Several films nearly got folks arrested; a couple merely inspired repulsion and disgust from critics and audiences alike, along with some passionate jeers. But all of the movies here fall under the category of controversial, all of them took the genre to some fairly extreme places, and all of them get a according to how much respective outrage each work generated. An anthropologist leads an expedition to recover the documentarians who went looking for the indigenous tribes of maneaters rumored to be hiding around the jungle; they then find savagery beyond their wildest imagining, including an infamous sequence of a young woman impaled on a wooden stake and numerous examples of why the movie is named Cannibal Holocaust. When the film ran in France, Photo magazine alleged that the extensive ritual-sacrifice sequences were the real deal, and the courts threw a murder charge on Deodato for good measure.
Snopes needs your help! Learn more. Time and again, what is originally decried in the press as a film of a murder turns out, upon further investigation, to be a fake.
A remarkable selection of films about the presentation of death on screen and the human compulsion to look at it. Classics and cult movies alternate with extreme cinema and pure trash exploiting the pornography of violence. From the sensational Mondo documentaries of the 60s to the mythologies that evolved around snuff cinema - which claimed to have captured real murder on screen - to the phenomenon of "found footage" horror, from 80s so-called video nasties with their unsavoury yet tempting VHS cover artwork, to the 21st century dashcam and smartphone streaming of acts of violence, catastrophe and accidents, our fascination with death is always confrontational, and shockingly topical. Carl Boehm plays a serial-killing photographer who films his victims' dying moments in this classic psychothriller.