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You ever seen someone die on camera?

A snuff film is a recording of the actual murder of a human being that is subsequently passed around for entertainment purposes. Suicides and accidents don’t count. According to the MPAA, the FCC, the FBI, and the ever-lovin’, there’s no such thing as a real snuff film (yes, this includes Faces of Death). Anything you think might count is faked, falsified, or not made for that purpose, such as those tasteless videos you find on shock sites.

This is a lie. There are, as best as anyone can tell, between thirty to forty snuff films floating around out there. The earliest is a silent film on decaying nitrate celluloid, simply titled "La Mort D’une Fille", and bears the date of 1896. The latest, judging by the hairstyles and the presence of a “Frankie Says Relax” t-shirt, was probably made in 1983 or 1984 and is on Betamax.

The films vary in violence, but they all include seemingly ritualized sex, followed by the slaying of a girl with dirty blonde hair and piercing blue eyes who appears to be around nineteen years old.

Every film has the exact same girl in it.

Longer, More Explicit Version


Of course nobody believes in snuff films. They're just too sick to be real, right? Nobody in their right mind would actively produce evidence against themselves like that, let alone make money off of it.

Al Goldstein, publisher of Screw magazine, has a standing offer of one million American dollars for anyone who can find a real, commercially sold snuff movie. The offer has been in place for years and nobody has claimed it. And for good reason. I mean, you don't buy a carton of cigarettes and then sell it for half or a third of the price, do you?

Besides, as far as I know, nobody has ever taken one of these films home, seeing as they aren't sold, as everybody thinks. That's too much of a risk. You pay to view a screening of it. Nobody besides the people who make money off of them has ever held a copy of these films. As far as I know, there are only three, all male. Actually, the only females involved in these movies are the victims. Not all movies contain rape or sex of any kind, but it's not uncommon, especially in the few starring children as victims.

This all may sound a bit odd to a lot of you, but that makes sense; this type of thing just can't exist, right? It is, though, very hard to get to attend one of these screenings. You need to be invited, and everyone who's ever been invited has been done so by personal mail, i.e. not via the postal office. The letters are apparently drenched in some chemical that makes the paper dissolve after a certain amount of time outside the envelope, possibly in contact with air or light - I don't know.

All I know is that these people are clever and they take their measures. If they knew who I am, they'd surely kill me, maybe even make me into a movie star.

Then I'd be shown into their little cinema.

It's quite a dark place, seeing as the only lights are candles situated around the screening room. The entrance to the snuff theater is that of a decrepit, old factory, reminiscent of a slaughterhouse. The letter would have short instructions on how to get to the screening room.

The projector itself, apparently hooked to a recently bought DVD-player, is powered by a car battery. I've been told they used to use a small gas engine back in the 30s. The 'chairs' are the same old tables that were once used as slaughter benches. As soon as the screening is over, all the guests (a maximum of ten or so) are threatened to leave immediately through three different exits with thirty minutes intervals. The exits are different from the entrance, as they lead to underground tunnels, probably old sewers, that take you to back alleys in different parts of the city.

The crew, i.e. the people with the films, quickly vanish, probably through a fourth exit. If you manage to find the screening room after a screening, you wouldn't know it was ever used for anything like that. It just looks like a walk-in-freezer with white walls, meat hooks still in the ceiling, and tables with obvious marks of old, dried blood.

There are about a hundred and twenty snuff films that can be viewed in just this one cinema, and there are probably more throughout the world. Each film is categorized by victim, method of killing, sexual content, "level of brutality", and whether it takes place pre or postmortem. At least one film consists of several young, blonde women being choked to death while performing an unwilling blowjob. Another is of a young child being cut open while drugged just enough to paralyze his body, but still keep him audibly and visibly awake. Yet another is of a man hung upside down on a meat hook, whose testicles are removed with a machete and force-fed to him before he dies from blood loss.

I could go on and on about these movies, as I've seen a good portion of them. Why not? I have the money for it. The goriest film I've seen was that of a middle aged, dark-haired woman having her hands, feet, arms and legs amputated while drugged, then sewn them crudely back on at the wrong extremities.

The next cut showed her wriggle in terror as she tried standing up on her arm-feet until she collapsed and vomited. A door behind her opened and a male figure swung an aluminum baseball bat at her head. On impact, her head bent, and she let out a gurgling cry before going limp and silent.

The angle of the camera changed, and the man hit her head again, this time bursting it open, spilling brain matter debris. A crying child was then shown eating her eyes.

It was the most satisfying movie I've ever made.

Original author unknown

Originally uploaded on November 17th, 2011