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Information in this article or section has not been verified against sources and may not be reliable.
Please check for inaccuracies and modify as needed, citing the sources against which it was checked.
A snuff film, or snuff movie, is a pop culture term for any number of possible definitions regarding a motion picture purporting to depict an actual death.

Contents [hide]
1 Problems of definition
2 History
3 Recorded murders
4 False snuff films
4.1 The Guinea Pig films
4.2 Other alleged snuff films
5 Snuff films in fiction
6 Snuff films in music videos
7 References
8 External links



[edit] Problems of definition
The term snuff film does not, at least currently, have a clear definition. Neither the Motion Picture Association of America, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, nor any U.S. agency have put forth legislation or terminology that would define the term "snuff film" authoritatively. Some possible definitions include; a number of acts (murder of animals, faked deaths, accidental deaths, suicides, murders) which are filmed and only later distributed for commercial gain and/or entertainment. Some definitions state that snuff films must be pornographic in nature.[1]

The most common definition of a snuff film is of a motion picture showing the actual murder of a human being that is produced, perpetrated, and distributed solely for the purpose of profit. This definition thereby excludes recordings of murders caught by accident, and videotapes of actual murders that were never intended to be released as entertainment films. Given these criteria, the existence of snuff films is highly questionable, and commercial snuff films have long been relegated by skeptics to the realm of urban legend and moral panic. To date, no film generally accepted as fitting this definition has been found.[2]


[edit] History
The first recorded use of the term is in a 1971 book by Ed Sanders, The Family: The Story of Charles Manson's Dune Buggy Attack Battalion, in which it is alleged that the Manson's Family might have been involved in the making of such a film (although none have ever been found).[3]

The metaphorical use of the term snuff to denote killing is derived from a verb for the extinguishing of a candle flame, and can be traced to several decades before Sanders's book; for example in Edgar Rice Burroughs's fifth Tarzan book Tarzan and The Jewels of Opar (1916),[4] while "snuff it", meaning to die, was used repeatedly in the novel A Clockwork Orange (1962).

The concept of a "snuff movie" subsequently reappeared and became more widely known in 1976 in the context of the film Snuff. Originally a horror film designed to cash in on the hysteria of the Manson family murders, the film's distributor tacked on a new ending that allegedly depicts an actual murder. In order to generate buzz the producer wrote angry letters to the New York Times posing as a concerned citizen and hired actors to stand outside and protest against the film. The concept of snuff films was further publicised by the Michael Powell Peeping Tom (1960), the Paul Schrader film Hardcore (1979), the Ruggero Deodato film Cannibal Holocaust (1980), the Alejandro Amenabar film Tesis (1996), the Anthony Waller film Mute Witness (1994), the Joel Schumacher film 8mm (1999) and was featured in the John Ottman film, Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000). Online internet snuff movies came into play in such movies like the Marc Evans film My Little Eye (2002), the Showtime series Dexter and the Rick Rosenthal film Halloween: Resurrection. Most recently the subject has been addressed in the Nimród Antal film Vacancy (2007) and also in the WWE film The Condemned (2007).


[edit] Recorded murders
In 2000, Russian authorities arrested a man responsible for the making and distribution of several thousand snuff films. Dmitri Vladimirovich Kuznetsov, a 30-year-old former car mechanic in Moscow, was identified after British Customs and police traced the origin of violent child porn videos found in the UK back to Russia. Italian police seized 3,000 of Kuznetsov's videos on their way to clients in Italy, sparking an international hunt for paedophiles who have bought his products. The Italian investigators say the material includes footage of children dying during abuse. Prosecutors in Naples are considering charging those who have bought the videos with complicity in murder. They say some may have specifically requested films of killings. [5]


Some murderers have in various instances recorded their acts on video; however, the resultant footage is not usually considered to be a snuff film because it is not made for the express purpose of distribution. An example is the video taken in 2001 by Armin Meiwes of the killing of Bernd Jürgen Armando Brandes. The Canadian serial killers Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka videotaped some of their sex crimes. Though their crimes ended in murder, the actual murders were not videotaped. Only a select few people have ever seen this footage, as viewing was restricted to lawyers and other courtroom personnel. The footage has since reportedly been destroyed.

There is undoubtedly a widespread market for genuine footage of murderous violence, whatever the context: as early as the 1940s, Weegee found fame for his photographs of victims of street crime in New York City. In later decades, the American public was fascinated by the Zapruder film of the assassination of John F. Kennedy; the Zapruder film has since been featured in Oliver Stone film JFK, among other fictional works. Similarly, Professione: reporter, a film directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, contains a sequence that depicts an actual execution by firing squad.

The Faces of Death film series found popularity in the 1980s on videocassette, and even on broadcast television, shows like World's Wildest Police Videos have been successful (though for broadcast television, more gruesome footage is usually censored).

In the Internet age, it is possible to download videos depicting actual murders or deaths (e.g. the filmed deaths of Daniel Pearl, Nick Berg, Saddam Hussein, Paul Johnson, Kim Sun-il, and a Russian sergeant, the shooting of Yitzhak Rabin, and the gun suicides of Ricardo Cerna, and Budd Dwyer). In 1994, Russia was exposed to a stream of videos depicting real murders, production of which started during the conflict in Chechnya (1991-1994), and peaking during and between both Chechen Wars (1994-1996) and (1999-). A fair number of these are still available on peer-to-peer networks. Recently videos depicting suicide bombings and attacks on U.S. servicemen in Iraq have been posted on video sharing website YouTube by extremist groups, which has become an increasingly difficult problem to deal with as replacement videos can be uploaded just as quickly as they are taken down.[6]

In Vietnam, the government distributes and circulates videos of executions in an effort to deter serious crime.[citation needed]

Perhaps the most famous instance of an alleged recorded death is the scene in The Crow in which lead Brandon Lee was accidentally shot. Urban legend claims that the footage of his fatal wounding was included in the final cut of the film. However, after police review, that portion of film was actually destroyed, and the scene was re-created with a body double.

However, it is not clear that the fascination engendered by these records would extend to filmed murders carried out expressly for the purpose of filming a murder (actual snuff films). Since it is trivially easy today to produce a film that simulates a murder in a completely believable way, there is little commercial incentive to risk the legal repercussions of producing a film in which a murder is actually committed (much less documented on film).

Most recently, a film has surfaced on YouTube that reportedly shows the murder of a 17-year old Kurd girl by stoning for having a Sunni boyfriend. It has since been removed due to terms of use violations.


[edit] False snuff films

[edit] The Guinea Pig films
Main article: Guinea Pig (film series)
The first two films in the Japanese Guinea Pig series are designed to look like authentic snuff films; the video is grainy and unsteady, as if recorded by amateurs. In the late 1980s, the Guinea Pig films were one of the inspirations for Japanese serial killer Tsutomu Miyazaki's murders of preschool girls.[7]

The most infamous Guinea Pig film is probably Flower of Flesh and Blood, in which a woman, apparently drugged, is shown chained to a bed as a man in a samurai costume slowly kills her through torture and dismemberment. After viewing a portion of this film, actor Charlie Sheen was convinced the murder depicted was genuine and contacted the MPAA, who then contacted the FBI.[8] FBI agent Dan Codling informed them that the FBI and the Japanese authorities were already investigating the film makers, who were forced to prove that the special effects were indeed fake. [9] [10]

While the actual Guinea Pig movies are not snuff films themselves, two of them purport to be based on real snuff films. The Devil's Experiment was supposedly based on a film sent to the Tokyo police in which a small group of people dismember a young woman in an attempt to see how much the body can take. Flower of Flesh and Blood was supposedly made after manga artist, Hideshi Hino, received a letter, 54 stills, and an 8 mm film through the mail. The letter described what was on the film. He watched it and shortly after turned it over to the Tokyo police, who could not identify either the girl or the murderer.


[edit] Other alleged snuff films
Italian director Ruggero Deodato was once called before a court in order to prove that the murders of humans depicted in his film Cannibal Holocaust had been faked, although the killings of the 7 animals in his film were all real.

During the early 1990s, rumors spread of gay bars in Boston showing a film involving homeless teenagers, who were told that they were going to star in a porno film, running away in horror from the movie camera until they were caught up with and shot to death on camera. The Boston Herald newspaper published an article on the subject of such murder films being shown in the Boston area, while articles on the Channel 1 computer bulletin board news groups alluded to such films and claimed they were made in New York City.

In 2000 an Italian police operation broke up a gang of child pornographers based in Russia who, it was claimed, were also offering snuff films for sale to their clients in Italy, Germany, America and Britain. It is unclear whether anything other than child pornography films were ever seized.[11]

In 2007 an underground Argentinian film called SNUFF 102, directed by filmmaker Mariano Peralta, was premiered in the Mar Del Plata International Film Festival in Argentina. The premiere was scandalous because ...


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