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Killing of America, The - DVD - Exploited Print E-mail
User Rating: / 3
Written by Jay Creepy   
Sunday, 17 November 2013

Exploited DVD Artwork for The Killing of America on Severed Cinema

AKA: Violence USA, Adeus America, Ameriki, via kai ktinodia, Tappava totuus.

Directed by:
Sheldon Renan, Leonard Schrader
Written by: Chieko Schrader, Leonard Schrader
Produced by:
Mataichiro Yamamoto, Leonard Schrader
Cinematography by:
Robert Charlton, Willy Kurant
Editing by:
Lee Percy
Music by:
Robert Houston, Buffalo Springfield, John Lennon, Nick Cash, and more.
Chuck Riley, Ed Kemper, David Berkowitz, Jim Jones, Sgt. Ed Dorris, Ted Bundy, Sam Brown, George Wallace, Jack Ruby, Ronald Reagan, John Lennon, Brenda Spencer, Herbert Mullin, and more.
Color/Black & White
1h 30min

Distributor: Exploited

"All of the film you are about to see is real.  Nothing has been staged."  Isn't that the truth.  "The Killing of America" is a more serious version of the infamous "Faces of Death," which of course spawned such series as "Traces of Death" and "Executions," amongst others.  There's always been people ready with their wallets and business minds to create their version of any unexpected hits.  I mean, Italian Cinema achieved a lot using that marketing plan for many decades didn't they?  "The Killing of America" is quite educational as a Mondo documentary and is riding the "Faces of Death" wagon but proudly showing the viewers something different.

Before anything else there's a smartly dressed black man gunned down by cops on a street corner.  Then the credits roll and we watch police helicopters and views of night time America, including a cinema showing "Humanoids From the Deep" and "Shogun Assassin."  Those were the days.  There are various party goers in costumes accompanied by cool funky synths on the soundtrack.  Police audio reports of gunshots, we see hospital treatments, dead folks in varied positions, and a gun dealer shows us a shotgun.  Cops then visit a house where a female hostage rolls out so they can open fire on the windows.

Yep, welcome to America.  A rugged narrator informs us how the USA has 27,000 murders per year as opposed to much lower counts in Britain and Japan.  There's more statistics as we're treated to morgue shots, kids playing with toy guns, then news footage of President Reagan being shot -- a grey suited secret service dude almost dances as he's blasted in the stomach as well.

Twenty five years prior and America was “better” as footage shows.  However, November 22nd 1963 when JFK was shot, freedom met violence.  The familiar footage is shown of the assassination, and afterwards outside of the hospital as news reports play.  As Lee Harvey Oswald is killed, there's a brief mention of two assassins, but these were the days before Oliver Stone released his epic.

Next in line we have Martin Luther King (of course death footage does not exist) so instead there's the riots which happened in the aftermath.  As we are listening to “Stop children what's that sound.....” we're into Vietnam.  Buffalo Springfield is timeless, as are the protests on American soil and the powerful war imagery.  The 1972 assassination attempt on George Wallace, Bobby Kennedy, it's one after another.... but it can only get worse.  Narrator Chuck Riley insists that after the death of JFK murders have tripled with arrival of new breeds of killers -- assassins and snipers who kill for no reason.  Take a bow Charles Whitman, shooting fifty students on campus after taking out his mum and wife.  The new era upped the sales of firearms for home protection, and here's some CCTV footage of a shop keeper gunned down, Robert Smith then kills women in a beauty shop, November 1966, and why?  “I wanted to get known -- to get myself a name.”  School shootings, Brenda Ann Spencer (also made more famous by The Boomtown Rats), suicides, more snipers -- all blasted out with graphic footage or photos.  By this time in the film you really think you're in a hell of some sort.... and you are!

Hey-ho, here's Charles Manson with a collection of interviews, death photos, then Herbert Mullan (God told him to, remember?) plus others including Son of Sam, Rev Jim Jones who is given a huge section with scenes of the Jonestown Massacre.  James Hoskins steps up with an interview from the TV station he held hostage, rifle in hand.  “Give me a place where me and the police can shoot it out.”  As he talks his argument is quit solid.  Endless footage of hostage situations follow.  So does Sam Brown, the guy from the pre credits scene.  He's a sniper who decided to take shots at passing cars until the standoff with police at gunpoint. 

Now onto the sex section: prostitutes -- male and female, sexual violence, more morgue photographs, dead bodies on sidewalks, dead gimps in masks, John Wayne Gacy, Hillside Stranglers, and a giant story of Wayne and Dean Henley.  Then the showstopper of Ted Bundy.  No detail is spared in the descriptions and pictures.  Even Ed Kemper cannot beat Ted who is awarded a lengthy interview after Mr Bundy.  Ed killed his mom and co-eds, raping headless corpses, sleeping with severed heads, and even threw darts at his mom's head.

After all this madness we're calmed by the finale which is all about John Lennon.  It seems a bit disjointed and maybe it was meant to say that John was the last hope of peace.... okay.  But when Imagine plays I suppose it's poignant enough.  To conclude, you realize that most of the footage has been shown on other documentaries over the years, but to have it all slapped together in 1982 is quite jaw-dropping.

“Whilst you watched this movie, five more of us were murdered.  One was a random killing of a stranger.”  Indeed.  "The Killing of America" isn't here to glorify or show gore; the death and crime photos illustrate a matter of fact study of violence.  Like I said, it is a serious documentary, but I can say that when I was at school in the late 80's, we traded around grim VHS copies all shush-shush like snuff movies.  I mean, here's a film that isn't fake, it's not pretending, it's not even too preachy, it's just a thinking mondo flick.  Now in our era, you can find websites like Mental Zero and watch a Mexican woman have her head slowly cut off, or various murders and crashes caught on phones or cameras.  In 1982, along with "Faces of Death," Mondo doc's, etc, these sort of films were shocking, and stayed powerful throughout the nineties until the explosion of factual death sites.

On the long discarded Exploited label DVD release there's a ten minute special 'A Brief History of Mondo Movies' dating quite cleverly from the era of Edison with footage of a hanging, silent films, nudist films, right to the 60's African native flicks.  "Mondo Cane" of course the breakthrough, then endless Mondo titles of all shapes and sizes.  Jake Shaw, the narrator, to be honest, is freaking boring and can't even bring any thrills to describing the brutal game changer "Africa Addio."  "Shocking Africa" is apparently the most difficult to watch (my Horror Soulmate and I have sworn to view and review it soon).  Naturally "Faces of Death" has its time as well.

"The Killing of America" was made for the Japanese market and was co-written and co-directed by Leonard Schrader, brother of Paul who scripted "Taxi Driver" amongst others.  Chuck Riley also narrated The Making of Die Hard 2, and a couple more.  One of the taglines really sums the experience up “A stunning eye-witness experience of the growth of violence in the United States.” and it's worth seeing.  So all of us at Severed Cinema would like to give you it.  Follow the link and enjoy.

The Killing of America screenshot on Severed Cinema

The Killing of America screenshot on Severed Cinema

The Killing of America screenshot on Severed Cinema

The Killing of America screenshot on Severed Cinema

The Killing of America screenshot on Severed Cinema

The Killing of America screenshot on Severed Cinema

The Killing of America screenshot on Severed Cinema

The Killing of America screenshot on Severed Cinema

The Killing of America screenshot on Severed Cinema

The Killing of America screenshot on Severed Cinema

The Killing of America screenshot on Severed Cinema

The Killing of America screenshot on Severed Cinema

The Killing of America screenshot on Severed Cinema

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 AUDIO: 1 
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 DVD: 1 
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 MOVIE: 1 
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 Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
 Region: PAL R0
 Audio: Mono

 - A Brief History of Mondo Movies Documentary

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3.22 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

Last Updated ( Sunday, 17 November 2013 )
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