Real open-heart surgery footage opens this bogus mockumentary, about Dr. Francis B. Gross' journey, which took him "around the world in search of an understanding of death. Many years ago I was plagued with a recurring dream....." Segue that into a mock dream sequence, then into a fairly interesting bit about the mummies of Guanajuato, Mexico; and the infamous monkey brain-eating sequence, which was later reused ad nauseam. As effectively gruesome and simultaneously goofball as this scene is, multiple camera angels reveal it to be staged.
Dog-fighting follows (ugh) As an animal lover, I found this sequence to be more revolting than the open heart surgery.
Our host, narrator Dr. Francis B. Gross, keeps using the word "my", when he says "my travels" etc., but curiously, his presence is only in voice-over narration, he is never shown in any of the footage of, for example, the Maasai people in the Serengeti Plain. While the Maasai may be real, the Iboro (sp?) in the Amazon appear to be completely bogus, as I can find no mention of any tribe with that name. Complete with multiple camera angles and edits, it looks more like a 1970s jungle/ exploitation flick than authentic jungle footage, and it looks more like New Guinea, than the Amazon.
The alligator attack scene, featuring a cameo appearance by Mr. Chia Pet hair from "channel 9 news", balding, and with the (thankfully rare) male cameltoe, during the alligator attack, was obviously staged. No other identification is given as far as, let's say, "Channel 9 News in Miami" or a station id, something like "WXXX Channel 9 News". It doesn't display the interviewer's name or the names of the people he's interviewing, and they keep editing away from the actual gator attack. I counted at least 23 cuts in that 45 seconds long scene, which was most impressive, considering there was only one cameraman from channel 9 on scene.
We are introduced to assassin Francois Jordan, whose voice is distorted, and he is wearing a black mask over his head and face. Why did they bother to distort this alleged assassin's voice and face if they tell us his name is Francois Jordan?
Gross mentions Gary Mark Gilmore's Utah execution in 1977 (which was real) but he claims the gas chamber was introduced in California in 1938. Wrong. It was introduced in Nevada in 1924. Larry DeSilva's faked execution follows, lamely.
The bear attack was more funny than frightening, because it was so badly staged and obviously faked: again, multiple quick cuts and camera angles could not have been achieved
Nature runs amok in Wilkes-Barre, PA, in 1972; tornadoes, volcanoes, wildfires, etc. segues into pompous, incredibly cheesy singing about conservation, with apparently the filmmakers' girlfriend in a green top and white shorts receiving quite a lot of screen time, as a protester allegedly sets himself on fire to protest something or other.
Stunt driver's accident was comically bad. The clapperboard reads "Hell Raisin'", which should be an indication as to how real the footage is. (The rest of the information on the clapperboard is illegible) A real collision of 727 with small aircraft over San Diego lends a slight bit of credibility to otherwise mostly bogus claims of authenticity.
The portions of the movie dealing with real slaughterhouses, cryogenic freezing and rioting, again, are fairly graphic, but again they're done in a documentary type of way, and have more story to go with the gore, unlike some of this film's later ripoffs.
There is more of a story to go along with the gore and shocks here. Granted, it doesn't make much sense and is rarely believable, but that's part of the fun. Exploitive, nonsensical fun, which held my attention from start to finish, as I watched this on video as a teenager many times.
This isn't for those with a weak stomach, but watch it in the same frame of mind you would watch "National Geographic" on safari in Africa or something like that and it can be fun for fans of gore, and unintentionally funny cinema. (Note to the producers: in one scene the narrator refers to 'the country of Africa' - Africa is a continent, not a country)