And now, some important news for shock-movie scholars: one of the most important books about the dark side of cinema is getting a timely update from the good people at Headpress Books.  The tome in question is Killing For Culture by David Kerekes and David Slater.  This exploration of the enigmatic history of snuff movies – and they’re influence on both news and film culture – turned heads all around the world when it was originally published in the mid-1990’s.  The Headpress edition will both update and expand the text to provide up-to-the-minute information on this disturbing subject.  Read on for all the menacing mondo-movie details…

Humanity has become a lot sicker… and Killing for Culture has, too.
The seminal account of death on film and the enigma of snuff,
comprehensively updated and revised to include the Internet age.


Published 5 November 2012 by Headpress

“A must have.” – Film Threat
“Refreshing. Stands as a definitive study.”
– Sight and Sound
“A fascinating read. Worringly so.” –
The List
“Utterly unputdownable.”
– Melody Maker
Book launch at The Cultural Mythology of the Snuff Movie conference
Bournemouth University, 23-24 November 2012
David Kerekes will be present for book signings and Q&A

Is it any wonder that the biggest thing in horror cinema during the same two decades has been so-called ‘torture porn’? The likes of American Psycho, House of 1000 Corpses, Saw, The Human Centipede, Hostel and many other cult films push the envelope to its very limits, overflowing with effusive depictions of sadism and cruelty…

Plenty of regular people watch these movies for entertainment, leading to the obvious question: Why are humans so enthralled by images of death and violence?

Going far beyond Hollywood illusion is the underground snuff film, with their legitimacy generally considered to be an urban legend, though there are plenty out there who have their doubts. This is where Killing for Culture comes in. Studying fictional snuff films, Mondo films and actual death films, the book remains THE seminal exploration of images of death and violence, as well as the human obsession with looking at them.

Released in 1993, the original edition of Killing for Culture was a sensation, selling over 12,000 copies and becoming as much of a cultural bookmark as it was a rigorously researched document of a strange, subterranean corner of creative expression.

Since then, of course, the world has changed drastically. Many would agree this is due to the explosive growth of the Internet.

The filming and distribution of news events is no longer the exclusive domain of the media or film production crews. Mobile phone technology has made potential filmmakers of us all, and the shadow that once was the snuff film – the coveted “real thing” supposedly changing hands in secret for untold prices – is now a reality that is freely available for anyone to view at the click of a button.

Even as recently as May 2012 Luka Rocco Magnotta posted videos of himself torturing animals, followed by the video 1 Lunatic, 1 Icepick, spurring a collective effort to find – and subsequently arrest – the maniacal Magnotta. Some would argue that the snuff phenomenon has begun to influence reality.

Along with many exclusive interviews, this new edition of Killing for Culture has been comprehensively revised and updated to reflect the upsurge of these disturbing yet compelling images from all quarters.