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Home | Film Reviews | Extreme Cinema | Film Review: The Great American Snuff Film (2003)

Film Review: The Great American Snuff Film (2003)

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Two pretty young women are abducted to be the featured stars of a snuff film produced by a couple low-life goons. The ladies are bound, gagged, tortured, burned with cigarettes and forced to dig their own graves.


Originally released in 2003, this new re-release explains that shocking new footage has been discovered regarding the documenting re-telling of the murders of William Allen Grone . Now from what I could tell I’m not sure if the pseudo documentary was actually referring to a real person rather than a fictional character made to non-fiction for the sake of fiction. If that makes sense??? William Allen Grone was convicted of 13 counts of felony, rape, torture and murder back in 1998 in which he also managed to find time to document a few into a small movie of his own. The film gives us title cards explaining the recent footage, the footage being shown (re-inactments) and the final small film to be shown at the end of the film. For lack of better words, this film was created to produce a sense of realism on a fake former serial killer. My searches on his name all came up blank, so that’s the assumption I’m going with.

As we begin, William is in full action with his newly found partner Roy. Roy is almost more diabolical than William in the sense that he helps him kidnap, torture and kill many of there captives. But its soon clear that William is calling all the shots. When they decide to kidnap 2 girls, they continually submit them to torture, capture, moving them about a distant junk yard to disorient them and film them during the whole process. Its explained that William is intent on creating a first in the way of the real snuff films. While he leaves on days to return to his job, Roy is left tending to them.

Though this distant location is far from help or saving. They simply are forced to stay out mouth gagged, hands tied and feet tied until the 2 decide what they want to do with them. Thru back story we are revealed Williams start as a psychotic when he picks up a local prostitute. His frail shell and almost simpleton appearance contradicting his violent actions. Actions which have grown over the years by more violent captures and incidents. Though it appears that he may have to execute Roy as well who was unfaithful to Williams requests. William himself becomes colder and more determined in the final act. Whatever humanity we think may pool out of him completely disappears in this last portion of the film. His narrated conscious helps to re-affirm these notions just in case we don’t buy into it visually.

The film is shot using a variety of camera shots, edits and style changes. Most of it is narrated by the killer himself in which this film has become more of a visual diary with plenty of “think out loud” thoughts escorting us thru the changes. Each day is title carded which leads up to the finale of him executing the finale girl in cold blood on camera. The film itself acts almost like a 3rd narrative that explains certain aspects with these title cards.

The wraparound is a isolated interview right before Williams execution that enhances the direction with his mundane but cold demeanor. By the time the film is complete, the audience should be properly confused as a believer even though it’s fiction. Those who stay for the end credits will re-confirm this by the disclaimer message. Directed by Sean Tretta, this film almost works in a relationship way that newer films like “The Fourth Kind” do in.

Though the product is pretty decent as a flowing crime and horror film. This aspect is taken out of the mundane by the sequences that have been added to the end product. As far as horror goes, the premise is pretty simple and kept to a minimum of actor talent.

It’s the assumptions that works for the film induced right from frame 1. This new release is noted as adding portions, though since I’m not familiar with the Brain Damage version, I couldn’t tell you what those extras might be. Final thought is, this version regardless , feels more complete as a product. Fact or fiction, this film will leave you believing!

The Great American Snuff Film (2003)

One comment

  1. Ashleigh Hintz

    Hi there,
    I was wondering if anyone knew the music on the snuff film?


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