RIP: John Alan Schwartz, Horror Icon Behind 'Faces Of Death', Has Passed Away

RIP: John Alan Schwartz, Horror Icon Behind 'Faces Of Death', Has Passed Away

The news was announced by the filmmaker's wife on his personal Facebook profile, writing a heartfelt obituary.

Filmmaker John Alan Schwartz, a horror icon best known for directing the Faces Of Death franchise, has passed away. In a post on Schwartz's personal Facebook profile, the late filmmaker's wife announced the news of his death with a heartfelt message. This morning John passed away. He is now with the angels. But I have a feeling he will be back. He died peacefully," she wrote.

"He was one of the funniest, most unique, original, creative and magical person I've ever known Living with him was an adventure. He cried at sad movies, laughed hard and made others laugh hard. He'd wake up every day with a new idea for a tv show or a movie. He brought the writer out in me and brought me coffee and a bagel in bed every day for twenty-two years. Joan Schwartz concluded the loving obituary, writing: I think John and I knew each other in another life. The second I saw him I knew in every cell of my body that we were going to be together forever and on some level we will be. Goodbye Johnny. You will be missed. A cause of death was not revealed, but in a previous post, Joan explained that Schwartz had been diagnosed with Lewy body dementia seven years ago. 


Schwartz's first Faces Of Death movie was released in 1978, and the filmmaker used pseudonyms, preferring not to credit himself as the writer and director of the movie. The film found infamy through its visceral depictions of death and was presented as a pseudo-documentary, exploring the subject of death using violent and graphic scenes. The footage looked disturbingly and convincingly real and fooled many viewers into thinking they were watching footage of actual deaths. While some of the footage is in fact real, the bulk of it was achieved by actors and special effects. 


Faces Of Death II released a few years later in 1981 and focused on deaths in sports and stunt work. A third installment of the franchise, Faces Of Death III, highlighted the work of serial killers and re-enacted crime scene footage of police officers finding bodies in a dumpster, and was released in 1985. Faces of Death IV released in 1990, and is considered the last "real" sequel in the series as it was the last to use original footage.

While multiple other sequels in the franchise were released, they mostly consisted of highlights from the previous movies. Nine years after the release of the fourth movie, Schwartz resurfaced with the hoax documentary Faces of Death: Fact or Fiction?, presented as a fictional behind-the-scenes documentary on the making of the movies.

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