Safety or Slaughter DVD
(Six Highway Safety Films
from the 50's & 60's)
Hollywood actors Dick Van Dyke, Raymond Burr and David Wayne, and some real-life carnage, drive home the point of safe driving in six films.
SAFETY OR SLAUGHTER: An industrial driving association of the 1950's points out that while cars and roads are getting safer all the time, humans remain far more fallible. There are a few gruesome scenes of actual dead bodies in the aftermath of car accidents. The narrator points out that bad-mannered drivers doing dumb things -- passing on curves, driving too fast or too slow -- and teenagers ("giving a bad-mannered teen a car is like giving him a loaded gun") are easy targets for accidents. Meanwhile, good-mannered drivers, like those who "hold open a car door for a lady", are the safest. 1958, Color, 28 minutes.
BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE: Hollywood legend Dick Van Dyke gives folksy advice on why it's so important to wear seat belts. Long before most Americans realized how important they were, and before their use became mandatory, Van Dyke urges drivers to "give them a try", and recounts how he most certainly survived a car accident of his own because he was wearing one. Contains crash-test dummy footage from UCLA. 1964, Color, 15 minutes.
THE INTERRUPTED MORNING: Actor Raymond Burr channels his "Perry Mason" persona to introduce the &Case of the Interrupted Morning": a car crash, in which the most obvious culprit to the death and injuries (staged) is the lack of seat belt use. An actor portraying an emergency-room doctor laments that not enough people are using seat belts, despite numerous studies on their effectiveness. Contains crash-test dummy footage. 1957, B&W, 14 minutes.
ANATOMY OF AN ACCIDENT: David Wayne stars in this drama as a man who walks into his home where his forlorn wife is sadly selling the couple's furniture... only to realize he's just a visiting ghost. In recalling what happened just a few weeks earlier, he remembers telling his wife and his work colleagues that, as a traveling executive, defensive driving is very important. But as careful as he is on a family outing, he is -- tragically and ironically -- killed, and his family ruined, all thanks to a careless driver. 1959, Color, 29 minutes.
WHEELS OF TRAGEDY: There are some staged scenes of actors as sleepy or distracted drivers, to send a message about careful, defensive driving. But they are interspersed with very graphic scenes of actual dead bodies in real accidents. This docu-drama comes from the Ohio State Highway Patrol, as it unfolds over a summer holiday weekend -- a dangerous time on the roads. 1963, Color, 28 minutes.
DECADE OF HIGHWAY DEATH: This film serves as a retrospective of previous films that contained very graphic, very real video of traffic accident aftermaths and real dead victims. The narrator points out that as tough as it may be to watch, the film is an effective way to get out the important message about safe driving. 1961, Color, 25 minutes.
Six films on one DVD. Total running time 139 minutes.
NTSC Region 0 encoding (Entire World)