Monday, October 15, 2007

"Savage Man,Savage Beast"(1975)d/Antonio Climati

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I first saw this mondo documentary as the second half of a drive-in double bill with Lenzi's "Cannibal Ferox(Make Them Die Slowly)"(1980)as a teenager,and certain scenes stayed with me for years until I was able to find myself a copy.Though most of the film is what you've come to expect from other films of the same ilk and era,you'll be disturbed by the shocking images that Climati,former cinematographer for Prospero and Jacopetti on films like "Mondo Cane" and "Africa Addio",has put forth onto the big screen in his first directorial vehicle.His cinema verite' style turns horrific visions into poetry,and certainly influenced Deodato's "Cannibal Holocaust",and his lush use of slow motion is bound to take viewers' collective breath away.
"Ultime Grida Dalla Savana" focuses on the constant struggle between man and animal for survival,and every variant in between.Men hunt elk,bears fish for salmon,leopards eat monkeys,naked tribesmen fuck the bare earth,another tribe tosses their semen into a river(after collecting it in the most ridiculous codpiece ever committed to celluloid),aborigines hunt fruit bats with boomerangs,and on the opposite end of the spectrum,anti-hunting groups in England outwit hunters to free foxes,and obligatory,unwashed dirt merchant hippies hold love-fest concerts in protest of animal killing(really an excuse to drop all kinds of mind-altering drugs,fuck in the mud,and breastfeed baby goats...I shit you not.)
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Insert wah-wah pedal porno guitar here...
And then,there's the aforementioned two scenes I was talking about earlier.The family of Pit Dernitz watches from his car as he gets out,home movie camera in hand,and films a pride of lions enjoying a fresh kill under a tree at a wildlife park in the Congo,all the while another family in a car next to his also captures his escapade on film.Unbeknownst to Dernitz,his family,and the party in the second car,is an adult female lion that has snuck around the car,stalking the amateur filmmaker,before pouncing on the idiotic tourist from behind.
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And the 1975 Brainless Jackass Award goes to...
The hungry,pissed off lions make a meal of Dernitz in front of his hysterical family trapped in the car,and the other camera filming from the car next to them,impossibly bending his broken,eviscerated body much to the dismay of everyone watching,including the viewer.Dernitz's own camera keeps rolling as well as a gruesome final epitaph to his own stupidity,before the park rangers arrive on the scene and put the maneaters down.Though the validity of said footage has been questioned over the years,you wont soon forget a single frame of it.
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"He tastes GREEEEEAAAT!"
The other incredible scene involves mercenary-types in South America hunting indigenous tribesmen down,then scalping,amputating,and finally castrating their human game,proudly displaying their macabre trophies and aping for the cameras.You'll be torn between turning away in disgust and being glued to every frame on the screen in curiosity at the bloody indifference these men show for their fellow man.The documentary ends with an amazing scene involving a man in the wild approaching a wolf and gaining its trust with an outstretched friendly hand.Hard to track down in any format currently,I urge you to set out on a quest to see this motion picture if you haven't already.A thought-provoking,sometimes beautiful,sometimes shocking testament to the world we all live in.
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Three out of four B.W.'s

2 comments:

filomeno2006 said...

Manovre anticacci alla volpe di organizzazioni contrarie nell Essex.

beedubelhue said...

Indeed true.






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