Friday, July 29, 2016

Savage Man Savage Beast (1975)

 Savage Man Savage Beast (1975)

Anthology Film Archives in NYC is currently running a series of films under the umbrella title Mondo Mondo.  A Mondo film is basically a documentary, or faux documentary, that is also an exploitation film.  Here is a link to what wikipedia says :

Mondo film

This genre was made popular by the 1962 movie Mondo Cane, which was a surprise hit and yielded a Grammy nomination for the theme song More, from the Mondo Cane soundtrack.  The song was covered by Kai Winding and hit #8 on the Billboard Hot 100.  Many other films with the word  Mondo (Italian for world) in their titles, including Mondo Topless, Mondo Nudo, Mondo Bizarro, and even Mondo New York.  There were also tons of other movies that employed this shockumentary style over the years.

Savage Man Savage Beast's focus is on hunting.  Man on animal, animal on man, man on man and animal on animal.  It travels all over the world to show us different scenes of brutality, and even a couple scenes of peace as well.  It starts with a hunter chasing a stag in the hopes of killing him, and once the deed is done shifts over to some hippies who are protesting violence.  The rest of the film is mostly the kind of stuff you see on National Geographic or some such channel, yet these films are older and a bit more random. 

Obviously this is NOT a movie you want to see if you are the sensitive type.  There is a fair amount of animal killing, both from humans and other animals, and some of it is pretty graphic.  There is a fun segment of this film where one of the tribes fertilizes the earth by basically digging a hole and fucking it.  Pretty interesting to watch, in a curious kinda way.  Another segment on fox hunting is more modern, but still a bit primitive.  The odd thing is that there is some parts about this segment which seem really fake, but some of these mondo films did add in fake scenes to draw in a bigger audience.  The scenes of the lion attacks are also supposed to be faked, and this was later done in Faces Of Death as well. 

The soundtrack of these movies usually include very lush, romantic instrumental tunes, very European sounding in nature.  This one follows suit, but also adds in some more hippy and rock music to reflect the scenes that include the younger generation who are against violence against animals, while still eating meat. 

While this film does have some amazing footage, it is uneven and seems a bit long.  Had they cut out the faked footage and tightened this up a bit I think it would have been a much more effective movie.  That being said, it was good, just did not rise to the level of some of the others I have seen in this series so far.  I have at least 2 more that I have seen that I need to review, plus there are a least a couple more to see, so I will be reviewing almost the whole series, minus one or two movies.  I hope I find at least one more gem in the series.

7 out of 10 stars.

Location : Anthology Film Archives, main theater, NYC
Date and time : Sunday, July 24th, 2016 at 8:45 PM
Format : 35mm, faded print
Audience : Decent crowd, 20-50