Ultime Grida dalla Savana (1975)

Sub-Genres - Shockumentary  |   Run Time - 94 min.  |   Countries - Italy   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Robert Firsching

Antonio Climati and Mario Morra assembled this notorious mondo shockumentary, which took the "travelogue" style popularized by Mondo Cane and its ilk to far darker territory. Studying life on the savanna, the film contains the obligatory footage of animals hunting and killing their prey, the hunting and sexual rituals of the native tribesmen, and so on, as well as analogous scenes of Western behavior (fox hunts, hippie festivals). The reason for the film's notoriety, however, is a collection of grainy 16 mm images depicting the horrific round-up, mutilation, castration, and slaughter of a group of tribesmen by white mercenaries. As appalling and revolting a sequence as ever depicted in a documentary film, the massacre footage marked something of a turning point in the development of the mondo subgenre, which moved increasingly toward snuff-like collections of death and mutilation, reaching a nauseating apotheosis with Traces of Death and its sequels in the 1980s. Climati and Morra returned with the somewhat less startling Savana Violenta a year later.