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BRUTES AND SAVAGES
Poster country of origin: USA
27” x 41”
Being a small-time actor with a lot of time on my hands means that I have to be fairly selective about what I spend my money on. I simply can’t buy anything and everything I want, and have had to make decisions regarding the nature of my collection. This has usually amounted to gathering material from films I love, or subject matters that appeal to me.
Case in point: I have a bunch of late-’70s to mid-’80s zombie-movie paper, covering both films I love and posters that just have cool images. Today’s subject, BRUTES AND SAVAGES, on the other hand, is a film I have not seen, nor do I care to. The mondo genre of filmmaking, the best and most widely seen of which is 1962’s MONDO CANE (the FACES OF DEATH series is a similar but different category), appeals to me about as much as starring in one. For the uninitiated, mondo films are made up of DNA from both nature documentaries and exploitation gore, often attempting to pass off phony setpieces as the real thing—imagine Herschell Gordon Lewis making films with David Attenborough instead of David F. Friedman. Now subtract anything educational, and replace it with the sensational and staged. That should paint the picture for you.
I really don’t enjoy watching mondo films, not even as curiosities. From a comfy distance, I will admit that they are a fascinating part of film history and truly live up to the “exploitation” label. But watching staged executions, and real animal cruelty? No thanks. The few that I have seen were enough to put me off, and with the Internet, it’s pretty easy to fulfill any urges for shocking material—and even sometimes hard to avoid it. Why, then, would I shell out hard-earned (OK, it’s most often yet-to-be-hard-earned…thanks, Visa!) dough for a poster for a film I haven’t seen, let alone enjoyed, and the subject matter of which draws no passion?
I guess it’s best that I just admit, with no apology or deep explanation, that sometimes the highly embellished portrayal of crocodiles waging war against man and the rest of the animal kingdom is its own damn reason. A poster that can offend nearly every sensibility, and yet offer so much visually, is a special thing. This is one such example, and is filed under the category of “posters my wife will never let me display”—but of course, that’s the subject of another blog entirely.
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