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Savage - FoxTrot Productions Print E-mail
User Rating: / 5
Written by Jay Creepy   
Monday, 27 November 2017
Severed Cinema Review of Savage from FoxTrot Productions

Directed by: Emir Skalonja
Written by: Emir Skalonja, Krystal Shenk
Produced by: Krystal Shenk, Emir Skalonja
Cinematography by: Emir Skalonja
Special Effects by: Krystal Shenk, Emir Skalonja, Lori Dolan Meyer.
Music by: Darren Peterson, Luciferian Insectus
Editing by: Emir Skalonja
Cast: Richard Ruiz, Adam S Litton, Cassie Klahn, Kira Meyer, Jimi Voelker, Jacob Hodgson, Kara Robbins, John Karyus, Lori Dolan Meyer
Year: 2017
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: B&W - Red Tint
Runtime: 1h 19min

Distribution: FoxTrot Productions

It wasn't long ago in another review, I stated these words “I do love a good post apocalypse film. The wastelands, the brutal violence, the scavengers. In my own opinion, aside from George Miller, the Italians rock up the best ones.” Aside from those, I'm a pure sucker for low budget ones when performed correctly -- with intelligence and a bit of care. I am bored now with the post zombie apocalypse furnace spewing out crappy coals that burn into you with promises of greatness, only to singe your eyebrows. Gimmie a standard balls-to-the-wall survivalists in a desolate world with humans only any day ala The Road or The Collapsed!

Emir Skalonja -- shalt this man bring what the Creepy needs? After the first few minutes I nodded and realised, yes, he has. Emir is the chap behind The Plague (soon to be) Trilogy, as well as underground titles such as Flesh of my Flesh, and Confessions of a Homicidal Prostitute. In just over three simple years he has unleashed a mass of crazy shit on the market.

Enough rimming. Are his movies any good? If you're a long-time Fangoria reader who expects a certain financial viewing, then you'll lose patience. If on the other hand, you read fanzines and used to pour over Chas Balun's Deep Red mags, you will probably get that if a pocket is empty, fill it with love. (I am aware that there are a few Fango readers who share this idea, so no offence intended, unless you're one of the other kind!)

Savage is micro-budget. Its settings are basic staple post apocalypse ingredients, as are some of the characters. However, the atmosphere and storytelling is what counts in any soon-to-be appreciated underground movie. Beginning with a fight scene between two men, the shorter stubby fella wins hands down, leaving the taller heavy bearded man choking on his own crimson (because Savage is neatly shot as black and white with a few tints here and there -- the redness uplifts more.) Our clear winner grabs his fallen face mask and trots over to a derelict building. A screen narration explains that the civilized world has collapsed, basically, in 2019. Anarchy, cannibalism, and militant groups are all around the newly established cities. Some survivors chose to exist in the wastelands and survival is a day to day, hour to hour thing.

He starts to think back to when -- only a short time ago -- he had companions on his excursions, including his heavily pregnant girl. “It was hard before the world went to shit. Now it's impossible.” she says as she rests. She is understandably scared that they won't find a safe place for the birth and raising of the child.

Returning to our hero’s lonely wanders, he sorts through trash and junk hoping to scavenge anything useful. Falling asleep on top of a flight of stairs, his mind drifts back once again. The day he lost his travelling buddies to a nomad cannibal gang in the woods. Being away from the camp site, upon returning and finding their remains, he sets off to hunt the gang. Back to present day -- well, his present day set in our future -- he battles fellow scavengers and traces them to an old factory, where they are hacking into a corpse. From then on, it's a decently paced game of cat and mice as he prowls the buildings and greenery, always close and picking them off (along with any others who might cross him.)

I guess it's survival of the fittest after all.” says one of the flesh eating women, when they discover they've lost one in their group and won't go back for him.

The central guy is just an average bloke driven by revenge; and the need to find whatever he can along the way. At one point as the cannibals connect with another of their kind (I had to look twice thinking it was rapper, Slaine) and nervously feed, he has to carefully try and befriend another survivor who is as jumpy as he is. All of these people have a backstory that has witnessed many terrors and losses. The less said about the Witch, the better. She is out of place. Maybe a couple of nudges throughout to this might have softened the disbelieving shake of the head.

With its never ending noises such as bird calls, alarms, and Silent Hill inspired sirens, amidst the melancholy soundtrack, Savage is truly a doom laden experience. Wonderfully acted by all involved, and that is a true top-notch ingredient. See, a lot of underground slapped-together flicks are sometimes clumsily performed. Savage isn't one of them. Not only that, the imagery on screen is so fluidly captivating. Grainy and like a Euro movie in parts, I was spoilt to which pictures I bagged from it for this review. Helped, of course by the choice of style. Sin City and Jack Says/Jack Said/Jack Falls from the UK.

Don't be put off by its sparse script, which has never ending scenes of walking and stalking prey, etcetera, Savage is like The Blob. It absorbs you into itself and makes you feel its innards as it digests you.

Meanwhile, if it's the juicy red stuff you're after, you're in for a lavish banquet. Savage pulls no punches with moments of limbs being hacked off, guts tugged out, gouging, deep bites, throat slashes and much more. Since I mentioned the publications of Chas Balun earlier on, I reckon this one would get an 8 on the gore score.

I hope that Savage causes a raw meat feeding frenzy in the underground and becomes a known cult title. It has all of the ingredients for its presentation.

I could have done without the short bursts of metal in such a cool soundtrack. I seemed intrusive. However, there's a cannibal or two, and more than one corpse, so maybe there was a reason. Get it?



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