Quartet Records, in collaboration with the Riz Ortolani estate, presents the premiere CD edition of one of the titles most requested by maestro Ortolani’s fans: the bizarre 1978 mondo movie BRUTES AND SAVAGES (aka SAVANA SELVAGGIA)
Written by Jenny Craven and directed by Arthur Davis, this belongs to the select group of mondos that became notorious not for their shocking content, but for their lack of understanding of the genre. Surviving in two different cuts (92 mins vs. 107 mins), BRUTES AND SAVAGES focuses on mostly Latin American customs from local natives who do unspeakable things to animals.
The single most entertaining feature of BRUTES AND SAVAGES is its music by Riz Ortolani, the de facto mondo master who was the key musical figure of the genre since its conception in MONDO CANE and its Grammy-winning, Oscar-nominated song “More.” Ortolani scored countless mondos from AFRICA ADDIO (1966) through ADDIO ZIO TOM (1971) to, obviously, CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (1980), netting a few great titles along the way. The composer always found a way to create cool tunes that managed to tie together the insanely wide-ranging episodes that featured inconsistent quality and tone—and when all else failed, he created singular, individually successful cues for self-contained segments that saved as much of the film as possible.
The music of BRUTES AND SAVAGES has previously been released only on LP and is quite hard to come by. Export LPs originating from Australia and Hong Kong routinely fetch outrageously high prices on the secondary market. Although the original 11-track LP was quite generous and covered the major highlights, this new CD adds one bonus track that covers quite a bit of the previously unreleased material, including a crucial suspense cue that was cut for not meshing with the style of the record.
Mastered by Chris Malone from the original master tapes provided by the Ortolani estate, the album was supervised by Claudio Fuiano and includes in-depth liner notes by Gergely Hubai discussing the film and the score.