Ask JKM a Question: More Savage Cinema Titles?
That Every Person rises to an unexpected challenge, but also – in some way – succumbs to the basest human instinct: to kill.
So your question is: are there other examples of this cut-throat, extremely violent sub-genre?
The answer is affirmative. One of the greatest modern savage cinema films is The Strangers (2008), which depicts what appears to be a completely random murder spree, and finds two young protagonists fighting for their lives, when what they want to be doing is "navel gazing" at their romantic relationship.
Oddly enough, films of the New French Extremity are also very strong, in terms of the themes and concepts of the Savage Cinema. These films seem to have picked right up where the 70s films left off.
Martyrs (2008), for example, is not only of the greatest horror films ever made, but one that suggests, in some way, that by enduring violence and pain, human beings can experience a form of transcendence.
I appreciate this notion because a key tenet of the savage cinema is existentialism. It's the idea that there is no purpose to the suffering and violence we endure. Martyrs finds a way to suggest that, perhaps, there is meaning behind it.
Irreversible (2002) is another one of the greats. My review is here. Suffice it to say, this Gasper Noe film is the 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) of the Savage Cinema. If you like this kind of film, and feel prepared for what you are going to witness, I highly recommend it. But really make certain that you are ready, and that you understand what you are getting in for. This is a very disturbing "rape and revenge" film.
In terms of older, classic films, I recommend Ms. 45 (1981), and Death Game (1977), and -- perhaps, if you're in the right frame of mind --- Cannibal Holocaust (1980). All these films deal uneasily with violence (sexual and otherwise), and concepts of what it means to be truly "civilized."
Of course, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1973) fits into this category too, but I presume you've seen it. Motel Hell (1980), in some way, seems a satire of the whole savage cinema milieu, and I wholeheartedly recommend it on those terms.
Although the remake or Straw Dogs (2011) missed the mark, I felt that the remakes of Last House on the Left (2009), and The Hills Have Eyes (2006) were both well-worth watching. On TV, The X-Files (1993 - 2002) gave us the "banned from network television" episode "Home," and Torchwood (2006-2011) offered the unforgettable "Countrycide."
So start with those "savage" titles and see where you can go from there.
Don't forget to ask me your questions at Muirbusiness@yahoo.com