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I really like Ittenbach's films, like his old ones - "Black Past" and "The Burning Moon". I really enjoyed "Beyond The Limits", and even an old VHS of "Riverplay" was quite entertaining, but "Savage Love" did not meet the Ittenbach-standard at all. Well, at least the German release was a big letdown. For some time I actually thought the German release was complete and intact, but later I found out it was actually heavily cut, and that is the reason why I have to revisit this review, and update my opinion on the film.
Salvation comes from Austria, as they have actually released an UNCUT version of this film. It turns out the uncut version clocks in at 88 minutes in length, while the German, cut version, is only 83 minutes. Most of the gore and fun stuff is cut out of the German version, and the film is very weak and possibly suffers from "artistic damage", due to the heavy cutting. Thank God, the Austrian version is A LOT better!
The script is still weak, and the actors are not that good or particularly charismatic, and at times I wonder what Olaf really had in mind when directing some of the scenes. On the positive side the sound and picture quality is quite good, we get a DVD with over 2 1/2 hours of bonus material, and the best of all, we get the UNCUT version of SAVAGE LOVE.
Originally, after watching the German release, I was very, very disappointed by SAVAGE LOVE, and thought Olaf had "lost it". But after discovering I had been watching a version which was 5 minutes shorter than the uncut version, I understood that I had to give this film a new chance. So I did. :) I bought the Austrian blu ray (which is only released in 666 copies, so you better act fast if you want it), and have no regrets.
The film is still not the best from Olaf, but the Austrian release is a helluva lot better than the German release. We get several nice and gory scenes, including headchopping, chopping bodies in half, axe to skull, multiple axe-chops to the body, zombies eating humans and lots of other gory scenes. The script, the acting and the story is still not that good, but at least the film is COMPLETE now, as it was meant to be, which brings my rating up from an original lousy 1 to an OK 4.
For all you Olaf Ittenbach - colletors out there, remember - the Austrian version of SAVAGE LOVE, is what you want, NOT the German release. Complete version is 88 minutes. Now, go get it! :)
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