The death of Pit Dernitz in the 1975 Mondo film Savage Man Savage Beast (original title: Ultime grida dalla savana). Scene description in file.
This sequence is NOT from the 1978 video Faces of Death. It would, however, reappear in the 1993 video Traces of Death.
EDIT: Because the opening text is a bit blurry, here it is for you to read:
Lion attack sequence from the 1975 Mondo film Savage Man Savage Beast (original title: Ultime Grida dalla Savana). It was later incorporated into the 1993 compilation video Traces of Death.
Tourist Pit Dernitz leaves his safari vehicle to film a small pride of lions. As he walks closer to the animals, an unseen lion attacks him from behind. He struggles against the animal, but the other lions join in the attack and overwhelm him. He is eventually torn apart and eaten before the animals are driven off.
The scene consists of two cameras’ footage spliced together during the editing process.
The authenticity of the sequence is still debated today. The film does indeed look genuine, especially since it would be much too dangerous of a stunt to stage. However, it is argued that the body of Dernitz looks like a replacement dummy towards the end of the footage. Also, the narrator mentions that the safari vehicles couldn’t be used to scare away the lions because of the terrain. However, the terrain around the lions appears flat, and the cars are already only a few meters away. Other professional sources contend that the footage is real, and the errors in narration are due to fabrication by the film makers to make the scene more interesting.
At approximately one minute, ten seconds into the sequence, the audio/video quality improves and Japanese subtitles are added. This is due to two different master sources used to produce the clip.
The first minute is from the Palace Video VHS released in Australia in 1986. This video had this segment cut by the OFLC before released.
The footage after the 1:10 mark is from a Japanese DVD with burnt on subtitles and contains all the footage missing from the Palace Video release.
After the 2:14 mark, the footage returns to the Palace Video release for the duration of the sequence.
The cinema verite style of this clip proved influential on Ruggero Deodato when he made the more notorious Cannibal Holocaust. Approximately one half of Deodato’s film is shot in this manner.
Also, the 1999 film The Blair Witch Project was shot in this style.
Whether genuine or not, this sequence may be very upsetting to some viewers. Viewer discretion is strongly advised. If you are in doubt, please don’t view this sequence. The creator of this video bears no responsibility for how this video may affect the viewer.