Monday, July 13, 2009

Mondo Bizarro (1966)

Mondo Bizarro
Written by Bob Creese
Directed & Produced by Lee Frost

“To the worm in the cheese, the cheese is the universe. To the maggot in the cadaver, the cadaver is infinity. And to you, what is your world? How do you know what is beyond the beyond? Most of us don't even know what is behind the beyond.”
The narrator, who quotes a lot of wise men and philosophers in order to sound cultured despite the exploitative nature of the film, opens with this remark over an incredibly cheesy-looking model of the earth. He promises us a journey around the world that we won't forget…and away we go.

First stop is the east side of Chicago (how exotic!) where the cameramen have set up behind a 2-way mirror in a ladies dressing room, and while the credits roll we watch a number of women—who have no idea they're being recorded—try on outfits and underwear.

From there, we head to the Bahama's for a difficult to see voodoo ritual at nightfall. Rebellious youngsters strip down to their underwear, dance around a fire, and sacrifice an animal or two.

Next up is “the distant orient” of Japan, to see just what the legendary “special massages” really have to offer. It's not what you, or the American businessman paying good money to get one, are thinking.
Now, back to America to talk to the founder of Frederick's of Hollywood and watch a bunch of young lasses stroll around in their skivvies. What a great assortment of panties this guy has.

In Australia, we watch a man lie down on a bed of nails. Although his skin has been pierced, he does not bleed. To further demonstrate this, he forces a long carpet needle through his cheek and forearm with the same results. This, amazingly, looks genuine.

Germany holds nothing for us except a staged play about Nazis, in which a young girl is stripped and beaten onstage. The narrator all but calls the audience members Nazis as well.

And finally we're in Lebanon for the single longest (and most boring) segment involving an illegal sex-slave auction. We're supposed to be shocked when they auction off a male. The slaves are all nude, including the women, but everything below the waist has been edited out.

The majority of the footage, if not all of it, is obviously staged. That's not even the worst part. The worst part is that it's not even interesting! People dancing around a fire? FILM IT! A woman changing her shirt? FILM IT! An audience watching actors onstage? FILM IT! A man talking to another man in a car? FILM IT, GODDAMN IT! The only piece that held any actual interest for me was a segment in Los Angeles that covered the Vietnam war protests and the art scene, and even that isn't keeping with the spirit of what Mondo is supposed to be about. I mean, I don't care when this film was made, Hippie's aren't exotic. The narrator was a laugh to listen to, and at times the musical accompaniment was downright hilarious.

Mondo Bizarro comes double-billed with Mondo Freudo (by the same production team) on this Something Weird DVD release. Extra features include commentary by Johnny “Mr. Mondo” Legend and Hollywood Book & Poster Company's Eric Caidin; a 25 minute 8mm short called The Dungeon (in which a short old man dreams of the opportunity to act out his sadistic fantasies on his 4 beautiful neighbors, at one time available for purchase through the mail. It features full frontal nudity, to appease those upset with the censoring of the main feature); Gallery of Mondo Movie Exploitation At with Audio Oddities (a slideshow of Mondo posters and ads that plays with unrelated radio spots going in the background); and theatrical trailers for this film and 8 other Mondo features. Look for an easy to find Easter egg.

BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR: Bra trouble; Marijuana for the gods; Hole in the middle; Blow it up; We just call it…L.A.; Whoa, they shaved back then?; That damned beeping;

75 minutes
Color/Black & White
United States

Mondo Bizarro (double-billed with Mondo Freudo) is currently ranked #102,191 in DVDs at Read more about it at the IMDB, rent it at Netflix, or buy it today!


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